AUTHOR, AUTHOR: Foreign-based scribes Goodison and Farley.
A distinguished lineup featuring some of Jamaica’s brightest literary stars has been assembled to participate in the upcoming Kingston Book Festival, now in its second year under the auspices of the Book Industry Association of Jamaica (BIAJ). The likes of Christopher John Farley, Lorna Goodison, Kei Miller, Edward Baugh, Carolyn Cooper, Nomaddz, Sonjah Stanley Niaah, Tanya Shirley, Mel Cooke, and Roland Watson-Grant are among the confirmed readers, performers and presenters set to make appearances at the week-long festival.
Being held under the theme “Celebrating the Arts,” scheduled festival activities will take place at venues across the city from Saturday, March 2 to Sunday, March 10, promising a remarkable showcase of books on film, music, theatre, dance, fine art and photography. Additionally, the festival will include readings, film screenings, book launches, school tours, seminars, investment panels, workshops and networking sessions. A mega book jam dubbed “Wake the Town and Tell the People” is set for March 8, while the festival’s signature event, the Kingston Book Fair on the grounds of Devon House will take place the following day.
“The [festival] will highlight the vital role that publishing plays in preserving, sharing and promoting Jamaican culture,” said BIAJ President, Norman Marshall. “Jamaica has a vibrant and diverse heritage burgeoning with great talent, and through this festival we will celebrate books, we will celebrate the arts, we will celebrate Jamaica.”
Festival chair Kellie Magnus heartily concurs. “It was amazing the willingness and responsiveness of those we approached to participate in this festival,” she says. “The Kingston Book Festival will be geared for all lovers of books and books of all types.” Created by the BIAJ as a medium for promoting literacy and a love of reading (and to showcase the breadth of the Jamaican publishing industry), the festival will also raise funds for several book-related charities islandwide.