THE NGC BOCAS LIT FEST may be a literary festival but it is not a bookish event. It’s a celebration of words and ideas in whatever form they appear, including calypso, Extempo, spoken word, drama, Midnight Robbertalk, even, which may explain why thousands of people enjoy it year after year.
Evening festival events take place all over the capital and most daytime events happen in the Old Fire Station and adjoining National Library in downtown Port of Spain, but the programme includes a series of events for city folk who cannot get to the main venue.
Troubadour performance poets plan to pop up in selected public spaces to encourage busy pedestrians to stand a while, listen, participate and interact with the poets who amaze and delight with their lyrical but acute observations of our life and times. And there are the Lunchtime Jam sessions with Open Mic at the Breakfast Shed on Wrightson Road on Thursday 27 and Friday 28 between 12.30-1.30pM, courtesy the 2Cents Movement.
An interesting addition to the 8th annual festival is the Port of Spain Chocolate Tour. This country was once the 3rd highest producer of cacao in the world and has always been known for having the finest flavoured beans. Even the now concreted streets of Port of Spain were once lined with cocoa trees. Unfortunately, this amazing product was almost entirely sold and shipped overseas until quite recently. In fact, only in this past decade has the local chocolate scene exploded.
The Alliance of Rural Communities of Trinidad and Tobago (ARCTT) will host a dynamic tour to visit several spots to explore cacao in literature (at the National Library), taste multiple different chocolates in a guided tasting, learn cacao history (at the National Archives & Museum) and enjoy some great local cocoa & chocolate treats at a chocolate cafe.
“The evolution of cacao and chocolate in Trinidad is one of our most important national stories and where best to tell it but at the NGC Bocas Lit Fest”, says ARCTT founder and co-director Gillian Goddard.
Friday 20 April, 4-5pm, City Gate
Saturday 21 April, 11am-12pm, Long Circular Mall
Thursday 26 April, 2-3pm, Woodford Square
Friday 27 April, 3-4pm, Lower Charlotte Street