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Kendel Hippolyte

Acclaimed Saint Lucian and Caribbean poet, playwright and director, Kendel Hippolyte, will perform during the official opening ceremony of the inaugural Virtual Caribbean Youth Parliament on Climate Justice.

A Little About Kendel Hippolyte

Kendel Hippolyte is an acclaimed poet, playwright and director and sporadic researcher into areas of Saint Lucian and Caribbean arts and culture.

Kendel's work has appeared in journals such as The Greenfield Review and The Massachusetts Review, and in numerous anthologies, including Caribbean Poetry Now, Voiceprint, and West Indian Poetry. In 2000, Kendel was awarded the Saint Lucia Medal of Merit (Gold) for Contribution to the Arts. In 2013, he won the poetry category of the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature for his collection Fault Lines. 

He studied and lived in Jamaica in the 1970s, where he explored his talents as a poet, playwright and director. As a poet, his writing ranges across the continuum of language from Standard English to the varieties of Caribbean English. He has also written poems in Kwéyòl, his nation language.

He works in traditional forms like the sonnet and villanelle, as well as in so-called free verse and in forms influenced by rap and reggae. He has published seven books of poetry, the latest being  Wordplanting (Peepal Tree Press, 2019).


His poetry has appeared in various journals such as The Greenfield Review, The Massachusetts Review and in anthologies including Caribbean Poetry Now, Voiceprint, West Indian Poetry and others. He has also edited Confluence:Nine St. Lucian Poets, So Much Poetry in We People, an anthology of performance poetry from the Eastern Caribbean, This Poem-Worthy Place, an anthology of poems from Bermuda, as well as student anthologies from creative writing students at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, where he was a lecturer in literature and drama until 2007.

In 2007, Kendel won the Bridget Jones Travel Award to travel to England to present his one-man dramatized poetry production, Kinky Blues, at the annual conference of the Society for Caribbean Studies. He has been the recipient of a James Michener Fellowship to study poetry and an OAS scholarship to study theatre. 

He has also established himself as an innovative playwright and director, authoring eight plays, and directing scores of others, including his own The Drum-Maker (1976), The Song of One (1995) and Triptych (2000), all of which have been published in drama anthologies. In 1984, he co-founded the Lighthouse Theatre Company in Saint Lucia, and has long been involved in all aspects of the dramatic arts on the island. He has toured with theatre productions in the Caribbean and the UK. At different times he has been involved as actor, director and administrator in Saint Lucia’s contingents traveling to CARIFESTA. He is an original and continuing member of the syllabus panel for the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) Theatre Arts program and serves as an external examiner.

Recently retired from the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, Kendel’s present focus is to use his skills as a writer and dramatist to raise public awareness and contribute to active solutions of critical social issues. He has been actively engaged in climate and environmental advocacy. He played a pivotal role in the Caribbean’s 1.5 to Stay Alive civil society campaign and wrote the lyrics to both the musical collaborations that have been produced on this theme.

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