Thursday, May 7, 2015

I'm Back From the Trinidad and Tobago Literary Festival (Bocas Lit Fest)!


I’m back in the swing of things after an amazing trip to Trinidad. Unfortunately, I haven’t had time to do much writing. I hope to finish a series of posts on the festival this weekend, but I don’t want to leave you hanging until next week!

Attending the Trinidad and Tobago Literary Festival makes my list of best decisions ever. I’ve been to several book festivals stateside, but this book festival was is my favorite. Here’s why: 

  1.  Lit Fest swag!!
    Location. Location. Location. Trinidad is a beautiful place. It took two days to figure out how to use public transit but once we got it, it was very efficient. It turns out we didn’t need to use it much! More on that below.
  2. The authors are accessible. This is the festival’s fifth year. So it’s still relatively new and small. Plus the venue is set up so that all events are in close proximity. It seemed as if there were as many authors as there were attendees! Look to your left or right at any given moment, and your favorite author might be standing beside you!
  3. The readings are dynamic. This wasn’t a festival where you listen to an author read from their book and then listen to them talk about it for thirty minutes. Many of the readings were done as sessions. The sessions had intriguing, creative, and cerebral topics directly related to the genre of the authors’ books.
  4. Literature lovers can unite. As mentioned above, the conference was small. So not only was it easy to interact with the authors, it was easy to interact with other literature lovers. I met two attendees that were there from New York and I plan to reconnect with them at the Brooklyn and/or Harlem Book Festivals!
     
Many thanks to Robert for showing us around Trinidad!

You may remember I attended the festival with Jacqueline. Well, she went for a walk one morning and met Robert, a Trinidadian. Robert volunteered to drive us all over Trinidad. I asked him about Blanchisseuse, one of Trinidad’s villages. It sparked a conversation that eventually led him to say, “Oh, you know the place?” To which I replied, “No, I’ve just read about it.” Ha! It's true. I had never been to Trinidad. I'd only read about it in Lauren Francis Sharma’s Til the Well Run’s Dry! Reading truly does take you places; believe it!
 
Yours truly with Prince and Jacqueline
I can’t remember how we met Sheldon, but he took us to one of the best restaurants in Port of Spain. The next day, we wanted him to take us to the beach. He wasn’t available so he called his friend to take us. About two hours later, we were in the car with Prince, headed to Maracas Beach! If you ever make it to Trinidad, you must go to Maracas. The ride there is actually more impressive than the beach itself. The views are breathtaking and it's where I was able to capture the shot above. But since this is a book blog, I won't carry on about our fortuitous adventures.  

I'll be posting about the festival next week. If there are any question you want me to answer, drop them in the comments below! 

6 comments:

Jacqueline said...

Great Post... Attending this book festival is one of the best decisions that I have ever made as well.

Kendra M said...

I'm happy to hear you had a great time! I can't wait to read a more detailed recap.

Questions:

Did you meet any of the authors of the books you read leading up to the festival?

Were any of the books you read discussed and/or did you receive a new perspective on any of the books you read as a result of the festival?

Did Robert take you to Blanchisseuse so you could see it for yourself?

What's next on your newly international book touring schedule?

Robert B said...

Hi Shannon
Iam happy that you enjoyed the Bocas Literature festival and the afternoon adventures....
"Reading truly does take you places".

Darkowaa said...

Yay! You had fun, that's great!
Did you get to meet any of the authors? Were other book bloggers there too? What kinds of questions were asked at the reading sessions? (the more general questions). Did the authors make any mention to the role of book blogs in promoting their books? Ok ok ok, I'm done with the questions hahaa.

Stefani said...

That sounds like quite the adventure! I feel inspired to think about how my love of literature can get me traveling now too...

Didi said...

Well it looks like you had a fantastic time. I can't wait to hear about the authors you met and listened too. Did you get any autographs?