Books from the Caribbean

Papillote Press is a small, independent publishing house specialising in books about Dominica and the wider Caribbean.

“Papillote Press is committed to telling our stories in books that are made to be treasured.” Marina Salandy-Brown, founder and director of the Bocas Lit Fest

“Papillote Press has been etching out a space for themselves as an outlet for burgeoning talent.” Richard Georges, poet, winner of the Bocas Lit Fest award for Caribbean literature, 2020

Updates

Making Connections

Making connections Women Writers Making connections... Three white women writers of Dominica - Jean Rhys, now the subject of a new and much acclaimed biography by Miranda Seymour, Phyllis Shand Allfrey, writer and politician, and Elma Napier, also writer, politician...

En Papillote reading by Mac Donald Dixon

Papillote Press continues its En Papillote series with a reading by Mac Donald Dixon, author of the just published A Scream in the Shadows.

Dangerous Freedom, Papillote Press, Dominica

Forthcoming

Black Man Listen

The Life of JR Ralph Casimir

By Kathy Casimir MacLean

ISBN: 9781838041526
Original paperback
Publication date: July 31 2022 Price: £8.99

“I wanted to write Black Man Listen to honour my grandfather and to tell his story as until now it has been omitted from our island’s history,” says Kathy Casimir MacLean.

This is the first biography of the pioneering life of JR Ralph Casimir (1898-1986), a Pan Africanist and poet from Dominica. Calling himself a “New Negro”, for more than half a century he confronted not just colonial rule, but his island’s elites. It explores his political activism, in particular his role in Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) of which he was a founding member, organiser, and also agent for Garvey’s Black Star Line. A teacher, bookbinder, and lawyer’s clerk, he was a prolific poet and editor of Dominica’s first poetry anthologies.
This finely researched biography by his granddaughter sheds light on little known aspects of Dominica’s march to independence.

“An intimate portrait of a man who dedicated himself to the liberation of his people.” Geoffrey Philip

“I feel so much better informed for having read this book!” Margaret Busby

“He strove against great personal odds to fight for change and respect for black people.” Lennox Honychurch

Books from the Caribbean

Papillote Press is a small, independent publishing house specialising in books about Dominica and the wider Caribbean.

“Papillote Press is committed to telling our stories in books that are made to be treasured.” Marina Salandy-Brown

“Papillote Press has been etching out a space for themselves as an outlet for burgeoning talent.” Richard Georges

Featured book

Black Man Listen

The Life of JR Ralph Casimir

by Kathy Casimir MacLean

ISBN: 9781838041526
Original paperback
Publication date: July 31 2022, Price: £8.99,

“I wanted to write Black Man Listen to honour my grandfather and to tell his story as until now it has been omitted from our island’s history,” says Kathy Casimir MacLean.

This is the first biography of the pioneering life of JR Ralph Casimir (1898-1986), a Pan Africanist and poet from Dominica. Calling himself a “New Negro”, for more than half a century he confronted not just colonial rule, but his island’s elites. It explores his political activism, in particular his role in Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) of which he was a founding member, organiser, and also agent for Garvey’s Black Star Line. A teacher, bookbinder, and lawyer’s clerk, he was a prolific poet and editor of Dominica’s first poetry anthologies.
This finely researched biography by his granddaughter sheds light on little known aspects of Dominica’s march to independence.

“An intimate portrait of a man who dedicated himself to the liberation of his people.” Geoffrey Philip

“I feel so much better informed for having read this book!” Margaret Busby

“He strove against great personal odds to fight for change and respect for black people.” Lennox Honychurch

Dangerous Freedom, Papillote Press, Dominica

Updates

Making Connections

Making connections Women Writers Making connections... Three white women writers of Dominica - Jean Rhys, now the subject of a new and much acclaimed biography by Miranda Seymour, Phyllis Shand Allfrey, writer and politician, and Elma Napier, also writer, politician...

En Papillote reading by Mac Donald Dixon

Papillote Press continues its En Papillote series with a reading by Mac Donald Dixon, author of the just published A Scream in the Shadows.

Recent and Recommended

Book cover for White River Blues, Papillote Press, Dominica

A Scream in the Shadows

by Mac Donald Dixon

ISBN: 9781838041533
2022, Paperback, £8.99

So close to home… so far from justice… so far from paradise.

A compelling crime story set in the rural Caribbean where traditional allegiances and a flawed legal system provide a backdrop to the rape and murder of a young girl. When her step-father is accused of the crime, her brother joins the police to try and clear their father’s name. While the suspect languishes in jail, the young detective makes some disturbing discoveries.

Read more >

Dangerous Freedom, Papillote Press, Dominica

Dangerous Freedom

by Lawrence Scott

ISBN: 9781999776862
2021, Paperback, £10.99

‘This is a thought-provoking and subtle novel, from an award-winning Trinidadian writer, which will not be easily forgotten,’ says the Historical Novel Society

In this radical and moving historical novel, Scott weaves fact with fiction to reveal “the great deception” exercised by the powerful on a mixed-race child born in the late 18th century and brought up in the London home of England’s Lord Chief Justice.

Dido Belle was the daughter of an African-born enslaved woman and the sea-faring nephew of Lord Mansfield…

Read more >

Book cover for White River Blues, Papillote Press, Dominica

Riff: the Shake Keane Story

by Philip Nanton

ISBN: 9781999776893
2021, Paperback, £12.99

Shake Keane was the star sideman in the ground-breaking Joe Harriott Quintet of the 1960s. A jazz virtuoso on trumpet and flugelhorn, he was also an original and award-winning poet. What went into the making of this shapeshifter from the Caribbean island of St Vincent? Philip Nanton explores a turbulent life.

Read more >

Book cover for White River Blues, Papillote Press, Dominica

Guabancex

by Celia A Sorhaindo

ISBN: 9781999776879
2020, Paperback, £6.50

On 18 September 2017, a category 5 hurricane, the worst in recorded history, hit the Caribbean island of Dominica. Hurricane Maria destroyed lives and land. Nothing would be the same again. Guabancex, the first published collection of poems by Celia A Sorhaindo, explores the complex mix of experiences and emotions, both during and after the event.

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featured authors

Kathy Casimir MacLean

Kathy Casimir MacLean was born in Dominica, and lives in London. She was head of the Ethnic Minority Achievement (EMA) Service in Wandsworth’s Children’s Services, south London…

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Mac Donald Dixon

Mac Donald Dixon was born in St Lucia, West Indies, where he still lives. He is best known as a playwright, but is also an accomplished poet, painter and photographer.

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Lawrence Scott

Lawrence Scott is an award-winning Caribbean novelist and short-story writer from Trinidad & Tobago. His first novel Witchbroom (1992, and reissued by Papillote Press in 2017) was a BBC Book at Bedtime, while his second novel, Aelred’s Sin, won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best Book for Canada and the Caribbean in 1999.

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Philip Nanton

Philip Nanton was born in St Vincent & the Grenadines and lived for many years in England before moving to Barbados in 2000. As well as being Shake Keane’s biographer, he is a poet, broadcaster and performer.

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