Features

Commonwealth Anthology Book Launch Next Thursday

PRESS RELEASE – SLU Books carries its mission of making literature fun and exciting for young people to another level in the coming week. On Thursday, February 15 at 4:00 p.m. at the Castries City Hall, the dynamic organisation will host the launching of an anthology of Commonwealth Literature, So Many Islands.

The book, released in November 2017, is one manifestation of the work being done by Commonwealth Writers, which is a project of the Commonwealth Foundation. This project aims to provide an international platform for the voices of writers in the different regions of the Commonwealth.

Nineteen writers are represented in a range of prose, fiction and non-fiction and in poetry. The Caribbean is handsomely featured: nine of the writers are Caribbean, as are the two editors.

So Many Islands was first launched in Fiji in December 2017 as part of the activities for a global gathering of civil society groups, CIVICUS. The launch also included the work of community film-makers and audiences responded warmly to writers and film-makers sharing their work and engaging in discussion in both formal and informal contexts. Kendel Hippolyte travelled to Fiji to be part of the events there. The work of launching the anthology continues in different countries, with Trinidad having done a launch in January and Barbados recently doing one on February 4 in which Hippolyte also participated to enthusiastic responses.

The Caribbean edition of So Many Islands is published by Peekash Press, dedicated to publishing the work of emerging Caribbean writers living at home in the region, and presenting a new generation of literary talent to an international audience.

Begun in 2014 as a partnership between Peepal Tree Press in the United Kingdom and Akashic Books in the United States (hence the name), Peekash evolved from the CaribLit initiative, devised by the Bocas Lit Fest in Trinidad and Tobago in partnership with Commonwealth Writers and the British Council. In 2017, in keeping with the original intention to bring Peekash “home” to a physical base in the Caribbean, the Bocas Lit Fest assumed responsibility for the imprint.

At the launch in Saint Lucia, a sampling of the local literary tradition will first be provided by a few poets before the sharing of work from the anthology by KendelHippolyte and Barbadian, NailahImojah, who is one of the editors. Imojah will present work from other writers in the anthology. There will be a brief Q&A after the readings.

Imojah’s visit and that of Hippolyte to Barbados were generously supported by the Cultural Development Foundation. The launch takes place within the framework of the literary exhibition of Saint Lucian literature arranged by SLU Books. The artistically-designed ambience includes their trademark pop-up bookstore and literary café, complete with tables and chairs and local pastries, teas and confectionaries. All in all, literary enthusiasts can look forward to a tasteful treat of body and mind on Thursday February 15 at 4:00 p.m. at the Castries City Hall.

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