Culture: Poetry in the spotlight at the Amuseum Naturalis


"The poetry of Saint-Martin is a powerful expression of the culture and identity  », Underlines Jenn Yerkes, co-curator of the Amuseum Naturalis. “And the translation of poetry is an art. We knew it would take a specialist island translator to capture the nuance and spirit of these poems. We were therefore delighted to collaborate with Alex Richards who translated into French many poems written by artists from Saint-Martin! »

Two of the exhibits feature selections from recently published books: Reflections by Ruby Bute and SOS: Season of Storms by Fabian Badejo. The third exhibition presents poems composed by ten local poets.

All these exhibitions are also presented at the Amuseum in English version. Since English has always been the primary language of the island, almost all of St. Maarten's poetry has been written in English. Often, authors use St. Martin's English, which has its own unique words, phrases, and grammar.

"St. Maarten has a rich culture that dates back hundreds of years," says co-curator Mark Yokoyama. “Over the past few decades, many people have immigrated here, including many French speakers who struggle with the island's main language, English. French translations of local poetry allow them to discover part of Saint-Martin culture. It is a step on the way to integrating new residents into Saint-Martin society. »

New exhibitions are on permanent display in the poetry space in front of the Amuseum Naturalis located at “The Old House” in Quartier d'Orléans. The entrance is  free.

These exhibitions and other projects are carried out with the support of the Collectivity of Saint-Martin and the National Agency for Territorial Cohesion. The exhibitions were also made possible thanks to the poets who generously authorized the translation and exhibition of their works.

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