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Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Caribbean lit links

- In the Jamaica Gleaner, an anonymous interviewer talks to Kwame Dawes, co-founder of the Calabash International Literary Festival, about the event that has come to dominate Jamaica's literary calendar:

Calabash is a brand. Colin Channer's gift is in developing a brand and then making it one that can shape and direct other related projects. We believe in sharing some of what we have learned with others, and so we encourage other festivals to sprout up and to do some of the things that we just can't do.

- Dawes also writes about the genesis of Calabash over at the Poetry Foundation blog, Harriet:

We realized that it was now our generation that were responsible for working to advance the future of writing from the Caribbean in general and from Jamaica, in particular. We were the ones who would have to make it happen and we new we could do this because, quite simply, we already knew what to do.

- Last Sunday's edition of the Stabroek News went online a few days late--it includes a feature by Al Creighton on various Arrival Month celebrations--involving music, theatre, etc.--in Guyana. (Entirely by coincidence, Guyana's Indian, African, and Portuguese Arrival Days all fall in the month of May.)

- At the Caribbean Beat blog, my colleague Dominique Monteil announces a new short story competition aimed at discovering talented new romance writers in the Caribbean.

- And a conversation with some Haitian visitors prompts Jonathan Ali to think dark thoughts about the problem of "positive stereotyping" in Trinidad:

With our relative wealth, our annual carnival, and the physical positives that come with being a tropical island, among other things, the view of Trinidad from the outside is, by and large, that all is well here.

The truth, of course is sorely different.

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