Social distancing is in full effect, but literary events continue to bring us together in the virtual world.

2020 is a milestone year for the NGC Bocas Lit Fest: the tenth year of Trinidad and Tobago’s national literature festival, which has grown into the Anglophone Caribbean’s biggest annual literary celebration.

The 2020 NGC Bocas Lit Fest, running from 18 to 20 September, will go down in history for another reason: it’s the first-ever entirely virtual and online version of the festival, with 80 participating writers and speakers and a programme of free events livestreamed via our website and social media.

All festival events are free and accessible to all, with no tickets or registration. The programme will be streamed live at,, and

The schedule below is set to Trinidad and Tobago clocks – Atlantic Standard Time GMT-4.


Day 1
18 Sep 2020

Stand & Deliver: Future Friday edition

Our signature open mic event returns, in virtual form! Writers share their stories, poems, and musings, imagining how the Caribbean could evolve after the events of 2020.

Circa 2120

A century from now, what might Caribbean history look like? What do our present concerns and opportunities suggest about the way ahead? Featuring readings by Brandon O’Brien, Shivanee Ramlochan, and Hadassah K. Williams
Brandon O’Brien
Hadassah K. Williams
Shivanee Ramlochan

Back to the future

Four of the Caribbean’s best speculative fiction writers discuss how the genre helps us imagine alternatives for the future. Featuring Karen Lord, Tobias S. Buckell, Nalo Hopkinson, and Malka Older
Karen Lord
Malka Older
Nalo Hopkinson
Tobias S. Buckell
Day 2
19 Sep 2020

New Talent Showcase

Five up-and coming Caribbean writers, all recent graduates of UWI St. Augustine’s creative writing MFA programme, share their work in progress.
Muli Amaye

Stand & Deliver: Virtual Edition #2

Another edition of our signature open mic event! Writers of all kinds and genres share their work in progress in this virtual session.
Miscellaneous Authors

The Legacies of 1970

What does the 1970 Black Power Revolution mean for today's issues of race and class? Chike Pilgrim, Amílcar Sanatan, and Attillah Springer discuss what 1970 means today. Chaired by Sunity Maharaj
Amílcar Sanatan
Attillah Springer
Chike Pilgrim
Sunity Maharaj

Revolution time

Four contemporary writers read new stories and poems that reflect on 1970, 2020, and the links between. Featuring Lisa Allen-Agostini, Vahni Capildeo, Amílcar Sanatan, and Desirée Seebaran.
Amílcar Sanatan
Desiree Seebaran
Lisa Allen-Agostini
Vahni Capildeo

The personal is always political

Katherine Agyemaa Agard, Andre Bagoo, and Tessa McWatt discuss their new books in which deeply personal stories become prisms for examining bigger political histories. Chaired by Grace Aneiza Ali
Andre Bagoo
Grace Aneiza Ali
Katherine Agyemaa Agard
Tessa McWatt

Celebrating our 2020 prizewinners!

See OCM Bocas Prize winners Richard Georges, Edwidge Danticat, and Tessa McWatt, and Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize winner Amanda Choo Quan receive their awards
Amanda Choo Quan
Edwidge Danticat
Richard Georges
Tessa McWatt

The strength of islands

In difficult times, how does literature help us come to terms with adversity, and turn surviving into thriving? Featuring poets Richard Georges, Celia Sorhaindo, and Lasana Sekou. Chaired by Nailah Folami Imoja
Celia A. Sorhaindo
Lasana M. Sekou
Nailah Folami Imoja
Richard Georges
Day 3
20 Sep 2020

A question of leadership

From the COVID-19 pandemic to the effects of climate change, the Caribbean region faces a time of crisis. What is the state of our current political leadership? A conversation with P.J. Patterson, Godfrey Smith, and Alissa Trotz, chaired by Andy Knight
Alissa Trotz
Andy Knight
Godfrey P. Smith
P.J. Patterson

Extempo Debate: Political Leadership

Master calypsonians Black Sage and Brian London debate political leadership in Trinidad and Tobago.
Black Sage
Brian London
Brian London

Crick Crack Monkey at 50

We celebrate the half-century anniversary of Merle Hodge’s beloved classic novel with a virtual staged reading.
Conrad Parris
Elisha Efua Bartels
Isoke Efia Edwards
Mandisa Granderson

Family matters: new fiction by Caroline Mackenzie and Ingrid Persaud

T&T debut authors Caroline Mackenzie (One Year of Ugly) and Ingrid Persaud (Love After Love) share their new novels about family, love, secrets and secret crimes. Chaired by Ira Mathur
Caroline Mackenzie
Ingriod Persaud
Ingrid Persaud
Ira Mathur

Infinite islands: new poetry by John Robert Lee and Canisia Lubrin

St. Lucian writers John Robert Lee (Pierrot) and Canisia Lubrin (The Dyzgraphxst) read from their ambitious new books of poems. Chaired by Vladimir Lucien
Canisia Lubrin
John Robert Lee
Vladimir Lucien

Home and away: new short fiction by Zalika Reid-Benta and Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw

Jamaican-Canadian Zalika Reid-Benta (Frying Plantain) and Trinidadian Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw (Stick No Bills) read from their new short story collections, exploring the lives of contemporary women in T&T, Canada, and Jamaica. Chaired by Desirée Seebaran
Desiree Seebaran
Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw
Zalika Reid-Benta

Tales of the islands: new fiction by Monique Roffey and Jacob Ross

Award-winning writers Monique Roffey (The Mermaid of Black Conch) and Jacob Ross (Black Rain Falling) explain how their new novels explore questions of history, race, love and violence. Chaired by Ayanna Gillian Lloyd
Ayanna Gillian Lloyd
Jacob Ross
Monique Roffey

The Sea Needs No Ornament: launching the groundbreaking new anthology

This groundbreaking new bilingual anthology of poems by Caribbean women, translated and edited by Loretta Collins Klobah and Maria Grau Perejoan, assembles powerful voices from across the region. Launched with a conversation chaired by Nicole Roberts and featuring readings by Gloriann Sacha Antonetty-Lebrón, Ann-Margaret Lim, Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné, and Legna Rodríguez Iglesias
Ann-Margaret Lim
Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné
Gloriann Sacha Antonetty Lebrón
Legna Rodríguez Iglesias
Loretta Collins Klobah
Maria Grau Perejoan
Nicole Roberts