Events

Except where otherwise indicated, events take place in the National Library and Old Fire Station and are free of charge.
Day 1
01 May 2019
Day 2
02 May 2019
Day 3
03 May 2019
Day 4
04 May 2019
Day 5
05 May 2019

What every fiction publisher is looking for / Are writers born or made?

2019 Writers First / Read More
A series of free seminars for budding and self-published authors on crucial aspects of the book business.
Jacob Ross
Muli Amaye

New voices

2019 Writers First / Read More
A showcase of debut books by first-time and self-published authors.
Derry Sandy
Jennifer Thomas-Straker
Prithiviraj Bahadursingh
Regina Dumas

The five most important things you don’t know about publishing / The art of the blurb / Writing to the world

2019 Writers First / Read More
A series of free seminars for budding and self-published authors on crucial aspects of the book business.
Emma D’Costa
Ian Randle
Janet Steel
Kevin Jared Hosein
Margaret Busby

New voices

2019 Big Ideas / 2019 Fiction / 2019 Poetry / 2019 Writers First / Read More
A showcase of debut books by first-time and self-published authors.
Esbeth Callender-Braithwaite
Lesley-Ann Brown
Motilal Boodoosingh
Nicola Ramsaran
Theresa Awai
Tristan Walker

Roma

2019 Film / Read More
Roma (2018) A vivid, emotional portrait of a domestic worker’s journey set against domestic and political turmoil in 1970s Mexico. Cleo is a domestic worker who helps Antonio and Sofía...
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Commonwealth Writers Conversations: We Mark Your Memory

2019 Fiction / 2019 Poetry / Read More
Presenting the latest Peekash Press anthology, collecting new writing from around the Commonwealth reflecting on the experience of Indian indentureship.
Gabrielle Hosein
Kevin Jared Hosein
Patti-Anne Ali
Sharda Patasar
Stella Chong Sing

An equal place?

2019 Big Ideas / Read More
A hard-hitting debate on issues of gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, and human rights.
Attillah Springer
Colin Robinson
Sofia Chote

CODE Burt Award 2019 Showcase

2019 Awards / 2019 Young Adult / Read More
Readings by and conversation with 2019 finalists Jeanelle Frontin, Tamika Gibson, and Diana McCaulay, chaired by Jasmin Simmons, and the announcement of the winner by chief judge Ian Randle. In...
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Diana McCaulay
Ian Randle
Jeanelle Frontin
Tamika Gibson

Writing for comics, with Nalo Hopkinson

2019 Workshops / Read More
Note: This workshop is full and registration is now closed.  With comics and graphic novels now firmly established as literary forms, many writers dream of exploring the genre — but...
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Nalo Hopkinson

Extempo debate: Every creed and race

2019 Performance / Read More
Master calypsonians Black Sage and Brian London debate the theory and reality of equality in Trinidad and Tobago. In partnership with the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts....
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Black Sage
Brian London

Our music too

2019 Big Ideas / Read More
We claim calypso and steelpan as T&T’s “national” musical forms, but what about other genres in which we excel? A discussion on the significance of and prospects for genres like...
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Gary Hector
Mark Lyndersay
Nigel Campbell
Ruth Osman
Sharda Patasar

Take Two: Néhémy Pierre Dahomey and Ayanna Gillian Lloyd

2019 Fiction / Read More
Haitian writer Néhémy Pierre Dahomey and Trinidadian Ayanna Gillian Lloyd read from and discuss fictions where family ties intersect with history and politics, chaired by Marie Abdulah. Bookmark
Ayanna Gillian Lloyd
Néhémy Pierre Dahomey

Writing as a stranger, with Nick Makoha

2019 Workshops / Read More
The Forward Prize-shortlisted UK poet leads a hand-on session exploring the “metic experience,” exploring issues of identity, race, and migration through the eyes of foreigners and exiles. In partnership with...
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Nick Makoha

One-on-one with Gary Younge

2019 Big Ideas / Read More
The British writer and UK Guardian editor-at-large talks to Kevin Adonis Browne about how race continues to shape politics in Britain and the United States. Bookmark
Gary Younge
Kevin Browne

Arena presents: My Name Is Celia Cruz (1988)

2019 Film / Read More
Meet the late, great queen of Cuban music in this fascinating documentary from director Anthony Wall. Co-produced by Speaking Volumes and Lucy Hannah, as part of the Your Local Arena...
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Anthony Wall

