Sunday, 30 October 2011

FESTIVAL BUZZ: Scoop and suggestions for the big 2012 return of Calabash

TWO OF A KIND: Soyinka and Paul Holdengraber, in 2010.

With just a few months to go until the start of the year-long Jamaica 50 celebrations, the team behind the Calabash International Literary Festival are back from ‘vacation’ and are fine-tuning plans for the grand return of the beloved book-and-fellowship fest next May.

The decision earlier this year to cancel Calabash with the promise of a special event in 2012 intensified speculation about whether the event would in fact make a full-time return to Jake’s (Treasure Beach) and the annual cultural calendar.

An inside source recently confirmed to TALLAWAH that the festival will indeed be back as an annual event as of next year. Meanwhile, the process of recruiting international literary stars to appear at the 2012 leg of the festival is on in earnest and is expected to intensify between now and the New Year. As for the future direction of the decade-old event, it’s safe to conclude that things will remain unchanged, featuring a weekend of insightful readings, meet-and-greets, discussions and live music.

Although in years past, we’ve witnessed the brilliance of the likes of Wole Soyinka and Derek Walcott, my source reveals that the headliner of Calabash 2012 is no Nobel Laureate. Still, he/she is an internationally celebrated voice in the literary world who should prove exciting and inspiring to festivalgoers.

My humble suggestions for appearances at the 2012 fest: The long overdue Asha Bandele (The Prisoner’s Wife, Something Like Beautiful) and the supremely talented Tea Obreht of The Tiger’s Wife fame.

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