by Apphia Barton, #bocas2018 Youth Blogger
You do not.
“You’re home, you’re in the right place, these are your people, this is your tribe”
The festival’s energy is palpable.
As you enter the festival village from the entrance at Hart Street, pass the security guards, through the metal detectors and automatic sliding doors; you walk a bit and my favourite bookshop, Paper Based, occupies a humble space to your right. You meet a second set of automatic sliding doors; these open to the ground floor of the National Library, now transformed into the Village.
The decor is simple, lanterns hang from the ceiling, festival banners, a festival information desk loaded with festival wear and gear (T-Shirts and bags with charming literature-related phrases, festival guides etc.). There’s the Book Nook and then there are other booksellers: Metropolitan Book Suppliers, RIK Services Ltd, Nigel R. Khan Booksellers, and Robert & Christopher Publishers, the Library’s booth with loads of information about its services.
The warm and genuine smiles of the volunteers let you know that you’re home, you’re in the right place, these are your people, this is your tribe – enthusiasts, creatives, and lovers of all things literary! Most, if not all, of the Bocas team appear approachable and are dressed casually.
I have described these elements in hope that I can attach this energy to something tangible but I’m not convinced that I can. Because it’s the culmination of people and purpose… and love. It’s something in the air that I can’t quite place my finger on.
It’s difficult to leave without a little something to think about, to see in a different light, to appreciate a bit more or to decide you no longer admire. You won’t only find what I mentioned before in your programme and festival guide – workshops, readings and panel discussions, but you’ll find them also in the unexpected conversations with strangers.
You leave with inspiration to write, read and discuss ideas! The possibilities are endless!
I took this from the festival’s website because it’s an accurate summary of what the festival is about:
“The NGC Bocas Lit Fest, the first major literary festival held in Trinidad and Tobago and the southern Caribbean, is a lively, energetic, enjoyable celebration of words, stories, and ideas, with events for everyone — from budding writers to avid readers to schoolchildren.”
Looking forward to #Bocas2019!!
Apphia Barton is a Trinidadian writer, book enthusiast and lover of words. She uses observation and her imagination to learn from and influence her environment. Through poetry, fiction and essays she examines and captures the unending adventure that is life. She blogs at Apphia Barton Writes.