Curmiah Lissette: She’s Coming Home

Image of Curmiah Lissette [Photo by Hiro Reneau]

Curmiah Lissette [Photo by Hiro Reneau]

She began writing at an early age to express herself, to vent, and to find her voice, both in Saint Lucia and London. She has always had an interest in the arts – steel pan, dancing and the choir. She was always an active participant in programs/clubs/productions and she studied English with Performing Arts both at the advanced and degree levels.

Curmiah has performed in numerous spaces across London which include The Black Cultural Archives, The British Library and the V&A Museum. She has also graced stages across the UK, Europe, the Caribbean and the US.

The proud St Lucian and island girl is the UK’s representative for the Piton International Film Festival and has previously represented both island and region in the Miss St Lucia UK and Miss Caribbean and Commonwealth pageants, taking 1st runner- up and the crown, respectively. Her multi-disciplinary creative talents have seen her perform as a dancer on numerous cultural stages in Trinidad and Europe, with performances in US and Nigeria as part of her creative collective MLM Dancers under their Make Life Magnificent brand.

Curmiah’s poetic short films have screened in film festivals across Europe, the US and the Caribbean. Much ofher work merges art forms to draw on giving voice to the Caribbean and black female narrative.

As a lover of learning and an investor in youth, Curmiah has been an educator for the past 6years, both as middle-management in mainstream comprehensive schools and as visiting poet-educator. The qualified English & Drama teacher and 2014 recipient of Saint Lucia’s National Youth Awards for: Outstanding Youth in Literary Arts & Outstanding Youth in Performing Arts is presently completing her Post-graduate Master’s degree in Creative Writing and Education at Goldsmiths University.

She is also spearheading a new carnival mas band alongside her collective(Magnificent Mas) for London’s Notting Hill Carnival; and working on her debut collection of poems and short stories documenting the Chronicles of a Caribbean Bad Gyal Inna London which is set for official release in 2020.

Image of Curmiah Lissette [Photo by Hiro Reneau]

Curmiah Lissette [Photo by Hiro Reneau]

We asked her how she felt about her home coming performance and what can the audience expect from her. Her response was in true Curmiah Lisette fashion!

Excited-nervous! I think I’ve felt every emotion under the sun. As a creative, I am my biggest critic so I’ve revised my set over and over again, trying to get it right. This is essentially my ‘little Micoud girl’ dream coming true – to be home to perform on such a stage. Nothing beats being celebrated or supported by my home or village, the bread and butter that built me. I’m also extremely nervous because I know how honest and blunt us Lucians can be; I know that we don’t pet to give opinions on matters.This has crossed my mind too because any performer wants their performance to be a transaction between themself and the audience. I want the audience to leave with something, even if just a feeling or new awareness.

Essentially, my aim with the performance is to be true to self. I go through the set thinking, what part will intellectual Curmiah enjoy? What about bacchanal Curmiah, cool and calm Curmiah, and so forth. This is not just about what poems I perform, but visually, the tone, mood, musically…My sound is my word, my voice, while my interests are quite eclectic so I’m trying to reflect that. Poetry is truth juice; I write a true reflection of the world as I see it and I understand that this may not be aligned with everyone’s views. I’ve long accepted that I can’t please everyone. I am excited to entertain those who are willing to give me their ears and their presence.

I’ve called my set “Lakay” for several reasons. Of course yes, I am coming home so this feels like a homecoming, but also because poetry, performance and the stage are home to me. My brain has already conceived a performance far longer than the duration of my set. I’ve had to cut down quite a bit and it hasn’t been easy, but I guess I’m even more grateful for this opportunity for it’s presented me with a set that I can develop further later. The audience can expect me to give them my all (with a little extra sprinklings). I want to tell the tale before it is written – come in faith!

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