The Trinidad and Tobago Literary Festival

Events

All events are free and open to the public, and take place at the National Library and Old Fire Station in downtown Port of Spain, unless otherwise stated. NB final programme may be subject to revision.
Day 1
29 Apr 2015
Day 2
30 Apr 2015
Day 3
01 May 2015
Day 4
02 May 2015
Day 5
03 May 2015

Tribute to Chilean Poets Gabriela Mistral & Pablo Neruda

Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957), Chilean poet and diplomat, was the first writer from Latin America to win a Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1945. To mark the 70th anniversary of this historic...
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Gustavo Barrera Calderón

Mind Change

Leading neuroscientist Baroness Susan Greenfield explains how digital technology is changing the way we think and behave — and what that means for entrepreneurs and business leaders 8 am–9.30 am...
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Baroness Susan Greenfield

Introduction to literary translation

With Daniel Hahn. What exactly is the job of a literary translator, and your relationship to the text and its author? A daylong workshop for budding translators. Fluency in a...
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Daniel Hahn

Preparing for publication

Jeremy Poynting, publisher and editor, Peepal Tree Press. So you think you have a book worth publishing — what comes next? How do you prepare your manuscript and approach a...
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Jeremy Poynting

Speculative fiction masterclass

Plus a “meet the authors” session With Karen Lord (main facilitator), Nalo Hopkinson, Tobias Buckell, R.S.A. Garcia Workshop your speculative fiction in progress, and meet the leading Caribbean writers of...
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Karen Lord
Nalo Hopkinson
R.S.A. Garcia
Tobias S. Buckell

Lunchtime jam

Hot lyrics and cool vibes from the 2Cents Movement 12–1 pm • Brian Lara Promenade

The many lives of Raoul Pantin

Celebrating Trinidad’s late, iconic writer through readings from his poems, his journalism, his Bim screenplay, and memoirs. With Mandisa Pantin, Ken Gordon, Ralph Maraj, and Monique Roffey 9–10 am •...
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Kenneth ‘Ken’ Gordon
Mandisa Pantin
Monique Roffey
Ralph Maraj

Life stories: sharing strategies

With Jocelyne Guilbault. The co-author of Roy Cape’s collaborative memoir leads a workshop on life-writing, exploring both classic and innovative methods for capturing true-life stories 10.30 am–12.30 pm • 2nd...
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Jocelyne Guilbault

Who’s in charge?: The problems and possibilities of good governance

“Governance” — the buzzword of the moment in an election year, but what does it mean? Former Commonwealth secretary-general Sir Shridath Ramphal, ex-Mayor of Port of Spain Louis Lee Sing,...
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Brinsley Samaroo
Louis Lee Sing
Sir Shridath Ramphal
Sunity Maharaj

Secrets of the creative mind

Susan Greenfield on the neuroscience of creativity 10.30 am–12 pm • AV Room
Baroness Susan Greenfield

The business of translation

Translator Daniel Hahn, publisher Johnny Temple, and literary agent Ria Julien give an inside perspective on the publishing world’s view of translation 10.30–11.30 am • 1st Floor Seminar Room
Daniel Hahn
Johnny Temple
Ria Julien

Who’s in charge?: Extempo Debate

Extempo masters Black Sage and Lingo bring their cutting wit to a sung debate about politics and politricks 12–12.45 pm • Abercromby Street Arcade
Black Sage

Short films: Caribbean writers in Canada

A special series of short films on Caribbean writers in Canada: My Dinner with Shani: Shani Mootoo Gardening with Olive: Olive Senior Fabulous Spaces: Nalo Hopkinson All directed by Frances-Anne...
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Open Mic: Stand and Deliver

Open mic for writers of prose and poetry. Share your words and stories with the world! 12.45–1.30 pm • Abercromby Street Arcade

Take Two: Landscapes of poetry

Landscapes of poetry: Trinidadian-Canadian Shane Book and Forward Prize–winning Jamaican Kei Miller read from their new collections, Congotronic and The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion 1–2 pm...
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Kei Miller
Shane Book

The world of children’s writing

Daniel Hahn, editor of the new Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature, on global trends in writing for young readers 1–2 pm • 1st Floor Seminar Room
Daniel Hahn

