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Montserrat’s 15th Alliouagana Festival of the Word Begins Thursday

Caribbean folklore, children’s books, and powerful stories of overcoming are all featured in this year’s Alliouagana Festival of the Word (AFW LitFest) in Montserrat which begins Thursday, November 16 until Saturday, November 18, 2023.

AFW LitFest, which has been using a hybrid format since 2020 will feature 11 authors in online and face-to-face sessions to celebrate the written and spoken word.

One of the highlights will be Play on Words – A Tribute to Sir Howard A. Fergus. The acclaimed historian and poet, who died in March 2023, was one of the founding members of the literary festival. The event will feature readings and spoken word performances from fans and friends of his work at the Montserrat Public Library at 7PM on Friday, November 17, 2023.

On Saturday morning, there will be online workshops to support aspiring authors covering writing for children, book formatting, and marketing your books.

A book launch for several local authors will be held in the Montserrat Cultural Centre lobby from noon on Saturday, November 18, followed by the Montserrat Volcano Observatory’s Prize Giving for its annual writing competition.

Throughout the three-day event, viewers will be able to watch engaging interviews from authors from the Caribbean and in the Diaspora. The featured authors are Marsha Gomes-Mckie, Kafi Kareem, Jessica Gopaul, Deanne Whiskey-John, and Jeunanne Alkins of Trinidad & Tobago, Sharon Douglin of Barbados, Carol Mitchell of St. Kitts & Nevis, Kimolisa Mings of Antigua, along with homegrown authors Mike Jarvis, Kimmora Ward, and Ann Marie Dewar.

“We’re very pleased with the lineup of authors and we hope attendees will enjoy the passion and knowledge that all of our guests bring to this year’s festival,” said the literary festival coordinator, Nerissa Golden of Goldenmedia.

The festival will close this year with a marathon of all the Meet the Author interviews from 2PM on Saturday. At 6PM, the Alphonsus “Arrow” Cassell Memorial Lecture will be presented by Dr. Therese Turner-Jones, the Director of Projects at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). She will speak on How to Generate Economic Growth through the Creative Industry. An additional presentation will be delivered by Malene Joseph, Fund Coordinator for the CDB’s for the Cultural & Creative Industries Innovation Fund.

The Alliouagana Festival of the Word is brought to you by Goldenmedia, Montserrat Arts Council, Montserrat Tourism Division, Montserrat Public Library, The UWI Global Campus, and the Montserrat Volcano Observatory.

All of the sessions can be viewed on the AFW LitFest Facebook Page, and on Discover Montserrat’s Facebook and YouTube channel.

Follow all of the action with the #AFWLitFest on Facebook and Instagram.