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Juleus Ghunta Presents 'Likkle but Tallawah' Debut Chapbook
Japan-based motivational speaker and youth advocate Juleus Ghunta has stepped into the realm of published poet with the release of his first poetry chapbook, The Way I Learned to Ignore. Several of his poems centre on his experiences of childhood. As a result they are brief, stark and poignant with longing. Occasionally, he delves into political commentary but in the main, The Way I Learned to Ignore is a catalogue of Ghunta’s own challenging past.
Described by fellow poet and novelist A-dZiko Simba Gegele as “likkle but tallawah” the collection contains 21 poems, many of which have been anthologized in local and international literary journals and magazines.
In her praise for the collectiion, Simba Gegele comments that Ghunta “speaks with insight, compassion and a wry humour”, noting that The Way I Learned to Ignore is an “accomplished first collection with powerful lessons for us all”.
Ghunta was born in Jamaica and studied at the University of the West Indies, where he earned a B.A. in Media and History. At the time he wrote poems as catharsis, but now poetry plays an integral role in his advocacy and motivational presentations.
The persona is these poems is a usually child, but a child who speaks with surprising self-awareness. Ghunta’s own history suggests a similar kind of self-possession. At the age of twelve, he created the concept of D.R.E.A.M.R.I.G.H.T. (Dream; Right to Dream; Exercise Self-Control;Attitude; Master Your Craft; Read; Individuality/Imagination; Goodwill To Others; Humility; Tenacity). This is the concept behind his motivational and transformational speeches.
Ghunta's poetry has appeared in Moko (Journal of Caribbean Arts and Letters), Susumba’s Book Bag and The Missing Slate, among others. Ghunta received the 2013 Prime Minister’s National Youth Award for Excellence and he has delivered motivational speeches across the Caribbean and in Africa.
The Way I Learned to Ignore is currently available on Amazon, and is slated to hit Jamaican shelves by the end of September.