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Vincentians to be honoured at inaugural National Literary Fair

Vincentians to be  honoured at inaugural National Literary Fair

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Historian Dr Edgar Adams is among a number of Vincentians to be honoured later this month, at the inaugural National Literary Fair from October 16 to 18.{{more}}

At a press conference to announce the event slated for the University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus at Richmond Hill, René Baptiste, president of the Vincentian Association of Artists, Writers and Producers Inc, announced that Adams will receive a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to the literary arts on October 17.

Baptiste hailed Adams as a treasure, whose talents were not only limited to pen and paper.

“He is not only an author and a writer, he is also a publisher and bookseller and I believe in our time it is time to pay tribute to Dr Edgar Adams in such an indelible fashion, by giving him the first ever lifetime achievement award from his own country in literature.

“… And I know a number of people in here would have never seen him dance, never seen him act. I have seen him dance and he used to dance on fire and bottles … he used to dance limbo and he also wrote poetry, Vincentian folklore, Vincentian fables, history, literature, sociology and he has given a wealth of information documented in writing.”

The former minister of culture also announced that four poets will be recognized with awards named for four stalwarts of this country’s poets’ society on the following day: Cecil ‘Blazer’ Williams, Nelcia Marshall Robinson Hazell, St Clair Jimmy Prince and Ellsworth “Shake” Keane.

The “Blazer Williams” award will go to the poet of the year, “Nelcia Robinson Hazell” award will go to the woman poet of the year, “St Clair Jimmy Prince” award to the young poet of the year, and “Ellsworth ‘Shake’ Keane” award to the international poet.

Baptiste praised the concept of the literary fair, which is a collaboration between the Association and the Open Campus. She said the fair is, among other things, an attempt to change the level and tone of the national conversation, and extended the invitation for all to be a part of the event.

Also during the press conference, Deborah Dalrymple, head of the UWI Open Campus SVG, announced that during the four-day fair, a number of books will be launched, including that of local author Natasha Marks, who will unveil her latest publication “Memoirs of a Teacher”, and Grenadian Dr Beverly Steele, who will launch “Grenada at War”.

Apart from the launches and awards, Dalrymple said there would also be a variety of events open to the public, including a creative writing and drama workshop, poetry, visual arts exhibitions, and a children’s section.

Drama and poetry would also be a feature of the fair, which Dalrymple said would be an exciting time for exhibitors and the reading public.

“We’ve asked people to exhibit their works from the bookstores and so on, but more importantly than all of that, is that we’ve reached out to the diaspora and Mr [Ronnie] Daniel (of the UWI Open Campus), he has been doing quite a lot of work getting the Vincentians who are proud to be Vincentians, to send us books that they have written, so we are going to get an opportunity to see what is written about us and for us, on our behalf, out in the wider world, that will also be a part of our exhibition,” Dalrymple said.

“The whole idea is that we want the community to be involved. We want the community to celebrate what we have as Vincentians; our writers and our artistes, we want the community to see the open campus as a place where culture is celebrated,” she added. (JJ)

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