; GGR Book Club: The Storm Within: An Anthology by C Nadya Agard - Guyanese Girls Rock!
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GGR Book Club: The Storm Within: An Anthology by C Nadya Agard

ABOUT THE BOOK:  The Storm Within is a collection of poems that touch on various life themes. The emotional drama of life is expressed in themes ranging from romantic love to love of God and includes others such as joy, rejection,pain, childhood, parenthood, and emotional turmoil. The work is titled after one of the poems in the book. It was chosen because the book reflects life as it is often experienced, but rarely expressed—life as a “storm within.” While the collection does not intentionally focus on any single theme, some may perceive a focal theme to run through many of the poems. Full of raw and honest emotions, the collection is provocative, spiritual and erotic. It stimulates introspection.

ABOUT THE AUTHORClaire N. Agard holds a doctoral degree in Neuropsychology, an Advanced Certificate in Neuropsychology, and a Master’s degree in School Psychology. She is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and holds a certificate as a Counseling Psychologist. Dr. Agard has been employed as a School Psychologist since 1988, with the exception of a 2-year period during which she pursued her advanced degree and received training at the Section on Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, Laboratory of Brain and Cognition, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health. Her focus and primary interest in neuropsychology is the area of psychoneuroimmunology, a relatively young field that addresses the relationship between the brain and the body, particularly the cascade of events that occur when the immune system is triggered by pathogens (e.g. stress) that enter the brain. A secondary area of interest of hers is migraine headaches, specifically neuropsychological functioning in migraineurs. In addition to her job as a School Psychologist, Dr. Agard conducts private neuropsychological assessments, teaches a college course and provides in-service training on a variety of mental health-related topics to both professionals and non-professionals. She has also assisted with teaching a course in the Department of Genetics, School of Medicine, Howard University, her focus being on Behavioral Genetics.

Dr. Agard is the child of the late Charles Nathaniel Agard and Agnes Juliet Adams both of who were educators; her father having ended his career as a teacher at Queen’s College, Georgetown, Guyana. She is the youngest of six siblings all of whom were/are known for their excelling academically and professionally. Dr. Agard grew up in Plaisance, East Coast Demerara and is a proud graduate of St. Rose’s High School. At an early age, her late father – who was multi-lingual and an expert in Greek, British, and Latin literature – exposed her to classical literary works while her mother exposed to contemporary writings and involved her in extra-curricular activities. Dr. Agard’s exposure to literature led her to develop a love for writing that began during her high school years. Prior to the publication of The Storm Within, she had been reluctant to publish her work as she viewed it as self-expression not for public consumption, but for privately documenting her observations, perceptions, and emotions. The decision to publish the aforementioned collection came at the urging of her son and she is currently completely work on her second anthology which will, hopefully, be published by early 2016.

When asked the achievement of which she is most proud, Dr. Agard readily states “motherhood.” She is parent to 22-year old Chancellor A. Agard who fluently speaks and writes French and who earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Columbia University. While he began his career as a professional opera singer at around age 10 or 11, Chancellor and his mom now have something in common. He is now a freelance journalist for The Daily Beast, Entertainment Weekly and other publications. Most noteworthy; however, is the fact that two of Chancellor’s poems, the first written at age 5, are included in The Storm Within. One of his poems was published in the original language in which it was written, French, with translation by Dr. Agard. The second of Chancellor’s poems was translated by Dr. Agard from French to English with only the English version being included in the collection.

 

 

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