Saturday, February 24, 2018

Bocas Lit Fest a hit in London

The Bocas Lit Fest, Trinidad and Tobago's first annual literary festival, was launched to an enthusiastic crowd at the Trinidad and Tobago High Commission in London on June 7.

Nationals, invited dignitaries and individuals from the world of letters and British publishing attended the event to hear about current efforts to promote literature and publishing in Trinidad and Tobago and the need for Caribbean writing to be celebrated everywhere.

The inaugural Bocas Lit Fest, which took place in Trinidad and Tobago from April 28 to May 1, attracted more than 3,000 participants.

Marina Salandy-Brown, founder of the festival and of the annual OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, said, "So much for us not being keen on books. Trinidad and Tobago has a surprising number of writers and readers and the annual literature festival provides a good place for them to all come out and be seen and heard in public."

Dr Margaret Busby, OBE, co-founder of the publishing house, Alison and Busby, who had attended the festival, spoke of the importance of providing a forum for Caribbean writers to gather in the region in order to know their readers better and for their readers to connect with them, all in the drive to stimulate reading and the book industry.

Echoing Dr Busby's praise for local publishing, Deputy High Commissioner, Rosanna Gopaul, celebrated the Letters of Margaret Mann, edited and published by Danielle Delon in Trinidad and Tobago in collaboration in with the National Museum and Art Gallery.

The book was launched in London on the same evening.

Gopaul underlined the desirability of this country broadening its definition of its national culture to include its rich literary heritage.

It was also an evening for vintage and contemporary art since The Letters of Margaret Mann contains paintings from the national Cazabon-Mann collection, which were projected onto a large screen.

Also, Give and Take, the highly collectable limited edition print donated to the Bocas Lit Fest by the internationally renowned, Trinidad-based, British-born artist, Chris Ofili, to raise funds for the festival was also launched.