(pron. kee-vin; no accent, no apostrophe, no space)
My name is Kevin Adonis Browne. I am a poet, a teacher, a lover, a deep limer, a friend. I dance, I photograph, and I archive. Layla and Kyle are my children, and they know me. I count the Blue Devil, the Moko Jumbie, and the Midnight Robber among my ancestors. There is bwa, which I (still) have yet to take up in more than a symbolic way.
I am a Trini man.
A Caribbean man.
An academic immigrant.
A doer of things.
I work in the Department of Literatures, Cultural, and Communication Studies at The University of the West Indies-St. Augustine. I think, talk, tweet, and write about Caribbean Rhetoric—wrote a book on the subject, entitled Tropic Tendencies: Rhetoric, Popular Culture, and the Anglophone Caribbean (Pittsburgh, 2013). More recently, I’ve completed a book of photographs and essays, entitled High Mas: Carnival and the Poetics of Caribbean Photography (Mississippi, 2018). I’m also the co-founder of the Caribbean Memory Project, a Digital Humanities research project. There are a number of other projects—always other projects—which I’ll share in time.
Suffice it to say that I do these things because I have an insatiable and inexplicable need to understand my people and—having understood—advocate for them from the vantage point of evolving clarity and a half-negotiated exile. I’m reminded, here, of an interview by Andre Tanker. I feel like this path, this area of study and action, actually chose me. I didn’t choose it. Yes, I went to school and got a degree in English, as reflected on my CV. I chose to do it, but that’s not exactly what I mean.
I mean, instead, that (in spite of the autonomy I crave) I am driven by things.
Some definable idea of my origins and the potential of that idea to make a difference (such that my conversations always seem to have a similar refrain, like a lavway). I am driven by the sublime dynamics of vernacular life—the everyday. There are other things I’d rather do from time to time, but they’re mostly imagined in the context of this pursuit of rhetorical understanding and the desire for what Socrates would have referred to as an “examined life.”
It’s a privilege that I embrace.
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