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Rodlyn Douglas-Kirkwood





Rodlyn Douglas-KirkwoodRodlyn Helena Douglas (30 December 1949-24 June 2010) was born in Barataria, Trinidad to Rodney and Everlyn Douglas. Rodlyn moved to New York in 1967 when she was almost 18. She graduated from St. Pascal Baylon High School that year then enrolled in a commercial school where she received a certificate in secretarial studies. Naturally creative from an early age, Rodlyn wrote essays and poetry and enjoyed performing in front of an audience.

Rodlyn moved back to Trinidad in 1977, where she spent the next 13 years earning a stellar reputation as Creative Director for Christiansen and Belgrave and Corbin Compton Communications, two of the leading advertising and marketing firms in Trinidad. She would put her creative gifts to use by making critically acclaimed contributions in the advertising world. Rodlyn received numerous advertising awards and accolades for her accomplishments that have attained legendary status. She was the creative genius behind such classics as “ Rum is Macho ” and “A beer is a Carib” which transcended the advertising genre and become staples in the language of the Caribbean. Rodlyn unselfishly made the difficult decision to resign from the advertising firm and return to New York in 1990 to allow her young children to benefit from the opportunities available to them in the United States.

Despite her busy schedule, Rodlyn was exceptional at balancing her personal, professional and creative lives. She became a diarist and made it a priority to carve out time for writing.

Rodlyn’s bittersweet stories of pain and passion have been published in anthologies and literary journals, including: Life Notes; Patchwork of Dreams; Erotique Noire; Pearls of Passion; In Praise of African American Mothers; Creation Fire and New Voices. Rodlyn created a workshop titled, “Your Life As Story: Once Upon A Time”, to facilitate senior-citizens writing groups, bringing forth their stories unto the page and the stage, through a series of workshops she conducted for Poets & Writers. In 2009 she published “October Morning and Other Poems About Healing”

Roodlyn’s performance works featured an array of ethnic characters who were strong, independent, tragicomical and lusty includes “Myth, Madness, Magic” – a choreopoem performed at the Samuel Beckett and Harold Clurman theatres in New York City; “Twelve (Diary of a Twelve Year Old – a Woman’s Story)” at Living the Dream Theatre in Ohio; “Mouth Open, Storey Jump Out” at several venues in New York City; Rodlyn also co-founded and performed with, SpiritWoman, at the annual summer conferences of the International Women’s Writing Guild at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. She is a long-standing member of the IWWG “sisterhood”.

Rodlyn worked at the School of Visual Arts where she managed and supervised the acquisition and distribution of grants as a Foundation Director for the school; a position she held until her retirement in 2008.

Rodlyn was a strong, uniquely independent woman who embraced life and celebrated it to the fullest. She touched many lives with her always positive attitude that made us laugh, be proud and accepting of our differences, and feel good about ourselves. Her time with us has ended because her journey must go on but the energy, wisdom and spirit of this talented and beautiful woman, exemplified by her professional works and memories shared by her loved ones, will live with us, and inspire us forever.

Rodlyn was married and was the proud mother of three children— Jamel, Yanikk and Lenecia. Her loving and devoted husband John, her children, family, in-laws, friends and associates will miss her immensely.






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Last modified: Monday, 25 March 2024