The typical image of the Caribbean, in the minds of many, is a beach lined with palm trees. It’s true that this part of the world has its share of spectacular coastline, but Caribbean landscapes are much more diverse than that: lofty mountains, rolling savannahs, teeming forests — and of course bustling cities.
During the month of April 2011, the Bocas Lit Fest will host outreach events all over Trinidad and Tobago, but the main festival venue — the centre of all the action from Thursday 28 April to Sunday 1 May — is in the heart of the capital. It’s the National Library, a downtown Port of Spain landmark, and the adjoining Old Fire Station, a heritage building that was once home to the Trinidad Theatre Workshop.
The Bocas Lit Fest will fill the whole library compound for four days, with events ranging from headline literary readings to workshops for aspiring writers, performance poetry and open mike sessions, discussions and interviews with authors of recent books, a full programme of children’s activities, the award ceremony for the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature — and even more.
And all this just steps away from the downtown buzz and action. Some literary festivals have a laid-back vibe. The Bocas Lit Fest will be plugged into the urban energy of Port of Spain, with some performances opening right onto the street, and satellite events in other parts of the city (including a Friday-night poetry crawl — more about that soon).
We’re thrilled that NALIS, the Trinidad and Tobago National Library and Information System Authority, is partnering with the Bocas Lit Fest to host this celebration of books, writing, and writers. We’ll soon be sharing more information about the library and other venues — stay tuned!