The Caribbean Writer

TCW Editor Develops New Poetry Verse Form

The Hurriku is a Virgin Islands verse form created by the editor of The Caribbean Writer, Alscess Lewis-Brown, after the passing of hurricanes Maria and Irma. This verse form was widely explored in a Facebook group known as VI Write Now. Many of the members of this group also participated in the Sunday afternoon, creative writing sessions offered on the Albert Sheen Campus of the University of the Virgin Islands sponsored by VI EPSCoR and The Caribbean Writer. Those who did not attend the Sunday sessions offered their entrees for publication in this collection.


The Virgin Islands Hurriku is patterned off of the Japanese Haiku in that, in the same way that the haiku is known for its efficient, imagistic, metaphorical self-contained style using five (5) syllables, seven (7) syllables, five (5) syllables to flesh out its three (3) line structure, so too is this idea for the VI Hurriku. In our version, however, the three lines are arranged with the seven (7) syllables first, representing the days of the week that melted away in the immediate aftermath of the hurricanes. The second line of five (5) syllables represents the five (5) intense hours of the storms between 12 and 5 a.m. The third line represents the return of the seven (7) days of the week when roads were passable and many businesses re-opened. Participants shared that this writing experience provided stress relief because it offered not only a space for a community of like-minded people to connect, communicate and create but also the opportunity to participate in a fun-filled, writing process.


Irmaria romped and ripped
We kneeled. Now we rise stronger.

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