Posts Tagged ‘regional dialects’

Using Creole, and Other Regional Dialects, in Writing: guest post by Lisa Allen-Agostini

Whether to use dialect in memoir and fiction writing, how much to use, and in what way to use it — these issues come up often in my work as an editor. Students in my courses and workshops, many of them from parts of Canada that feature local dialects, or from other English-speaking countries or with family histories that reach beyond Canada’s borders, ask about it too. Here, author Lisa Allen-Agostini, guest speaker for my writers’ retreat in Grenada last April, shares her experience and thoughts on this topic.


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. . . You ever look up from some lonely beach

and see a far schooner? Well, when I write

this poem, each phrase go be soaked in salt;

I go draw and knot every line as tight

as ropes in this rigging; in simple speech

my common language go be the wind,

my pages the sails of the schooner Flight . . .


— Derek Walcott, The Schooner Flight: 1. Adios, Carenage

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Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014