Get to know the speakers who will be leading various panel discussions, workshops and special events during this year’s BVI Literary Festival. Many of the events are free to attend, and most take place at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College in the Eileene L. Parsons Auditorium or the Learning Resources Centre. Email questions to email@example.com, and register for events at www.bvilitfest.com/register.
– BVI Business Legacies Panel: 10-11 a.m. at ELP
– Poetry is a Place Panel: 10-11 a.m. at LRC
– Auteurs in Bloom Panel: 11 a.m.-noon at LRC
– A Brighter Sun: The Sam Selvon Centenary Panel: 11 a.m.-noon at ELP
– Songs of My People: BVI Song Writers’Music Lab: 12:30-1:30 p.m. at LRC
– Caribbean Britannia Panel: 12:30-1:30 p.m. at ELP
– The Ethical Traveller Panel: 1:30-2:30 p.m. at LRC
– Film: 5 Minutes with Elizabeth Nunez: 1:30-2 p.m. at ELP
– “Pitch Your Book” — One-on-One Coaching Sessions: 2:30-3:30 p.m. at LRC (Contact Safiya Smith at 852-7230 or firstname.lastname@example.org to register for $30)
– The Future of Money Virtual Lecture: 3:30-5 p.m. at ELP
– Sunset Stories: 7-8:30 p.m. at Brandywine Estate Restaurant (No reservation or registration required)
– Literary Wonderland – Children’s Programme: 9 a.m.-noon at LRC (Free registration)
– Odes: The Art of Salvaging Poetry Workshop: 10 a.m.-noon at HLSCC Room S3 (Registration $30)
– For Everyday Use Fiction Workshop: 10 a.m.-noon at HLSCC Room H3 (Registration $30)
– Life Story Non-Fiction Workshop: 10 a.m.-noon at HLSCC Room S2 (Registration $30)
– “Pitch Your Book” — One-on-One Coaching Sessions: 12:30-1:30 p.m. at LRC (Contact Safiya Smith at 284-852-7230 or email@example.com to register for $30)
– An Insider’s Guide to the Publishing Industry: 1:30-3:30 p.m. at LRC (Registration fee $30)
– Light a Fire: Poet’s Showcase: 6-8 p.m. at Sushi Bar (Reservations recommended. Call 495-1122)
– Book Brunch: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at 1748 Restaurant in the Long Bay Beach Resort (Free and no reservation or registration is required. A complimentary drink and 25 percent discount on brunch meals will be offered.)
MEET THE SPEAKERS
Paul Krugman is a Nobel Prize winning-journalist and economist. He also writes an op-ed for The New York Times. Mr. Krugman is speaking at The Future of Money virtual panel discussion.
Charmaine Wilkerson is a former journalist and the author of the New York Times-best-selling debut novel Black Cake. Ms. Wilkerson is reading an excerpt of her latest work at the Sunset Stories at Brandywine.
Afua Hirsch is a professor of journalism at the University of Southern California, a contributor to several major publications, and the author of Decolonising My Body, among other award-winning books. Ms. Hirsch is speaking at the Book Brunch at 1748 Restaurant.
Leone Ross is the author of short stories and the novels All the Blood is Red and Orange Laughter. She also taught at the University College Dublin, Cardiff University and Roehampton University in London. Ms. Ross is speaking at the Caribbean Britannia panel discussion.
Jonathan Escoffery is the author of the award-winning linked story collection If I Survive You and winner of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, among other honours. He also founded the Boston Writers of Color Group. Mr. Escoffery is speaking at the Book Brunch at 1748 Restaurant.
Tiphanie Yanique is a novelist, poet, essayist and short story writer from St. Thomas. She authored Monster in the Middle, selected as the US Library of Congress Great Read for 2023, as well as Land of Love and Drowning, and she is a member of the Virgin Islands Studies Collective. Ms. Yanique is reading an excerpt of her latest work at the Sunset Stories at Brandywine and is leading the For Everyday Use Fiction Workshop.
Alecia McKenzie wrote the short story collection Satellite City and the novel Sweetheart, both of which won Commonwealth literary prizes. She has penned many other works and is also working on a multimedia project involving visual art, poetry, film and music. Ms. McKenzie is reading an excerpt of her latest work at the Sunset Stories at Brandywine.
