Jamaican bestselling novelist, Marlon James and other award-winning authors for Caribbean Month WORDFest

Tracey Baptiste, Cheryl Boyce-Taylor; Marlon James Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Writers Are Coming! Bestselling novelist, Marlon James, celebrated poetess, Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, and award-winning children’s book author, Tracey Baptiste, headline this year’s WORD! – A Caribbean Book Fest. This annual coming together of authors, readers and literary curious returns on Saturday, June 6 to the Medgar Evers College campus in Brooklyn, NY – the world’s largest Caribbean meeting.

This star-studded celebration of the frequently overlooked literary legacy of the Caribbean’s cultural milieu is being held in observance of Caribbean American Heritage Month. The afternoon-long program, created for lovers of a good story for readers of all age groups, consists of workshops and panel discussions on issues as varied as diversity in children’s literature to publishing one’s first novel, storytelling and open mic sessions, author presentations for adult and younger readers, book exhibits, and spoken word performances.

The festival begins with a panel discussion with writers, publishers, educators and caregivers exploring how to bring more diversity into the arena of children’s literature hosted by the the Caribbean Research Center and School of Liberal Studies and Education at Medgar Evers College School. “In a world where we have to compete with so many negative forces for the minds of our young, particularly in the media. We encourage, support and promote wholesome presentations from the cradle to adulthood” says, Dr. Waldaba Stewart, Senior Research Fellow, Caribbean Research Center.

Produced by the Caribbean Cultural Theatre as part of the 9th season of the Poets & Passion literary platform, WORDFest is for the for the second consecutive year being hosted by Caribbean Research Center in association with the Medgar Evers College School of Liberal Studies and Education.

With over three dozen writers from 15 different countries and territories this year’s program not only highlights the diversity of expressions within the Caribbean literary experience but also celebrate the accomplishments of some of the finest wordsmiths in literature for readers of all ages.

With accolades and critical kudos from almost every major industry publication and literary festival, Jamaican novelist, Marlon James’, A Brief History of Seven Killings, has be dubbed “perhaps the best book of 2014.” (Gwaker) Based on the true events surrounding an assassination attempt on famed singer Bob Marley, the novel has garnered among other awards Trinidad and Tobago’s OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature and been a finalist for the US National Book Critics Circle Awards. Other award-winning novelists appearing at the June 6 WORDFest are Haitian, Elsie Augustave, The Roving Tree, Guyanese, Rosalind McLymont, The Guyana Contract; Jamaican, Pamela Mordecai, Red Jacket,along with Cuban-American science fiction writer, Daniel José Older, Half-Resurrection Blues.

Trinidadian poet, Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, is the author of three collections of poetry: Raw Air, Night When Moon Follows, and Convincing the Body. She was recently recognized by the New York based poets & Writers, Inc. with its Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award for her efforts to strengthen the community of Caribbean-American poets. She heads a line-up of over a dozen poets and spoken word artists with roots from Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Puerto Rico and St. Lucia for this year’s program.

Tracey Baptiste
Tracey Baptiste

Tracey Baptiste, who also hails from Trinidad & Tobago, heads the every growing roster of authors from the Caribbean diaspora specifically writing for younger readers. Baptiste’s debut novel, Angel’s Grace, was named one of the 100 best books for reading and sharing by NYC librarians and her latest novel, The Jumbies was recently named a Junior Library Guild Selection. Other scheduled writers and storytellers for the Young Readers Platform include Zetta Elliott (St. Kitts – Nevis), Kellie Magnus (Jamaica), andIbi Zoboi (Haiti).

This year’s WORDFest, under the patronage of New York State Assembly Member N. Nick Perry and New York City Council Member Mathieu Eugene takes place at Medgar Evers College, 1650 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225 on Saturday, June 6, 2015. Doors open at 12 noon.

For further information contact 718-783-8345 or 718-270-6218.

A project of the Caribbean Cultural Theatre, WORD! – A Caribbean Book Fest is presented in association with Caribbean Research Center and Medgar Evers College (CUNY) School of Liberal Studies and Education with additional support from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts; Poets & Writers, Inc., and Friends of the Caribbean Cultural Theatre.

Additional programming support is being provided by Akashic Books, Antillean Aruban Cultural Affairs Association, Brooklyn Caribbean Youth Festival, Caribbean Book Review, Caribbean Network Television, Caribbean Reads, Charles Evans Inniss Memorial Library at Medgar Evers College, Friends of the Antigua & Barbuda Public Library, International Consortium of Caribbean Professionals Materials for the Arts, Mosaic Literary Magazine, People of the Sun Middle Passage Collective, Revolution Book Store, St. Martin/Sint Maarten Friendship Association, The Network Journal, Union of Jamaica Alumni Associations; University of the West Indies Alumni Association