life rattle Special Black History Month Podcast no. 3

February 27, 2011



Yanique Bird reading:
"The Kicking Off Stone"

Zamerul Neshaw reading:
"Mango Tree"

tonight's writers and stories

Yanique Bird was born on the island of Antigua in the eastern Caribbean. At eighteen, she tired of sun, sea and sand and decided that the notorious winters of Canada sounded like a pleasant change. Yanique moved to Mississauga, Ontario. There she volunteered, studied at the University of Toronto, slacked off, eventually graduated and moved to Toronto, where she is one of the hosts of the Life Rattle Radio Program. Yanique also enjoys Japanese rock music, organic chemistry, belly dancing, playing guitar (badly), sleepless nights of debauchery with friends and, obviously, writing.

The stories of Yanique Bird give us glimpses into every-day life in Antigua in the 1990’s. Bird’s great visual descriptions transport you right into the back yard and front veranda, with an economy of words. Her characters come alive with crisp dialogue and honest family humour.

Virginia Ashberry recorded Yanique reading her stories, for Life Rattle, the story show.


Zamerul Neshaw, born in Guyana, South America, immigrated to Canada arriving in Calgary Alberta in December of 1964. In the summer of 1966 she traveled by train to Toronto, Ontario and worked as a cook. In 1987 she graduated from Seneca College as a Library Technician. She now works full-time at George Brown College and is a proud mother and grandmother.

In “Mango Tree,” Neshaw writes of her youth in Guyana, in an evocative simple style that will immediately transport you to the right time, and right place, to understand the depth of feeling and force of will of a young woman with surprising inner strength.

Adam Giles recorded Zamerul Neshaw reading her story, for Life Rattle, the story show.