Words Alive

The best of contemporary poetry and fiction, from an exciting lineup of Caribbean and international authors
Day 1
28 Apr 2016

One-on-one with Gillian Slovo

The South Africa-born writer talks about her career grappling with questions of justice and violence in her novels and memoirs.
Gillian Slovo

One-on-one with Vahni Capildeo

The author of the T.S. Eliot Prize–shortlisted Measures of Expatriation traces her devious route through the landscapes of language, in conversation with Anu Lakhan.
Anu Lakhan
Vahni Capildeo

One-on-one with Kamila Shamsie

The Pakistani-British writer talks to Shivanee Ramlochan about writing across national, cultural, and historical borders.
Kamila Shamsie
Shivanee Ramlochan

Family ties

Ramabai Espinet, author of The Swinging Bridge, and Garfield Ellis, author of The Angels’ Share, read from their novels exploring the complications of family across generations; chaired by Ibrahim Ahmad.
Garfield Ellis
Ibrahim Ahmad
Ramabai Espinet

Family ties

Ramabai Espinet, author of The Swinging Bridge, and Garfield Ellis, author of The Angels’ Share, read from their novels exploring the complications of family across generations.
Garfield Ellis
Ramabai Espinet

New Worlds, Old Ways: Speculative Tales from the Caribbean

Peekash presents: the launch of New Worlds, Old Ways: Speculative Tales from the Caribbean. Presented in partnership with Peekash. Featuring Karen Lord, Ararimeh Aiyejina, Summer Edward, Kevin Jared Hosein, Brandon...
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Brandon O’Brien
Hadassah K. Williams
Karen Lord
Kevin Jared Hosein
Portia Subran
Summer Edward
Day 2
29 Apr 2016

Poetry is an Island

St Lucian John Robert Lee, author of City Remembrances, and Bahamian Sonia Farmer read from their poems about the lives and times of small islands.
John Robert Lee
Sonia Farmer

One-on-one with Paul Keens-Douglas

T&T’s beloved storyteller talks to Miguel Browne about a lifetime of making people laugh while tackling serious concerns.
Miguel Browne
Paul Keens-Douglas


A new anthology of Trinidadian short fiction makes its debut. Featuring Ian F. Ali, June Aming, Ty N. Batson, Stephen Brown, Elspeth Duncan, Jeanne Mason, Betty Peter, Carolyn S. Seereeram-Harnanan,...
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Betty Peter
Carolyn S. Seereeram-Harnanan
Colleen Selvon-Rampersad
Elspeth Duncan
Ian F. Ali
Jeanne Mason
Judith Theodore
June Aming
June Aming
Stephen Brown
Ty N. Batson

Stories of Home

Olive Senior, author of The Pain Tree, and Anton Nimblett, author of Sections of an Orange, discuss writing fictions of past homelands from the vantage point of a new country;...
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Anton Nimblett
Evelyn O’Callaghan
Olive Senior

Taking flight

Hannah Lowe, author of Chan, and Karen McCarthy Woolf, author of A Small Aviary of Birds, read their poems winging through family history and the shape-shifting journeys of art; chaired...
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Gemma Robinson
Hannah Lowe
Karen McCarthy Woolf

One-on-one With Dionne Brand

The Trinidad-born former Poet Laureate of Toronto talks to Shivanee Ramlochan about her life in literature across genres, from poetry to fiction to memoir.
Dionne Brand
Shivanee Ramlochan

Where there’s a Will

Make way for Mr. Shakespeare… In Shakespeare’s quatercentenary year, T&T’s writers and musicians bring us news from one of the English language’s greatest writers. With an extempo duel between Gypsy...
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Andre Bagoo
Ariana Herbert
Arielle John
Brendon O’Brien
Colin Robinson
Lisa Allen-Agostini
Rhoda Bharath
Sharon Millar
Winston “Gypsy” Peters
Day 3
30 Apr 2016

Brave new worlds

Karen Lord and Daniel José Older read from their books and explain why speculative fiction is more politically relevant than ever; chaired by Lisa Allen-Agostini.
Daniel José Older
Karen Lord
Lisa Allen-Agostini

On poetic ground

Reginald Dwayne Betts, author of Bastards of the Reagan Era, and Rowan Ricardo Phillips, author of Heaven, read their works and discuss the state of contemporary American poetry; chaired by...
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Andre Bagoo
Reginald Dwayne Betts
Rowan Ricardo Phillips

One-on-one with Pauline Melville

The Guyana-born author reveals how history and Amerindian myth inform her compelling fictions, in conversation with Vanda Radzic.
Pauline Melville
Vanda Radzik

One-on-one with Marlon James

The 2015 Man Booker Prize winner discusses the power of stories, the pitfalls of fame, and the motivations of music with Marina Salandy-Brown.
Marina Salandy-Brown
Marlon James

Far from home

Jacqueline Bishop and Tishani Doshi read from their restless, far-ranging poems; chaired by Rose-Ann Walker.
Jacqueline Bishop
Tishani Doshi

Writers’ Union presents

Feature speaker Michelene Adams discusses the intersections of creative writing and literary scholarship, followed by readings from Writers’ Union members.
Michelene Adams

The return of Victor Questel

More than three decades after his death, the poems of Victor Questel — a major creative voice in 1970s T&T — are finally brought to print. Publisher Jeremy Poynting, scholar...
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Earl Lovelace
Gordon Rohlehr
Jeremy Poynting
John Robert Lee
Vahni Capildeo
Day 4
01 May 2016

Lunatics, Lovers, and Poets

Writer Nell Leyshon reads from her story in a new anthology celebrating the legacies of Shakespeare and Cervantes, and discusses why their classic works have weathered the centuries and still...
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Carolina Arrieta Castillo
David Codling
Nell Leyshon

Sunday Launch

Books by three Trinidadian authors make their debut. Featuring: The Repenters, by Kevin Jared Hosein You Have You Father Hard Head, by Colin Robinson The Colour of Shadows, by Judy...
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Colin Robinson
Judy Raymond
Kevin Jared Hosein

The Jewelled Deer: Exploring the Ramayana

Ascribed to the “first poet” Valmiki, the Ramayana is one of the epic works of world literature, and has been translated into numerous languages over the centuries. Vivek Narayanan presents...
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Geeta Ramsingh
Vivek Narayanan