St. Maarten at Caribbean Writers Congress roundtable and recital

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A report from St Maarten’s The Daily Herald.

St. Maarten writer Lasana M. Sekou was invited to the Caribbean Writers Congress in Guadeloupe on April 8 as an author/panellist and representative of House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP) and the St. Martin Book Fair. Book Fair Director Shujah Reiph also attended the Congress as a guest.

Sekou was part of the “professional workshop” on literary festivals and the poetry roundtable along with other publishers and authors. He also recited his poem “Forensics” from Book of the dead at the ACTe Memorial in Pointe-à-Pitre.

Publishers, journalists, and book-fair organizers at the Congress joined over 100 authors from the Caribbean, South and Central America, USA, Africa, and Europe.

Reiph contacted a number of leading authors, some to invite to the 15th annual St. Martin Book Fair, June 1 to 3, and some to consider for future editions of the literary festival. Reiph’s Conscious Lyrics Foundation and HNP organize the St. Martin Book Fair.

At the closing ceremony, ACW awarded its Grand Literature Prize to novelist Rita Indiana. The winning novel, La mucama de Omicunlé (The Maid of Omicunlé) by the Dominican Republic’s writer/singer, was one of 45 books by leading and upcoming Caribbean authors listed for the juried prize.

The five-day Congress concluded its membership matters on Sunday, April 9, with the election of a new board for the Association of Caribbean Writers (ACW). The new President is Lyonel Trouillot, a noted Haitian professor of literature, novelist, and poet. Trouillot replaces outgoing president Earl Lovelace, the acclaimed novelist from Trinidad and Tobago.

Lovelace was the recipient of the Association’s Grand Literature Prize in 2011, when he received the award’s purse of 10,000 euros for his novel Is Just a Movie.

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