One-on-one with Krystal Sital (Secrets We Kept)

2019 Fiction / Read More
Krystal Sital author of the hardhitting memoir Secrets We Kept: Three Women of Trinidad, talks to Angelique Nixon about her book and the sometimes unspoken traumas that lurk within families....
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Angelique V. Nixon
Krystal A. Sital

Take Two: Marina Warner (Fly Away Home) and Abigail Parry (Jinx)

2019 Fiction / 2019 Poetry / Read More
Marina Warner (Fly Away Home) and Abigail Parry (Jinx) read from their stories and poems inspired by a rich tradition of fairy tales, folklore, spells and curses; chaired by Shivanee...
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Abigail Parry
Marina Warner

Arena presents: Gilberto Gil: Back to Bahia (1990)

2019 Film / Read More
The life and times of Brazil’s most popular musical icon, in a documentary directed by Francis Hanly and Tim May. Co-produced by Speaking Volumes and Lucy Hannah, as part of...
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Miscellaneous Authors

New Daughters of Africa

2019 Fiction / 2019 Poetry / Read More
The successor to the groundbreaking anthology of African and African-diaspora women writers has its Caribbean debut, introduced by editor Margaret Busby, with readings by TT writers Lisa Allen-Agostini, Alake Pilgrim,...
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Alake Pilgrim
Attillah Springer
Diana Evans
Lisa Allen-Agostini
Nalo Hopkinson

Backchat

2019 Fiction / 2019 Open Mic / 2019 Poetry / Read More
Celebrating Caribbean LGBTI+ Writing! Join us for drinks, poems, stories, comedy, cancing and open mic! Hosted by Andre Bagoo, Cherisse & Terry Ann (Queer Corner) • Featuring: • Angelique V....
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Miscellaneous Authors

Capitalism and Slavery at 75

2019 Big Ideas / Read More
Three quarters of a century ago, Eric Williams’s groundbreaking historical and economic study changed the way we understand colonialism, the British Empire, the institution of slavery, and the rationale for...
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Caryl Phillips
Gabrielle Hosein
Heather Cateau
Selwyn R. Cudjoe

One-on-one with Earl Lovelace

2019 Fiction / Read More
T&T’s eminent writer reads from his classic novel The Dragon Can’t Dance and discusses how its concerns and ideas have remained relevant after fifty years. Introduced by Funso Aiyejina. Bookmark
Earl Lovelace
Funso Aiyejina

Performance and stagecraft for writers, with Janet Steel

2019 Workshops / Read More
Contemporary writers are expected to be masterful performers of their own work. But what if you lack the dramatic skills to pull it off? Actor and director Janet Steel leads...
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Janet Steel

Tales for the Bookman

2019 Fiction / 2019 Performance / Read More
T&T Carnival’s traditional Bookman character never speaks, but he carries a huge volume containing the names of condemned souls. Following our riveting tribute to the Midnight Robber at our 2018...
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Alake Pilgrim
Anton Nimblett
Kevin Jared Hosein

Stand and Deliver

2019 Open Mic / Read More
Our signature event for new and budding writers welcomes young voices to share their stories and concerns. With guest feature writer Amanda McIntyre.  Bookmark
Amanda T. McIntyre
Miscellaneous Authors

Promise at Dawn (La promesse de l’aube) (2017)

2019 Film / Read More
From his childhood in Poland to his adolescence in Nice, to his years as a student in Paris and his tough training as a pilot during World War II, this...
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Miscellaneous Authors

One-on-one with Caryl Phillips

2019 Fiction / Read More
The celebrated Kittitian-British writer reads from his new novel inspired by the life of Jean Rhys, and discusses his life in letters with Granta online editor Luke Neima. In partnership...
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Caryl Phillips
Luke Neima

Creating memorable characters, with Marcia Douglas

2019 Workshops / Read More
Please note that this workshop is full and registration is now closed.  Characters who seize the reader’s imagination: that’s every author’s goal. Celebrated fiction writer and poet Marcia Douglas shows...
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Marcia Douglas

Take Two: Kendel Hippolyte (Word Planting) and Canisia Lubrin (Voodoo Hypothesis)

2019 Poetry / Read More
St. Lucian writers of two generations, Kendel Hippolyte (Word Planting) and Canisia Lubrin (Voodoo Hypothesis) read from their new books of poetry, rooted in island soil but extending their branches...
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Amílcar Sanatan
Canisia Lubrin
Kendel Hippolyte

