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The Calabash Literary Festival in Jamaica

A place called Treasure Beach in the southwest part of Jamaica does not have any high rise hotels, inclusive packages or any souvenir shops but you’ll find the mecca of book lovers that takes place every two years which is known as Calabash Literary Festival. This literary festival is getting attention of international well-known authors like Zadie Smith, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Salman Rushdie and Eleanor Catton who will read on its stage. The Calabash Festival was founded in 2011 and it continues to be a literary secret of the Caribbeans. Not only the international visitors but also the locals travel over here by moped, bus and car from every corner of Jamaica to attend this literature experience.

Calabash has the magic of its audience which is a seamless mix of every race, class gender etc get along for a single purpose I.e. the love for books, literature and community. Poet Kwame Dawes, Novelist Colin Channer and producer Justine Henzell are the founders of this literary festival. Calabash festival not only celebrates literature but also the diversity on the stage in the form of voice, style, genre and the various opinions and perceptions of their audience.The theme for this year is LIT UP which will celebrate the power of words to light up the passion and impulse action. This festival gave voice to many incredible women authors which includes poet Warsan Shire whose work is featured on Beyonce’s Lemonade interval, poet and playwright Carol Ann Duffy and Author Tayari Jones whose book An American Marriage caught Oprah’s attention and is currently in talks of becoming a movie.

30 authors for over three days from around the world will deliver their life’s work to a curious audience.


By: Swati Kaushal


Future Bright Program

Interactive School Platform