Local Poet Attending Middlebury College Writers’ Conference

Zarah Rose

St. John poet and freelance writer Zarah Rose hosted a cocktail soiree and poetry “open mic” at Island Headquarters at The Marketplace on Friday afternoon, July 21, in celebration of her being accepted to the prestigious Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference at Middlebury College in Vermont.

Rose, an English major at the University of the Virgin Islands and mother of two, received a grant from the St. John Rotary Club and will be getting a mini-grant from the Virgin Islands Council on the Arts as well.

The conference runs from August 16 through 27, and upon completion, Rose plans to finish her degree at UVI and eventually teach in a public school. Student Program
“I plan to start an extra-curricular writing program for students,” she said. “The project will incorporate career goals and enhance students’ writing skills with an emphasis on empowerment through social responsibilities,volunteerism, writing and publishing.”

“Involvement in other social programs and causes will also be key in the project,” Rose added.

Rose, who also works at Island Headquarters, extended thanks to her boss and friend.

“I really want to thank Janine Rivers who has continually supported me and my endeavors,” she said.

Standing Ground II
by Zarah Rose

If you really want to be here
Know that where you are standing
has been a home
of laughter and children, pain and arrival
strength and decisions, grief and survival

you were not the first one standing here
your claim through privilege and money does
Not guarantee an ancestral approval.
Nor does it pay your way in, because this ain’t Disneyland
There are no strings attached
to my head.

You may feel comfortable in your aesthetic perfection
Feng shui furniture arrangement
Inside concrete and tile
With every entertainment
satisfying your leisurely needs
It never occurs to you the measure of greed
it has taken for you to attain this level of detachment.

No length of charity
or therapy
will rid you of the looming presence
of our mourning trees
sparse now
in hard sand mangrove cemeteries
Who stand in their scattered communion
recalling the family you sacrificed
for your personal paradise.