The second annual Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival will stream into homes all over the globe as the festival goes virtual for the first time. In response to the COVID19 pandemic, this Brooklyn-based celebration of Caribbean literature has migrated to an online platform and promises to be a “party for Caribbean stories”. Under the theme ‘Nation Language: Prose, Poetry and Sound’, 2020’s installment is dedicated to the works and memories of two important Barbadian and Barbadian-American writers, Paule Marshall and Kamau Brathwaite, both recently deceased.
Carded for September 10 – 13, 2020, this year’s festival features writing heavyweights like Kei Miller, Gerard Besson, Dimitry Leger, Curdella Forbes, Patricia Powell and Ernesto Quinonez, John R. Lee, Ifeona Fulani, Ingrid Persaud and Monique Roffey. Invited authors, poets and artists worldwide will participate in a creatively designed virtual program of readings, panels, and performances. This year’s theme assembles three of the most vital literary expression forms and magnifies the power and beauty of ‘nation language’. The term was first coined by Kamau Brathwaite to uplift and validate the language forms of Caribbean people. In her lifetime, Paule Marshall was a vocal admirer of the linguistic rhythms and patterns of Barbadian speech, and credits much of her writing influence to her mother’s relationship with language.
The festival opens with a panel event on the life of Paule Marshall, led by Dr. Elizabeth Nunez and includes events on folklore, debut novels, a poetry celebration entitled Laureates of the Caribbean and the much-loved music-centered interview, I Belong to the House of Music hosted by Attillah Springer. The festival added a new award for writers in the Caribbean to its existing Caribbean-American writing award. The winners of the competition will be announced later this month.
The Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival is the brainchild of Marsha Massiah and is being supported and executed as a partnership with Community Revitalization Partnership (CRP). The BCLF is pleased to list the Center for Fiction, The Idea Room Corp., Akashic Books, Peepal Tree Press, Callaloo Box, Carryon Friends and CaribBiz Network among its festival partners.