A Voice from Cuffy’s Grave: Remembering Farro

Activity: Poetry recital
Host: Moray House Trust
Date: Friday 30th June 2017


‘The future student of literature and art in Guyana may find himself puzzled by an enigmatic figure, born in the mid-twenties, who spent most of his life obscurely writing and painting in the deep interior of this country, with little concern for recognition or reward, but who nevertheless managed to command the respect of some the most perceptive men of his day. He would find that this self-effacement extended, curiously enough, even to the name (Faro) given to him in tolerant affection by those of us for whom his regular name, Ivan Forrester, seems inadequate to convey the sense of destiny which clothes the man we know.’

So begins Denis Williams’ introduction at the start of ‘A Voice From Cuffy’s Grave’, Ivan Forrester’s collection of poems published in 1976. So began the tribute to Faro at Moray House Trust. The evening followed a pattern largely dictated by the contents of the volume of poetry. With the help of his friends and his family, the Trust was able to conjure the spirit of another of our poets who is in danger of being forgotten. Sincere thanks are extended to all who participated. Clips will be posted shortly.

Jacqueline Forrester, daughter of Ivan Forrester

Video Clips

A Voice from the Heart of the Motherland: “The interior of the coastal Guyanese writer or painter”, wrote Denis Williams, “has simply never existed.” He categorised much of what is painted and written about the hinterland as “innocently sentimental…having never been based in direct experience” and anointed Ivan Forrester the voice of the hinterland in this short introduction to Faro’s collected poems, ‘A Voice from Cuffy’s Grave’.
You Tube Clip: https://youtu.be/_Dj3ICHUp1I

Mazaruni: A performance as majestic as the river for which the poem is named..and one to make her father proud. Ivan Forrester’s daughter, Jacqueline, recites one of his poems.
You Tube Clip: https://youtu.be/GLMvEa9RAX8

Heirs of a Destitute: Capt. Lloyd Marshall’s poised rendering of one of Ivan Forrester’s more lyrical poems, which begins: ‘Must I honour you today Posterity’.
You Tube Clip: https://youtu.be/RH7UEEonfC0

A Thought for 14th February: Nicasey Gordon-Abrams gives her own spin to Ivan Forrester’s tongue-in-cheek homage to fabled lovers and symbols.
You Tube Clip: https://youtu.be/k62t0GSaB-A

Faro’s sayings: Ivan Forrester’s grand-daughter dispenses some of his words of wisdom.
You Tube Clip: https://youtu.be/bJS-ys7JwMs