Words Alive

The best of contemporary poetry and fiction, from an exciting lineup of Caribbean and international authors
Day 1
25 Apr 2018

Backchat: Port of Spain

Celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the groundbreaking, first-ever Caribbean LGBT literary reading. With drinks, music, sizzling stories, and penetrating poems. Curated by Colin Robinson.
Colin Robinson
Day 2
26 Apr 2018

Burt Award Showcase

Readings by and conversation with the 2018 finalists Imam Baksh, Shakirah Bourne and Elizabeth Jones, introduced and chaired by Janet Smyth. In partnership with CODE. Now in its fifth year,...
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Elizabeth J. Jones
Imam Baksh
Janet Smyth
Shakirah Bourne

One-on-One with Alex Wheatle

Alex Wheatle reads from his celebrated young adult novels and talks to Carolyn Cooper about the importance of representing diverse communities on the page.
Alex Wheatle
Carolyn Cooper

The Lunchtime Jam

An open mic event for all. Featuring some of T&T’s best new talent. 

Burt Award: Celebrating our 2017 winners

Viviana Prado-Núñez, Kevin Jared Hosein, and Lisa Allen-Agostini, 2017 CODE’s Burt Award winners, launch their new books The Art of White Roses, The Beast of Kukuyo, and Home Home. In...
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Kevin Jared Hosein
Lisa Allen-Agostini
Viviana Prado-Núñez

Windham Campbell Prizes Present: Erna Brodber

The iconic Jamaican novelist and anthropologist Erna Brodber talks to Evelyn O’Callaghan about the range of her life’s creative work.
Erna Brodber
Evelyn O’Callaghan

Take Two: Ingrid Persaud and Celeste Mohammed

Ingrid Persaud and Celeste Mohammed, both recent winners of international prizes for their short fiction, discuss the art of the Caribbean short story with Ira Mathur.
Celeste Mohammed
Ingriod Persaud
Ingrid Persaud
Ira Mathur

Robber Talk

A celebration of the Midnight Robber, one of T&T’s indigenous performance traditions. Writers Vahni Capildeo, Rhoda Bharath and Colin Robinson read new pieces inspired by the art of robber talk, and a master Midnight Robber delivers sinister news and topical commentary.
Colin Robinson
Damian Whiskey
Rhoda Bharath
Vahni Capildeo

Meet The Naipauls

The launch of Savi Naipaul Akal’s family memoir, The Naipauls of Nepaul Street, featuring the author in conversation with Jeremy Poynting, plus readings by Bhoe Tewarie.
Bhoendradatt Tewarie
Jeremy Poynting
Savitri (Savi) Naipaul Akal

Meet The Naipauls

The launch of Savi Naipaul Akal’s family memoir, The Naipauls of Nepaul Street, featuring the author in conversation with Jeremy Poynting, plus readings by Bhoe Tewarie and Marjorie Thorpe.
Day 3
27 Apr 2018

An Island State Of Mind: So Many Islands

Tracy Assing and Jacob Ross, contributors to the groundbreaking anthology So Many Islands, in a conversation about what makes “island” writing unique. Chaired by Nicholas Laughlin. In partnership with Commonwealth...
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Jacob Ross
Nicholas Laughlin
Tracy Assing

Tribute: The legacies of Wayne Brown

The late Trinidadian poet, fiction-writer, editor and mentor left an indelible stamp on contemporary Caribbean letters — as attested by his daughter, filmmaker Mariel Brown, and writers Sharon Millar, Keith...
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Kei Miller
Keith Jardim
Mariel Brown
Sharon Millar

One-on-One with Afua Hirsch

The UK journalist, author of Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging, talks to Marina Salandy-Brown about nationalism and ethnic tensions in contemporary Britain, 70 years after the arrival of the...
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Afua Hirsch
Marina Salandy-Brown

Take Two: Adalber Salas Hernández and Michael Kelleher

Poets Adalber Salas Hernández of Venezuela and Michael Kelleher of the US read from work ranging from meditations on the nature of art to personal dilemmas in troubled times; chaired...
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Adalber Salas Hernández
Michael Kelleher
Nicholas Laughlin

Take Three: Keep it Short

Grenadian Jacob Ross and Trinidadians Jennifer Rahim and Keith Jardim read from and discuss their short fiction with a sharp eye on the perils and politics of the contemporary Caribbean;...
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Jacob Ross
Jennifer Rahim
Jeremy Poynting
Keith Jardim

One-on-One With David Chariandy

The author of Brother, winner of the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, talks to Kelly Baker Josephs about his novels turning family history into investigations of community and identity.
David Chariandy
Kelly Baker Josephs

