Wednesday, 11 March 2015

COMING TO THE STAGE: Lorna Goodison, Tanya Shirley, Sharon Leach head lineup for Talking Trees Fiesta

AUTHOR, AUTHOR: Goodison and Leach are among the writers heading to Treasure Beach.

To get their literary fix whenever the Calabash festival is on holiday, culture lovers usually anticipate the staging of the Talking Trees Literary Fiesta, put on by the Two Seasons Guest House in Treasure Beach, only a stone's throw from the seaside haunt of Jake's, where Calabash has been held since the festival's inception over a decade ago.

Like Calabash, Talking Trees combines the warmth, hospitality and easy tranquility of Jamaica's south coast with a lineup featuring some of the island's most outstanding literary talents (established and emerging voices) for a feast of the written and spoken word, sprinkled with a bit of live music and theatre, all taking place in the great outdoors.

Set for May 23, the fiesta's 2015 instalment is set to attract scores of patrons to Treasure Beach to enjoy readings by headliners Lorna Goodison, Prof. Edward Baugh and Poet Laureate Mervyn Morris. Also sharing top billing are poetess Tanya Shirley, whose Merchant of Feathers collection is up for the OCM Bocas Literary Prize, storyteller par excellence Amina Blackwood-Meeks and fiction queenpin Sharon Leach, who will share selections from her books What You Can't Tell Him and last year's acclaimed Love It When You Come, Hate It When You Go.

For those of us who were intrigued by the story of lost boys of Jamaica College, who 'vanished' during that infamous hike up in the Blue Mountains several decades ago, one of the survivors will give us a first-hand account of the harrowing experience. According to chief organizer Gwyneth Harold-Davidson, Geoffrey Hadad will treat the audience to an except from his must-read memoir If I'm Not Back by Wednesday.

This year's Talking Trees is a result of a partnership between Two Seasons, the Gloria Lyn Memorial Fund (set up to support second year UWI students) and the UWI Mona Department of Literatures in English. 

> READING ROOM: Tanya Shirley shares her book picks

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