Saturday 26 April


A.J. Seymour at 100
An array of Guyanese writers and others mark the centenary of the pioneering author and editor by reading from his works. Featuring Kyk-over-Al co-editor Vanda Radzik, John Agard, Grace Nichols, Malika Booker, Gaiutra Bahadur, Yaphet Jackman, and Riyad Insanally, introduced by Nicholas Laughlin.
10–11 am • Old Fire Station


To dub or not to dub
Poets Kei Miller, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Lorna Goodison, and Lauren Alleyne discuss the delicate topic of dub poetry’s contemporary relevance. Chaired by Vladimir Lucien.
10–11 am • AV Room


How a writer reads
with Caryl Phillips
The prizewinning author of novels, essays, and screenplays shares the successful writer’s secret
10 am–12 pm • 2nd Floor Seminar Room.
Supported by the ANSA Caribbean Awards for Excellence programme


Coolie Woman
Guyanese-American writer Gaiutra Bahadur talks to scholar Gabrielle Hosein about her groundbreaking book of family and social history, and the importance of asking new questions about the past.
11 am–12 pm • Old Fire Station


The limits of tradition
As Trinidad Carnival evolves in a new century, how do we balance tradition and innovation? Virginia Pacifique-Marshall, author of The Carnival Suite and young artist/designer Ayodhya Ouditt debate the question with photographer and journalist Mark Lyndersay.
11 am–12 pm • AV Room


A Pierrot Grenade and Midnight Robber, both traditional characters of Trinidad Carnival, show off their witty wordplay. With Felix Edinborough and Fedon Honoré
12–1 pm • Abercromby Street Arcade


Through the lens of Anthony Wall
A reprise of our special series of documentaries on Caribbean culture made by British filmmaker Anthony Wall for the BBC’s Arena programme.
Maytime on the Mosquito Coast,
Caribbean Journey,
Brixton to Barbados,
Upon Westminster Bridge.
12–4 pm • AV Room


Our new open mic series gives budding writers of prose and poetry a chance to share their work. MC’d by Rhoda Bharath.
12–1 pm • 1st Floor Seminar Room


Crime: Breaking the Circle
Crime is the top issues of social concern for most Trinidadians and Tobagonians. But despite the efforts of politicians and the police, the circle of violence seems unbreakable. A high-level panel engages in a frank debate chaired by UK High Commissioner Arthur Snell, formerly responsible for security and crime-prevention programmes in the Middle East.
1.30–3 pm • Old Fire Station


Homegrown talent
Members of the Writers Union read from their work. With special guest Neil Bissoondath.
1.30–4 pm • 2nd Floor Seminar Room


How do characters speak on the page?
with Earl Lovelace
The winner of the 2012 OCM Bocas Prize shares insights into how to bring characters to life through dialogue, and what “dialect” means for a writer.
1.30–4 pm • 1st Floor Seminar Room


Turning history upside down
with Robert Antoni, Gerard Besson, and Bernardine Evaristo, chaired by Simon Lee
Three authors of historical novels read from their work and discuss how postcolonial writers are reinventing the genre.
3–4 pm • Old Fire Station


Wishing for Wings
Debbie Jacob’s book about teaching young offenders in T&T’s juvenile detention system raises hard questions about punishment and rehabilitation, and how we treat society’s “black sheep.” Two of her former students join the author for a conversation chaired by Judy Raymond.
4–5 pm • Old Fire Station


Nilanjana Roy and Roland Watson-Grant
chaired by Annie Paul
Debut novelists from India and Jamaica read from their books blending elements of the fantastic and the hyper-real.
4–5 pm • AV Room


2014 announcement ceremony
The winners of the OCM Bocas Prize and Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize are announced. Including an from Echoes of Carnival by the University of Trinidad and Tobago Musicians.
6–8 pm • National Academy for the Performing Arts, Queen’s Park South
By invitation


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.