Caribbean Writers Congress to Pay Tribute to Sir Derek Walcott

Derek Walcott at the VIII Poetry Festival in Granada, Nicaragua, February 2012. Photo by Stanislav Lvovsky, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Saint Lucian Nobel Laureate, Sir Derek Walcott, will be remembered during the fifth Caribbean Writers Congress taking place in Guadeloupe from April 5 – 8 and organised by the Guadeloupe Regional Collectivity in partnership with the Association of Caribbean Writers (AEC – Association des Ecrivains de la Caraïbe).

Since 2008, this event has been bringing together English-, Spanish- and French-speaking authors and literary personalities every two years. Some 20 territories are represented in one place, showcasing a blend of literary genres, the mixing of heritages and a diversity of writing.

This international meeting demonstrates the deep desire to better integrate the literature of the French Caribbean into the wider cultural and intellectual Caribbean family. This congress is first and foremost a vector for cooperation, questioning, affirming identity, sharing practices and know-how in literature and its different forms of expression.

This year will feature dialogues about writing: What pleasure can be derived from writing about the region that sustains us? What do we want to say to readers in the region and elsewhere? These are the questions underlying the challenges taken up by Caribbean authors, and the aesthetic choices of each of these territories, although they are so geographically close to one another in the islands of the Caribbean and the mainland.

Throughout the duration of the congress, writers will visit schools on the island to share with students.

• Wednesday 5th April

14.00 – 15.00: Literary and cultural exchanges at the University of Camp Jacob in Saint-Claude

• Thursday 6th April at the Memorial ACTe

18.30: Opening Ceremony and viewing of exhibits.

• Friday 7th April at the Memorial ACTe

9.00 – 18.00: Round tables on the topics: How do Caribbean writers choose the language in which they write/ Representation and overcoming social conflict in Caribbean writing/ Popular traditions and narrative structures /Unknown selves or complicit neighbours?

10.45 – 12.15: Professional workshop “Literary life in Colombia: the issues of peace-time literature”

12.15 – 13.15: Open exchange with writers

12.00 – 13.00: Francophone Bookshop (France Inter)

13.00 – 14.30: Reading and dedication sessions

16.15 – 17.45: Professional workshops – Festival and translation

1. “Literary fairs in Colombia and Puerto Rico”

2. “Literary translation – a career in support of the dissemination of Caribbean literatures”

18.00: Readings and dedications

• Saturday 8th April at the Memorial ACTe

Sir Derek Walcott remembered.

9.30 -17.00: Round tables on the topics: 1956 -1st Congress of Black Writers and Artists – 60 years later, assessment, teachings, current status/ Music, song, rituals and fusion of individual poetic writing/ Cuba – an issue for the Caribbean/ Reclaiming Rebellion, or the figure of the rebel in literature.

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