This is a moment from the official launch of the 2016 BIM Literary Festival at the expansive and beautiful grounds at Ilaro Court, the official residence of the Prime Minister of Barbados. It was posted to facebook by the lady in the middle: Book of Harlan, Sugar, and several other books author Bernice McFadden, a bold and joyful spirit if ever there was one. It’s been great meeting her and, today, co-facilitating a workshop tracking the intersection of memory and fiction with her. It was great seeing and catching up with the free and grounded spirit to the far right as well, A-dZiko Gegele, who you’ll remember won the Burt Award for teen/young adult fiction for her delightful book All Over Again the year my book Musical Youth was first runner up. The three of us are here for the BIM Literary Festival. I have one more activity – a reading on Saturday night – before returning home. So far it’s a rich experience – great to reconnect with two of my first mentors Mervyn Morris and Olive Senior, to meet people I feel like I already know (thanks to social media and their writing which I’ve shared here in more than one of the reading rooms) like Shakirah Bourne and Tanya Shirley. It’s been good. At this particular event (the one pictured above), Paule Marshall (author of books like Praisesong for the Widow and Browngirl, Brownstones) was presented with a lifetime achievement award, via her son, and we, the authors, each presented a copy of one of our books to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who, credit to him, was present and engaged for the entire event (how often do we see that from a political leader at a literary event) and who re-affirmed his commitment to the literary arts. I hope he enjoys Dancing Nude in the Moonlight 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings.
As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Fish Outta Water, and Musical Youth. All Rights Reserved. Seriously, a lot of time, energy, love and frustration goes in to researching and creating content for this site; please don’t just take it up just so without even a please, thank you or an ah-fu-she-subben (credit). If you enjoyed it, check out my page on WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.