Anthony Anaxagorou has written several poetry collections, and his work Heritage Aesthetics won the RSL Ondaatje Prize 2023. He is the editor-in-chief of Propel Magazine, artistic director of Out-Spoken, and publisher of Out-Spoken Press. Mr. Anaxagorou is performing at the Light a Fire: Poet’s Showcase.
Faith Adielé is a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and Nonfiction Writing Program and author of the memoir TWINS. She became Thailand’s first black Buddhist nun and inspired a PBS documentary about her family. Ms. Adielé is speaking at The Ethical Traveller panel discus- sion and is leading the Odes: The Art of Salvaging Poetry Workshop.
Canisia Lubrin has authored multiple books, including Voodoo Hypothesis and The Dyzgraphxst. She is a poetry editor at McClelland & Stewart/Penguin Random House Canada. She has received the Griffin Poetry Prize, OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, the OCM Bocas Prize for Poetry, and the Derek Walcott Prize. Ms. Lubrin is performing at the Light a Fire: Poet’s Showcase.
Shivanee Ramlochan wrote her debut novel Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting and was short-listed for the 2018 Forward Prize for Poetry. Her works have been included in many anthologies, and she is a translation selector for the Poetry Book Society. Ms. Ramlochan is speaking at the Poetry is a Place panel discussion and is performing at the Light a Fire: Poet’s Showcase.
Yona Deshommes is the founder of the public relations company Riverchild Media, which specialises in books by and for authors of colour. She is also an educator and has worked for 15 years in the book publishing industry. Ms. Deshommes is leading the Insider’s Guide to the Publishing Industry workshop.
Ana Portnoy Brimmer is one of the Poets & Writers 2021 Debut Poets and author of To Love an Island and Que Tiemble. She also won the 92Y Discovery Poetry Contest 2020 and a 2023 MASS MoCA Fellowship for Artists from Puerto Rico. Ms. Brimmer is speaking at the Poetry is a Place panel discussion.
Nicholas Laughlin is a programme director of the Bocas Lit Fest, editor of The Caribbean Review of Books, and author of The Strange Years of My Life. Mr. Laughlin is speaking at the A Brighter Sun: The Sam Selvon Centenary panel discussion.
Yesha Townsend is a lecturer at Bermuda College and has been a mentor for the Bermuda National Youth Poetry Slam Team. She has published in The Bermudian Magazine, BerMemes, the Bermuda Anthology of Memoir and Creative Non-Fiction, and POUi: Cave Hill Journal of Creative Writing. Ms. Townsend is performing at the Light a Fire: Poet’s Showcase.
Amanda Hernández runs the poetry press and risograph printing studio La Impresora and an independent publisher. Her works include Entre Tanto Amarillo, El Momento de las Cosas, and Estrategias Atómicas. Ms. Hernández is speaking at the Poetry is a Place panel discussion.
Marsha Massiah is the founder of the Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival. Ms. Massiah is presenting at the Film: 5 Minutes with Elizabeth Nunez showing and speaking at Books and Brunch.
Richard Georges is the president of H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, the Virgin Islands’ first poet laureate, and winner of the 2020 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature for his work Epiphaneia. Dr. Georges is speaking at the A Brighter Sun: The Sam Selvon Centenary panel discussion and performing at the Light a Fire: Poet’s Showcase.
Alscess Lewis-Brown is the co-chair of the Virgin Islands Literary Festival and editor-in-chief of The Caribbean Writer. She authored Efa and the Mosquito, The Moko Jumbi Majorettes, Promise of the Pomegranate, Moko Jumbi Dreams, and Footsteps to the Sunrise. Ms. Lewis-Brown is speaking at the A Brighter Sun: The Sam Selvon Centenary panel discussion.
Alton Bertie is a performer and graduate from the Berklee College of Music. He also pursues his interest in marine conservation and technology. Mr. Bertie is speaking at the Songs of My People: BVI Song Writers’ Music Lab.
Patricia Turnbull is a former principal lecturer at HLSCC, serving as the Division of Language, Literature and Communications head. She is the author of three books, a Commonwealth Fellow in Cultural Studies, and a James Michenor Fellow in Caribbean Writing. Ms. Turnbull is speaking at the A Brighter Sun: The Sam Selvon Centenary panel discussion.
Enya Douglas-Tarabay is a film director and scriptwriter working on two independent projects. She is also a lecturer at HLSCC specialising in history, humanities and drama. Ms. Douglas-Tarabay is moderating the Auteurs in Bloom panel discussion.
