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Feb 14 2009
Stephen Dantes – The Poet In Me
By Kendell “Scady” Eugene

“You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair–the sense that you can never completely put on the page what’s in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names. You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or because you want to change the world. Come to it any way but lightly. Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page.” - Stephen King, On Writing.
We don’t know if Stephen Dantes ever read that quote but the advice given there is basically what he is currently riding on in the advent of his third, (yes that’s right number three) publication of poems. My first exposure of this writers’ work came when I had just begun my probation period here at The Voice. Uncle Toni had of his book of poems “Last Enchantment” (2003) and it caught my attention. Like many people who are still in awe about the quality of music we produce from bedroom studios, I was fascinated by the young author who as it seemed had gone against all odds to have his work published. Some people wait for years for an opportunity to get their material into the public’s eye, but here was Dantes, through the help of a mutual friend and a very generous publishing company (Mayers Printing) soon had his thoughts and his words out there for everyone to peck at constructively or adversely.
Imagine my surprise when I found out that there was another book on the bookshelves of all the leading book stores on the island. Now it was official, this young man meant serious business and he took his writing very seriously. After all, someone who is just in it for the fun of writing and considers it a hobby won’t devote so much time and effort into getting his work scrutinized by some of the best. Then again I might be wrong. Maybe Stephen Dantes, will call it quits after he realizes that poets in St. Lucia, really don’t get the recognition they should, well that is unless they have won themselves a Nobel Prize or have been active in our cultural activities. I was adamant that was the case and dared him (in my mind) to prove me wrong and did he ever.
Through a telephone call one morning from one of the few people who can wake me up so early and not get an earful questioning their sanity, Stephan Dantes’ name came up again; he had done it, again. Mr. Dantes had completed his third book of poems and his publicist was insisting that he get a page in the YO! Magazine. That was a no brainer, a young man, a teacher, a father and husband doing so much with so little definitely deserved a spot in the magazine. His story of the journey towards his third publication was remarkable.
Contrary to his first two books which according to him were voices, for the people, the young persons who were distressed oppressed or who were just down.

Included in them weren’t only poems but words of wisdom, thoughts and prayers which everyone could relate to; the third book titled, “Hind Sight the Best of Me” by Stephen Dantes, reflects on his two previous publications and the errors he had committed on them.
“Hind Sight” he explained is a richer and more diverse book of poetry. Taking only two years to complete the book which is one hundred per cent poetry, he examines various subject areas including social problems, and various political issues, just to name a few. The genres also include hardcore poetry, musicals, short poetry and two chapters from his up and coming novel. Yes you read right, - novel! The third book hasn’t hit the book stores yet but he has a novel on the way and is generous enough to give you a two chapter preview. We can also tell you that it will be based on a love square, (forget that triangle) and all he has to do now is put the pages together, the writing is already finished and the book will be called “Is It Love?”
Already we have featured a few of his poems in the magazine and there are also emails of his pieces circulating the internet, one of the most popular poems gives a darker picture of the lover’s day, Valentine’s Day. Titled “A Dark Valentine”, Stephen has performed the poem in different cities in the United States of America to rave reviews from enthusiasts like himself. Now what really would inspire this young man to take the time out of what obviously is a very busy lifestyle is simple. The love and passion for writing is instilled in him he says. It’s like he was born with it, he admits that he loves poetry, enjoys listening to poets and the spoken word. A few of the poems that will be available in his new book has been performed with the ensemble Ken Hardy and the Souldreadz at Mojitos and Jungle Café.
When posed with the question what he does when he is not writing poetry, a long sigh was released and then the answer teaching during the week which is his regular 9 – 5, taking care of his family, website designing, playing Far Cry 2, Ninja Gaiden 2 and Need for Speed Undercover for the Xbox 360. Oh yeah, he mentioned working on an up coming movie production that yours truly already has a part in, but that is for another issue!