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After The 2017 BOCAS

Posted: May 6th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Column | No Comments »

Nathalie Taghaboni, the author of the very popular T&T contemporary lit novels called the Savanoy Series, follows up her first guest post on my blog with an after note about her experience as a festival author in the annual NGC Bocas Lit Fest, which came to a close on April 30 in Port-of-Spain.

Nathalie Taghaboni signs her book Santimanitay for writer and elder Eintou Springer, at the launch of Nathalie’s newest book in the Savanoy Series, Side by Side we Stand, at Big Black Box, Woodbrook, on April 23. Photo courtesy: EJ McKenzie.

 

I survived my first Bocas Lit Fest! Not only did I survive, I thrived. Not only did I thrive, I want to do it again. Oh my goodness, I had a time!

Letting a writer loose in an event like this is comparable to … let me think. A child let loose in Disney? A liar let loose in Washington? There were books and authors and presentations and books and workshops and books and performances and literary giants and, did I mention, BOOKS?

At one (several) point I considered cashing in my retirement savings and pawning my dentures so that I could sweep all those books off the booksellers’ tables and pack a barrel to ship up to my home address.

I giggled like a fool to stand next to Earl Lovelace—who probably never realised I was there. I recognized faces I’d only ever seen on the back of a well-read novel. I gaped and gawked and sidled up to people. On Friday, April 28, the day of my panel presentation, I just wanted to sit on the stage and stare back at people who actually came to hear us talk about our passion for writing and the stories that came out of it.

The next day I hurried back down to NALIS, the main festival venue, where the irrepressible Lisa Allen-Agostini invited me to take in a workshop led by Rosamond S King on “How to Witness Your Own Writing”. In that workshop were brand spanking new poets coming into their own and seasoned veterans honing their craft and me. How could I help but learn and broaden my horizons?

My hat is off to the management of Bocas for being able to pull this off these past seven years. The amount of scheduling and corralling of talent and mind boggling logistics that must go on behind the scenes makes my head spin and I can only see this event growing and becoming a must-attend for everyone.

I hope more people locally not just attend but participate. The vision of the founders is on point and I advise all, new writers especially, to learn more about the event. While it is only a few days long in April, it provides a lifetime of learning and a lifeline to us all.

For me, reading brings life and consciousness, and writing gives breath and scope and provides a language to express ourselves and share experiences.

To borrow a phrase from one of my readers, Bocas is “literally lit”!



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