Bocas Lit Fest 2017

In the 7 years it’s been around, Bocas has grown from strength to strength. The annual literary festival has hosted some of the most successful and interesting writers, publishers and poets of Caribbean, and World literature. And because it’s in Trinidad, there’s a non-pretentiousness to the proceedings that may make your faves seem significantly more approachable.

I’ve always been a fan of Bocas. Especially as a formally voracious reader, who has slowed down significantly. I use Bocas to get me excited about reading again. And it has, not to my old standards, but I’m on the path to being a real reader.

Untold Jamaica - Bocas Lit Fest 2017
Me in the audience for the Untold Jamaica panel featuring Kei Miller, author of Augustown, and Marcia Douglas, author of The Marvellous Equations of the Dread.

I also got to experience Bocas as a journalist. Just before the festival began, I spoke to Founding Director Marina Salandy Brown about the growing influence Caribbean writers is having worldwide. Perhaps, we should be looking towards developing Caribbean literary industry.

And as I mentioned in that piece, the Prime Minister was featured on special panel to discuss his autobiography From Mason Hall to Whitehall. A smart move from a festival that has just been recognised by Penguin Publishing as being one of the 20 best literary festivals in the world. It also allowed them to put the Prime Minister on the spot about his book tax.

It’s also a strategic move from the festival organisers. Because many good things are allowed to whither and die, because they can’t get the support they need. Bringing the Prime Minister, into the festival may help it win some support for it’s projects.

I’ll have more on Bocas, in another post. I may even share my book haul. See you soon.

We Can Help Haiti

We’d mentioned this before, that the Prime Minister had asked local commercial banks to create accounts for people to donate to the Haitian Relief effort. Now the Bankers Association of T&T has advised that each of its eight member banks has opened an account and it invites the public to make financial donations to assist Haiti in its recovery process.

List of created Bank Accounts                                                                Bank Account Number
Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago Limited                                                 74815 /1209309
First Citizens Bank Limited                                                                         2366947
Bank of Baroda                                                                                               95610200000740
RBC Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago                                                   11-000-000-335-9145
Republic Bank Limited                                                                                 180 801 049 001
JMMB Bank                                                                                                      557769-0201
First Caribbean International Bank (Trinidad and Tobago)                  180002851
Citibank (Trinidad and Tobago) Limited                                                   5109882021

The campaign hashtag is #WeCanHelpHaiti and people are being encouraged to donate $6, at least, to the relief effort.

Help for Hati Bank Accounts

A Release from the Office of the Prime Minister Says:

With more information and images coming to the fore on the widespread devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, it is clear that, as good neighbours, we need to lend a helping hand even as we face our own challenges.

The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago continues to liaise with our CARICOM counterparts on the matter of aid to Haiti but has also asked our local banks, if they are so minded, that every branch open a “Help for Haiti” account. The banks have agreed to open the accounts from Monday 10th October, 2016. These accounts will facilitate contributions of citizens across the nation willing to give, however little, towards assisting our Haitian brothers and sisters as they struggle to overcome yet another natural disaster.
The Government will undertake to ensure all contributions get to Haiti to help alleviate the situation they now face. The Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley, will make his contribution at his bank in his constituency on Monday.

Editor’s Note: We should know by Monday what those account numbers are.