Danielle Boodoo-Fortune

Poet and Artist, Danielle Boodoo-Fortune

I am excited to share with you an interview with April's poet, Danielle Boodoo-Fortune. Danielle is from the twin island republic of Trinidad & Tobago, and is a talented artist and poet. She was awarded the Charlotte and Isidor Paeiwonsky Prize for firt time publication by the Caribbean Writer in 2009, and in 2010, Danielle was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Added to that, she was shortlisted in 2011 for the Small Axe Literary Prize.

Below, Danielle shares some interesting details on her life and work. Stay tuned throughout April, as we shine the spotlight on Danielle.

Yasmin: As a poet and an artist, who and what are the sources of your inspiration?

Danielle: Increasingly, I find myself being inspired by simple, everyday things. I try to read as much as possible as well, and to keep myself surrounded with creativity.
Yasmin: You are so multi-talented. Are you currently working on any projects, and if yes, can you share a little about what those are?

Danielle: I am working on my first themed collection of paintings right now, and it’s one of the most fulfilling things I’ve undertaken yet. My first collection of poetry is also being edited for publication at the moment. I’m thrilled about that!
Yasmin:  Are there any particular writers or artists, Caribbean or otherwise, who have inspired you or influenced your work?

Danielle: I draw upon so many influences, it’s so hard to say. In terms of writing, I keep coming back to Jennifer Rahim’s poetry. I was lucky enough to be able to do a creative writing class under her guidance at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine a few years ago, and it has really left a significant imprint on the way I write, and the way I think about writing. There is something about the honesty of her poetry that really affects me, and inspires me.
Yasmin:   Did you set any writing goals for this year? If yes, what are they, and are you meeting these goals?

Danielle: This year, my approach has been to keep writing, to keep pushing further, and to continue developing my own voice and style. I'll see where it takes me! :)
Yasmin:  What are your thoughts on some of the positives that are impacting Caribbean creativity, as well as any challenges that Caribbean artistes face?

Danielle: So many interesting things are happening at the moment, in Caribbean literature and art. There is something happening which I cannot quite yet put my finger on, but which I think arts practitioners can sense, like coming rain. The main challenge, in my opinion, would be the way art is regarded as a hobby, or as mere entertainment. I feel that art in all its forms has such a remarkable capacity to enrich, to strengthen and to inspire. I believe that through these attitudes, we deny ourselves full access to this energy.
Yasmin:   Could you share two interesting things about you that readers would be surprised to know?

Danielle: People are always shocked to find out that I’m a video gamer. I find it incredibly therapeutic, and at times it even provides some interesting ideas! I also really enjoy being outdoors. I am never as contented, nor am I as creative, as when I am surrounded by green.
Yasmin: You were shortlisted for the 2011 Small Axe Literary Prize. How did you feel about that achievement.

Danielle: I was also shortlisted in 2009, and both times, I came away feeling incredibly humbled to be among such great writers.
Yasmin: Any other thoughts you would like to leave with readers?

Danielle: Nothing more than to thank them, and you! I keep much of my poetry, art and random musings at danielleboodoofortune.blogspot.com.

Yasmin: Thank you, Danielle for sharing on Poets of the Caribbean!

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