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6/05/2012

Letter from Christine - Calabash Festival 2012

I am excited to tell you about a new feature on Poets of the Caribbean. Christine Craig was featured as our poet for May, and she has graciously offered to guest post on the blog from time to time, in the form of letters. I am therefore pleased to share with you below, the first Letter from Christine, on her recent participation in the Calabash Literary Festival in beautiful St. Elizabeth, Jamaica.

I am sure Christine would love your feedback, so feel free to share.


Hi Yasmin

      I'm struggling to get back to earth after the heady experience of attending my first Calabash Festival. For me, a born and bred St. Elizabeth 'red chile'  it was so amazing to walk into the large white tent, facing the sea, and see hundreds of people, of all ages, gathered to listen to and share in a really rich experience of Caribbean literature. I read on Saturday morning with two beautiful poets: Loretta Collins - from Puerto Rico reading from her new book The Twelve Foot Neon Woman; and Shara McCallum, Jamaican poet, reading from her book - The Face of Water.

      Many of the readers throughout the weekend would say that Calabash was the most wonderful literary festival they had ever attended - and they had attended festivals all over the world. Apart from the stunning venue and the relaxed, easy vibe, the organizers, Justine Henzell and Kwame Dawes put on a fantastic, hitch-free event with crowds of people moving happily between poetry, prose, discussions, open mikes and a terrific musical 'wrap-up' with musicians including Seretse Small, Ibo Cooper and Wayne Armand playing a medley of Jamaican music through the past 50 years.

      The theme of the festival was - Jubilation - marking Jamaica's 50 years of Independence. Kwame Dawes put together and edited a fine festival publication called Jubilation that was published by Peepal Tree Press. For those not lucky enough to attend this Calabash, and for those lucky enough to have attended, the Jubilation Anthology is truly worth having.

One heart

Christine


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