Friday, December 15, 2017

Bocas goes to Harlem

TT’s literary festival joins fiction programme in New York City

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READY TO READ: Winner of the 2011 OCM Bocas prize for fiction, Tiphanie Yanique of the US Virgin Islands, heads the line-up of new authors who will participate in a reading and discussion titled “Coming from Far: Caribbean Writers on Home and Otherness”, presented by the NGC Bocas Lit Fest at the 2014 Harlem Book Fair World Fiction Festival, on Friday.

Mark Fraser


For the third year running, the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, Trinidad and Tobago’s annual literary festival, will host an event showcasing Caribbean writing talent in New York.

Three highly regarded new authors will participate in a reading and discussion titled “Coming from Far: Caribbean Writers on Home and Otherness”, presented by the NGC Bocas Lit Fest at the 2014 Harlem Book Fair World Fiction Festival, on Friday.

Winner of the 2011 OCM Bocas prize for fiction, Tiphanie Yanique of the US Virgin Islands, heads the line-up with her debut novel, Land of Love and Drowning, which will be published by Penguin/Riverhead on Thursday but has already received rave advance reviews. Her first short story collection, How To Escape From a Leper Colony, won the inaugural OCM Bocas Prize.

Yanique will be joined by Barbadian-American writer, A Naomi Jackson, whose debut novel, Who Don’t Hear Will Feel, was recently signed by Penguin Press. Jackson is a graduate of the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop, as is the event’s third writer, Stephen Narain, who was born in the Bahamas to Guyanese parents. Narain, who was featured as a New Talent Showcase writer at the 2012 NGC Bocas Lit Fest, is currently completing his first book. The event will be moderated by the Bocas Festival programme director, Nicholas Laughlin.

“Promoting and supporting new writers is a crucial part of what the NGC Bocas Lit Fest does,” says Laughlin. “We put emerging writers in the spotlight at our annual festival in Port of Spain, we set up opportunities for Caribbean writers to participate in other literary events around the world, and we run writer development programmes to identify and encourage new talent from across the region.”

“Tiphanie, who participated in the first Bocas in 2011, is widely considered a rising star of Caribbean writing,” Laughlin adds. “Naomi and Stephen are exciting newcomers who are already winning prizes for their fiction. All three are part of a generation of emerging writers who are reshaping Caribbean literature.”

The 2014 World Fiction Festival is a partnership between the longstanding Harlem Book Fair and Columbia University’s School of the Arts. “Coming from Far: Caribbean Writers on Home and Otherness”, takes place at the Jerome Greene Hall, Room 101/103, Columbia University School of Law, 435 West 116th Street, New York, USA,1.30 p.m. to 3 p.m. The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago is title sponsor of Trinidad and Tobago’s annual literary festival.