PRESS RELEASE – Local poet Alicia Valasse has published her first regional Short Fiction piece. The work titled “Assau’s Rise” was published in a special fiction edition (July 2016) of Susumba Book Bag – a regional literary journal.
“Assau Rise” is set in a time when the Kélé ceremony was practiced in St. Lucia. A significant part of this event included the killing of sheep and drinking of blood by a high priest. This was used as intercession for good harvest, success in life and protection – among other things.
Valasse is a published poet whose work has appeared in regional and international literary journals and poetry anthologies which include “The Caribbean Writer” and “Harlequin Magazine”. She has also been recognized for her work locally and regionally with an award for Creative Journalism at the 2013 St. Lucia National Arts Festival and two awards for literary arts at the National Youth Awards (2012 and 2014). Valasse was also shortlisted for the 2015 regional Small Axe Literary Prize in poetry.
She is also a former National Delegate to the Commonwealth Youth Forum and a former writer for OECS business magazine “The Analyst”. Valasse has contributed immensely to numerous community organizations and such dedication lead to a nomination in the category of “Esteemed Youth in Social Development” at the 2011 National Youth Awards.
Alicia Valasse is from the north-east remote community of Des Barras and is currently a student of English Literature at UWI Open Campus (St. Lucia). She spends her free time working on her first poetry anthology dubbed “Messages to Bush Children”. “My ultimate goal is to make words and verses memorable to all who come into contact with them… to be the best and to better my best each time I write. Writing can be difficult because so much of you gets lost in there and there appears little local appreciation for it. But at the end of it all, it is where I go when speech seems useless”.
In relation to her own work in progress, she says, “Rural living is beautiful and mysterious and such beauty and mystery should be shared with the world”.
Valasse is a English teacher at the Babonneau Secondary School.