This Memorial Day weekend, travelers can combine a relaxing warm-weather getaway with the Caribbean’s “smartest” festival during the fourth annual “Anguilla Lit Fest: A Literary Jollification” from May 21 – 24. Honoring the literary heritage of Anguilla, the three-day event brings together an accomplished list of celebrity authors and speakers with book lovers and literary connoisseurs to celebrate and explore the creative process. With special room rates currently being offered by participating hotels, including host property Paradise Cove, and Sponsor Hotel, Cuisinart Golf Resort and Spa, and an ever-expanding network of transportation options, including the newly launched service via Seaborne Airlines between San Juan and Anguilla, now is the time to book and finalize travel plans to attend this annual event.
Featured speakers for this year’s event include authors, poets and publishers from a variety of fields, including celebrity novelist, Zane; award-winning author and former Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan Magazine, Kate White; best-selling author, lecturer and philanthropist, Elizabeth Nunez; world-renowned author Benilde Little; Grammy-award-winning performance poet, author and motivational speaker, J. Ivy; debut Antiguan author, Joanne Hillhouse; award-winning author and associate publisher of The Sun magazine, Krista Bremer; as well as celebrated author, professor of Creative Writing, and co-founder of the Calabash International Literary Festival in Jamaica, Colin Channer.
The publishing panel features Books Editor of O: Oprah Magazine, Leigh Haber; Editor-in-Chief of Writers’ Digest, Jessica Strawser; Senior Publicity Managerof Atria Books/Simon & Shuster, Yona Deshommes; and critically-acclaimed author, educator and publisher, Dr. Rhoda Arrindell of House of Nehesi Publishers in St. Martin.
A number of Anguilla’s leading literary giants will also be featured at this year’s Lit Fest, including the author of a Fortunate Member of a Caribbean Diaspora, Phillip Arnell; author and host of Positive Living, Marilyn Hodge; noted poet, Lena Gumbs; and performance poet, Timmie Webster.
This year’s event will also celebrate the 2015 Malliouhana Poetry Competition winners, under the theme, Jollification in the 21st century, which is coordinated by the Anguilla Community College and the Department of Youth and Culture in memory of cultural activist, the late Linda Lake; as well as presentations by poets of Anguilla’s soon-to-be-released foundational anthology of poetry, “Where I See the Sun – Contemporary Poetry in Anguilla”, which includes more than 90 poems from 42 seasoned poets and up and coming writers from Anguilla. A selection of books of the featured guest authors, poets and publishers will be available for purchase on-site from The Anguilla Lit Fest Book Table, which is coordinated by the Anguilla Library Service.
The Anguilla Lit Fest: A Literary Jollification honors Anguilla’s literary heritage and offers another enticing reason to come to the island in the early summer. A registration fee of US$150.00 includes a welcome cocktail party, breakfast and lunch presentations, special sessions with the authors and fun-filled evening soirees. The program also includes a day at leisure on Sunday to ensure that participants will have the opportunity to experience the island’s various offerings, from beaches to culinary to watersports and more. As in previous years, arrangements are being made for students from the Primary Schools to interact with the visiting authors, and for students from the Secondary School to attend the presentation of the event headliner as specially invited guests. There is also a special session for children and young writers on Saturday, May 23 in the afternoon.