One of the most eloquent and best-known raconteurs and social commentator in the English-speaking Caribbean, Paul Keens-Douglas, has been conferred a Doctor of Letters (DLitt) degree by the University of the West Indies for his work in culture and the arts.
Born in Trinidad to Grenadian parents, the 79-year-old man spent his early childhood in Grenada where he attended St George’s Methodist School and Presentation Brothers College. He returned to Trinidad and Tobago in 1974.
Keens-Douglas is well-known in the theatrical world, where his work has focused on highlighting the Eastern Caribbean vernacular through dramatic presentations entertaining and educating audiences with humor, wit, poetry, and storytelling.
As a self-published author he has to his credit nine volumes of work, fifteen albums, three videos, sixteen CD’s and two DVD’s. His work has been featured in many anthologies and well-known international publications, has been highlighted on the BBC, Canadian and American radio and television, and throughout the Caribbean media and has been translated and published in German and French Creole. His collection Tanti at de Oval was recently translated and published in Japanese by Japanese writer Chikae Taniguchi.
Some of the characters he has created such as Tanti at de Oval, Vybert, Timultaneous, Sugar George, Tingalae, Bobot, Dr Ah-Ah have become an permanent part of the Caribbean literary landscape. Only recently his well-known story Tanti at de Oval was included in the MCC anthology of cricket verse A Quiet Hush.
Other Cricket Anthologies that feature his stories include: Macmillan: Caribbean Lives-Brian Lara; ArtsEtcInc.: Shouts from the Outfield ; Peepal Press: The Bowling Was Superfine.
His film credits include the National Geographic- Natural World award-winning wildlife film Vampires, Devilbirds & Spirits. He has also produced ‘When Winds Blow’ a special radio series on disaster preparedness.
Keens-Douglas said he was thrilled and humbled by the award.
“I feel honoured and happy to be recognised and appreciated. I want to thank those people who recommended me.”
His work has a wide appeal as seen in some circles, an appeal that covers all classes and age groups, but at the same time is wholesome and family-oriented. The manner in which he presents his material makes him easily understood by foreign audiences in both the business and artistic arena.
An international performer, Paul Keens-Douglas makes regular tours of the Caribbean territories and metropolitan countries, and social commentary.
In ‘Voices in the Century’, a special millennium edition of the CARICOM Perspective, Paul along with Louise Bennett of Jamaica (now deceased) was highlighted for their contribution in shaping the course of Caribbean development in their area of cultural concern.
Paul keens-Douglas holds diplomas in Commercial Broadcasting and Radio/TV Production from Announcer Training Studios and RCA Institutes of New York, a B.A (Honors) Degree in Sociology from Sir George Williams University (Concordia), Montreal, Canada, and has done two years post-graduate work at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica where he was also Sub-Warden at Irvine Hall.
A former Creative Director with McCann-Erickson (T’dad) Ltd he works within the advertising industry developing creative concepts, programs, promotions and events planning for a variety of clients. His company Keensdee Productions Ltd focuses on management and staff training, with an emphasis on inter-personal and cross-cultural communication. As such he has become a much sought-after Conference Presenter and Motivational Speaker.