Sunday 27 April


Kwame Dawes and Lauren Alleyne
chaired by Giselle Rampaul
A Jamaican literary veteran and a Trinidadian debut poet read from their new books.
10–11 am • Old Fire Station


The Books that Made Me
with Neil Bissoondath, Andre Bagoo, and Zee Edgell, chaired by Ifeona Fulani
Three writers talk about the literary influences that helped shaped their careers.
10–11 am • 1st Floor Seminar Room


Hamlet, dir. Kenneth Branagh
Our special programme of Shakespeare film adaptations opens with an epic adaptation of the Bard’s most famous tragedy. Using an uncut version of Shakespeare’s text, Branagh deploys an all-star cast and a grandiose 19th-century setting to tell this classic story of doubt, existential indecision, and revenge. Introduced by Nicholas Laughlin.
10 am–2 pm • AV Room


Writing Miss Lou
Mervyn Morris, biographer of Louise Bennett-Coverley, talks to Philip Nanton about writing the life and times of Jamaica’s iconic poet.
11 am–12 pm • Old Fire Station


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


NoViolet Bulawayo
The author of the Booker-shortlisted novel We Need New Names talks to Funso Aiyejina about her debut book and the state of life and literature in Zimbabwe.
12–1 pm • Old Fire Station


The start of a festival tradition: new books by an array of Caribbean writers make their world debut. Featuring:
Ground Level, by Jennifer Rahim (Peepal Tree Press)
Sounding Ground, by Vladimir Lucien (Peepal Tree Press)
Under the Peepal Tree, by Vashti Bowlah
Island Voices, by Philip Nanton (Papillote Press)
Mrs. B, by Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw (Peepal Tree Press)
1–5 pm • Old Fire Station


Shakespeare, our contemporary
As the Bard turns 450, how relevant is his writing to us in the here and now — the Caribbean in the 21st century? Theatre practitioners Elisha Bartels and Timmia Hearne debate the question with writer Mark McWatt and scholar Giselle Rampaul. Chaired by Nicholas Laughlin.
2–3 pm • AV Room


Private Romeo, dir. Alan Brown
The famous story of a pair of “star-crossed” lovers is given a new setting at a boys’ military academy in the contemporary US. As the students read Shakespeare’s play in the classroom, its powerful language gives poetic fluency to a budding romance that defies rules and conventions. Introduced by Nicholas Laughlin.
3–4.30 pm • AV Room


Celebrating the 2014 winners
Readings from the three books shortlisted for the 2014 OCM Bocas Prize: Oracabessa, by Lorna Goodison (poetry winner), As Flies to Whatless Boys, by Robert Antoni (fiction winner), and Writing Down the Vision, by Kei Miller (non-fiction winner). Introduced by Marjorie Thorpe, vice chair of the prize judges
5–6 pm • Old Fire Station


A Midwinter’s Tale, dir. Kenneth Branagh
Immediately before his epic version of Hamlet, Branagh filmed a slapstick comedy about a group of misfit actors attempting to stage the play. Both a sendup of theatre clichés and a wry tribute to theatre tradition, the film is ultimately about the power of Shakespeare’s drama to move and astonish actors and audience alike in the most misbegotten of circumstances. Introduced by Nicholas Laughlin.
4.30–6 pm • AV Room


The finalists in the 2014 VERSES Bocas Poetry Slam face off, bringing the 2014 festival to a close. With special guest performers.
5.30–7.30 pm • Central Bank Auditorium, Independence Square
Sponsored by First Citizens


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.