PM praises Caribbean writers at Ink-BIM Literary Festival

LITERARY giants of the Caribbean recently gathered for the Writers Ink- BIM Literary Festival Breakfast as part of the celebrations of the inaugural event, the Barbados Advocate reports.

The BIM Literary Festival and Book Fair, the first of its kind to the island, has set out to nurture reading and writing among audiences, as well as to gather writers and other literary artistes together in order to share ideas and inspire one another, ultimately producing an increasing body of literature derived from the region.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, in his remarks to the audience, thanked the distinguished writers for what he described as their invaluable contribution to Caribbean society, expressing the importance of literature as a contributing factor in engaging discourse amongst individuals.

“Literature is the history of our feelings. When you immerse yourself in literature, it equips you to talk to people about themselves. When you do not, you are left to talk to them about abstracts, when in fact if you want to engage people, you have to be able to talk to them about themselves,” he said.

The breakfast event was attended by Caribbean literary heavyweights to the likes of Kamau Brathwaite, Derek Walcott, Earl Lovelace, Austin Clarke, Lorna Goodison, Elizabeth Nunez, Kwame Dawes, Kei Miller. Government officials also took part in the event, including Permanent Secretary Shirley Farnum with the responsibility for Sports and Culture in the Ministry of Family, Sports and Culture, as well as Deputy Permanent Secretary, Celia Toppin.

Internationally acclaimed and award-winning Barbadian author, Austin Clarke, in an interview with the Barbados Advocate expressed his support of the literary event, describing it as a project which had the potential to provide limitless opportunities for local and regional writers.

“With the blessings of the artistes themselves with a little help from the Government and people with money, we shall soar to the moon,” he expressed.

“To be invited back to the place from which I was born and to see the progress that Barbados has made so far, as in recognising their artistes at home, not waiting for them to go away and come back, I am honoured,” he added.

For the original report go to

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