While not being the best time for reading, a lot of cool literary things went down this month.
Festivals and Readings
Two days after the Bim Lit Fest, the The University of the West Indies (in collaboration with Callaloo, a journal based out of the Texas A&M University) hosted A Night of Poetry and Fiction. Gregory Pardlo and Maaza Mengiste read their work to an audience of students, former students, professors and people just looking to be moved by good writing, in the Arts Lecture Theatre. A room famous for being either too cold or too hot. It was a bit chilly that Tuesday night.
It was nice seeing former classmates that I hadn’t seen in a while and it’s always great to learn about new writers. New to me anyway. The host for the evening was Professor Emeritus Mark McWatt, who is also a pretty good writer of fiction and poetry. His The Journey to Le Repentir is one of the few books that Lisa and I agree on, so it was little disappointing not hear him read something as well.
Fresh Milk Books
Fresh Milk, a local creative platform (or rather the creative platform, since I don’t know of any others like it) recruited some bright young creative people to review books from the Colleen Lewis Reading Room. The reviews are posted at Fresh Milk Books . The idea is to get the public interested in the reading room itself. I’m not sure if all this started in May or in April, but since I didn’t do a wrap-up for my April posts, so it’s all good. Definitely worth checking out.
Starting today, and finishing on Sunday, is the Calabash International Literary Festival in Jamaica. I wish I could be there, I’ve never been. I was trying not to feel too bad about it by saying that I would be going next year, but a Jamaican blogger told me that in the last couple of years, Calabash has become biennial. Ah well, I guess there is always 2016.
In light of the possibility of moving to Australia in a couple of years, I want to read more Australian Literature, operating on the basis that you can learn about country through its writing. I think I’ll call it Reading Australia.
Hopefully the moving thing doesn’t happen before Calabash happens again, because once I leave the region I probably won’t be back for a while.
It would also be cool if I could hit up BEA, my Twitter feed is full of bloggers having more fun than I am.
New books in May:
The Kingdom of this World by Alejo Carpentier
Haiti: The Aftershocks of History by Laurent Dubois
The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts by Louis De Bernières
The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord
And Sometimes They Can Fly by Robert Edison Sandiford
Saga, Vol. 1, 2, and 3 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
Heart Man: The Bayker’s Ridge Horror by Matthew Clarke
All in all, not a bad month, even if The Black Jacobins is the only book I’ve finished for the month.