Montserrat Literary Festival Two Weeks Away

It’s almost time for the 2017 edition of the Alliouagana Festival of the Word. Telling Our Stories is this year’s theme for the four-day event which runs November 15 to 19. The main events will be held at the Montserrat Cultural Centre, with other activities happening at local primary schools and the Montserrat Community College.

TV personality JD Scott, AFW LitFest 2016 Chairperson Gracelyn Cassell, Makeup Artist and Model Annalee Belle, and LitFest Volunteer Jean Handscombe.

Featured Storytellers this year include Atinuke Akinyemi, Amina Blackwood-Meeks, Paul Keens-Douglas and A-dZiko Simba Gegele.

This year, more day time activities have been added. The festival will partner with the Ministry of Education for Reading Week and will provide visiting authors for the activities.

The annual Symposium in the Memorial Lecture Series for Alphonsus “Arrow” Cassell will take place on Thursday afternoon, rather than in the evening. “Storytelling: A Powerful Tool for National Development” is the theme.

The MVO Competition is back this year. With the addition of an adult segment to the event, there were more than 180 entries of poetry under their “Restless Earth” theme. Winners will be announced on Saturday at 1PM.

The draft programme with activities for the family to enjoy follows.

Draft Programme

Telling Our Stories” | Cultural Centre, Little Bay, Montserrat | November 15 to 19, 2017

Wednesday November 15

Pre-Festival Activity in collaboration with the Ministry of Education for “Reading Week”

 9.00 am –Storytellers meet Community Leaders at Government Headquarters, Brades for Story Bus Tour to Schools

2.00 pm – Amina Blackwood Meeks meets students from MSS and MCC at Open Campus Site, Salem


Thursday November 16

10.00 am Primary Schools’ Book Parade from Carr’s Bay to Little Bay

2.00 pm.   Symposium, Auditorium, Cultural Centre, Little Bay

  • Symposium in the Memorial Lecture Series for Alphonsus “Arrow” Cassell “Storytelling: A Powerful Tool for National Development”
  • Keynote Address – Forgetting Weself:  Hari Kari by Dr. Amina Blackwood-Meeks, Lecturer, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts
  • Storytelling and the Staged Spectacle in the Bollywood Movie, “Slumdog Millionaire” by Dr. Wendy McBurney, Lecturer, Howard University
  • Constructing Knowledge through Storytelling in a 21st Century Lecture Theatre by Nicole Plummer, Lecturer, Institute of Caribbean Studies, The University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.

4.00 pm  – Coffee Break and Entertainment

4.30 pm Presentation of Papers continues

Telling Our History by Barbara Arrindell, MBA, Manager, Best of Books Bookshop, Antigua

Teaching Music to Children with Learning Disabilities in Trinidad and Tobago by Akini Gill, Lecturer, University of Trinidad and Tobago

Hot, Hot, Hot: Arrow’s Story Revisited by Gracelyn Cassell, Head, The University of the West Indies, Open Campus Montserrat

6.00 pm Taste Test of National Dish (Goat Water) and Traditional Night-time Beverage – Bush Tea

Friday November 17 10.00 am   – Authors/Presenters visit schools

  • Atinuke – St. Augustine School and Blake’s Football Field
  • A-dZiko – Brades Primary School
  • Paul Keens-Douglas – Lookout Primary School
  • Barbara Arrindell – Lighthouse Academy, Brades

2.00 pm   Island Tour ((Email for bookings)

Friday November 17 6.30 pm 

Meet & Greet Reception at Cultural Centre Hosted by Her Excellency the Governor, Elizabeth Carriere

     Cash Bar; Book Stall; Art & Craft Stall


 7.30 pm   Opening Ceremony for Festival

  • Opening Remarks by Hon Delmaude Ryan, Patron, 2017 Alliouagana Festival of the Word
  • Introduction of Authors/Presenters;
  • Storytelling Teasers;

8.30      Launch of New Publications

  • Life as Josephine by Claytine Nisbet
  • Plenty Mango – Postcards from the Caribbean by Sarah Dickinson

Entertainment: Calypsonians Telling Their Stories; Cupid, Bear et al

Sale and Signing of Books

Saturday November 18 6 .00 am

Opportunity for Hikes; Bird Watching; Tours; Volcano Viewing etc.  (Email for bookings)

10.00 am – Workshop with Sarah Dickinson  

Tell It How It Is’ – A writer’s insight into how to shape, write and tell stories.

11.00 am – Atinuke presents The No.1 Car Spotter and the Car Thieves – How does a monkey triumph over a shark? Or an illiterate village boy triumph over a gang of international car thieves? And how exactly is one supposed to juggle traditional African grandparents with coca-cola and computer games? Come prepared to laugh!

Noon Workshop with A-dZiko Simba Unblocking the Blocks –  Exploring what prevents us from telling our stories.

1.00 pm – MVO Creative Writing Prize-giving Ceremony/Volcano Stories

2.00 pm – HarperCollins sponsored Spelling Bee, “Spell like a Champion” and Reading Competition

3.00 pm – Book Lovers /Storytellers’ Parade – Who’s in Rabbit’s House?

4.00 pm – Musical Theatre Production: Leave a Message

7.30 pm  –  Word Up:  A Spoken Word and Storytelling Slam at the Montserrat Community College, Salem

Sunday November 19 6 .00 am

Opportunity for Hikes; Bird Watching; Island Tours; Volcano Viewing etc.  

9.15 am – Harvest Service – St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Look Out

10.00 am – Boat Tour once enough persons indicate interest. (Email for bookings)

Noon – The Art of Public-Speaking Workshop with Barbara Arrindell

1 pm – How Storytelling fits into the Customer Service Experience Workshop with Barbara Arrindell

Sunday November 19 2.30 pm Home Hospitality (Lunch for Visiting Authors/Presenters)

7.00 pm – Ticketed Event to raise funds for disaster relief – Let’s Tell Stories with Paul Keens-Douglas, Auditorium, The Cultural Centre, Little Bay (EC$50 Adults, EC$20 Children)


Featured Storytellers include Atinuke Akinyemi, Amina Blackwood-Meeks, Paul Keens-Douglas and A-dZiko Simba Gegele.