GREAT BAY, St. Martin—The St. Martin Book Fair, slated for mid-2016, is already being profiled in the USA and Caribbean media.
“Readers and authors will be gathering in the Caribbean for the 14th annual St. Martin Book Fair, scheduled for June 2 through 4,” according to New York Daily News.
The “popular book fair” is a “multifaceted … multimedia … marketplace” that connects “St. Martin and the Caribbean through workshops, seminars and other activities,” wrote Jared McCallister, the newspaper’s “Caribbean Beat” columnist.
Before the Daily News became the first news media to announce the 2016 book fair date in its January 31 edition, the island’s literary fest was being “talked about” in Trinidad, said Jacqueline Sample, president of House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).
In the Guardian of Trinidad & Tobago, award-winning author Loretta Klobah “credits … literary festivals like the Bocas, Jamaica’s Calabash and St. Martin’s Book Fair” as forming “an important network base” for the growing literary connectivity and the continued desire for regional unity in the Caribbean.
The article, “The write of retreating” by Simon Lee, appeared in the Guardian edition of January 28 – reporting on the North Coast Writing Retreat, which convened a power-pack of authors in Trinidad in January.
In its January edition, the US-based Writer’s Digest is actually encouraging its mega-readership to, “Plan your next vacation around … Caribbean literary festivals, and enrich your writing life island-style.”
Listed as one of its cover stories, the article by the busy Antiguan writer Joanne Hillhouse features five literary festivals: Anguilla Lit Fest, Trinidad’s Bocas Lit Fest, Jamaica’s Calabash Literary Festival, Dominica’s Nature Island Literary Festival, and the St. Martin Book Fair.
“Run by a cadre of energetic young volunteers,” writes Hillhouse about the Friendly Island’s festival, “the event facilitates real bonding and a relaxed pace, save for the busier singular book fair day, Saturday at the University of St. Martin, which has a packed schedule of sales and signings.”
“Dr. Loretta Klobah and Joanne Hillhouse are exciting writers. Each was a hit at one or two activities of previous Book Fair editions,” said St. Martin Book Fair coordinator Shujah Reiph. “I’m very happy and thankful that both writers are sharing their St. Martin experiences near and far.”
The St. Martin Book Fair 2016 has as its theme: “The Science of It,” said Reiph. The Book Fair Committee (BFC) is “planning an exciting 14th anniversary literary festival for the entire family. I think the BFC is a hit with our guest authors from around the world.
The committee is the same energetic cadre Joanne mentions in Writer’s Digest,” said Reiph. A photo of BFC members accompanies the Daily News story.
Recently, “The St. Maarten Tourist Bureau and the Médiathèque Territoriale received a gift of books for their public or reference library collections from HNP and the book fair organization,” said Sample. The multilingual sets of books included titles published by HNP and books by guest authors of St. Martin Book Fair, said Sample.
The island-wide book fair alternates its opening ceremony between both capitals of the island. This year the South will host the opening of the festival, said Reiph, who is also president of Conscious Lyrics Foundation (CLF).
Conscious Lyrics Foundation and House of Nehesi Publishers organize the St. Martin Book Fair in collaboration with the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, University of St. Martin (USM), LC Fleming Foundation, and St. Martin Tourist Office.