An Anthology of Poems
Perfect Bound Softcover
The Entrant and Other Poems traces the life of the poet from his early days in the then British Colony of Trinidad and Tobago to the present time. Insights into his experiences as a Catholic student priest at the Archdiocesan seminary in the sixties, experiences as a black power activist and his involvement in African based spiritual practices during the early seventies, his recommitment to Christ as the central figure of his life in the mid-seventies and onwards are captured in this anthology. The anthology is divided into six sections, Early Days, Student Priest, Black Power Days, Moments, Transition and In Christ.
Early Days celebrates the poet’s life on an island then ruled by Britain, a reality of which he and his childhood friends were hardly aware. This section celebrates the phenomenon of Play and the dimension of Innocence. It is followed by the section, The Entrant, which traces his entry as a student priest into the seminary, his inner struggles to cope with contradictions experienced, his “dark night of the soul” and mystical experience, and his ‘loss of faith’. Black Power Days marks the poet’s involvement in the Black Power movement of the early seventies in Trinidad and Tobago, underpinned by his role as cultural officer of the National Joint Action Committee (NJAC) to which reference is made in the poem, From the Palais, in the section Transition. The section, Moments, is the poet’s expression of various themes which do not necessarily fit into the otherwise autobiographical outline of the anthology. Transition captures the poet’s involvement in the Shango Baptist (now known as Orisha) African based belief system and subsequently the Shouter Baptist church, largely Christian in orientation with elements of African retentions. In Christ celebrates the poet’s recommitment to the Lord of his life.
Ronald Louis Nanton was born in Port-of-Spain, the capital city of the island state of Trinidad and Tobago in 1946. He was the third child of Leo and Geraldine Nanton (nee Beausoleil) who had three boys and one girl who was the eldest. He grew up in the long Circular area on the outskirts of Port-of-Spain. He received his primary education at Rosary Boys Roman Catholic School in Port-of-Spain. After attending a private secondary school in East Port-of-Spain, the family spent a year in Canada where he continued his secondary education at Woodroffe High School on the outskirts of Ottawa. On returning to Trinidad he attended another private secondary school in Port-of-Spain. At age fifteen, he expressed a desire to become a Roman Catholic priest and was admitted to the Archdiocesan Seminary of Saint John Vianney and the African Martyrs located on Mount Saint Benedict, Saint Augustine, Trinidad in 1961. He completed his secondary education at the then Abbey School, Mount Saint Benedict, and three years Philosophy in preparation for the priesthood by attending classes at the monastery. He discontinued his pursuit of the priesthood in 1966 in which year he joined the Trinidad Express, Port-of-Spain, as a news reporter and was subsequently promoted to sub-editor. In 1968, he started a career in teaching at the Glosterlodge Moravian primary school, Port-of-Spain. He became a ‘Black Power’ activist in 1970, serving as Cultural Officer of the National Joint Action Committee but spiritual experiences saw his recommitment to Christ in 1972. He entered the Government Teachers College in Port-of-Spain in 1973 and graduated as a trained teacher in 1975. He wrote and produced several plays as a teacher, among them, Back Alley and Bride of the Spirit which won the first prize in the National Arts Festival in the 13 -15 age group and was aired on National television. In 1978 he was employed in the Ministry of Education as a School Publications Assistant. A year later he began pastoring a non-denominational church group. In 1982, Trinidad poet and Editor of the New Voices, Anson Gonzalez, published his (Ronald’s) first anthology, The Last Convert and Other Poems. In 1985 he was promoted to School Publications Officer. In this year he had also obtained a licentiate from the College of Preceptors, England. In 1995 he was promoted to Supervisor, School Publications, a post that required him to sit as Secretary of the Government appointed Textbook Evaluation of Committee, now the Learning Materials Evaluation Committee. Ronald was also appointed to the Textbook Development and Research, and National Textbook committees. In 1996 he published another anthology, The Entrant and Other Poems, 1996. He retired from the Public Service in 2006 but is still a member of the committees mentioned and pastor of the Local Assembly of Christian Believers. The Entrant and Other Poems, 2007, is a new edition to the 1996 publication.
Perfect Bound Softcover