Friday 25 April


Celebrating the 2014 finalists
Readings from writers shortlisted for the inaugural Burt Award, and a discussion of the state of young adult writing in the Caribbean, with A-dZiko Gegele, Colleen Smith-Dennis, and Joanne Hillhouse, chaired by Mala Morton-Gittens.
10–11 am • Old Fire Station


Earl Lovelace: A Writer in His Place, dir. Funso Aiyejina
This “docu-commentary” by a foremost scholar of Lovelace’s works depicts the rootedness in the culture and society of Trinidad and Tobago of the eminent writer, winner of the 2012 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature.
10–11 am • AV Room


What makes fiction fiction?
with Robert Antoni
For beginning writers: the basics of how fiction works, and how to start getting your story on the page.
10 am–12.30 pm • 1st Floor Seminar Room


Looking on the dark side
with Allan Guthrie, Denise Mina, and Amanda Smyth, chaired by Johnny Temple
A conversation about the varieties of crime writing, and how fiction about the dark side helps us understand our societies’ problems.
11 am–12 pm • Old Fire Station


The Strange Luck of V.S. Naipaul, dir. Adam Lowe
Filmed in Trinidad, India, and the United Kingdom, this portrait of “Britain’s greatest living writer” captures the contradictions of Naipaul and his relationships with the people around him — and his birthplace, Trinidad.
11 am–12 pm • AV Room


Are there more criminals in prison or in office?
Extempo masters Short Pants and Black Sage square off in a sung debate about crime and punishment. Expect cutting commentary and helpless laughter.
12–1 pm • Abercromby Street Arcade


Through the lens of Anthony Wall
The documentaries made by British filmmaker Anthony Wall in the 1970s and 80s for the BBC’s Arena programme are an invaluable archive of Caribbean music, poetry, and culture. This special series includes five of Wall’s key films, ranging from London to Barbados to Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast. Introduced by Linton Kwesi Johnson.

Upon Westminster Bridge
A portrait of the Jamaican dub poet Mikey Smith, documenting his visit to London in 1982 and his interactions with cultural figures like Linton Kwesi Johnson and C.L.R. James.

Brixton to Barbados
Poet Linton Kwesi Johnson travels to Carifesta 1981 in Barbados and investigates the state of Caribbean arts and culture.

Caribbean Journey
Linton Kwesi Johnson’s personal report on the ties that have bound the Caribbean to Britain since the Elizabethan era.

Bob Marley
The first full-length documentary on the reggae superstar, released in 1986, uses archival footage to tell the story of the boy from rural Jamaica who became a global music legend.

Maytime on the Mosquito Coast
The town of Bluefields on Nicaragua’s east coast, settled by migrants from the Anglophone Caribbean, is a microcosm of West Indian culture in an unlikely place.

12.30–5.30 pm • AV Room


Some of T&T’s best young spoken word poets take their vibe to the streets of Port of Spain.
1.30–2.30 pm • Brian Lara Promenade, Independence Square


Linton Kwesi Johnson
The iconic Jamaican poet talks to Anthony Joseph about his life in literature, music, and politics.
1.30–2.30 pm • Old Fire Station


What makes poetry poetry?
with Mervyn Morris
For beginning writers: what is a poem and how is it different to prose? An introduction to the craft of verse.
2–4 pm • 1st Floor Seminar Room


Vahni Capildeo and Mervyn Taylor
chaired by Ryan Durgasingh
Two Trinidadian poets of different generations read from their new books
2.30–3.30 pm • Old Fire Station


Caryl Phillips
The St. Kitts-born wrier talks to Margaret Busby about moving between the genres of fiction, non-fiction, drama, and film screenplays.
4–5 pm • Old Fire Station
Supported by the ANSA Caribbean Awards for Excellence programme


2014 announcement ceremony
The winners of the inaugural Burt Award for Caribbean Literature — recognising books written for young adult readers — and the 2014 Allen Prize for Young Writers are announced.
6–8 pm • Old Fire Station
By invitation
The Burt Award is sponsored by CODE in collaboration with William (Bill) Burt and the Literary Prizes Foundation


A celebration of the Caribbean’s poetry and performance traditions, to mark the 60th birthyear of the late Jamaican dub poet Mikey Smith. Featuring Linton Kwesi Johnson, Lorna Goodison, Mervyn Morris, Anthony Joseph, Malika Booker, Kwame Dawes, Vahni Capildeo, Lauren Alleyne, and Vladmir Lucien, with a guest performance by Freetown Collective.
8 pm until • Bohemia, Murray Street, Woodbrook



pdf_downloadDownload the full 2014 Bocas Lit Festival programme here!


The final schedule is subject to changes. Except where otherwse indicated, events take place in the National Library and Old Fire Station, Abercromby and Hart Streets, Port of Spain. All events (except workshops) are free and open to the public — no tickets are required.

Printed programmes are available during the festival, indicating the location of each event in the National Library/Old Fire Station compound.