Reading in public

With Earl Lovelace. Today’s writers are expected to be masterful performers of their own work, but it doesn’t always come naturally. Celebrated novelist Earl Lovelace leads a highly interactive session...
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Earl Lovelace

Dying to Better Themselves

Olive Senior, author of a groundbreaking new book on West Indian workers who helped build the Panama Canal, talks to historian Bridget Brereton 2–3 pm • Old Fire Station
Bridget Brereton
Olive Senior

Take Two: Home and away

Home and away: Shani Mootoo (Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab) and Lawrence Scott (Leaving by Plane Swimming Back Underwater) read from their new works of fiction 3–4 pm •...
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Lawrence Scott
Shani Mootoo

Film: Looking for Claudia Jones

Looking for Claudia Jones, dir. Nia Reynolds 3–5 pm • AV Room

Nation vs. language

Scholars Carolyn Cooper and Silvio Torres-Saillant, diplomat Daniela Tramacere, and poet Aonghas MacNeacail debate questions of language, identity, and national consciousness in the Caribbean and further afield; moderated by David...
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Aonghas MacNeacail
Carolyn Cooper
Daniela Tramacere
David Codling
Silvio Torres-Saillant

Bocas Henry Swanzy Award

Margaret Busby, co-founder of the UK publisher Allison and Busby and grande dame of Black British publishing, is presented with the award recognising editors, publishers, critics, and broadcasters who have...
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Clare Alexander
Funso Aiyejina
Lawrence Scott
Margaret Busby, OBE

Peekash Presents

The launch of Coming Up Hot: Best New Poets from the Caribbean, featuring Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné, Shivanee Ramlochan, and Colin Robinson Introduced by Jeremy Poynting and Johnny Temple 7.30–10 pm •...
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Colin Robinson
Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné
Jeremy Poynting
Johnny Temple
Shivanee Ramlochan

Poetry: where it begins

With Kei Miller. The award-winning writer investigates the sources of poetry — and how to tap into them. For beginning poets 10 am–12.30 pm • 2nd Floor Seminar Room Register...
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Kei Miller

Patois: Trinidad’s heritage language

Linguists Jo-Anne Ferreira and Nnamdi Hodge pose provocative questions about the language spoken by many of our great-grandparents — and its impact on how we think and speak today 10–11...
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Jo-Anne Ferreira
Nnamdi Hodge

Film: Poetry Is an Island

Poetry Is an Island, dir. Ida Does This moving portrait of Nobel laureate Derek Walcott grounds his lyrics in the landscape of St. Lucia 10 am–12 pm, AV Room

Brave new worlds: how fantasy can fix reality

Caribbean speculative fiction authors Tobias Buckell, R.S.A. Garcia, Nalo Hopkinson and Karen Lord explore how fiction about the fantastic can drive us to imagine alternative futures; moderated by Shivanee Ramlochan...
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Karen Lord
Nalo Hopkinson
R.S.A. Garcia
Tobias S. Buckell

Sci-fi open mic

Budding writers of speculative fiction: this open mic is just for you. 12–12.30 pm • Abercromby Street Arcade

Introducing the Windham Campbell Prizes

Michael Kelleher, administrator of these awards for international writers based at Yale University, on what the Windham Campbell Prizes mean for Caribbean authors 12–1 pm • 1st Floor Seminar Room
Michael Kelleher

Film: Walcott as Poet and Seer; The Saddhu of Couva

The Saddhu of Couva, dir. Yao Ramesar Walcott as Poet and Seer, dir. Jean Antoine-Dunne An imaginative adaptation of Derek Walcott’s well-known poem and a searching documentary on his work...
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Future Friday: Speculative fiction writers

Speculative fiction writers Tobias S. Buckell (Hurricane Fever) and R.S.A. Garcia (Lex Talionis) read from and discuss their work 1–2 pm • Old Fire Station
R.S.A. Garcia
Tobias S. Buckell

Translating the past

Colonised by foreign invaders, forced to speak a new language, resisting a predatory ruling class — is this medieval England, or the modern Caribbean? Or both? Poet Patience Agbabi and...
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Barbara Lalla
Nicholas Laughlin
Patience Agbabi

Fiction: the art of vision and revision

With Monique Roffey. Just get the first draft down on paper, writers are always told. But what comes next? An exploration of the art of the first and second drafts...
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Future Friday: Speculative fiction novels

