Dr Paul Keens-Douglas

  • Recognized as “Mr Tim Tim” within theatrical circles, Dr Paul Keens-Douglas stands as a renowned and articulate storyteller and cultural observer in the English-speaking Caribbean. Born in Trinidad on September 22, 1942, he spent his formative years in Grenada, where he pursued education at St. George’s Methodist School and Presentation Boys College.

    Early Life and Education

    Trinidadian writer Paul Keens-Douglas has a B.A. (Honours) in Sociology from Sir George Williams University (Concordia), Montreal, Canada, as well as diplomas in Commercial Broadcasting and Radio/TV Production from Announcer Training Studios and RCA Institutes of New York. He also completed two years of post-graduate work at the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica, where he also served as a Sub-Warden at Irvine Hall.

    He has been involved in theatre since childhood and has a diverse history in the performing arts. Since moving back to Trinidad in 1974, he has concentrated on using his writing, acting, and producing skills to showcase the Trinidad & Tobago and Eastern Caribbean vernacular through dramatic performances and advertisements. His yearly Tim Tim Show and Carnival Talk Tent have established him as a key representative of oral traditions over the years.

    Keens-Douglas was regarded as a timid child who fell in love with the stage at a young age. Keens-Douglas was born in Trinidad to Grenadian parents but spent the majority of his early years in Grenada.

    One of the most gifted and well-liked poets and storytellers in the area, Keens-Douglas described in his performance how he pursued his aspirations despite his parents’ disapproval.

    Before relocating to St. Augustine Campus in the 1970s, he finished two years of doctoral work at Mona. However, in 1975, the storyteller tried his hand at dialect writing with Tanti at the Oval. His career took off, and he abandoned his degree programme.


    Actor, writer, and storyteller Paul Keens-Douglas has a broad and diverse history in theatre and the creative arts. He is the creator and producer of the annual Tim Tim Storytelling Show and the Carnival Talk Tent, making him a renowned advocate of Caribbean oral traditions. He is an award-winning author who is the recipient of the Beryl McBurnie Foundation for the Arts Award, the Zora Neale Hurston Folklore Award, and the Hummingbird Silver Medal for Cultural Contributions. He has been named T&T’s Poet Laureate from 2017 through 2019. The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, awarded him an honorary doctorate letter.

    He is a self-published author with nine books, fifteen albums, three films, sixteen CDs, and two DVDs to his name, and he has attained the heights of language. His work has been recognised on the BBC, Canadian and American radio and television, and Caribbean media. It has also been translated into German and French Creole and published in numerous anthologies and well-known international journals.

    Chikae Taniguchi, a Japanese writer, recently translated and published his collection Tanti at de Oval in Japanese. He is also an excellent social commentator who established a separate community for people.
    His fictional creations, including Tanti at de Oval, Vibert, Timultaneous, Sugar George, Tingalae, Bobots, Dr Ah-Ah, and many others, have left a lasting impression on the Caribbean literary scene. His well-known tale Tanti at the Oval was just recently included in the MCC collection of cricket verse, A Quiet Hush. These works contributed to altering the literary landscape.

    His stories have also appeared in the following anthologies of Cricket Verse: Peepal Press’s “The Bowling Was Superfine,” ArtsEtcInc.’s “Shouts from the Outfield,” and Macmillan’s “Caribbean Lives-Brian Lara.”
    His film credits include the wildlife video Vampires, Devilbirds & Spirits, which won a National Geographic-Natural World award. Additionally, he created the unique radio series When Winds Blow about disaster preparedness.

    His work is notable for its broad appeal to the people and their culture in the artistic arena, which spans all social strata and age groups while being morally upright and family-oriented. Additionally, he is easily understood by foreign audiences in both the economic and artistic fields thanks to the way he conveys his ideas.

    Paul is a well-known international artist who frequently travels to urban areas and Caribbean islands, enlightening audiences with his brilliant humour, wit, poetry, and social criticism.

    Paul and Louise Bennett of Jamaica, were singled out in “Voices in the Century,” a special millennium edition of the CARICOM Perspective, for their role in influencing the direction of Caribbean development in their respective fields of cultural interest. Indeed, rather than being associated with a specific place, Paul Keens-Douglas is considered more of a regional personality. Being a devoted Caricom man, he participated in special events honouring the organisation’s 40th anniversary in Chaguaramas, Trinidad, and its 30th anniversary in Montego Bay, Jamaica, in 2013.

    Being an alumnus of George Williams University, of the famous George Williams Riot, in one of his graduation speeches, the storyteller remarked that despite his years of experience, communication remains one of the Caribbean territories’ most significant difficulties. However, the UWI and the Windies cricket team have kept the region united.