Survival Kit #2

Dear friends and book lovers,

As the weeks of COVID-19 anxiety turn into months of uncertainty, we need the intellectual and creative vital supplies of literature, art, and music more than ever. Welcome to the second edition of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest’s Survival Kit — drawing from new and recent books, online archives, and projects by past and present NGC Bocas Lit Fest writers, performers, and artists.

Here you’ll find doses of humour and beauty, stories of resilience and wonder, to stimulate you, console you, and even provoke you.

Feed your imagination, and look out for future editions of our Survival Kit in the coming months!

The NGC Bocas Lit Fest team

“Epiphaneia” and “Dead Reckoning”
Two poems from Epiphaneia, by Richard Georges

Set in the British Virgin Islands in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Richard Georges’s third book of poems — winner of the 2020 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature — meditates on family, community, and surviving the afflictions of history.
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Cooking cascadoux
Ingrid Persaud reads an excerpt from her new novel Love After Love
Described as “dazzling” and “electrifying,” Love After Love — set in San Fernando, Trinidad — tells the story of an unconventional family connected but also separated by secrets and choices. Author Ingrid Persaud is scheduled to appear at the 2020 NGC Bocas Lit Fest in September.
Find out more

Wendy Nanan at the Art Museum of the Americas, Washington, DC
Originally scheduled to debut in March, this major retrospective of the work of Wendy Nanan — acclaimed Trinidadian artist, and official artist for the 2013 NGC Bocas Lit Fest — had its opening postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The silver lining is that curator Andil Gosine and the Art Museum of the Americas have devised a week-long programme of online events and activities starting on 28 May, to share the contents of the exhibition with audiences everywhere. For more details, visit the Wendy Nanan Facebook page, where each element of the online programme will be released between 28 May and 4 June. Watch a short documentary film produced by Gosine in which Nanan recounts her evolution as an artist and relationship with her family while creating a new work for the exhibition.

An essay by Andre Bagoo, from the forthcoming book The Undiscovered Country
Courtesy Peepal Tree Press
Andre Bagoo’s book of essays, scheduled for publication in September 2020, is “a manifesto, a literary criticism, a personal chronicle of literary life, a book of days” — including this gently comic appreciation of Trinidad and Tobago’s unofficial national delicacy. The Undiscovered Country will be launched at the 2020 NGC Bocas Lit Fest in September.
Find out more

From Letters to K
An excerpt from the chapbook by Anu Lakhan
“Dear Herr Kafka,” begins this series of correspondence, “Thank you for your timely death.” Fiction or “fiction,” Letters to K is a delicate and always unexpected exploration of literary obsession — read by the author at last year’s NGC Bocas Lit Fest.
Order it here

“The Conference of the Birds”
A poem from The Science of Departures, by Adalber Salas Hernández, translated by Robin Myers
Published in 2018, La ciencia de las despedidas — The Science of Departures — is the seventh book of poems by Venezuelan writer Adalber Salas Hernández, who participated in the 2018 NGC Bocas Lit Fest. This sequence of poems considers “departure” as farewell, exile, individual and collective loss, drawing equally on contemporary Venezuelan politics, the literary canon, and personal history.
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Dark Cycles/Circles
Art and text by Christopher Cozier
Published in the latest issue of the literary journal AGNI, this portfolio of drawings by Trinidadian artist Christopher Cozier — a past NGC Bocas Lit Fest participant — comes accompanied by selections from the artist’s notebooks. With a dystopian vision “like a dead planet made from a blob of ink and rubbed-in carbon,” Cozier’s images were made long before the COVID-19 outbreak, but uncannily seem to comment on the world’s current predicament.
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A Simple Man
A short story by Irma Rambaran
“Things have a way of working out,” says the narrator of this bittersweet tale, from the archives of Caribbean Beat magazine. Irma Rambaran, who passed away in early 2016, was a fiction writer, filmmaker, and friend of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest. Her collected writings were recently privately published by her family.
Order it here

A tribute to Kamau Brathwaite
“Wake”, read by thirteen Caribbean writers
In case you missed it: a tribute from the NGC Bocas Lit Fest to Kamau Brathwaite, winner of the 2020 Bocas Henry Swanzy Award for Distinguished Service to Caribbean Letters. Thirteen Caribbean poets and scholars read a poem from Brathwaite’s celebrated trilogy The Arrivants. Plus read a celebration of Brathwaite’s life and legacy by Kelly Baker Josephs, published by Caribbean Beat magazine.

Music from Élan Parlē
If you ever wondered how the Caribbean voice manifests through music and skips across islands and waters, even in unprecedented times, Élan Parlē is a full record of such. An accomplished Caribbean jazz ensemble, founded and led by Michael “Ming” Low Chew Tung, they offer us an extensive catalogue of originals, unique covers, and Caribbean collaborations, produced under the Parlemusik Record Label.
Our top recommendations:
“Port of Spain”
“Tilly Ann”
Explore more of Élan Parlē Musik on YouTube and Facebook


See Survival Kit # 1 here


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