Bajan Writer, Editor & Novelist Jeanette Layne-Clarke Passes

PRIVATE LINE: Dialeck in crisis

Some people we got in Buhbayduss
Does mek talkin’ loud a career . . .
Duh’s somehow get duh mout’ in motion
Befo’ puttin’ duh brain in gear.

Duh now describin’ dialeck
As “slave talk”, ef yuh don’ mind’!
How dem does t’ink show duh missin’ a link,
Dat duh tek a six fuh a nine.

But leh dem prance an’ hop – I still en gine stop
Puttin’ Bajan dialeck ‘pon show…
As Sandi say, duh could like it or lump it –
From my pen it will always flow!

layne-clarkeCondolences to the family. Short story writer, radio producer, columnist, magazine editor, poet, playwright and novelist Jeanette Layne-Clarke passed away this morning after a battle with cancer. I enjoyed her Bajan writings.

… BFP regular reader Hants

Jeanette’s passing has been confirmed by the CBC: Barbados Loses Another Media Stalwart


Filed under Barbados, Caribbean Media, News Media

28 responses to “Bajan Writer, Editor & Novelist Jeanette Layne-Clarke Passes

  1. PiedPiper

    BFP: I thought this was an interesting peice of news:

  2. It will be intriguing to see how many folk she dissed or criticised step forward and swear she was sliced bread personified at her passing; trust me – I have no illusions, I do not necessarily expect the same for my time….

  3. I extend my condolences to the family and friends of Jeanette Layne-Clark and to the people of Barbados, at home and abroad.

    I hope that in some way we can continue to connect with each other but Nesta, I Gone Fuh Now

    Nesta I Gone Fuh Now

    None of us wanted to break this news
    Eff we cud help it we wunt be this cunfuse
    She was a good critic, colleague and friend
    This is a great blow to hear her final end
    All her constructive criticism kept us on our toes
    It made good writers better and made friends from foes
    Got no chance to tell her but I believe she knew
    Our appreciation is further than the north winds blew
    No Bajan was untouched by her in some way
    Even the very young listened to all she would say
    For all that she have done with her literary skills
    Unspoken rights she voiced and exposed legislative ills
    Her endless contributions through satirical comedy
    North America she made like a next door neighbor tuh we
    Our Sympathy to friends and family but dis is all de space goin’ allow
    We guine catch up latah so Nesta, I gone fuh now

    An Acrostic Poem from The Bajan Poetry Society

  4. San Diego

    My sympathy to the family of the late Jeanette Layne-Clarke. I shall greatly miss Lickmout’ Lou in the Wednesday Nation.

  5. The Scout

    Over the last four years, I have been associated with a project with the late Jeanette Layne Clarke. She was everything, I expected her not to be, none of the snobishness that I heard she was, did not come over to me. A nice pleasent, jovial person, a great conversationalist and very knowledgeable person. Personally, I’ll miss her, and her writings. Rest IN Peace Jeanette.

  6. rest in peace. a great bajan is gone

  7. A mottley group

    My sympathy to the family of the late Jeanette Layne-Clarke may she rest in peace.

  8. I extend my sincerest condolences.

  9. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Barbados: Layne-Clarke Passes On

  10. Rumboy

    My sincere condolences to her family.May she rest in peace.

  11. Rohan

    She was a great Bajan. I loved her work.

  12. GIA

    My condolences to the family and friends of Jeanette Layne-Clarke. My Wednesdays will never the same again. Her piece as Lickmout Lou was the first I looked for whenever I read the Nation. I never had the pleasure of knowing her but I lover her style, her command of English and her intense dislike for anyone who attempted to butcher it.

    May her soul rest in peace.

  13. PiedPiper

    I would like to fire a rum and propose a toast to a lady who had guts and an uncanny ability to cut through all the spin and see things with absolute clarity. She exposed human foibles with humour and grace. She was one of a kind.

  14. Tony Hall

    She was a gem. May her soul rest in peace.

  15. After-All

    Oh dear, Oh dear what shall we do?
    She wrote for all of us!

    We will cherish her contributions and the fond memories she left us.

  16. reluctant nonbeliever

    I didn’t know her at all, so may be completely wrong, but my impression is that most of the tributes (both here and in the press) are somewhat detached and formal. I don’t get any sense of real grief from anyone. It’s as if she was highly respected but not much loved.

  17. I’m glad you agree Reluctant Unbeliever that you may be wrong, ’cause you are.

    People take to the bottle, some smoke, some want to say something and usually buy a card which comes close to what they are feeling. Imagine reading 20 cards from different people with the same wording. Kudos to those who choose to write, even a few words, however incoherent. I once thanked a wife for coming to her beloved husband’s funeral. Some times words just fail us even though our hearts are on our sleeves

    You’re Wrong

    You admit you never knew her
    Only you chose not to defer
    Unsure why, would you at a wake
    Rant with such a preposterous mistake
    Engulfed by shock and overwhelmed in grief
    We mere mortals are uncomfortably brief
    Remorse comes hard and words are few
    Our emotions would be impossible to construe
    Now the contributors took a moment with heart on sleeve
    Go rethink it Reluctant Unbeliever how our people should grieve

    An Acrostic Poem from The Bajan Poetry Society

  18. Juris

    I agree with RU, great shock or just saying the right thing at this time?

