Jamaica Celebrates The 10th Anniversary Of The Calabash International Literary Festival

Jamaica comes to life with the sights and sounds of local and international literary works at the 10th Annual Calabash International Literary Festival. This year’s event will bring together an extraordinary mix of new and established writers from around the world for the most anticipated annual literary event in the Caribbean region. The three-day festival, free and open to the public, will take place over Memorial Day weekend, May 28 – 30, 2010 at Jake’s, in Treasure Beach, on Jamaica’s South Coast. In honor of its 10th anniversary, Festival organizers have collaborated to produce So Much Things to Say, an anthology of the works of renowned poets who have performed at the festival over the years.

“For visitors looking to be romanced by powerful prose, the Calabash Literary Festival is the event that will appease their literary craving,” said John Lynch, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “Hosting some of the world’s greatest literary talent exposes the depth of Jamaica’s culture, which transcends the cuisine and music. At the core of our culture are the people who stimulate thought-provoking discussions and encourage the love of self and country, and the Calabash Literary Festival provides an avenue for expression.”

Global Participation

Truly international, Calabash has grown dramatically since its inception ten years ago, attracting writers from around the globe. Calabash has consistently delivered inspirational performances by both well-known and new writers, and by great musicians, in programs of spoken poetry, readings from novels, stimulating discussion, and music.

The selection of authors and performers for Calabash 2010 includes Nigerian Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, US Poet Laureate Billy Collins, Russell Banks, Sharon Olds, Geoff Dyer, Nami Mun and Colson Whitehead. The opening night will feature a rare screening of the late Jamaican director Trevor Rhone’s 1976 comedy classic Smile Orange, the story of a roguish waiter at a beachside hotel. Reggae superstar Freddie McGregor and the soulful Etana, will treat the audience to the invigorating rhythms of live reggae music at a late night concert. The festival culminates with an acoustic exploration of the lyrics of Bob Marley’s final studio album Uprising, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

Commemorative Book

The milestone of Calabash 2010 will also be marked by the release of the anthology So Much Things to Say, a collection of works by 100 poets who have appeared at the festival since its inception. The anthology was edited by Jamaican novelist Colin Channer and award-winning poet and playwright Dr. Kwame Dawes, and published by Akashic Books in New York. So Much Things to Say, which is a beautiful and affordable soft cover original with elegant French flaps, features works from Li Young Lee, Derek Walcott, Elizabeth Alexander, Martin Espada, Michael Ondaatje and a host of other distinguished poets.