This weekend I had the opportunity to attend Calabash Festival, an event that only happens every other year in Treasure Beach. The purpose of this festival is to "transform the literary arts in the Caribbean by being the region's best-managed producer of workshops, seminars and performances."
(Source: Calabash official website)
It was inspiring to be around so many talented voices, and a great energy was in the air, all the way past 2AM with live music and dancing. The festival's bookshop was full of Caribbean literature that I may have purchased too freely for my Peace Corps budget, but knowledge maintains the mind just as well as food fuels the body, right? I was able to find a book on wild plants of the Caribbean (in hopes to ID some plants that I see often), as well as a book where the author complied pictures of ridiculous signs that he had come across during his time in Jamaica. I was even able to find a moleskin sketchbook, so I think more art is in store for this lady!
The fiction readings at the end of Saturday’s program were the highlight for me, and I certainly have some books to add to my “to read” list, including the works of Jamaican author Marlon James, who was a pleasure to hear. Here is a sketch I made while Marlon James did of a reading of his book, "A Brief History of Seven Killings."
“The problem with a book is that you never know what it’s planning to do to you until you’re too far into it.” ― Marlon James, A Brief History of Seven Killings
If you have a chance to attend Calabash in Jamaica, do it! You won't be sorry.