GREAT BAY/MARIGOT:--- Over 35 authors, from Canada to Australia are heading to the St. Martin Book Fair, June 2 – 4, 2022, said Shujah Reiph, the literary fest coordinator.
The keynote speaker is David Comissiong, Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM, said Reiph. Comissiong is an author too but far better known in the Caribbean and beyond for his political astuteness and revolutionary thought.
The age range of novelists, poets, non-fiction writers, and multimedia artists from different parts of the world; about 10 new books being introduced or launched; and growth in the variety of St. Martin writers are only parts of what promise to make the book fair’s 20th anniversary a birthday bash to remember, said Reiph.
The invited authors include Habiba Cooper Diallo (Canada), Geoff Goodfellow (Australia), Caleb Dros (St. Martin), Mara Pastor (Puerto Rico), Michael McMillan (United Kingdom), Nicole Cage (Martinique), Burnett Coburn (Jamaica/USA), Heddrick McBride (USA), Yvonne Weekes (Barbados), Faizah Tabasamu (St. Martin), St. Clair Detrick-Jules (St. Barths/USA), Max Rippon (Guadeloupe), Sharma Taylor (Jamaica), Max Rippon (Guadeloupe), and Saida Agostini (Guyana).
The guest writers are scheduled to conduct masterclasses and workshops, visit schools, take part in panel discussions, introduce their new books, sign autographs, meet the public, exchange with fellow writers, and recite for the international literary evening.
The Opening Ceremony, June 2, takes place in the garden of the Government Administration Building, Philipsburg. The June 3 morning and afternoon of masterclasses and Youth Forum are held at the University of St. Martin (USM).
The Literary Evening, June 3, set to maintain its caliber of readings by published authors only, will open under the stars on the main street of Grand Case. Organizers plan to repeat the feature of “a special book launch that was so successful in 2019,” said Reiph.
The activities of the main book fair day, June 4 — including the Children’s Room and The Presidents Forum — take place at USM. The Closing Ceremony and Main Book Launch, June 4, will be held under the literary big tent at the Galisbay Port, Marigot. The venue is sponsored by the port. “Covid-19 protocols are encouraged” at the lit fest activities, said Reiph.
The St. Martin Book Fair 2022 is organized by Conscious Lyrics Foundation, in collaboration with Computech, USM, St. Maarten Department of Culture (MECYS), the Collectivity of St. Martin, and SOS Radio 95.9, and in consultation with House of Nehesi Publishers Foundation, said Reiph.