Nalo Hopkinson (The New Moon’s Arms) and Karen Lord (The Galaxy Game) read from their latest speculative fiction novels 2–3 pm • Old Fire Station
Karen Lord
Nalo Hopkinson

Blacks, Mulattos, and the Dominican Nation

Scholar Silvio Torres-Saillant discusses the importance of this landmark book by sociologist Franklin Franco, exposing the longstanding ethnic tensions in the Dominican Republic 2–3 pm • 1st Floor Seminar Room
Silvio Torres-Saillant

Film: Dream on Monkey Mountain

Dream on Monkey Mountain (filmed for NBC by Hugh Robertson) Filmed in 1970 for NBC Television, this version of Derek Walcott’s classic play features the original cast, including the late...
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Black Sand

Eminent Jamaican poet and scholar Edward Baugh reads from his most recent collection and discusses his life in Caribbean letters 3–4 pm • Old Fire Station
Edward Baugh

Afternoon Jam: Storytelling and music

Storytelling and music 4–5 pm • Abercromby Street Arcarde

Take Two: From Scotland with love

From Scotland with love: poets Aonghas MacNeacail and Gerda Stevenson bring both verse and tidings from north of the border 4–5 pm • Old Fire Station Presented in partnership with the British...
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Aonghas MacNeacail
Gerda Stevenson

Who’s Next?: fiction and poems

Six up-and-coming writers from T&T share their fiction and poems 4–5 pm • AV Room

Island Bodies

Poet and scholar Rosamond King talks to Colin Robinson about the Caribbean’s “transgressive sexualities.” 4–5 pm • 1st Floor Seminar Room
Colin Robinson
Rosamond King

Burt Award Ceremony

The 2015 winners of the second annual Burt Award for Caribbean Literature — recognising books written for young adult readers — are announced 6–7.30 pm • Old Fire Station

Roy Cape: a life on the bandstand

A tribute to T&T’s star musician, featuring Joceleyne Guilbault, Alvin Daniell, musicians TBD 8 pm until • Big Black Box, Murray Street, Woodbrook
Alvin Daniell
Jocelyne Guilbault
Roy Cape

How to start a magazine in six weeks

With Bhaskar Sunkara Straight out of college, this Trinidadian-American editor founded a successful magazine of politics and current affairs. Could you do the same? What’s involved in building a magazine...
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Bhaskar Sunkara

The unknown Eric Roach

2015 is the centenary of T&T’s pioneering poet and playwright. Laurence Breiner, Earl Lovelace, Kenneth Ramchand, Danielle Gianetti, and Jennifer Rahim pay tribute through readings and conversation 10–11 am •...
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Earl Lovelace
Jennifer Rahim
Ken Ramchand
Laurence Breiner

The best of the Burt Awards

The three winning writers of the 2015 Burt Awards read from and discuss their work with Richard Finch 10–11 am • 1st Floor Seminar Room

Film: Dream on Monkey Mountain

Dream on Monkey Mountain (filmed for NBC by Hugh Robertson) Filmed in 1970 for NBC Television, this version of Derek Walcott’s classic play features the original cast, including the late...
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The legacy of Roy Cape

Scholar Jocelyne Guilbault talks to Mark Lyndersay and Rawle Gibbons about the cultural and social impact of T&T’s popular musician; moderated by Laura Dowrich 11 am–12 pm • 1st Floor...
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Jocelyne Guilbault
Mark Lyndersay

Translation Slam

Literary translation as a competitive sport? Game on! With Daniel Hahn and Frank Wynne 11 am–12 pm • Old Fire Station
Frank Wynne

Micro Abierto: A Spanish-language open mic

A Spanish-language open mic — bring your lyrics, amigos! 12–12.30 pm • Abercromby Street Arcade Presented in partnership with the Secretariat for the Implementation of Spanish

Film: The Rig

The Rig, dir. Derek Walcott A rare opportunity to see this feature-length film, written and directed by the poet-playwright in 1983 12–1.30 pm • AV Room

Take Two: Violent times

Violent times: Marlon James and Monique Roffey read from A Brief History of Seven Killings and House of Ashes, their novels inspired by the violent histories of Jamaica and Trinidad...
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Marlon James
Monique Roffey

