Caribbean Literature Day2020

The inaugural Caribbean Literature Day will be hosted on Sunday, July 12, 2020. The theme will be “Celebrating Caribbean Literature: Roots, Ranges, and Excellence.”

The Mayan people were one of the most learned people in the world until they encountered Spanish colonisers four centuries ago. On July 12, 1562, the Spanish Franciscan priest and bishop of Yucatán, Diego de Landa, with soldiers and colonial authorities in attendance, ordered the burning of their sacred texts containing knowledge spanning millennia.

July 12, a day marking the destruction of vast knowledge in books in that part of the world is set to be the start of something new called the Caribbean Literature Day. The announcement for this planned celebration was made by writer and project director at Nehesi Publishers Lasana M. Sekou at the St Martin Book Fair Closing Ceremony on June 6, 2020. The St Martin Book Fair was a virtual literary festival that was hosted from June 4-6 with many of the leading names in the literary community on that island participating.

Writer and House of Nehesi Publishers’ Lasana M. Sekou (2nd R) calls for “Caribbean Literature Day
Writer and House of Nehesi Publishers’ Lasana M. Sekou (2nd R) calls for “Caribbean Literature Day. Photo/Courtesy

The organisers of this new event envision the day as the first pan-Caribbean literature day, celebrating the roots, range, and excellence of writings and books across the language zones of their region. They will celebrate the day by reading the works of your favourite Caribbean authors; buying Caribbean books, published in the Caribbean and beyond, and by Caribbean authors; and presenting Caribbean books as gifts. They will celebrate the day with books, recitals, and discussions about books, poetry, fiction, drama, art, music, and all the other genres by Caribbean writers.

The event will happen on Zoom with a Meeting ID of 766 2933 6465 and a password of 027640. It kicks off at 6PM St Martin time which is 22:00hrs GMT (23:00 WAT, Midnight CAT, 1:00 AM EAT).

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