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Shake Keane awarded posthumous degree from local association

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The late Ellsworth McGranaham “Shake” Keane has been awarded a posthumous degree by the Association of Writers of St Vincent and the Grenadines (AWSVG).{{more}}

A release from the association said the organization bestowed a posthumous honorary degree in music and literature on Keane to commemorate him.

They said the conferment of the degree is part of their efforts to recognize and reward “true cultural icons.”

“His long absence from our memory may indicate the aphorism: ‘A prophet is without honor in his own country’,” the release said.

Although “Shake” (short for Shakespeare, the release said) is primarily recognized for music, he was also a prizewinning poet.

Shake’s poetry collections include L’oubli (1950), Ixion (1952), One a Week with Water (1979), The Volcano suite (1979), Palm and Octopus (1994), also the Angelhorn- Shake Keane collected poems (2005).

“One a Week with Water” won the Cuban Casa d’las Americas poetry prize – critics have described it as being a most imaginative commentary on Caribbean society in general and Vincentian society in particular.

The notes and rhymes as he described them, took the form of a collage of verse, riddle, story, letters spoof, bureaucratic, aphorisms, reportage, and rhyme. The pieces gear and range from humour to anger, despair and loss.

“Hopefully with the posthumous honorary doctorate, even more nostalgia towards the revival of Shakes’ poetry and music will take full effect,” the release said.

This is the second honorary degree the association has conferred. In August, they awarded musician and arranger Frankie McIntosh with an honorary doctorate.