The Bim Literary Festival & Book Fair: A True Cultural Experience!
The inaugural Bim Literary Festival and Book Fair took place in May 2012. Its theme was “Words Need Love Too,” a sentiment borrowed from a poem by Barbados’ best-known poet, Kamau Brathwaite.
Organized by Writers Ink Inc., a collective of Barbados’ leading novelists and poets, that first festival featured literary giants: Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott, Alba Prize winner George Lamming and Giller Award winners Austin “Tom” Clarke and Lorna Goodison. Kamau Brathwaite was represented. Among the renowned local writers who participated were Linda M. Deane, Margaret Gill, Anthony Kellman, Karen Lord, Philip Nanton, Esther Phillips, and Robert Edison Sandiford.
The aim of any literary festival is to engage people with reading, writing and literature. The Bim LitFest, as it’s already affectionately known, gives writers and readers, editors and agents, that all too rare opportunity to get together, lime, and interact one-on-one. It’s an opportunity for them and the public to talk about books, why they matter and why they love them. That this can happen in a place like Barbados, long a stimulating destination for the intellectually passionate and creatively curious, is merely as it should be.
Once again falling under the patronage of the Prime Minister’s Office, the 2016 Bim LitFest is already recognized as an event—an occasion—of national significance. This year’s festival 12-14 May is part of the celebration of our fiftieth year of Independence and this is reflected in various events (see our programme) The festival will be staged in Independence Square, historic Bridgetown, whose surroundings are part of our World Heritage Site.
In addition, our Barbadian award winning writers (to be listed soon) will be presenting their work during the festival. We will also be showcasing renowned Caribbean authors such as Cecil Foster, Mervyn Morris, Olive Senior and Tanya Shirley.
While this bi-annual festival also provides an avenue for writers and publishers to market their work, it also attracts visitors to the island who want a true cultural experience. Wherever you come from, whether reader or writer, we look forward to seeing you in Independence Square by the Careenage 12-14 May.