Wed | Jul 18, 2018

Calabash attracts far-flung writers, audience

Published:Tuesday | June 7, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Sage, 15 months old, with a book at the 2016 Calabash International Literary Festival at Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth, on Saturday.
Book covers on larger than life display at Calabash 2016.
I-nanci stretches out in a tree while watching the performances at Calabash 2016 in Treasure Beach St Elizabeth, on Saturday.


At the 2016 Calabash International Literary Festival there are those who sit enthralled by every presentation and those who immerse themselves in a book and quiet space.

There are those who go to and fro, between the lounge and dine atmosphere of Jack Sprat Restaurant the scents a medley of sea, fried fish, jerk chicken and soup and the presentation tents where the thick audience sits attentively, this atmosphere heavy with thoughtfulness and reverence.

The international nature of the festival in Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth, from participants to patrons, is noteworthy.

Calabash 2016, under the theme fruu-ish-aan, compiled its line-up with a list of authors and poets from such far reaches as New Zealand, India and Somalia. Though distinctly Jamaican in the fragrances in the air and the undertone of waves crashing into shore, Calabash has simmered to a boil and become a one pot serving of global literature, available only in the breadbasket of Jamaica.

Like its line-up, the Calabash audience features a myriad of foreigners, some of whom have who have purposefully revisited Treasure Beach on the highly anticipated weekend.

Sage strolled around Calabash, her eyes alight with wonderment, head swivelling to and fro. More accurately, 15 month-old baby girl Sage was being pushed around by her mother, closely followed by dad. "She was actually made here," her mother grinned. "Two years ago at Calabash!"

The couple lived in Jamaica for two years and visiting Calabash turned out to be romantic, life-altering adventure. "Made in Jamaica, born in Canada," Sage's mom laughed.

Many people tote around their favourite books at an affair such as Calabash and Sage was no different. She held one of her surely growing collection, a book by Cedella Marley. Here's to hoping Sage and more new arrivals will find time enough for the next staging of Calabash.