November 16, 2015

My Ideal Schedule: Miami Book Fair International

Miami Book Fair

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November 13, 2015

The Miami Book Fair International, 2015

More than 200 national and international book exhibitors and publishers, bestselling authors, artists, entertainers, and food vendors will participate in the Street Fair Weekend as part of the 32nd Miami Book Fair,  the largest and finest literary event in the U.S., presented by Miami Dade College (MDC). The Street Fair runs Friday – Sunday, Nov. 20 – 22, from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

The Street Fair brings together all the elements of the Fair during one jam-packed weekend! In addition to the more than 200 publishers and exhibitors, there will be book presentations and readings by some of the world’s most celebrated authors and poets, representing various genres and in multiple languages. The Swamp, a pop-up lounge and stage, and The Porch, the central gathering place for the Fair, will feature round-the-clock performances, live music, poetry readings, theater, and more. In addition, there are literacy and learning activities for children/tweens/teens during Generation Genius Days and The Kitchen will offer demos and panels for food enthusiasts in partnership with the MDC’s Miami Culinary Institute. The International Food Court at the southeast corner of 3rd St. and 1st Ave. will offer a variety of treats, including shish kabobs, frozen lemonade, crepes, ice cream, and more.   

This year, the Fair will also host several celebrities, including John Leguizamo, Rosie Perez, Paul Giammatti, Jesse Eisenberg, and Kunal Nayyar, as well as hip-hop legends Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell, Christopher “Fresh Kid Ice" Wong Won and FAB 5 FREDDY, among others.

Admission to the Street Fair is free Friday, Nov. 20. General admission Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 21 – 22, is $8; admission for those 13-18 or over 62 is $5; those 12 and under are admitted free. The Street Fair will be located on N.E. 2nd Ave. between N. 3rd St. and N. 5th St., and along adjacent side streets. The Street Fair is presented with the generous support of OHL Arellano Construction.  

"OHL-Arellano takes pride in giving back to the community by supporting the Miami Book Fair, internships, philanthropic and educational programs,” said Alicia Cuervo, Regional Director for OHL-Arellano Construction. “We believe that philanthropic endeavors are the private sectors' opportunity to look at our past for lessons and inspiration while looking forward to successful projects and events like the Miami Book Fair that enrich our community.

For a complete list of Street Fair exhibitors and activities, please visit the Miami Book Fair site and download the printable guide at

November 2, 2015

The North Coast Writing Retreat: Grande Riviére, Trinidad, 7-10th January, 2016

The course is a three-day intensive which will include master classes in life writing, with Monique Roffey, and poetry, with Loretta Collins Klobah.

Held on the Caribbean island of Trinidad, the retreat is for writers who have experience of work-shopping their work, and have either been published or are working towards publication. Morning workshops will be given over to poetry and afternoons will be centered on life writing. The two strands of writing workshops are intended to weave together and complement each other. There will also be time to work on your own writing, and evenings will feature readings from students and discussions about the creative writing process. The course is open to 16 participants.


To apply, 1) submit either two poems or 2000 words of life writing (or both) and 2) a short resume of your writing experience to date to Once your application has been accepted, booking is done via Mt. Plaisir Estate Hotel, Grande Riviére at You will need to liaise with Piero Guerrini at Mt. Plaisir Estate Hotel, for transport from Piarco International Airport, Trinidad, to Grande Riviére.  A welcome dinner at the hotel is at 7 p.m. on Thursday night, 7th January, and we will start out first informal session at 8:30 pm. Please aim to be at the hotel in time for the Thursday night dinner.

The cost of the retreat is $TT 900 per day (including tuition, accommodation and meals) or $TT2700 for three days (£280 British pounds or USD $420 in total). Accommodation is shared and en suite. Single occupancy will be available at an added cost.

About the tutors:

Both tutors have many years of teaching experience.

Loretta Collins Klobah is poet and professor of Creative Writing and Caribbean Literature at the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan. She has published poems in many regional and international literary journals. Her poetry collection, The Twelve-Foot Neon Woman received the 2012 OCM Bocas Award for Caribbean Literature in the category of poetry (Trinidad and Tobago). It was also one of five books shortlisted for the 2012 Felix Dennis Prize, offered by Forward Arts Foundation in the UK. She has received a Pushcart Prize and the Earl Lyons Award from the American Academy of Poets.

Monique Roffey is a writer and creative writing tutor, who has taught at COSTAATT in Port of Spain, Goldsmiths College, London, for the Guardian/UEA Master classes, The Arvon Foundation and privately in Trinidad. She is the author of four novels and a memoir. Her third novel Archipelago won the OCM Bocas Award for Caribbean Literature in 2013. She has also been short-listed for the Orange Prize, the Encore Award, the Orion Award and the Costa Fiction Prize in 2015. Her work sells in the UK, Caribbean, USA and has been translated into five languages.

Mt. Plaisir Estate is a world-renowned eco-lodge on the north coast of Trinidad. Behind the hotel, there is a small village and rain forest and in front of the hotel is a half-mile of white beach, the nesting destination of thousands of leatherback turtles every year. For more see