Late Nobel Laureate Walcott to be honoured at Caribbean Writers Congress

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A report from Jamaica’s Observer.

The late St Lucian Nobel Laureate, Sir Derek Walcott, will be remembered during the fifth Caribbean Writers Congress to be held early next month.

Walcott was buried in his homeland on Saturday, one week after he died following a prolonged illness at the age of 87.

The April 5-7 Writers Congress is being organised by the Guadeloupe Regional collectivity in partnership with the Association of Caribbean Writers (AEC – Association des Ecrivains de la Caraïbe).

“Since 2008, this event has been bringing together English, Spanish and French-speaking authors and literary personalities every two years. Some twenty territories are represented in one place, showcasing a blend of literary genres, the mixing of heritages and a diversity of writing,” the organisers said in a statement.

“This international meeting demonstrates the deep desire to better integrate the literature of the French Caribbean into the wider cultural and intellectual Caribbean family. This congress is first and foremost a vector for cooperation, questioning, affirming identity, sharing practices and know-how in literature and its different forms of expression,” they added.

The two-day event will feature dialogues about writing and the organisers said a tribute will also be paid to Walcott, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992.

“What pleasure can be derived from writing about the region that sustains us? What do we want to say to readers in the region and elsewhere? These are the questions underlying the challenges taken up by Caribbean authors, and the aesthetic choices of each of these territories, although they are so geographically close to one another in the islands of the Caribbean and on the mainland.”

The Writers Congress is being held under the theme ‘Writing for, in and about the Caribbean’ and the organisers said writers will visit schools on the island to share experiences with students.

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