St Lucia hosts first literary festival

St Lucia’s Word Alive International Literary Festival (formerly the Word Alive Performance poetry event), which is set to open this week, will serve as a special tribute to Nobel laureate Derek Walcott who celebrates his 80th birthday this year. Walcott has endorsed the festival by presenting the premiere book launch of his new publication White Egrets. This takes place at the opening event scheduled for Thursday March 25th at 7pm. Walcott will be introduced by Professor Emeritus Edward Baugh of Jamaica.

Prominent Trinidadian film maker Frances Anne Solomon will join Mahmood Patel of Barbados, Anita Bully of Dominica and a number of local film experts on Friday March 26th for a one day conference on various aspects of the developing Caribbean film industry. Invitations have been extended to the Ministry of Tourism and other relevant interests to participate. Films by Ms Solomon will be screened at Samaans Park on Friday night and are open to the public at a nominal fee of $10. On Saturday March 27th, the film makers will have the opportunity to participate in a workshop on cinematography led by Mahmood Patel of Barbados.

The signature event of the Festival, the Word Alive Performance poetry competition, takes place on Saturday night at 7pm. Two guest poets of international stature will make appearances, Kei Miller of Jamaica and Roger Bonair-Agard of Trinidad and Tobago. A number of local poetry talents are expected to compete this year.

On Sunday the 28th the major international literary stars will take the stage. Among those already confirmed to read their work are Kei Miller, Edward Baugh, Earl Lovelace, Lorna Goodison.

The Festival opens on Thursday March 25th and runs till Sunday 28th. All events are open to the public.

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