Arts & Culture

Dingo's promise

Poet to release anthology after 15 years

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter
johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.
com

Sunday, March 03, 2019

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His career may be described by some as a series of fits and starts. Poet Richard Dingwall, better known as Dingo, has been a fixture on the local literary scene for some time but come next Sunday he will be releasing his first publication, a collection of poems titled A Window To Let The Light Out at the Neville Hall Lecture Theatre located at The University of the West Indies, Mona.

“This has been in the works for quite some time... I have been promising this work for about 15 years and I am finally getting it done,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

“I just decided to put in the work and so last year I just sat down and started putting pen to paper. It was hours of writing on a daily basis. Prior to this I was in Chicago for about six months and during that time I was just overcome with a longing for home. I can't really put it into words but I just had feelings and dreams of home. Once I returned, I realised it just had to be done, and now the wait is over,” he added.

The work contains 39 poems of which 30 are new and the balance are some of the old favourites for which he is known. Themes of politics, love, joy, death, or as Dingo puts it, every facet of life can be found on the pages of A Window To Let The Light Out.

“On closer examination, I'm seeing so much of my own issues such as childhood pain and gratitude. I also noticed that I leaned heavily on the pain of women. This was all subconscious and I can only attribute that to the fact that I did not grew up with my ole lady, and I saw my grandmother pain. I also write about the experience of a prostitute, taking it from a slightly different angle in in examining the reason she does what she does,” he explained.

A Window To Let The Light Out is self-published as Dingo noted he had approached publishers but saw the process as a kind of “gatekeeping mentality”, so he decided to go it on his own. For it's a lot of time fear is what keeps creatives from getting the work done. For Dingo finding joy in the small things is what he hopes readers will walk away with.

“For me fear is most times a greater obstacle to putting out the work than anything else. A fear of opening up one's self, a fear of rejection, a fear of that critique. I realised it was all possible, so all I had to do was develop the resolve to see the process through and in that was there would be nobody to blame and no obstacle but my own efforts. I want the book to touch people in a way that they will find joy in the smallest of things. I find joy in the smallest of things... waking up breathing, seeing a flower bloom, looking throw a window at the sea. I hope my readers will experience these truths in my work,” said Dingo


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