Shea Alexander is a consultant with his firm O’Neal Alexander Consulting Group Ltd and curator at his boutique Sekani. Mr. Alexander is moderating the BVI Businesses Legacies
April Glasgow has experience in government communications and is a founding member of the Callaloo Poets and Artists Collective. She has had her poetry published in three anthologies. Ms. Glasgow is performing at the Light a Fire: Poet’s Showcase.
Natalie Hodge is an entrepreneur and producer with an interest in film, producing the online talk show “On Another Note.” She is authoring a children’s VI adventure series. Ms. Hodge is speaking at the Auteurs in Bloom panel discussion.
Elise Dillsworth is a literary agent with her own agency, established in 2012, and co-founder of the Diversity in Publishing Network. Ms. Dillsworth is offering a coaching session for authors to pitch their books and get advice about navigating the industry. The Friday and Saturday spots were sold out prior to the Beacon’s deadline.
Jacqueline Jiang is the author of the Water Ripples chapbook and is a Ph.D. student. Ms. Jiang is speaking at the Poetry is a Place panel discussion.
Eleanor Shearer is the author of River Sing Me Home, inspired by her field work in St. Lucia and Barbados. Ms. Shearer is speaking at the Caribbean Britannia panel discussion.
Hadiya Sewer is a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University, a scholar in residence at the University of the Virgin Islands, and a founder of the VI Studies Collective. They are speaking at The Ethical Traveller panel discussion.
Naudia Turnbull is the owner and lead animation artist at Misen Creative Group and works in marketing. Ms. Turnbull is speaking at the Auteurs in Bloom panel discussion.
Michael Thomas is a Virgin Islands entrepeneur and businessman who is speaking at the BVI Business Legacies panel discussion.
L. Sauda Smith is the Unite BVI Foundation executive director and a Fulbright Hayes Scholar. She worked for 21 years at HLSCC in positions including vice president and dean of arts and sciences. She is speaking at the Sunset Stories at Brandywine.
Rossa Canavan is a relationship manager at VP Bank and specialises in private banking, asset management and investment consultancy. Mr. Canavan is speaking at The Future of Money virtual panel discussion.
Cindy Allman is a social media user who started BookofCinz to promote reading. Her monthly book club meets online and in person. Ms. Allman is speaking at the Book and Brunch at 1748 Restaurant.
Mavis Abednego is a long-time educator, during which time she assisted students with the BVI High School newspaper, The Students’ Voice. Ms. Abednego is speak- ing at the Caribbean Britannia panel discussion.
Eustace “Boss” Freeman is an activist and musician specialising in calypso. He has been a member of the Showtime Band, a repeat Road March winner for his festival songs, and a founder of the BVI Music Alliance. Mr. Free- man is speaking at the Songs of My People: BVI Song Writers’ Music Lab.
Giovanni Herbert is a freestyle poet and a government information officer. He regularly appears on the City Light Explosion Aerial Response (CLEAR) show. Mr. Herbert is performing at the Light a Fire: Poet’s Showcase.
Errol Percival Jr., also known as Daiikiru Maximillion, is an author and performing artist. His works have been anthologised in Where I See the Sun: Contemporary Poetry in the Virgin Islands. Mr. Percival Jr. is performing at the Light a Fire: Poet’s Showcase.
Janice George Harris is a playwright, director, acting coach and education administrator who introduced a secondary school theatre programme in the VI. She has directed the Elmore Stoutt High School Drama Society for 14 years. Ms. Harris is leading the Literary Wonderland Children’s Programme.
Ariel Francisco authored Under Capitalism If Your Head Aches They Just Yank Off Your Head; A Sinking Ship is Still a Ship; and All My Heroes Are Broke. He is also a poetry translator and assistant professor of poetry and Hispanic studies at Louisiana State University. Mr. Francisco is performing at the Light a Fire: Poet’s Showcase.
Tami Navarro is a cultural anthropologist and works as an assistant professor and chair of Pan-African Studies at Drew University. She is also a founding member of the Virgin Islands Studies Collective and authored Virgin Capital: Race, Gender, and Financialization in the US Virgin Islands. Ms. Navarro is speaking at The Ethical Traveller panel discussion.
Kamau Georges is a songwriter, performer, music producer, and graduate of the Berklee College of Music. He has produced for artists including the Notorious B.I.G. and Lady Gaga. Mr. Georges is speaking at the Songs of My People: BVI Song Writers’ Music Lab.