Take Two: Writing Back Home

US-based TT poets Mervyn Taylor and Lauren K. Alleyne read from their work and discuss the challenges and responsibilities of immigrant writers in the age of Trump. Chaired by Joanne...
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Joanne V. Gabbin
Lauren K. Alleyne
Mervyn Taylor

Always Lit: A big night of literature and music at the Big Black Box

Four extraordinary new books make their debut! Join us for the launch of Thicker Than Water, a new anthology of fiction, poems, and creative non-fiction by Hollick Arvon Prize finalists,...
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Anthony Joseph
Barbara Jenkins
Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné
Day 4
28 Apr 2018

One-On-One With Romesh Gunesekera

The renowned Sri Lankan writer talks to Susheila Nasta about his life and work spanning continents and oceans.
Romesh Gunesekera
Sushiela Nasta

Take Three: Island to Island

The personal becomes the political in the poems of UK Poet Raymond Antrobus, OCM Bocas Prize-longlisted Bahamian Sonia Farmer and Forward Prize-shortlisted Richard Georges of the British Virgin Islands. Chaired...
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Andre Bagoo
Raymond Antrobus
Richard Georges
Sonia Farmer

The Suffrage Of Elvira At 60

Dramatised excerpts from V.S. Naipaul’s classic political satire, directed by Kenneth Ramchand.
Ken Ramchand

Secret Lives: Inspired by the archives

Presenting new pieces inspired by T&T’s literary archives, by Andre Bagoo, Anu Lakhan, and Breanne McIvor, joined in conversation with Kei Miller. In partnership with Caribbean Literary Heritage, supported by...
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Andre Bagoo
Anu Lakhan
Breanne McIvor
Kei Miller

Salon: balancing creative and editorial roles

Barbadian writer and editor Robert Edison Sandiford on balancing creative and editorial roles, and the literary scene in Bim.

Take Two: Haiti in all my dreams

The devastating Haitian earthquake of 2010 underlies the work in fiction and poetry by Haitian-American writers Katia D. Ulysse and Danielle Legros Georges. Chaired by Ibrahim Ahmad.
Danielle Legros Georges
Ibrahim Ahmad
Katia D. Ulysse

Salon: In conversation with Barbara Lalla

An intimate conversation with Barbara Lalla, as she talks to Shivanee Ramlochan about her career wrestling with language as both linguist and novelist.
Barbara Lalla
Shivanee Ramlochan

Writers Union Presents

Writers’ Union members present their recent work, plus a feature presentation on “Writing as Worship” by scholar Kumar Mahabir.
Kumar Mahabir
Day 5
29 Apr 2018

Man Booker Prize Presents

2013 Man Booker Prizewinner Eleanor Catton, author of The Luminaries, talks to Shivanee Ramlochan about the challenges of historical fiction, the literature of New Zealand, and her experience of being...
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Eleanor Catton

Beyond Boundaries

In North America and Europe, home to substantial Caribbean diaspora populations, recent politics have put questions of ethnicity and migration on the front burner. UK writer Afua Hirsch, author of...
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Afua Hirsch
Alison Donnell
Anthony Joseph
Debbie Jacob
Muli Amaye

The Black Jacobins at 80

Excerpts from the theatrical adaptation of C.L.R James’s classic account of the Haitian Revolution, directed by Wendell Manwarren
Wendell Manwarren

People’s Choice T&T Book Of The Year

Readings by the six finalists, as voted by readers across the country, introduced by Newsday editor in chief Judy Raymond.
Judy Raymond

Take Two: Let poems blaze

US poet Kaveh Akbar and Jamaican Shara McCallum read from their poems addressing addiction, madness, home, and the divine. Chaired by Shivanee Ramlochan.
Kaveh Akbar
Shara Mccallum
Shivanee Ramlochan

Salon: “Commonwealth literature” in the 21st century

What does “Commonwealth literature” mean in the 21st century, and how do writers from the very different nations of the Commonwealth question the history that connects them? Writers Romesh Gunesekera...
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Romesh Gunesekera
Sharon Millar

Windham Campbell Prizes Present

Trinidad-born, Canada-based writer André Alexis, author of the multiple-award-winning novel Fifteen Dogs, talks to Michael Kelleher about literature, ideas, and the problematic concept of “home”.
André Alexis
Michael Kelleher

Sunday Launch

An extraordinary poetry doubleheader as two new books ­– Ricantations by 2012 OCM Bocas poetry prizewinner Loretta Collins Klobah and Venus as a Bear by TT’s own Forward Prizewinner Vahni Capildeo ­–...
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Vahni Capildeo