WORDFest 2017

Young Readers Platform

1:00 – 2:00      Heritage – An Ever Present Past
Explore the region’s heritage through the art of folklore with Opal Palmer Adisa (Jamaica), Look! Moko Jumbie, the wonder of a home land with Cindy Similien-Johnson (Haiti), Haiti Is, and a tale to inspire children everywhere to become change agents in their own communities with Tykime Davis (Panama), Yasmin the Warrior. Moderator: Reeshemah Brightley, director, Harlem Book Fair and Urban Kids Journeys.

2:00 – 3:00      Courage – Creating a World of Wonder
Devon Harris (Jamaica), Yes I Can!, an original member of the 1988 Jamaican bobsled team to the Winter Olympics and Anaya Lee (US/Guyana), A Bully’s Disguise, who at the age of 9 was the youngest published chapter book author in U.S. history, swap stories of courage, adventure, and going really, really fast! Moderator: Reeshemah Brightley, director, Harlem Book Fair and Urban Kids Journeys

3:00 – 4:00       Creativity – Making the World We Live In
Inquiry, creativity and beauty are key in tales for middle schoolers by Cray Francis (Antigua & Barbuda), Honey Dew’s Carnival Fever, to the love of nature in Carol Ottly-Mitchell (St. Kitts – Nevis), Fury on Soufriere Hills, to celebration of self-image in Tammie Paige (Panama), What Flavour is Your Hair.

4:00 – 5:00      A Brave, New World
Award-winning Young Adult fiction writers journey to brave new worlds from
Zetta Elliott (Canada/St. Kitts – Nevis), Mother of the Sea, historical saga from the coast of Africa, to magical realism and vodou culture in Ibi Zoboi (Haiti), American Street, to urban fantasy in summertime Brooklyn by Daniel José Older (USA/Cuba), Shadowshaper and Cypher.

Adult Readers Platform I

1:00 – 2:00      Roundtable: First Book Journey – From Concept to Shelf
From that first idea through the writing, to getting it printed, marketed and that first review, come learn about the highs and lows along the way for the debut work from notable poets, Keisha-Gaye Anderson (Jamaica), Gathering the Waters, and Heather Archibald (St. Kitts – Nevis), Home. Home, and New York Times “Best Book of the year” novelist, Nicole Dennis-Benn (Jamaica), Here Comes the Sun. Moderated by Ron Kavanaugh, publisher, Mosaic Literary Magazine.

2:00 – 3:00      Roundtable: Writers as Gatekeepers – The Challenges; The Insights
Novelist Rosalind Kilkenny McLymont (Guyana), The Guyana Contract
and executive editor, The Network Journal; poets, Opal Palmer Adisa (Jamaica), It Begins With Tears, and publisher, Interviewing the Caribbean; and Mercy Tullis-Bukhari, (US/Honduras), Smoke, and co-publisher, Blind Beggars Press look at what happens when creative writers take on the roles of editors and publisher. Moderated by Kelly Baker Josephs, editor of sx salon: a small axe literary platform.

3:00 – 4:00      Adult Readers: Classics Old and Continually New
New literary classics are being created every day. Commonwealth Prize winner, Robert Antoni (Bahamas), Trinidad Noir – The Classics joins NYPL Young Lion nominee, Nicole Dennis-Benn (Jamaica), Here Comes the Sun and Forward/Felix Dennis Prize winner, Tiphanie Yanique (Virgin Islands), Land of Love and Drowning in celebration Classics Old and New. Moderated by Johanne Civil, executive director, Queens Book Festival

4:30 – 5:30      Roundtable: Identify – As Literature and Life
“Caribbean” has always been place and culture, insular and expansive; singular and plural. Join author, Gaiutra Bahadur (Guyana), Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture, poet, Karina G-Lopez (US/Honduras), Jewtina Journals, and performance artists, Lysanne Charles-Arrindell (Sint Maarten/Saint Martin), Where I see the Sun, and Rosamond S. King (Gambia/Trinidad & Tobago), Rock | Salt | Stone to explore claiming racial, gender; sexual space in this narrative. Moderated by Kenrick Ross, president, Urban+Out.

Adult Readers Platform II

3:00 – 4:00      Writing Memory
To explore person history as societal memory; individual pain into communal power, with Sharon Milagro Marshall (Barbados), Tell My Mother I Gone to Cuba, Danielle Brown (Trinidad), East of Flatbush, North of Love and Sophia Jones (Jamaica), Born of a Monster. Moderated by Nyasha Laing, author.

4:00 – 5:00      Writing Age
An intergenerational sharing of poets reflecting on writing, home, culture and aging with Negus Adeyemi (Barbados), Gemineye, Lauren K. Alleyne (Trinidad & Tobago), Difficult Fruit, Carmen Bardeguez-Brown (Puerto Rico), Dreaming Rhythms: Despertando Silencios and Mervyn Taylor (Trinidad & Tobago), Voices Carry. Moderated by Mercy Tullis-Bukhari, poet, Smoke.

5:00 – 6:00      Writing Life
Reconciling personal joy and a quest for adventure with Derrick John Jeffrey (Guyana), East River, Rosalind Kilkenny McLymont (Guyana), The Guyana Contract, Opal Palmer Adisa (Jamaica), Love’s Promise. Moderated by Beverly Benjamin, president, Friends of the Antigua & Barbuda Public Library

6:00 – 7:00      Finale
A presentation in verse, prose, music and movement from artists joined the celebration of the power of the written word to change lives and worlds. With Negus Adeyemi (Barbados), Lauren K. Alleyne (Trinidad & Tobago), Ras Atiba (Jamaica), Gaiutra Bahadur (Guyana), Carmen Bardeguez-Brown (Puerto Rico), Lysanne Charles-Arrindell (Sint Maarten/Saint Martin), Karina G-Lopez (US/Honduras), Rosamond S. King (Gambia/Trinidad & Tobago).