Local Spotlight: Alicia Valasse

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Alicia Valasse

There’s something about literature that reels you in—has you riveted; takes your breath away. There’s a hidden power; seemingly an incantation, that leaves one wanting more. At least (presumably), that’s what anyone who is appreciative of the art would say.

Meet Alicia Valasse, a devoted and award-winningwriter, who is currently working on her book, “Messages to Bush Children”, which, when released, will be her first anthology. The book, which was inspired by her community, Des Barras, Babonneau, tells stories, some beautifully haunting; “Fleeing”, “Re-building” and “The Bridge”, are all reminiscent of Derek’s (Walcott) work.

“I was brought up in an area where the people there were almost always referred to as ‘manmay anba bwa’. Why? Because the community is so remote, so some of the things that happen there, the experiences you have, are so different from what you have in a suburban or urban area. But that makes it special,” she said.

Growing up, she spent a considerable amount of time at the library, her hunger for reading, insatiable.

Today, her work can be found in a number of literary journals and publications. Most notably:Touch of Tomorrow, Literature Today,Susumba’s Book Bag, The Caribbean Writer, and Harlequin Magazine amongst others.

Her various awards include Most Outstanding Youth in Literary Arts (2013), Award for Prose, (2013), Most Outstanding Youth in Literary Arts (2014) and the Small Axe Literary Prize (2015); these are just a handful of her accomplishments.

Currently, she’s an English teacher at the Babonneau Secondary School. In fact, she has been teaching for the past ten years. Her reason for getting into said profession: “I believe my country has done a lot for me and I think that’s one of the best ways in which I can give back—by inspiring those who need inspiring,” she said radiantly.

An English Literature student at the University of the West Indies (U.W.I), Alicia hopes to pursue her Masters in English in the future.

“I love the English language; it’s something I get excited about. When you can take words and create things that move people—that’s one of the greatest powers that somebody can hold,” the mesmerized writer thought aloud.

Aside from writing, Alicia is also passionate about environmental protection and volunteering; two things she believes should be made priorities in today’s society.

As for her ultimate goal, it is simply to become better at her craft; to improve every time she writes, she said, adding that she intends to publish a short story collection in the future.

It’s important to note that Alicia is no mere dreamer—she is extremely determined to become a well-known writer and we’re certain, that with time, it will come to pass.

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