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Award winning Melodye packs house

An enthusiastic, standing-room-only crowd was at the Bermuda National Library to receive Melodye Micëre Van Putten’s rendition of her fourth collection of poetry entitled, Healing History: Reflections on Race and Forgiveness in Prose and Poetry.

After partaking in a colourful spread of fruit, vegetables, cheese, crackers and ginger bread, a small chorus of drummers announced the beginning of a provocative, and intellectually satisfying, reading of poems crafted for deep thought.

We could not have superseded Bermudian author Colwyn Burchall who in an earlier review, noted: Melodye Micëre Van Putten ... challenges us to remember, and to confront, that which threatens daily to destroy us. She asks, pointedly, “What happens to a people in denial?” and implores us to look, unblinking, at the answers that she provides.

We were left with the feeling “Healing History” gives voice to a present-day call for freedom, a dynamic call not to forget the past, but to remember its lessons, and to engage in necessary forgiveness in order to heal from the deep fissures of race.”

An international education consultant, Van Putten is primarily known for her Ashay: Rites of Passage programme; during the question and answer period, audience members queried her to the status of it, and suggested she start classes for adults. The audience also suggested a book club. Affirmative response was immediate.

Head librarian, Joanne Brangman, organised the Adult Library Book Club, which had its first meeting on Thursday of this week, with Van Putten’s Healing History as the inaugural selection.

To address the request for adult classes, Van Putten has created Ashay University to provide what she called, “the lessons of empowerment” from global black history and culture.

The first series of classes entitled, “Healing History Seminar,” will dovetail the book club discussion, and commence on June 13th, running for three sessions. The next Ashay University offering, “Life Before Enslavement” will be conducted in September, and registration has already begun.

Van Putten’s previous poetry offerings have been favourably reviewed by African American cultural icons, Dr. Haki Madhubuti, Third World Press publisher, Dr. Nontombi Naomi Tutu, daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and scholar Dr. Cornel West.

Her second poetry book, Obamatyme: Election Poetry, won the 2009 National Best Books Award for Urban Poetry, in the USA.

Van Putten’s creative work gives voice to the universal experiences of life we all face in our journey on earth. In Healing History, her experiences as an Africalogist, teaching, writing curriculum, and participating on the constant quest for true liberation, became the impetus for lyrical rendering of a turbulent history with victory in mind.

Melodye Micëre Van Putten

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Published June 08, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 07, 2013 at 2:00 pm)

Award winning Melodye packs house

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