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21st Annual St. Martin Book Fair Postponed

MARIGOT/GREAT BAY, St. Martin —The 21st annual St. Martin Book Fair has been postponed for reasons related to the health of the lit fest coordinator Shujah Reiph, said the Book Fair Committee (BFC) on Monday.

Digicel Foundation Commits $600,000 to Literacy, Donates Books and STEM Kits on Read Across Jamaica Day

Kingston, Jamaica – Digicel Foundation is reaffirming its dedication to promoting literacy through a generous donation of $600,000. This contribution will specifically assist in establishing Resource and Reading Rooms and supporting literacy programs at the primary level. The four recipient schools, two of which cater to Special Education Institutions, will each receive an equal portion of the donation. This commitment was made by Digicel Foundation in conjunction with the Read Across Jamaica Day festivities, which took place on Tuesday, May 9, 2023.

A Compelling Windrush Story

Ravaged by World War 2, Britain’s desperate call to the commonwealth for help to rebuild the country was eagerly taken up by many of its Caribbean colonial subjects. Attracted by the prospect of employment in the motherland, or simply seeking a new kind of life, on 22 June 1948 the first batch or newcomers arrived on the Empire Windrush. Welcome signs greeted the ship filled with British citizens from Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, and other islands. But the reception they expected did not match the reality as it dawned on local British folk that ‘these people are too different from us’.

Calabash — A Weekend of Literary Talent is Back

A world-class literary event, the Calabash International Literary Festival is back — May 26-28, 2023! The free to all three-day word fest, founded in 2001 by novelist Colin Channer, poet Kwame Dawes, and producer Justine Henzell, has taken a leap ‘For Word’ this year after a long 5-year absence.

Producer Justine Henzell

Lifetime Achievement Award for Chiqui Vicioso, Leading Dominican Rep. Author

ST. MARTIN, Caribbean — The Anticanon Project (Proyecto Anticanon), dedicated to promoting the literary works and women writers of the Dominican Republic, presented its first Anticanon Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Women to Sherezada Chiqui Vicioso, on October 22, 2022. The award ceremony was held at the elegantly restored Casa Mella-Russo in Zona Colonial, the old historic city center of Santo Domingo, said Jacqueline Sample, Vicioso’s publisher here at HNP.

Dominican Republic author Chiqui Vicioso (center) with Lauristely Peña (L), executive board member, Fundacion Proyecto Anticanon, and St. Martin author Fabian Badejo at the Anticanon literary award ceremony, Zona Colonial, Dominican Republic. (© LSV photo)

Book Review — A Journey to Transformation

“Deep breath. Grab a fistful. Cut. The blade slice halfway through one lock and he have to cut again, sawing his way through. He stare at the black coils as they fall in the bag at his feet. Something catch in throat. Like walking uphill. Another fistful and the hill steeper, and it harder to breathe.”

Caribbean Author Bravely Speaks Her Truth in the Thrilling Memoir "If Shame Came in Flavors"

Terrified, excited, and free. Those were the words that Kiffy Greaves used to describe the experience of putting her life on paper and publishing her first memoir If Shame Came in Flavors. “One of the biggest lessons I have learned from this experience is that you cannot be brave without first deciding to be vulnerable,” said Ms. Greaves as she recounted her decision to talk about her experiences. Kiffy is indeed vulnerable and the reader can feel the rollercoaster of emotions as she vividly recounts the grief, anxiety and depression she faces as an unemployed, full-time student at the University of the West Indies when her name is repeatedly published in the local newspapers by the bank regarding a defaulted loan.

ibokiffyIn the book, Kiffy does not shy away from expressing her raw emotions and addressing topics like money, family and relationships. She weaves a narrative that highlights the impact of cultural shame on mental health and generational hurt, especially for Caribbean women. “More than anything I wanted to bring to the fore the issues of cultural shame and how it can affect a person’s perspective on their place in the world, their worthiness and their ability to seek help in their time of need,” she explained. “Let’s face it, how many times as a child did we hear the adults say “do that again and I will embarrass you in front of everybody” or overhear Aunty Jenny and Aunty Patsy gossiping about the cousin who had the child out of wedlock and is bringing shame and disgrace to the daily name.” “We have people who will literally die of shame rather than ask for help,” she added.

As for the unique name of the book, she explains that the title of each chapter is likened to match the taste of an actual fruit based on the feelings she was experiencing at that time. She uses local fruits like soursop, tonkabean and sapodilla and seamlessly tells a story that can easily rival any episode of your favorite daytime soap or a Danielle Steel novel. Kiffy's biggest hope is that people will not only identify with her story but will find the courage and be unashamed to speak the truth and extend grace to others without judgment.

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