Lasana Sekou on summer reading list in Spain, Yaya’s book reviewed in the UK

Pelican Heart – An Anthology of Poems” by Lasana M. Sekou made the 2014 summer reading list in Spain, said Jacqueline Sample, president of HNP, the book’s publisher.

Pelican Heart – An Anthology of Poems by Lasana M. Sekou.

Pelican Heart – An Anthology of Poems by Lasana M. Sekou.

The St. Martin book was selected by Italian and Hispanic studies researchers José Sarzi Amade and Leonor Taiano Campoverde for the July reading list of Mito Revista Cultural. The culture-savvy magazine is based in Spain,” said Sample, who was here recently for the annual editorial planning meeting of HNP.

“The July reading selection in a historically and highly competitive literary environment such as Spain, four years after Pelican Heart first appeared, speaks volumes of Emilio Jorge Rodriguez‘s confidence in Lasana’s writings. It also tells us what others might be thinking about the developing literary culture of our island,” said Sample.

The Pelican poems were selected from nine of Sekou’s poetry books and translated from English to Spanish by the Cuban scholar Emilio Jorge Rodriguez. He also wrote the analytical introduction to the bilingual book that was published in 2010.

Along with the 432-page Pelican Heart, the 16 books selected for readers of Mito Revista Cultural in July 2014, include: La teoría del todo by Stephen Hawking; Supreme City. New York Jazz and Modern America by Donald L. Miller; Giorni di spasimato amore by Romana Petri; Felipe VI: Así se formó el príncipe heredero by José Antonio Alcina; and Sentido y Paz, an anthology of children’s stories by renowned Argentinian authors.

Laurelle "Yaya" Richards in South Africa. (CLF photo)

Laurelle “Yaya” Richards in South Africa. (CLF photo)

Another HNP title that appears to be a St. Martin gift of poetry that keeps on giving is “The Frock & Other Poems” by Laurelle “Yaya” Richards.

We just found out that Yaya’s book was reviewed in Wasafiri,” said Sample last Monday before returning to New York. The review by Moira Richards appeared in Volume 28:1 of the London-based international literature magazine.

The reviewer wrote that, “Richards’ poems are intended to record and reclaim,” and that The Frock & Other Poems, which was “Published posthumously, demonstrates how [Yaya] used words to celebrate the cultural history of her Caribbean home.”

“I still feel sad that Yaya passed away just a few months before her only book was published,” said Sample. “But I’m happy to know that The Frock is in stores, libraries, and homes in St. Martin. And with this review from thousands of miles away, you get more than just a sense that her work lives on in her book, at home and abroad.”

Laurelle “Yaya” Richards, author of The Frock & Other Poems. (Courtesy HNP)

Laurelle “Yaya” Richards, author of The Frock & Other Poems. (Courtesy HNP)

Yaya Richards was the leading St. Martin folklorist when she passed away in May 2010, five months before The Frock was published. She hailed from St. Louis village.

The Frock and the English/Spanish edition of Pelican Heart are available at Van Dorp and Arnia’s, and,, and other Internet bookstores.

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