Elections are over! Many of us (except perhaps the outgoing administration) are breathing a sigh of relief. Today we are having healing rain. Let’s look forward now to a week of enjoyment, delight, refreshment, relaxation – all in support of the written word! Here comes the Kingston Book Festival, with so many things happening it will make your head spin! Go to their Facebook page for updates, and follow on Twitter @kgnbookfest. Almost all the public events are free – kicking off next Sunday morning. Here is their press release…#kbf2016
Get Ready for the Kingston Book Festival!
With over 30 events spread across 8 days, the 2016 staging of the Kingston Book Festival (KBF) plans to take over the Creative City of Kingston from March 5-12. The Festival is staged annually in March by the Book Industry Association of Jamaica (BIAJ) with the aim to broaden its impact with each staging by offering an array of events targeting a wide audience.
The Festival opens to the public with Love Affair with Literature which takes place on Sunday, March 6 at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona and is hosted by the Department of Literatures in English. A staple on the KBF calendar, this year’s event will feature Vladimir Lucien, winner of the 2015 OCM Bocas Caribbean Literature Prize for his book entitled Sounding Ground and the first non-Jamaican Writer-in-Residence (UWI).
The week will include tours for primary and high school students, book donations to pediatric wards and community libraries and pop up public readings such as Susumba’s Literary Lunch. New offerings for this year’s festival include a panel discussion, Fixing Publishing’s Blind Spot, moderated by Senator Floyd Morris which seeks to encourage a discussion on more inclusive publishing especially for Jamaica’s visually impaired community.
Following on last year’s success, the Jamaican Writers Society (JaWS) returns as host for its wildly popular Late Night Lit event, offering a night of prose and poetry for a mature audience on Thursday, March 10 at Red Bones.
The penultimate day of the festival, Friday, March 11, will see a series of workshops being held at the Spanish Court Hotel, on topics ranging from use of social media to best practices in book design and features the Festival’s international guest Troy Johnson, Founder and President of the hugely successful African American Literature Book Club.
Director of Communication and Marketing for the BIAJ, Candice Carby, spoke of the relevance of the festival in the context of developments in the creative industries locally and internationally.
“In 2015, for the first time in 47 years, we saw a Jamaican author – Marlon James – being the recipient of the Man Booker Prize. This followed on the success of several other Jamaican authors including Kei Miller and Claudia Rankine (both winners of the Forward Prize) and Olive Senior, who will be launching her latest work, The Pain Tree on March 10. We have the talented, tried tested and proven and now need to come up with a kind of business plan that will push our local industry to innovate, pool resources and turn our cultural capital into real growth. We also saw Kingston being designated a UNESCO Creative City but this will have little meaning without a real plan to develop the physical space to facilitate and nurture members of the creative community,” said Carby.
“Through Kingston Book Festival, the BIAJ wants to continue to build and sustain interest in the local book industry, after all the written word provides content for all other arms of the creative industries. The global economy is a knowledge based on and our members continue to be of great value in the promotion of traditional and digital literacy,” Carby continued.
Kingston Book Festival will end with its signature Book Fair on Saturday, March 12th at Devon House. The Book Fair will feature launches, readings, book signings and tech displays.
The Festival is supported through the kind sponsorship of the CHASE Fund, Jamaican Copyright Licensing Agency (JAMCOPY) and Spanish Court Hotel. Presenting partners include the Jamaica Library Service, Bookophilia and F&B Downtown (Swiss Stores).
Find more information on KBF 2016, including the schedule, go to facebook.com/KingstonBookFestival or www.bookindustryja.com/events