May 22, 2007

St. Martin Book Fair: "Writing Justice"--May 31 to June 2, 2007

Caribbean writers

GREAT BAY/MARIGOT, St. Martin—The 5th annual St. Martin Book Fair (May 31 –June 2, 2007) will open in Spring Concordia, Marigot at the Maison des Entreprises (Chamber of Commerce Building) on Thursday, May 31, at 8pm..

Most of the book fair workshops will be hosted in Great Bay (Philipsburg) at the University of St. Martin (USM) on Friday, June 1 and all day on Saturday, June 2.

"Famous and new visiting writers will crisscross the island to primary and high schools. The cultural concert will be held in Cay Hill. The main book launch and closing ceremony will conclude the St. Martin Book Fair in Cupecoy, at the American University in the Caribbean, " said book fair coordinator Shujah Reiph.

With its theme of “Writing Justice,” book fair 2007 will see over five new books released. Workshop topics will range from constitutional matters to death penalty issues, to one entitled “RasTafari as Image & Voice of Justice in Caribbean Literature,” said Reiph, who is also president of Conscious Lyrics Foundation (CLF).

The cultural night, which was such a hit in 2006, with poets reciting in their native language, will be repeated with readers from St. Martin, St. Lucia, Nigeria, France and the Bahamas—to name a few of the places where the authors are originating this year.

The standard favorites such as the ponum dance, the day-long “In the Children’s Room” (for ages 4 – 12), and the computer/Internet media workshops will return in style. Remember the massively popular celebrity hair-care workshop in 2006? There will be a different twist in 2007, by a French author who will use her book on hair and skin attitudes as the center piece of discussion, said Jacqueline Sample, president of House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).

“The Book Fair Committee [BFC] will have its hands full with a record 18 workshops and general sessions. “House of Nehesi is pushing the envelope to have five books ready for book signings and the main book launch, and we added more schools that will be visited by the writers,” said Reiph.

“As usual, we got the multi-lingual features as an aspect of the St. Martin culture, and the BFC is busy with plans to attract more people from all over the island to enjoy and benefit from this new book fair edition.

“This year, also for the first time, we were contacted by tourists, from New York and Puerto Rico, who are coming in especially for the St. Martin Book Fair. So news about this cultural event is growing at home and abroad,” said Reiph.

The St. Martin Book Fair is organized by CLF and HNP, both non-profit NGOs, in collaboration with USM. The St. Maarten Tourist Bureau is the major patron of the St. Martin Book Fair.

Visit for St. Martin Book Fair 2007 updates. View Book Fair 2006 photos at


the prisoner's wife said...

this sounds fun!

i need to start making more money so i can attend some of these events! sometimes i feel so..stagnant as a writer, i need to be inspired by others.

one day i'll go...somewhere..ha!


Geoffrey Philp said...

I'm going to try and make it to calabash next year.
Wish me luck!