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Groundation Interviews ~ Donella D Hosten

February 14, 2012

I live within
Within these walls
Within this shell
Within this skin
Black skin
Brown skin
White skin
This skin, my skin.

My skin is a story, a song, a poem
That punctuates your pages with its punctuation marks, lyrics and rhymes
That takes you back into time
Time unlimited, time undefined;
Yes, this is my skin!

My skin has been marked and scarred
From being the abused to being the abuser
From picking cotton in the fields
To bringing down my own brother
Allowing the infestation of indoctrination
Of man to cause a separation
Yes, this is my skin!

My skin now holds blood, sweat and tears
Enriched with words;
Words of freedom, truth and honesty.
Honestly, now my skin no longer stands for vanity
Rather for the sanctity of humanity,
Oneness and prosperity
Yes, this is my skin!

My skin is a dynasty, a Queendom
So I refuse to let my guard down
Just to fulfill the stigma that history
Has tried to instill in me;
You see,
My skin knows no colour, no race
No sex, no age
Yes, this is my skin!

My skin does not discriminate
Rather, it celebrates
As I continue to procreate words
And remain fertile lyrically
Giving anyone who dares to cross my path a verbal hysterectomy!

Because I stand protected within these walls;
This shell, this skin
Black skin
Brown skin
White skin
This skin, my skin!

Donella D Hosten a.k.a. Baby Ras performing “I Need to Write” @ the opening ceremony of the Spice Word Festival. 

What is your name or your stage name? 
My name is Donella D Hosten and my stage name is Baby Ras.

Where are you from & Where do you live now?
I was born and grew up right here in the Spice Isle.

What do you do besides write/perform poetry?
Currently, I’m pursuing my BSc in Psychology at the St. George’s University, School of Arts & Sciences.

When you write, do you sit and think through every word of every stanza or do you just write freely and allowing the words to flow?
When I write, most times I find the first verse flowing without much thought, but by the time I get to the second and third, I start thinking hard about what to say next. There are sometimes, however, when I’m just so moved by something, that I don’t even have to think, the ink just flows.

When did you first start writing and were there any incidents in your life that made you want to write?
I have always enjoyed writing and have continuously been encouraged by my primary school teacher, the late Shirley Brathwaite to keep writing; she believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself.

How did you go about conceptualizing this piece, My Skin?
My Skin, took me the longest to write ever. I began writing this since November 2011 and finally completed it January 2012, but I think it was worth the time. It ended up being even more powerful than I imagined it. I’m not even sure how it all began.

I find myself writing a lot about ‘religion’ and race, probably because it’s something that most people are afraid to speak out about here in Grenada. I believe, writers must not be afraid to speak out about anything.

What book(s) are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading reading a book by the name of ‘The Sacred Origins of Profound Things’ which I suspect will be giving me more inspiration to write about the unspoken issues.

What was your first favorite book?
‘Angel’ by Dr Merle Collins, though it wasn’t my first favourite book, was one of the books that had the biggest impact on somethings that I did in my younger days.

What is one book you haven’t read but want to read before you die?
The book i would love to read before I die is ‘The Egyptian Book of The Dead’. Sounds strange but it has piqued my interest long enough.

Find out about The Colour of Women, an event that Donella is hosting on Feb 16th ’12, in our post HERE!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Not a grammar Nazi permalink
    February 25, 2013 8:56 pm

    Piqued* not “peeked”. Not a grammar Nazi, I swear.

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  1. The Colour of Woman – Charity Concert on 16th Feb ’12 | Groundation Grenada: Action Collective

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