Over 100 writers to present work at Carifesta XIV

Over 100 Caribbean and spe­cial­ly-in­vit­ed non-Caribbean writ­ers will present their work at an un­prece­dent­ed lit­er­ary bo­nan­za dur­ing Car­ifes­ta XIV, 16-25 Au­gust.

Car­ifes­ta, the Caribbean’s pre­miere arts and cul­ture fes­ti­val, has made an open call to all re­gion­al au­thors to read from their pub­lished and un­pub­lished work. The re­sponse has been stag­ger­ing, ac­cord­ing to the NGC Bo­cas Lit Fest, or­gan­is­ers of Car­ifes­ta XIV lit­er­ary events. Over a hun­dred re­quests to par­tic­i­pate flood­ed the host web­site with­in a week. Reg­is­tra­tion is now closed but this en­thu­si­asm speaks to the rich wealth of sto­ries, es­says and po­ems be­ing pro­duced in the re­gion and burst­ing to get out. The dai­ly Open Mic ses­sions, or­gan­ised in the gen­res of fic­tion, po­et­ry, non-fic­tion, and spo­ken word, run from noon 17-24 Au­gust at the fes­ti­val hub: the Grand Mar­ket in the Queens Park Sa­van­nah, in the Car­ifes­ta Book Fair tent.


The Open Mic will in­ter­weave with themed read­ings by lead­ing re­gion­al writ­ers and lo­cal book gi­ants, in­clud­ing Michael An­tho­ny, Willi Chen, Paul Keens Dou­glas and Earl Lovelace; all of them will be pre­sent­ing new work to a di­verse Caribbean au­di­ence. Among the in­ter­na­tion­al stars is Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o of Kenya, the world renowned, mul­ti award-win­ning writer and Dis­tin­guished Pro­fes­sor of Com­par­a­tive Lit­er­a­ture and Eng­lish at The Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia at Irvine (UCI).

Ngũgĩ’s fic­tion, es­says and plays are cel­e­brat­ed for chal­leng­ing au­thor­i­ty, in­ter­ro­gat­ing the role of colo­nial­ism and high­light­ing is­sues of class, cul­ture, re­li­gion and mod­ern ver­sus tra­di­tion­al val­ues. His work got him a one-year prison sen­tence in Kenya in the 1970s and led to Amnesty In­ter­na­tion­al adopt­ing him as a pris­on­er of con­science. Even­tu­al­ly, he fled to the USA, where he has taught at Yale, New York Uni­ver­si­ty and UCI.

Gabriel Gar­cia Mar­quez the de­ceased Colom­bian-Caribbean No­bel Lau­re­ate for Lit­er­a­ture rec­og­nized Jorge Fran­co Ramos as a younger writer to whom he could pass the lit­er­ary torch.

Fran­co may be new to Eng­lish speak­ing Caribbean read­ers but he is hailed on the main­land as one of the most promis­ing writ­ers of the new Latin Amer­i­can nar­ra­tive. His suc­cess­ful nov­els have been made in­to pop­u­lar TV se­ries and award-win­ning fea­ture films. He, too, makes his Car­ifes­ta de­but in Thurs­day Noir on Thurs­day 22 Au­gust.

Head­lin­ing evening events at the Book Fair on Sat­ur­day 17 at 6pm is renowned Trinida­di­an writer Earl Lovelace, prizewin­ning au­thor of short sto­ries and the nov­els The Drag­on Can’t Dance, Salt and Is Just A Movie.



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