FINE PAIR: Chief organizer Janet Silvera with emcee Karen Harriott. Below, patrons enjoying the festivities.
Art and the great outdoors combined harmoniously on Sunday at Hope Gardens, the site for this year's staging of the Kingston Pon Di River Literary Festival, previously hosted at the Boone Hall Oasis.
At the festival, a morning-into-late-evening affair, patrons basked in the wholesome, easy-breezy atmosphere, enjoying wonderful readings (poet Ann-Margaret Lim, 10-year-old phenom I'deyah Ricketts), vigorous spoken-word performances (Mutabaruka, Cherry Natural, Tribe Sankofa) and an abundance of mellow vibes.
Nearly all the chairs were filled under the enormous white tent. Those who brought their own seats (blankets too) took to the grass. Effervescent emcee Karen Harriott, a vision in white, kept the pace lively as the day's proceedings unfolded.
Walking about, I checked out the numerous booths, which offered such diverse fare as new and used books, decorative jewelry, wall art, jerked chicken and pudding. As for the books, the options were surprisingly thrilling though limited, and I finally settled on a John Grisham and the widely praised Sidney Poitier autobiography, The Measure of a Man -- the first two entries on my summer reading list.
Overall, the event (which benefited from fabulous fair weather) was a real thrill, filled with cultural sights and sounds and undeniable evidence that creative expression can still pull a sizeable mass of Jamaicans together.