Bocas Lit Fest

By Shivanee Ramlochan, 2011 Bocas Lit fest blogger

You may not know it yet, but there could be poetry slumbering within you, waiting to emerge. Maybe you’ve always had a creative yen towards songwriting, but been unsure of what to do with it. “Writing songs is an industry I could never hope to crack,” you mutter despondently as you watch singers belting out multi-million dollar winning tunes you feel sure you could have penned (or better!). Your niche might be in the wild call of poetry, the deep rumble of prose, the hum of lyrical intensity, the subtle art of the review, the glitter of writing for the stage. Perhaps what you want most is to marvel in the majesty of a Midnight Robber’s mesmerising musings. If just one, or all, of these pursuits intrigue you, the 2011 Bocas Lit Fest workshops are where you’ll find open discussion, supportive guidance, answers to your questions, and a community of fledgling and veteran talents alike, willing to share and to be both moved and enlightened.Workshops are usually associated with the heavy hand of selection. Attached to the possibility of snagging a spot, you’re likely to find a shopping list of expectations and criteria, and while these have their uses, they often serve to exclude many creative hopefuls — and leave much disappointment in their cutting processes.

The Bocas Lit Fest workshops seek to greet participants from a different platform — or, if you will, a round table. All are welcome. All that is required is your passion, your unfettered voice, your willingness to immerse yourself — and a very gentle participatory fee (think of it as your generous contribution to the arts) of $50.

Please be advised, when making your selections, that space is limited; some of the workshops have already met their quota and are closed (though you can feel free to add your name to a waiting list, in case a cancellation crops up.) In the interim, however, the following workshops would be thrilled to have you:

• “Sing it loud: the rhyme and reason of writing lyrics” — writing calypso and rapso, two avenues through which local poems sing, in the company of Wendell Manwarren of 3Canal.

• “Thumbs up, thumbs down: how to write a book review” — discussing the art and practice of the review, with Maya Jaggi and Nicholas Laughlin.

• “Enter stage right: the basics of drama” — in which Tony Hall and Raymond Choo Kong walk you through drama’s essentials, and how to craft work for the stage.

• “When is a poem not a poem?: the basics of verse” — ideal for flourishing poets, and the poetic at heart, you’ll investigate what lies at the heart of a poem, with Merle Collins and Christian Campbell.

• “Facing critique: how to workshop your writing” — approaching your work with a level head can be the best asset, right? Discuss this, and more, with Rhoda Bharath and Barbara Jenkins.

• “Threats and curses: the secrets of robber talk” — for the fervent thespian in you, a session with the robber raconteur will open your eyes and loosen your tongue! With Kurtis Gross.

Consult the Bocas workshops page for further information, including specific dates and methods for signing up. Remember, be you novice or nonpareil, critic or clueless about where to begin, a background bystander or a frontliner in discourse, all are welcome. Just walk with your enthusiasm, appreciation for the arts . . . and that modest contribution we mentioned, too.

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