Poetry and Spoken Word will feature heavily in the 12th edition of Montserrat’s literary festival, which begins on Friday, November 20 until Sunday, November 22, 2020 online.
The Alliouagana Festival of the Word will be 100% virtual this year considering restrictions on public gatherings on island.
Curated and hosted by Nerissa Golden of Goldenmedia LLC, the festival features several first-time authors as well as a few veterans. New authors to be introduced are Montserratians Myrle Roach and Patricia C. Daway, Tamara Groeneveldt of St. Martin and Dion Johnson from the United Kingdom/Jamaica. Author of more than 22 books Sharmen Greenaway will discuss her latest work which looks at preserving Montserrat’s dialect.
Young creatives will make a solid representation throughout the three-day virtual festival with five-year-old blogger Kearah Ryan of kearahryan.com, eight-year-old author Talia Guity-Douglin of Boston who wrote her first book Talia’s Big Birthday as well as 14-year-old YouTube vlogger Eden Wilson of lemonerdy.com.
“We are thoroughly impressed by the young writers and we are pleased to be able to share their work with festival attendees. Writing is not a lost art and we believe that the current generation are positioned to make an impact with all of the digital tools available and their ability to tell powerful stories,” said Golden.
This year’s theme is Words and Art in Activism and several sessions will focus on this. Instagrammer Chavel Thomas of ChavDaKid, Team Antigua Island Girl Christal Clashing and Life in Leggings and Pink Parliament founder Ronelle King of Barbados will discuss how influencers can bring attention to causes in Using Social Media to Activate Change on Friday afternoon. Author A-dZiko Simba Gegele’s Saturday morning presentation will look at how the Black Lives Matter movement can be a catalyst for creative writing.
“We don’t have a Word Up this year, but we will be introducing festival goers to four young Montserratian rappers who are showcasing their skills some for the first time publicly in the Discover Lounge on Emerald Vibes TV on YouTube. It is another way that our creatives are speaking up on the issues that matter to them,” shared Golden.
Author Dr. Yvonne Weekes and Dr Danny Joseph will explore storytelling as a powerful tool for memorializing an island’s history in Conversations on Sunday afternoon at 4PM. A not-to-be-missed event is the interview with Montserratian poet Jo-Annah Richards, who discusses her new poetry collection Beautiful Chaos and her interpretative spoken word and art experience with artist Tabu, which closes out the literary festival.
“AFW LitFest has always been a meeting space for creative expression whether through books, spoken word, music, comedy, or film and we wanted to make sure that this was part of the virtual experience as well. I believe people will enjoy seeing what Tabu creates from Jo-Annah’s words,” revealed the organiser.
The Alliouagana Festival of the Word is sponsored by the Montserrat Arts Council, Goldenmedia LLC, the Governor’s Office, Government Information Unit, Chez Mango Villa, the St. Patrick’s Cooperative Credit Union, the Bank of Montserrat, Ltd., ZJB Radio Montserrat, D.S. Media & Designs, Alliouagana Express, MNI Media, Discover Montserrat and Emerald Vibes TV.
About the Alliouagana Festival of the Word
Founded by The UWI Open Campus Montserrat, from its inaugural event held in 2009, the festival has attracted international authors such as Jason Reynolds, Eric Jerome Dickey, Frané Lessac, Marie Elena John, Olive Senior, and Earl Lovelace.
Renowned lecturers and speakers such as the late Dr. George A. Irish, Sir Hilary Beckles, Sir Howard Fergus, Dr. Carolyn Cooper, Dr. Yvonne Weekes, and Opal Palmer Adisa have shared their wisdom on Caribbean identity, nationalism and creativity.
The three-day literary festival is preceded by the Alphonsus “Arrow” Cassell Memorial Lecture Series each year.
Visit www.litfest.ms to view the archives.
About Goldenmedia LLC
Goldenmedia LLC is a Montserrat-based boutique media firm that provides strategic communication and business support for local, regional, and international companies, projects, and events.