Taking literature beyond the campus is one of the strategies adopted by the Department of Literatures in English at the Mona Campus of The University of the West Indies with a view to broadening its reach and sparking interest in literature as an important field of study. The Department will therefore once again partner with the Gloria Lyn Memorial Fund (GLMF) and Two Seasons Guest House in Treasure Beach to present The Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta on Saturday, May 27, with workshops on Sunday, May 28. The partnership is a continuation of the collaboration that was established for the 2015 staging of the Fiesta.
Held on the expansive grounds of Two Seasons Guest House in Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth, the Fiesta offers a formidable line-up of established and emerging writers, which will be interspersed with musical offerings by multi-instrumentalist Ras Katri. The day’s activities will include a fashion show by Mutamba Designs.
The 2017 Fiesta will feature acclaimed writer, Olive Senior. She will share the stage with the newly named Jamaican Poet Laureate Lorna Goodison, who was the featured reader in 2015. Celebrated dub poet Mutabaruka, will add his special flavor to the line up of readers, which includes Malachi Smith, Roland Watson-Grant, Margaret Bernal, Ann-Margaret Lim, Yashika Graham and Jean Lowrie-Chin. Fabian Thomas’ 10 minute play, Daddy, will be staged. Patrons can continue to expect the family friendly atmosphere as there will be a children’s programme slated for the morning.
To promote community and communication skills development, leading up to the Fiesta the GLMF is sponsoring a competition for students in four selected secondary schools: Tacius Golding, Wolmer’s Boys, Bog Walk High, and Newell High. The objective of the competition is to create opportunities for new talent to emerge. In each school, guided by a teacher, the students will create videos, poetry, short stories, music or art that will tell their story of The Real Jamaica. The winning entry will receive a US$100 prize, with the possibility of the work being presented at Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta. The competition started on February 1 and closed on April 30. The Gloria Lyn Memorial Fund was set up at The UWI in memory of the late Gloria Lyn, a former lecturer in English at The UWI, to raise the visibility of literature. There is a US$500 prize presented annually to the student with the best grade in any of the second year West Indian Literature courses. The 2016 winner, Cornel Bogle, and the 2015 winner, Francina Cousins will be reading at Talking Trees
With part sponsorship from the Jamaica Tourist Board and Cran Wata, admission to Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta on Saturday, May 27 is free; however contributions to the GLMF will be accepted. There will be a small charge for participation in the workshops on writing, music and fashion on Sunday, May 28 (registration is required for participation in the workshops). Return bus transportation between Kingston and Treasure Beach via Knutsford Express is available for Saturday, May 27, departing Kingston at 6:30 a.m. Tickets may be purchased at the UWI Bookshop, or call Janet at 3406068. The cost of the round trip is J$3,500 and J$3,000 for seniors 65 and over.
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