BRATHWAITE AT 90: Celebrating the legacy of Kamau Brathwaite (1930–2020)


Since the Bocas Lit Fest had to be postponed, Bocas has been offering many online activities. The latest was “BRATHWAITE AT 90: Celebrating the legacy of Kamau Brathwaite (1930–2020),” held on what would have been the late Kamau Brathwaite’s 90th birthday, May 11, with 13 writers reading from his poetry. See the video at Bocas Lit Fest.

The Barbadian writer, scholar, and editor Kamau Brathwaite, who passed away on 4 February, 2020, was a towering figure in Caribbean letters and culture for over half a century. Numerous contemporary Caribbean writers and scholars acknowledge him as an influence and a mentor.

To celebrate his life, work, and legacy, and to mark Brathwaite’s 90th birthday on 11 May, 2020, the NGC Bocas Lit Fest brought together thirteen writers to read the poem “Wake”, from The Arrivants.

Featuring (in order of appearance) John Robert Lee, Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné, Rajiv Mohabir, Kelly Baker Josephs, Aaron Kamugisha, Vahni Capildeo, Roger Robinson, Safiya Sinclair, Andre Bagoo, Loretta Collins Klobah, Tanya Shirley, Malika Booker, and Vladimir Lucien

The Bocas Lit Fest previously honoured Brathwaite with the 2020 Bocas Henry Swanzy Award for Distinguished Service to Caribbean Letters.

Other commemorations of Brathwaite’s 90th birthday include the online project #40NightsoftheVoice, hosted on Twitter @KamauRemix, with readings and performances nightly from 11 May to 19 June, 2020.


You may also access it via YouTube:

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