Following on the heels of the recent 5th annual festival in Port of Spain, the Tobago festival will have at its heart a tribute to one of the Caribbean’s most accomplished and celebrated writers, Earl Lovelace, who is 80 years old this year.
“At the Port of Spain festival”, says festival director Marina Salandy-Brown, “we paid tribute to the Caribbean’s other literary giants Derek Walcott and Kamau Brathwaite, both 85 this year. And, we gathered the world’s experts on some say this country’s finest poet, deceased Eric Roach. Earl Lovelace is at home and we want to mark his achievements in this special year.”
“We in Tobago are delighted to be able to celebrate the 80th birthday of Earl Lovelace who has a long association with Tobago,” adds Deborah Moore Miggins, director of the Tobago Word Festival, which together with the Tobago Writers Guild, are co-organizers of the Tobago NGC Bocas Lit Fest. “Doing so at the newly opened Scarborough Library is an extra source of pleasure and satisfaction and we are very grateful to the Library and the THA”, she says.
The festival kicks off on Thursday 9th July with film screenings of Lovelace’s work – Joebell and America, George and the Bicycle Pump and the documentary, A Writer In His Space. On Friday 10th members of the Tobago Writers Guild, also festival partners, will pay tribute with their readings of Lovelace’s work, followed by a conversation with the author of the Caribbean classic, The Dragon Can’t Dance, of Salt, winner of the 1997 Commonwealth Writers Prize, and Is Just A Movie, winner of the 2012 OCM Bocas Prize.
Another highlight of the festival is the appearance of winners of various 2015 literary awards – Vladimir Lucien (OCM Bocas Prize), Kevin Jared Hosein (Commonwealth Short Story Prize), Danielle Boodoo Fortuné (Hollick Arvon Prize),
Previous winners and finalists include Laureen Phillip and Lynn Joseph. Popular debut writer Rhoda Bharath, writer/artist Summer Edward, and children’s festival director Danielle Delon who launches a new children’s storybook, are also taking part.
All day Saturday 11th July, from 10am – 9pm, a full programme of storytelling, creative writing workshops, open-mic, authors’ readings, stimulating conversations and music will take place at the Scarborough Library, all free. Only workshops cost $100 and must be booked in advance by telephoning 71-BOCAS or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org .
The festival rounds off with a free Spoken Word Concert at 7pm on Saturday 11th July, that brings together Akile Wallace who won the 2015 First Citizens-sponsored National Poetry Slam prize and runner up Kleon McPherson, Crystal Skeete winner of the 2013 Slam and Michael Logie, winner of the 2015 Courts Bocas Speak Out Intercol, together with a host of Tobago performance poets for a rare occasion of poetic commentary.
The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago is title sponsor of the Tobago NGC Bocas Lit Fest.
The work of the Bocas Lit Fest is also supported by the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development, the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism, UWI, and the Massy Foundation.