August 14, 2018
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has presented Toronto teacher and author Nadia Hohn with its 2018 Writer’s Award for her unpublished book A Likkle Labrish: The Story of Jamaican Poet Louise Bennett-Coverley.
The award is presented to an active ETFO member or a group of members to recognize published or unpublished works.
Nadia’s emerging script shines a light on the earliest years of poet Louise Bennett-Coverley, who brought Jamaican patois to the international stage through her poems and her radio show on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) broadcast internationally. As A Likkle Labrish shows, Louise resisted formally structured writing because she wanted to capture the songs, the beat and the dialect of local Jamaicans on paper. It is when Louise attends a new school that her poetry is embraced and she is invited to read at public events.
The author of four books including Malaika’s Costume for which she won an ETFO Writer’s Award in 2016, Nadia says she owes much to Louise Bennett-Coverley for her own writing style which combines standard English and Caribbean patois. Nadia is currently working on a forthcoming book called Harriet Tubman: Freedom Fighter about the American abolitionist, former slave and political activist.
“Nadia has led Black history presentations at ETFO and other institutions and she infuses her knowledge of social justice, equity and anti-poverty into her children’s books,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “Her characters, based on real-life women, are an inspiration for young readers on how to be resourceful and strong to overcome obstacles they may face.”
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province. ETFO’s Building Better Schools education agenda can be viewed at buildingbetterschools.ca.For more information, contact:
Valerie Dugale: (416) 948-0195 (cell); firstname.lastname@example.orgJames Taylor: (416) 459-1047 (cell); email@example.com