The 2011 Bocas Lit Fest Announces Program


The 2011 Bocas Lit Fest program features over fifty events spread over four days, from April 28 to May 1, 2011. The Bocas Lit Fest: the Trinidad and Tobago Literary Festival is an annual celebration of books, writing, and writers.  The main venue for the events will be the National Library of Trinidad and Tobago (shown above).

The Bocas Lit fest site explains: “Boca is the Spanish word for mouth—the organ of speech and song and storytelling. And the Bocas del Dragón—the Dragon’s Mouths— are the narrow straits off Trinidad’s northwest peninsula, which connect the sheltered Gulf of Paria to the open Caribbean Sea. For centuries, the Bocas were the gateways connecting Trinidad to the Caribbean and the Atlantic. The Bocas Lit Fest invites readers from around the world to enter through the Dragon’s Mouths and celebrate with us the rich literary heritage of Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean.”

Highlights of the festival include the announcement of the 2011 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, the first major regional award recognizing Caribbean writers of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction; a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Peepal Tree Press, the leading publisher of Caribbean fiction and poetry, featuring founder Jeremy Poynting, the launch of new Peepal Tree titles, and readings by Peepal Tree authors; a Friday-night “poetry crawl” in Woodbrook, taking poetry off the page and the podium and into some of Port of Spain’s most popular nightspots (unbuttoned and uninhibited); tributes to Trinidadian Keith Smith and Martinican Édouard Glissant, two beloved and recently deceased writers; the OCM Bocas Debate: first in an annual series of a high-level discussions of burning public-interest topics (this year’s subject is “Press vs. Government: the freedom to print what?”); and “The lives of others,” a conversation about the privileges and perils of biography, featuring the prizewinning biographers of V.S. Naipaul, Ralph Ellison, and Frank Collymore.

The 2011 Bocas Lit Fest boasts an exciting gathering of artists, scholars, and writers, including Edward Baugh, Merle Collins,Raphaël Confiant, Patrick French,Lorna Goodison, Earl Lovelace, and Arnold Rampersad, to name just a few.

Participants interested in the workshops must reserve by calling in advance at (868) 625 8328, by using the contact form on the site. There is a modest participation fee of TT$50 per workshop, payable immediately before each session.

For the full program, see

For a list of authors and featured participants, see

For more details about readings, discussion panels, and workshops, visit

2 thoughts on “The 2011 Bocas Lit Fest Announces Program

  1. This program excites every fibre in me. So I know it will light up the hearts of many in Trinidad and Tobago. Go Librarians of the next century. awesome work!!!!

  2. I am truly interested in what you are doing. I have never heard of this programme. I will contribute. I will be there with my poems.

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