Chat 'Bout- An Anthology of Real Jamaican Experiences and Conversations.
Going into this anthology by Shelley Sykes-Coley, we had no idea that we would latch on to every poem and ride it as an experience that we had either grown up hearing or actually have it happen to us. But it was and we did.
We shared every laugh, every nod of the head, and every exclamation of fright or disgust. There is nothing that can compare to finding your culture, experiences and conversations contained within the pages of a book. There is a certain camaraderie that is struck between reader and writer, when something only they would know, sharing a particular background, is revealed. And Chat 'Bout is that book.
As Jamaicans, we are very familiar with every utterance, circumstance and interaction recited within these pages. Whether in the commiseration with those who fear 'Crukkin Lizzad'; respecting the old ways outlined in 'Nat'ral Healin''; laughing at how unique and convoluted 'Jamaican GPS' is, or remembering 'Seh Feh' playground encounters; each one of these poems literally transports us back in time, to where we took part in conversations that are reminiscent of these topics.
We are a colourful, passionate people, and that is conveyed in poems such as 'John Crow Batty', 'Fatta', 'Dis Lizzad', 'Inna Di Spirit', 'Jamaican Talk', 'One Stop Driva', 'Likkle Miss Nuffus', 'Dem Jamaicans' and the titular 'Chat 'Bout'. This truly was an homage to our Jamaicanness.
An authentic look into just about every issue that all Jamaicans take very seriously, and have no qualms about the manner in which it is expressed.