General / Weekend News

Healing Circle: an inter-generational book of poems on Belizean issues

By Marion Ali, Assistant Editor

A few weeks ago the Institute of Social and Cultural Reseach (ISCR) helped two artists from two different generations publish their collection of poems in a book named after one of their works called, “The Healing Circle.”

The book of poems is co-authored by past educator and counselor, Myrna Manzanares and 17 year-old Azizi Hoy, a budding writer who has already started to make her mark as an artist/writer in Belize.

The poems contained in the book have – as their common denominator – the poets’ sentiments, despite their vast difference in age, on the issues affecting Belize. The symbolic healing circle on the cover, formed by a group of people’s hands, including the two poets, is meant to portray what the book deal with – a set of issues that if left untouched, can corrode the ideals of the Belizean fabric and Belizean uniqueness.

Manzanares told the Reporter that many of the issues about which she writes take root from her listening to her clients. “Many of the stories are heartbreaking, so in order to relieve stress I just write,” she shared. One of her masterpieces, which is included in the book, “From the Bowels of My Soul” emphatically documents her anger what she sees as a lack of effort as a country to address the social ills that exist.

Manzanares said she met Azizi through speaking with the girl’s mother some years ago and getting introduced to her as a young writer. “I was very impressed with the work that she had,” Manzanares recalled. But she was more intrigued to discover that she shared similar sentiments on the same topics as her young teenage friend.

The poet opined that all of us can find some level of healing through not only talking about the issues, but by writing about them. She added that she would like to see the book as part of the primary school’s curriculum and that she plans to ask the Minister of Education to consider it as one of the books in the school’s libraries because the issues addressed are as Belizean as they come.

Azizi Hoy is a sixth form student who pens her feelings on abuse, rape, the reef, sickness, love, even about the Belizean flag. In one of her pieces in the book, Azizi writes about her dream for a united Belize.

Healing Circle contains 64 poems and is available for $20 per copy from either writer and is available at bookstores countrywide.

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