Breaking Borders

2019 Big Ideas / Read More
Writers reflect on a world where political anxieties restrict freedom of movement for all. With Diana Evans, Yuri Herrera, and Nick Makoha; chaired by Jane Bryce. In partnership with the...
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Diana Evans
Jane Bryce
Nick Makoha
Yuri Herrera

Sun, Sea, and Science (2018)

2019 Film / Read More
The expertise of T&T’s scientists is a major untapped resource, argues this incise documentary, profiling microbiologist Dr Adesh Ramsubhag, computer scientist Professor Patrick Hosein, and medical researcher Professor Paul Teelucksingh....
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Raymond Ramcharitar

Take Two: Muli Amaye (A House with No Angels) and Geoffrey Philp (Garvey’s Ghost)

2019 Fiction / Read More
Muli Amaye (A House with No Angels) and Geoffrey Philp (Garvey’s Ghost) read from their novels in which momentous events and individuals from the past influence the lives of characters...
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Desiree Seebaran
Geoffrey Philp
Muli Amaye

The Naipaul inheritance

2019 Big Ideas / Read More
The new book of essays Seepersad and Sons launches with a debate about the legacies of the Naipaul literary dynasty for contemporary Caribbean writers. Featuring editor Vijay Maharaj, scholar Kenneth...
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Andre Bagoo
Anton Nimblett
Ken Ramchand

A Post-Colonial Chocolate Tasting 101

2019 Workshops / Read More
Trinidad was once the 3rd highest producer of cacao in the world and has always been known as having some of the finest flavoured beans.  Even the now concreted streets...
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Miscellaneous Authors

Capturing Carnival

2019 Big Ideas / Read More
A panel discussion on the art and science of Carnival photography, with Maria Nunes (A World of Their Own), Kevin Browne (High Mas), and Christine Norton (Minshall by Norton), chaired...
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Christine Norton
Franka Philip
Kevin Browne
Maria Nunes

Arena presents: The Strange Luck of V.S. Naipaul (2008)

2019 Film / Read More
This honest, insightful documentary on T&T’s late Nobel laureate profiles the man behind the mask of literary genius. Directed by Adam Low. Co-produced by Speaking Volumes and Lucy Hannah, as...
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Miscellaneous Authors

Time Machine: a big night of literature and music at the Big Black Box

2019 Fiction / 2019 Performance / 2019 Poetry / Read More
Extraordinary writers of science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction imagine alternative pasts and futures. Featuring Marlon James, Nalo Hopkinson, Marcia Douglas, Danez Smith, and Karen Lord. Music by Freetown Collective....
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Danez Smith
Karen Lord
Marcia Douglas
Marlon James
Nalo Hopkinson

Remembering Andrea Levy

2019 In Tribute / Read More
The British author Andrea Levy, who died in early 2019, won acclaim for her novel Small Island, documenting the lives of Windrush immigrants in Britain. Editor Margaret Busby, journalist Gary...
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Gary Younge
Margaret Busby
Marina Salandy-Brown

One from ten leaves who?

2019 Big Ideas / Read More
Has the decades-long project of Caribbean regionalism gone stale? A debate on the future of Caribbean unity, featuring June Soomer, secretary-general of the ACS; Adrian Saunders, president of the CCJ;...
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Hon. Mr. Justice Adrian Saunders
Ian Randle
June Soomer
Paula Gopee-Scoon
Schuyler Esprit

Writing through trauma, with Krystal Sital

2019 Workshops / Read More
Note: This workshop is full and registration is now closed. Sometimes the most painful topics are the ones we feel most driven to write about, but how do you turn...
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Krystal A. Sital

Port of Spain Chocolate Walking Tour

2019 Workshops / Read More
A specially conceived tour for NGC Bocas Lit Fest patrons, facilitated by The Alliance of Rural Communities of Trinidad and Tobago. Starting with the Library collection to comprehend the complex history...
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Miscellaneous Authors

One-on-one with Diana Evans

2019 Fiction / Read More
The award-winning British novelist talks to Lucy Hannah about her books exploring contemporary London with all its contradictions of race and class. In partnership with the British Council Bookmark
Diana Evans
Lucy Hannah

Inspired by the Archives

2019 Big Ideas / 2019 Fiction / 2019 Poetry / Read More
Part two of this groundbreaking series, in which writers of today are commissioned to explore the Caribbean’s literary archives and write new creative works. Featuring Kendel Hippolyte, Celeste Mohammed, and...
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Alexandra Stewart
Celeste Mohammed
Kendel Hippolyte

