life rattle show no. 1190

Presented on Sunday, February 5, 2012


Hosted by Virginia Ashberry


Denise Clarke reading her story

tonight's Show

For the month of February, we are featuring stories that honour Black History Month. Tonight, on Life Rattle No. 1190, we present "Marci-Pooh," a story by a long-time friend of Life Rattle, Denise Clarke.

Denise Clarke first appeared on the program in the summer of 1995. Later that year Life Rattle press published a collection of her short stories, Waves Against Rocks, about her childhood in Jamaica. That title is still available for purchase via the Life Rattle website. Denise Clarke wrote the story you will hear tonight while completing her Masters in Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Clarke’s story tonight, “Marci-Pooh”, is part of a Life Rattle press anthology of creative non-fiction called Will You Still Love Me If I Shave My Head? That title sold out, and is not currently available.

Tonight’s story chronicles the painful reality of a woman’s feelings of hopelessness as her sister is losing a long battle with breast cancer. Especially sad and difficult feelings increased by the distance that the African diaspora creates.

Denise Clarke is the sixth of seven children born in 1966 to her parents in Kingston, Jamaica. She later moved to a small village along the sea-coast in Portland where she resided for thirteen of the eighteen years she lived in Jamaica. In 1984, Clarke emigrated with her mother and two sisters to live in Toronto, Canada. Clarke, now the mother of a teenager, studied history and African studies as an undergraduate, and sociology and equity studies as a graduate student at the University of Toronto. She continues to study history at the doctoral level. When Clarke’s sixth-grade puppy love, clad in imaginary iron armour sitting on a white horse, re-emerged in her life after thirty-two years, Clarke fled Canada to marry and live with him in Pennsylvania, United States. Clarke will soon complete her nonfiction book, Day Laughs and Night Cries. She likes to express herself in writing on her website blog titled Conceive Writing.