Fri | Jul 19, 2019

Calabash to feature int'l female poets laureate

Published:Thursday | April 12, 2018 | 12:00 AMKimberley Small
Lorna Goodison

"There's a really interesting convergence of voices of black women at Calabash this year just a range of them from all over the world. Something is happening in the literary world where women's voices are tackling urgent and difficult subjects, and are fascinated by the idea of the body, and we are celebrating that at Calabash this year with a range of writers," revealed artistic director of Calabash Literary Festival, Kwame Dawes.

This year's staging of Calabash Literary Festival will feature an impressive collection of accomplished writers, including a conversation among four female poets laureate.

On the second day of the three-day festival, patrons are invited to listen in on a conversation among UK Poet Laureate Dame Carol-Ann Duffy, (the first women, first Scot and first openly LGBT person to hold the position); US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith; Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate Georgette LeBlanc, and Jamaica's own Poet Laureate, Lorna Goodison.

Among those to be featured on the festival will be Kenyan-Somalian-British writer Warsan Shire, the poet responsible for the work presented on BeyoncÈ's sensational surprise album, Lemonade (2016).


Sopranos actor attending


Also attending the festival is Michael Imperioli, best known for his role as Christopher Moltisanti on The Sopranos. Imperioli will not be attending in the capacity of an actor, but as an author presenting his debut novel.

"That's the beauty of Calabash - diversity. At Calabash, we have [another] saying, that people check their egos at the door. We've had Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners and people who can't go to other countries, but can walk around freely in Jamaica - like Salman Rushdie," festival director Justine Henzell said.

Though warned that such accomplished literary professionals may prove fussy, "they land on this amazing island of ours where everybody is special, everybody is a star, everybody is a celebrity - and they realise that they just better chill," she concluded.