For the love of poems

2019 Performance / 2019 Poetry / 2019 Spoken Word / Read More
Enjoy some of the best talent from the First Citizens National Poetry Slam semi-final round, performing now without the pressure of competition, for the sheer love of poetry. Bookmark
Miscellaneous Authors

Stand and deliver

2019 Open Mic / Read More
Our signature event for new and budding writers. With guest feature readers Heather Barker and Sharma Taylor, both finalists for the Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize. Bookmark
Miscellaneous Authors

Cropper Foundation at 20

2019 Fiction / 2019 Poetry / Read More
As the landmark writing workshop celebrates its 20th anniversary, celebrated Cropper alumni share their work and memories. Introduced by Funso Aiyejina and Merle Hodge. Featuring readings by Andre Bagoo, Rhoda...
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Andre Bagoo
Barbara Jenkins
Colin Robinson
Rhoda Bharath
Shivanee Ramlochan

One-on-one with Yuri Herrera

2019 Fiction / Read More
The acclaimed Mexican writer reads from his fiction exploring the meaning of cultural and physical borders in the age of Trump, and talks to Granta online editor Luke Neima. Bookmark
Luke Neima
Yuri Herrera

Flash fiction, with Geoffrey Philp

2019 Workshops / Read More
Note: This workshop is full and registration is now closed. Sometimes the best stories are the most concise. But writing short-short fiction requires a particular discipline and specific skills. Jamaican...
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Geoffrey Philp

Take Two: Claire Adam (Golden Child) and Alexia Arthurs (How to Love a Jamaican)

2019 Fiction / Read More
Claire Adam (Golden Child) and Alexia Arthurs (How to Love a Jamaican) read from and discuss their debut books of fiction, tackling the tricky bonds of family and individuality. Chaired...
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Alexia Arthurs
Claire Adam
Shivanee Ramlochan

One-on-one with Anthony Wall

2019 Big Ideas / 2019 Film / Read More
The pioneering UK director talks to Lucy Hannah about the celebrated Arena documentary series and his life in film. In partnership with the British Council Bookmark
Anthony Wall
Lucy Hannah

Arena presents: C.L.R. James’s First Eleven (1986)

2019 Film / Read More
T&T’s great writer, political philosopher, and cricket enthusiast picks his all-time ultimate cricket team, in this short documentary directed by Charlie Pattinson. Co-produced by Speaking Volumes and Lucy Hannah, as...
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Miscellaneous Authors

Take Two: Nick Makoha (Kingdom of Gravity) and Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné (Doe Songs)

2019 Poetry / Read More
Uganda-born British poet Nick Makoha, author of Kingdom of Gravity, and Trinidadian Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné, author of Doe Songs, read and discuss their work with Shivanee Ramlochan. Bookmark
Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné
Nick Makoha
Shivanee Ramlochan

Arena presents: Brixton to Barbados (1981)

2019 Film / Read More
Pioneering dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson leaves his home in London and travels to Barbados to experience Carifesta 1981. Directed by Anthony Wall. Co-produced by Speaking Volumes and Lucy Hannah,...
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Miscellaneous Authors

Fiction with Nalo Hopkinson and Marlon James

2019 Fiction / Read More
The two biggest names in Caribbean science fiction and fantasy share a stage. Nalo Hopkinson, author of classics like Brown Girl in the Ring and Midnight Robber, and Marlon James,...
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Karen Lord
Marlon James
Nalo Hopkinson

Folklore: the supernatural and the extraordinary

2019 Fiction / 2019 Poetry / Read More
The Trinidad and Tobago Writers Union presents Folklore: the supernatural and the extraordinary, featuring dramatic readings and presentations by members of the Writers Union of T&T. Bookmark
Miscellaneous Authors

Ole mas competition: Every creed and race

2019 Performance / Read More
Words meet costumes and performance in T&T’s traditional protest masquerade. Dedicated to the late old mas maestro Bunny Dieffenthaller. In partnership with the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the...
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Miscellaneous Authors

Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe (2016)

2019 Film / Read More
This acclaimed drama charts the years of exile in the life of famous Jewish Austrian writer Stefan Zweig, his inner struggle for the “right attitude” toward the events in war-torn...
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Miscellaneous Authors

