by Modeste Downes
Modeste Downes was born in St. Lucia and grew up in Vieux Fort where he acquired his early education. He taught there for sometime at both the primary and secondary school levels. He has studied at several Caribbean and European institutions thereby gaining insights into the cultures of various peoples. Besides teaching, Mr. Downes has been a cultural, social and political activist, a trade unionist, song writer, book reviewer, and he has been a regular contributor to the nation's newspapers. In 1988 he was recognized by the National Youth Council for his outstanding contribution to the work of the Council and the Youth of St. Lucia. On account of his poetry, he was the recipient of the 2004 George Odlum award for creative artist and Phases, his debut collection of poems, captured the 2005 National Arts main prize for literature.