Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta 2015

The Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta 2015 returns to the grounds of Two Seasons Guest House in Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth on May 23. This year, Two Seasons is partnering with the Department of Literatures in English, Mona Campus, of The University of the West Indies (The UWI), and the Gloria Lyn Memorial Fund (GLMF) to present the fourth staging of the Fiesta, the others being held in May 2011 and February 2012 at Two Seasons Guest House, and in February 2014 in Kingston.

The GLMF was launched in October 2014, under the theme, “raising the visibility of literature at The UWI.” It celebrates the contribution of Gloria Lyn, daughter of a Chinese shopkeeper from Springfield, St. Elizabeth, who lectured in 17th century English renaissance poetry at The UWI, Mona. The GLMF gives an annual award of US$500 to the student with the highest grade in any of the second year courses in West Indian literature offered at the Mona Campus. The first award in 2014 was made to Xavienne Roma Richardson, who will read an excerpt of Gloria Lyn’s piece, Memories from a Jamaican Village, published in Ray Chen’s book, The Shopkeepers. In addition to the annual prize, the Fund will mentor the prize winners and promote the whole value chain of studying literature – developing students’ ability to think critically, to communicate effectively, and to be innovative and confident leaders of society. The organizers of the GLMF, Gloria’s daughters, Cathy and Marjanne Lyn, anticipate that the Fund will mentor 60 prize winners over 10 years, with each one making a contribution back to the community. During the Fiesta, donations will be accepted for the GLMF.

Lovers of literature will enjoy a relaxing day on May 23, 2015 listening to a variety of established and emerging poets and writers of books, blogs and a play at Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta, reflecting the voices of “those who came” to enrich the cultural fabric of Jamaica.

Renowned writer and poet, Lorna Goodison, CD, headlines the programme, featuring a stellar line-up, which includes Jamaica’s third Poet Laureate, UWI Professor Emeritus Mervyn Morris; UWI Professor Emeritus of English and poet, Eddie Baugh; lecturer and poet Tanya Shirley; poet and playwright Easton Lee; story-teller and actress, Amina Blackwood-Meeks; performance poets, Cherry Natural and Peta-Gaye Williams, and blogger and researcher at UWI, Mona Annie Paul.

Prose fiction writers include Musgrave medalist and Jamaica Observer’s Bookends editor and short-story writer, Sharon Leach; retired UWI lecturer, writer and editing professional (Journal of West Indian Literature; Pathways, a journal of creative writing), Victor Chang; author of the award winning Mountain of Inheritance, Carol Dunn; author of Young Heroes of the Caribbean and writer for young adults, Gwyneth Harold-Davidson, who is also one of the Fiesta’s organizers. Young author, Mandisa Parnell, writer of the romance fiction, The Boy Next Door, provides evidence that Jamaica’s literary prowess is assured. Fabian Thomas will be the Master of Ceremonies for the day, and his 10-minute play, Devon, will be staged. The play was one of the works presented in the Eight by Ten theatre festival (eight plays of ten minutes performed each night for three nights) held in September 2014 at the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts, The UWI, Mona.

The programme includes an Open Mic segment and the symbolic presentation by the Trees that Feed Foundation to the proprietor of Two Seasons Guest House of two fruit trees, in recognition of Labour Day and to promote the planting of trees to feed people, create jobs and benefit the environment. Gates open at 9 a.m. to Recorded Talk, a mix of the spoken word and music, which will be sprinkled throughout the day.

Billed as a family affair, there will be a special children’s programme for children ages 6-12 years old, co-ordinated by Ingrid Blackwood. The UWI Bookshop will be on hand to facilitate your purchase of the works of the readers and other literary treasures. The Treasure Beach Women’s Group will offer second hand books for sale, and fresh produce will be available for purchase at a farmers’ market on site. Booths are available for rental (contact Christine Marrett, 876-571-0818 or Pledges and contributions to the GLMF will be accepted on the day.

Same-day, round trip bus transportation

Same day return transportation by bus from Kingston to the Fiesta has been arranged, departing from Knutsford Express, 18 Dominica Drive, New Kingston at 6:30 a.m. and from Treasure Beach at 5 p.m. Tickets are $3,500 and $3,000 for seniors 65 years and over and are available from the UWI Bookshop, Mona Campus and from Smart Woman, Palm Plaza, 9 Red Hills Road, Kingston 10, or call 876-340-6068.

Spend a culture filled weekend in Treasure Beach. Enjoy Culture Night on Friday, May 22 at Taino Cove Guest House, then hang out for the day at Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta on Saturday, May 23, 2015, and dance away the night at Sweet Sunset Reggae Fest at Sunset Resort and Villas. All events are free to the public.

Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta is endorsed by the Jamaica Tourist Board, with support from Jamcopy, the Jamaica copyright and licensing agency, Jamaica National, Orville’s Nuff Stuff, Taino Cove Guest House and the Treasure Beach Hotel.

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