2019 OCM Bocas Prize announcement ceremony

2019 Awards / Read More
The festival’s centrepiece awards ceremony recognises the past year’s best books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, and opens with a tribute to the classic novel The Dragon Can’t Dance, by...
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Earl Lovelace

The Other Side of Hope (2017)

2019 Film / Read More
A poker-playing restaurateur and former traveling salesman befriends a group of refugees newly arrived to Finland.  Directed by Aki Kaurismäki. In partnership with the Delegation of the European Union to...
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Heroes and Villains

2019 Big Ideas / Read More
The authors of new biographical works discuss how and why we should remember those figures from the past who have shaped us, for better and worse. With Selwyn Cudjoe, author...
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Bridget Brereton
Funso Aiyejina
Judy Raymond
Selwyn R. Cudjoe

Take Two: Marcia Douglas and Geoffrey Philp

2019 Fiction / 2019 Poetry / Read More
Marcia Douglas and Geoffrey Philp read from their works inspired by Jamaican music, and discuss how the reggae spirit infuses broader Jamaican culture; chaired by Julie Harris. Bookmark
Geoffrey Philp
Marcia Douglas

Granta at 40

2019 Big Ideas / Read More
Launched in 1979, Granta has become one of the world’s most celebrated literary magazines, and a recognised champion of new authors. As the magazine celebrates its 40th anniversary, online editor...
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Ingrid Persaud
Luke Neima

The Peepal Tree Book of Contemporary Caribbean Short Stories

2019 Fiction / Read More
Presenting a talent-packed new anthology of some of the Caribbean’s best writers, introduced by co-editor Jacob Ross. Featuring Barbara Jenkins, Elizabeth Walcott- Hackshaw, and a reading from the late Hazel...
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Barbara Jenkins
Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw
Jacob Ross

Why fairy tales still matter

2019 Big Ideas / Read More
Eminent author and critic Marina Warner gives a thrilling and insightful talk on the origins of the folk stories we call fairy tales, and why they remain vital today. Followed...
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Alexia Arthurs
Andre Bagoo
James Aboud
Marina Warner
Vashti Bowlah

Memories of Shadow

2019 Performance / Read More
A tribute in song to the late, great calypsonian The Mighty Shadow, with classic tunes performed by his son Sharlan Bailey. Bookmark
Sharlan Bailey

Stand and deliver

2019 Open Mic / Read More
Our signature event for new and budding writers. With guest feature reader Rashad Hosein, shortlisted for the 2019 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Bookmark
Rashad Hosein

Reading beyond boundaries

2019 Big Ideas / Read More
Politicians draw borders, and artists transcend them. Writers Barbara Lalla, Shivanee Ramlochan, and Arielle John share newly commissioned pieces reflecting on how their work has been shaped and inspired by...
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Anu Lakhan
Arielle John
Barbara Lalla
Nicholas Laughlin
Shivanee Ramlochan

Take Two: Nicole Sealey and Forward Prize winner Danez Smith

2019 Poetry / Read More
Nicole Sealey and Forward Prize winner Danez Smith read and discuss their stellar poems challenging ideas about politics and aesthetics. Chaired by Shivanee Ramlochan. Bookmark
Danez Smith
Nicole Sealey
Shivanee Ramlochan

2019 Bocas Henry Swanzy Award

2019 Awards / Read More
2019 awardee Ian Randle discusses his career in publishing with Margaret Busby. Bookmark
Ian Randle
Margaret Busby

Home and away: new fiction from T&T writers

2019 Fiction / Read More
Two extraordinary new short story collections by Breanne McIvor (Where There Are Monsters) and Anton Nimblett (Now, After) make their debut. With readings by the authors and a conversation chaired...
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Anton Nimblett
Breanne McIvor
Colin Robinson

Brown Girl Begins (2017)

2019 Film / Read More
It’s 2049 on a forsaken island off the coast of Toronto, where the survival of the islanders depends on young Ti-Jeanne to risk death by a spirit so she can...
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Nalo Hopkinson

A tribute to Gordon Rohlehr

2019 In Tribute / Read More
As the beloved literary scholar and calypso expert launches his most recent book, writers and calypsonians pay tribute through their words and music. Bookmark
Gordon Rohlehr

First Citizens National Poetry Slam Final

2019 Poetry / 2019 Spoken Word / Read More
It’s the year’s biggest night of poetry, as T&T’s top performance poets vie for the championship and the first prize of TT$50,000. Continuing with the Game of Thrones motif established...
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Deneka Thomas