Director of the annual Nature Island Literary, Festival Alwin Bully, is encouraging all citizens to come out in large numbers to support the 6th annual Literary Festival slated to begin on Friday 9th August, 2013.
Bully says the Festival promises to be fun and relaxing.
According to him a book launch carded for Thursday 8th August at the Anchorage Hotel from 7pm will kick off the activities for this year’s festival.
“Plans for the festival are well on track. We will begin the activities with the launch of two books; one by Trish Cooke a Dominican children’s writer who lives in England entitled ‘Look Back!’ it tells the tale of ‘Obolum’ in a child friendly way and another book; ‘Send Out You Hand’ by Dorborne O’ Marde an Antiguan writer who is making some proposals for the unification of the Caribbean.”
The festival which began in 2007 has grown significantly. Its main goal is to promote writing, reading, and an increased interest in literature while demonstrating that the literary arts and publishing are valid, rewarding and viable experiences as well as career choices for our people.
Bully indicated that the festival has been meeting its objectives over the years. In an interview with DNO Bully stated “we have been meeting our objectives in that you will find that there has been a greater interest in reading. Although I cannot give you statistics from the bookshops but from the attitudes of people for instance the way in which they respond to the DBS Reading Competition in schools it’s almost like a national event right now. This festival along with the Reading Competition influenced that.”
He also noted that a number of poets have begun to make their mark since writers are getting published and people are becoming more involved in the promotion of reading.
Meanwhile, Bully pointed out that the festival will be brought to the Mero beach on the Sunday 11th, August, 2013 a method which he thinks will bring a new face to the festival.
“The reason is to ensure that everybody has access to the festival. We want to give the festival a change of face because I believe a national annual festival should change its style and its approach in order to reinvent itself so we are going to Mero to show that it doesn’t have to be at the University grounds all the time.”
A bon fire on the beach where persons will be invited to sit around the fire and listen and tell stories will be one of the activities expected for that day.
This year Martiniquan writer, politician and intellectual Aime Cesaire will be honored at the festival. Césaire, who died in 2008, was one of the founding fathers of Négritude, the black consciousness movement that sought to uplift African cultural values, to oppose colonialism and cultivate pride in heritage. Bully stated that Cesaire will be honored since many Dominicans do not know of his work despite the fact that he resided so near to Dominica. It is also 100 years since Cesaire’s birth.
Slam poet Whitney Greenaway is one of the highlights of this year’s festival. The festival will take place on the grounds of the University of the West Indies for the first two days.