DIY Lit

Four of the best recent self-published authors read from their work and share their insights into doing it your own way 1–2 pm • 1st Floor Seminar Room
John O. Stewart

Writing (for) the Commonwealth

With Fred D’Aguiar. The celebrated writer — and Caribbean judge for the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize — explores how to write fiction deeply rooted in a particular location but...
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Fred D’Aguiar

Telling Tales: Poet Patience

Telling Tales: Poet Patience Agbabi drags Chaucer into the 21st-century in this lively, unexpected adaptation of The Canterbury Tales 2–3 pm • Old Fire Station Presented in partnership with Renaissance...
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Patience Agbabi

Writers Union Presents

Barbara Lalla reads from her novel Uncle Brother and shares her experience of writing family history into fiction, followed by readings from Writers Union members 2–5 pm • 1st Floor...
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Barbara Lalla

Take Two: Family ties

Family ties: novelists Tiphanie Yanique (Land of Love and Drowning) and Naomi Jackson (The Star Side of Bird Hill) read from their books inspired by family stories, set respectively in...
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Naomi Jackson
Tiphanie Yanique

Film: Poetry Is an Island

Poetry Is an Island, dir. Ida Does This moving portrait of Nobel laureate Derek Walcott grounds his lyrics in the landscape of St. Lucia 3.30–5.30 pm • AV Room

OCM Bocas Prize And Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize

Our headline awards ceremony returns to its original home, and pays tribute to inaugural OCM Bocas Prize winner Derek Walcott in poetry and music 6.30–10 pm • Old Fire Station
Derek Walcott, OBE

Tell Me A Story

Storytelling for grownups! 10–11 am • Abercromby Street Arcade

Walcott vs. Brathwaite

The legacies of two enduring Caribbean poets, debated by Edward Baugh, Kelly Baker Josephs, and Jean Antoine-Dunne; moderated by Laurence Breiner 10–11 am • Old Fire Station
Edward Baugh
Kelly Baker Josephs
Laurence Breiner

Short films: Caribbean writers in Canada

A special series of short films on Caribbean writers in Canada: My Dinner with Shani: Shani Mootoo Gardening with Olive: Olive Senior Fabulous Spaces: Nalo Hopkinson All directed by Frances-Anne...
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Commonwealth Writers

The 2015 Caribbean winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize joins past winner Sharon Millar and judge Fred D’Aguiar to discuss what the prize means for emerging Caribbean writers 11...
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Fred D’Aguiar
Sharon Millar

To the barricades!

Bhaskar Sunkara, editor of the politics magazine Jacobin, talks to publisher Johnny Temple about the state of the left in today’s United States 12–1 pm • AV Room
Bhaskar Sunkara
Johnny Temple

Kamau Brathwaite at 85

Celebrating the inimitable “voiceprint” of the iconic Barbadian poet 12 pm–1 pm • Old Fire Station

Sunday Launch

New books by four Trinidadian writers make their debut. Featuring: Burn, by Andre Bagoo (Shearsman Books) The Ten-Days Executive, by Rhoda Bharath (Peepal Tree Press) Swallowing the Sky, by Lisa...
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Andre Bagoo
Lisa Allen-Agostini
Rhoda Bharath
Sharon Millar

Film: Looking for Claudia Jones

Looking for Claudia Jones, dir. Nia Reynolds 1.30–3 pm • AV Room

Building Bridges

Danielle Delon talks about her journey towards documenting the built heritage of T&T in her work in progress Bridges of Trinidad and Tobago 2–3 pm • 1st Floor Seminar Room
Bridget Brereton
Danielle Delon

Film: Bim

Bim, dir. Hugh Robertson Co-producer Suzanne Robertson introduces the classic film still considered the best ever made in T&T, with a screenplay by the late Raoul Pantin 3.30–6 pm •...
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OCM Bocas Prize: Celebrating the 2015 winners

The poetry, fiction, and non-fiction winners read from their work, introduced by Marjorie Thorpe, vice-chair of the judging panel 5–6 pm • Old Fire Station
Marjorie Thorpe

National Poetry Slam Finals

It’s T&T’s biggest poetry event of the year, bringing the 2015 festival to a rip-roaring close. Advance tickets available or pay at the door.  6–8 pm • Globe Theatre, Park...
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