Love Affair With Lit Starts Kingston Book Festival 2016


The Department of Literatures in English presents its fifth staging of Love Affair With Literature on Sunday, March 6 at 11 a.m. in the Neville Hall Lecture Theatre (N1) at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus, Jamaica’s Gleaner reports. Love Affair With Literature is the signature event of the department’s annual March celebrations and will be held in association with the Kingston Book Festival.

This year’s line-up includes renowned writer Olive Senior and three significant young writers of Caribbean literature Vladimir Lucien (St Lucia), A-dZiko Simba Gegele and Mel Cooke. The event is free and the public is invited to the presentation of prose and poetry.

Olive Senior is on the faculty of the Humber School of Writers in Toronto. She is the prize-winning author of 17 books of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and children’s literature. Her latest work is the short story collection, The Pain Tree.

Her work is taught internationally in schools and universities and her poetry bookGardening in the Tropics is currently on the CAPE syllabus for Caribbean schools. Her many awards include the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (for Summer Lightning) and the Gold Medal of the Institute of Jamaica for her contribution to literature and cultural heritage.

As an independent scholar, Senior’s non-fiction books include Working Miracles: Women’s Lives in the English-speaking Caribbean, The Encyclopedia of Jamaican Heritage and Dying to Better Themselves: West Indians and the Building of the Panama Canal. The last is the joint winner of the Caribbean Studies Association 2015 Gordon K. and Sybil Lewis Book Award, as well as winner of the 2015 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature in the non-fiction category.

Vladimir Lucien is a writer, actor and critic from St Lucia. His debut poetry collectionSounding Ground, published by Peepal Tree Press, won the 2015 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. His writing has been published in The Caribbean Review of Books, Wasafiri, PN Review, Washington Square Review and other journals.

Lucien is the writer-in-residence this semester at UWI, Mona.

A-dZiko Simba Gegele is the author of the novel All Over Again, which won the inaugural Burt Award for Caribbean Literature in 2014. She specialises in children’s literature and her stories have been published in the Caribbean, England and the United States.

Mel Cooke is a fellow of the Calabash Writers’ Workshop. His work has appeared in the Jamaica Journal, So Much Things to Say: 100 Poets from the First 10 Years of Calabash and Jubilation. His first collection of poems 11/9 was published in 2008 by Blouse and Skirt Books. He is also a popular Jamaican journalist with a particular interest in reggae music.

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