  19. PiedPiper

    Now, just exactly what should we be expected to say about someone who we have not met in person, someone who was not family to us but someone we admired through her alter ego, Lickmout Lou? I admired the lady, her talent with words and her insistance in keeping the Bajan dialect alive. I’m saddened that she has passed but real grief is reserved for family and friends that actually shared her life.

  20. Pat

    reluctant nonbeliever
    February 19, 2009 at 6:08 am

    I didn’t know her at all, so may be completely wrong, but my impression is that most of the tributes (both here and in the press) are somewhat detached and formal. I don’t get any sense of real grief from anyone. It’s as if she was highly respected but not much loved.

    Could this be because the woman, when offering constructive criticism did it publicly, rather than in private, to the embarrassment of those criticized?

    Remember her critique of the CBC news reader Marsha somebody? In the press, no less? Only weeks after saying what a breath of fresh air she was, etc., etc?

    There is a time and place for everything. I read it all on-line.

  21. reluctant nonbeliever

    Interesting comment, Pat.

    Khaidji – I’ve thought hard about what you say. But I’ve seen no sign at all of people being “engulfed by shock and overwhelmed with grief”. That’s my point.

    Think of how the whole nation responded to the passing of Janice Millington, or the deaths of (say) Stephen Alleyne, Colin Hudson and Terry Mayers – though maybe the comparison’s unfair here in that all these guys died suddenly. For all these figures there was a real sense of grief, expressed even by people who didn’t know them.

    I mean no disrespect to the lady, I really don’t. And maybe I’m being tasteless and offensive by even commenting on it. My apologies if I’m upsetting anyone.

    Incidentally, Khaidji – I don’t think this acrostic is up to your usual standard. Despite your obvious sincerity, the poem is very laboured and unconvincing.

    I’ve “thought again” as you suggested; maybe you should try writing your poem again…

  22. I think “reluctant nonbeliever” is actually more perceptive than most and now everyone is rushing to be holier-than-thou, as we all know; Bajans for the most part refuse to speak ill/talk truth of the dead, but what is so funny that all who defend themselves here are anonymous – LOL!

  23. Olutoye Walrond

    It seems I knew her a little better than most posters. We have had a few interactions. I have distilled her as the prototype of the black middle-class, Caribbean person: a kind of Afro-Saxon, black in skin tone, but almost completely Eurocentric in thinking. This is not a condemnation of her; rather it’s a reasonable analysis of her persona. Because of its history of slavery and colonialism, the Caribbean has thrown up thousands of people with a serious identity problem. Layne-Clark typified that Caribbean person. They can be identified by a strong preference for European values in dress, foods, speech etc. In speech, especially, there’s an almost idolatrous respect for what is referred to as “the English language’. For them English represented, not just a language, but a connection with a superior cultural norm. Paradoxically, non-standard forms of English are mocked and treated as comic relief – hence the Lick Mout Lous and so-called dialect writings.
    But there’s another side to Layne-Clark. She exhibited a fearlessness in her commentaries, which is refreshingly unBarbadian. Her criticisms were mostly valid – in my view.
    I have an impression of her as a talented Caribbean soul, trapped by the chains of Westminster.

  24. Duke of Piltdown

    Better “trapped by the chains of Westminster” than trapped in the chains of a faux Africanity of one’s own making.

  25. Anonymous

    HeHe Dukey, I do so love a person who can, in one sentence, mock, shred and clarify absolute nonsense.

  26. Dawn Forde

    Rest well Godsister.

  27. How this woman still getting praise? If reporters really open their mouth then you would know she is as liked as that ole ham Desmond Bourne

    NOT AT ALL!!

    Not only those two but late Ollie Jackman, they all just pick bare fault, when the shoe get on the other foot and a victim retaliates, then they decide to get nastily personal or say those attacked are hard-ears and refuse to learn?

    Hum, not much different from posters here and elsewhere on the Bajan internet – oh well!

  28. Berthalee M. Clarke formerly from Diversified Services of the Bahamas

    I was at a party last night and met a lady that lives in Barbados. I told her that I have a friend by the name of janette Layne(Lane) Clarke. It sadden me to know that she past. I became her and her husband (Aden) friend in Nassau, Bahamas. I would visit their house and they would visit my house along with their son. We have lost contact. Throughout the years I would always ask about her.

    We had many wonderful lunches together. She loved okra and grits. She loved grits period. May she continue to rest in peace. She was a down to earth lovely lady.