Photo by Hayley Madden for The Poetry Society

Vahni Capildeo: shapeshifter, time traveller

When Vahni Capildeo won the prestigious Forward Prize for her poetry, the award merely affirmed what her readers already knew: the Trinidad-born writer is a brilliant complicator of language, stories, conventions, and boundaries. Andre Bagoo explains why Capildeo’s poems are so exhilarating.

Teamdwp Studios By Dwayne Watkins

Carnival is mine

There’s no single, definitive version of Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival — rather, there are as many versions as there are people who love the annual festival. For some, Carnival is mas. For others, it’s music. Some wait all year for J’Ouvert, others adore Panorama. There are thousands of different Carnival stories: here are just a few.

Photo by Mezart Daulet

Richard Fung: no easy readings

Born in Trinidad, based in Canada, navigating between identities — gay, Chinese-descended, Caribbean diaspora — filmmaker Richard Fung was “intersectional” before the term even existed, writes Jonathan Ali, and his complicated background informs his pioneering, innovative work.

Photo by Nadia Huggins

Sean Leonard: “Artists, this space is available”

Trinidadian architect Sean Leonard, co-founder of the Alice Yard art space, on the influence of family generosity and Carnival productivity on his practice, and Alice Yard’s decade-long experiment — as told to Stephen Stuempfle.

Photo by Chris Anderson

Layover: Port of Spain, Trinidad

A free day to explore T&T’s capital? A few hours in between business meetings? Our quick guide to getting the most out of Port of Spain when time is tight.

A colourful Tufted Cocquette poised for a sip of vervine nectar. Photo by Ondrej Prosicky/Shutterstock.com

Grow wild

You don’t need to venture deep into the forest to encounter fascinating wildlife. Even an ordinary urban garden can attract birds, butterflies, and more, if you know how. Sharon Millar tells you how.

Noel and Chevaughn Joseph (at left) with a Grenadian family helped by the Just Because Foundation: baby Shemmia with her parents Alisha and Shem. Photo by Warren Le Platte

The Just Because Foundation — a promise to JB

When Chevaughn and Noel Joseph’s young son JB was diagnosed with cancer, they promised him they would help other sick children. Nearly a decade later, the Just Because Foundation supports families at their time of greatest need, Lisa Allen-Agostini discovers.

Photo courtesy npm, Inc.

Trinidadian Laurie Voss: unbreaking the internet

Last March, an angry software developer deleted a JavaScript code package from the Internet. It doesn’t sound very exciting, but the result was thousands of broken websites, and a cascade of online errors. In stepped Trinidadian Laurie Voss, CTO of the web company npm. Mark Lyndersay tells the story of a coding rescue mission.

A graveyard and old headstones: a typical scene around one of the many Baptist churches on the hills of the company villages. Photo by Marlon Rouse

The Merikins: heroes of the forgotten war

Two hundred years ago, a group of free black veterans of the War of 1812 arrived in Trinidad. In the island’s deep south, the villages they founded still preserve the traditions of the “Merikins,” as writer Judy Raymond and photographer Marlon Rouse discover — and still have much to teach their fellow citizens.

Photo by Chris Anderson

Charlotteville, Tobago

At Tobago’s north-eastern tip, Charlotteville remains a rustic retreat, almost the epicentre of the island’s natural beauty.