The Library

Earl Lovelace

Earl Lovelace

Earl Lovelace is novelist, playwright, essayist who lives and works in Trinidad and Tobago. His schooling include: Eastern Caribbean Institute of Agriculture and Forestry, Howard University, and Johns Hopkins University from which he holds the Master of Arts degree.

He was most recently Distinguished Novelist in the Department of English at Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Washington (1999-2005). He has held positions of Visiting Professor in the Africana Studies Department of Wellesley College in Massachusetts (1996-97), Writer-in-Residence at the London Arts Board (1995-96), NEH Visiting Professor at Hartwick College in New York (1987, 1989), Lecturer at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine (1981-91), Visiting Novelist at Johns Hopkins University (1973-74) and lecturer at the University of the District of Columbia (1971-73).

His novels include SALT, which won the 1997 Commonwealth Writers Prize, THE DRAGON CAN’T DANCE ,THE WINE OF ASTONISHMENT (1982), THE SCHOOLMASTER (1968), and WHILE GODS ARE FALLING (1965) (winner of The British Petroleum Independence Literary Award. His work has been translated into German, Dutch, French, Hungarian and Japanese.

His plays include JESTINA’S CALYPSO (1980) first produced by The UWI players, and later at Smith University and Hartwick College in Oneonta, USA. THE NEW HARDWARE STORE won Best Play in 1981 from the Trinidad and Tobago Drama Association, THE WINE OF ASTONISHMENT, produced with Malick Folk Performers, also won Best Play as well as a number of awards from the Drama Association of Trinidad and Tobago. His play, THE DRAGON CAN’T DANCE, developed at the Eugene OíNeil Theatre in Connecticut, USA, produced in Trinidad in 1986, at the Stratford East theatre in London in 1990, in Toronto and in Jamaica and at the Carnival Conference in Hartford Connecticut in 1998; MY NAME IS VILLAGE, PIERROT GRINNARD (1977) and THE REIGN OF ANANCY (1987) were produced in the Best Village Folk theatre competition.

His short stories appear in the collection, A BRIEF CONVERSION AND OTHER STORIES, London: Heinemann, 1988; Persea Books: New York ,2003. A number of his poems have been published in The Trinidad and Tobago Review.

He has read from his works , delivered papers and given talks on a range of subjects at Book Festivals in Trinidad and Tobago and in Toronto, Victoria ,Miami, Edinburgh, London and in cities in the Caribbean, Canada, USA , Britain, Venezuela, Germany, The Netherlands and Japan.

His selected essays appear in GROWING IN THE DARK, edited by Funso Aiyejina, Lexicon, Trinidad, 2003.

A film of his story, JOEBELL AND AMERICA, with screenplay co-authored with his daughter Asha was produced in September 2004.

Earl Lovelace is the Honorary Artistic Director of Malick Folk Performers, and Patron of the Foundation for the Academic Advancement of Spiritual Baptist Youth (A Unit of the National Congress of Incorporated Baptist Organisations of Trinidad and Tobago). He has served in Village Councils in Valencia, Rio Claro and Matura and has worked with the Matura Best Village group as well as with other Best Village groups, within the framework of the programme, Arts and Indigenous Traditions, which he developed while at UWI St Augustine. He has served as artistic advisor as well as Artistic Director to Carifestas held in Trinidad and Tobago, a Resource Person to the Caricom Culture Desk and is currently a member of the Best Village Steering Committee.

Among honours that he has received are those from the National Congress of Incorporated Baptist Organisations of Trinidad and Tobago, 1999, Malick Folk Performers, Carifesta V, 1995, The Cacique Lifetime Award, from the Drama Association of Trinidad and Tobago, and the Pegasus Award, 1966. Honorary Doctor of Letters, University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago, 2002.
He has the honour of holding the Chaconia Medal, gold, (1989).