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Ivory Kelly’s: A Belizean Writer Extraordinaire
posted (February 16, 2017)
"Memories, Dreams and Nightmares" it's a 2002 short story Anthology by Belizean Writers. Most of you probably read it in high school. That's where many of you got know about Belizean writer Ivory Kelly - through her short story "The Real Sin". Well, since then, her writing career has taken off. She has published a book of poems and 4 short stories in Belize. Her works have also been featured in acclaimed Journals and anthologies in the Caribbean, the US and the UK. And her latest short story "A Certain Kind of Beautiful" has been published in a new online journal called "Interviewing the Caribbean". Kelly's works has certainly elevated the standard of Belizean art on the world stage. In a conversation with Courtney Weatherburne yesterday, Kelly spoke more about her accomplishments and her latest publication.

Ivory Kelly, Writer& University Lecturer
"Since 2014, this is the 3rd publication in the Caribbean and the United States. "A certain kind of beautiful" was published, it was released this year but the publication date is 2016, in this journal called "Interviewing the Caribbean" and then a couple years ago another story of mine was published in this Anthology of Caribbean short stories Pepper Pot and then in the Caribbean Quarterly Journal another short story of mine was published."

"So Murray Street is a fictional, not representation but inspiration of that street and that time of my life. And so a certain kind of beautiful is set on that street in the 1980's."

"This story "A certain kind of beautiful is partly based on that historical period in Belize and the drug trade and the impact of the drug trade, not only on the macro level , on the national level, but also on the micro level at the level of the street, Murray street and the people who live on that street, and specifically the protagonist a young woman named Linda who becomes involved with a man, an older man whose family is involved in drug trafficking on the large scale but when the preverbal shit hits the fan , while her boyfriend and his family get off scotch free because of their political connections and their money and so on she, Linda and her father end up going to jail and she becomes a recidivist, in and out of prison."

Courtney Weatherburne, 7News
"As you mentioned, you have history, you have the drug trade, violence as well, several themes, even the struggles of young women, that is also a very strong theme in the story."

Ivory Kelly, Writer& University Lecturer
"While the story involves those broader issues , ultimately , for me the story is about the fact that although Linda has experienced all of these hardships and you know , a lot , a lot of , one can say her life has been destroyed or severely compromised by the time we meet her , well when we meet her at the opening of the story she is introduced as a beautiful vibrant, young woman full of life and full of promise and by the end of the story she is drastically altered , her physical appearance is altered however, and this is my main point in the story , despite all of that there is this certain kind of resilience and strength that shines through."

Now, it's not often that our Belizean writers are recognized or have the opportunity to publish their works. Well, Kelly along with a group of other Belizean Writers want to change that through a writers support group called "The Belizean Writers Guild." Kelly told us more about the guild and it's main focus.

Ivory Kelly, Writer& University Lecturer
"The Belizean Writers Guild was formed in 2013. The founding members were myself Phyline Cayetano, Jose Sanchez, Kalila Enriquez, Ephacina Efunemi and Ikshel Pot - we were the founding members and we have about a couple dozen members altogether. The main objective of Belizean Writers Guild is to increase the number of novels especially and create non-fiction book work coming out of Belize."

"Our president Phyline Cayetano, gave us some very alarming statistics in the year that we formed the guild. She indicated that over the past 5 years prior to 2014, there were only 2-3 novels by a Belizean living in Belize and about a dozen or so creative non-fiction works and so our focus in the Belizean Writers Guild is on pros writing, fiction and creative non-fiction."

"One of the other objectives in addition to increasing our numbers of publications is to up our standards. We want to be able to stand side by side respectably any writer throughout the world. Which is why one of the things that we insist on doing is to submit out work to international publications."

The guild also offers workshops for its members. If you would like to find out more about the guild you can contact Felene Cayetano on facebook. Kelly continues to write short stories and she is also planning to write her first novel. You can also follow Kelly on facebook.

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