Culture. The 12th St. Martin Book Fair, June 5-7, 2014

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Par Autre 27 Avr 2014 20:37

Culture. The 12th St. Martin Book Fair, June 5-7, 2014

The St. Martin Book Fair was founded in 2003, by Shujah Alex Reiph, president of Conscious Lyrics Foundation and co-founded by Lasana M. Sekou, projects director of House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP). Inspired by the HNP Creative Writing Program (CWP), in which Reiph was a participant, the book fair was organized and launched on June 20, 2003, by CLF and HNP—well before the six-month CWP was completed.

The members and officers of CLF were chiefly responsible for spearheading the organization of the first three-day fair in less than two months. During the 2003 launch reception, Josianne Fleming-Artsen, president of the University of St. Martin (USM), suggested to Reiph the participation of USM in future book fairs. Since 2004, USM has been the collaborator of the St. Martin Book Fair and its campus remains home to the main book fair day of workshops, general sessions, and book sales.

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The idea of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau (STB) as the main book fair patron since  2004, came from STB head Regina LaBega during a conversation with Sekou. As a  virtual partner through the STB, the government of island territory St. Maarten has proven to be a stalwart patron of the St. Martin Book Fair. In 2010, the government of the Collectivity of St. Martin became the book fair’s newest partner. Fabian A. Badejo of ADE Consulting, Rhoda Arrindell of the Institute for Language Research & Development, and Jacqueline Sample of HNP have been core to book fair planning over the years. The opening ceremony of the book fair is alternated each year between Great Bay
(Philipsburg) and Marigot, both capitals of St. Martin—in keeping with the traditional unity between the one people of both parts of our island nation. The symposium of the book and literary festival is the Presidents’ Forum, hosted by USM (The first President’s Forum Award was presented to the distinguished poet Kamau  Brathwaite, a book fair guest author that year). The closing ceremony is always highlighted with the “main” or “feature” book launch of a new HNP title, normally published the same year in which the book fair takes place.

Since 2005, with the installation of, and as a result of the organization and execution by the energetic Book Fair Committee (BFC), the widening activities to schools and different districts, novel workshop ideas, and media appearances have involved at least 1000 people directly and indirectly each year in the St. Martin Book Fair—and increasing. The St. Martin Book Fair and its organizing foundations, CLF and HNP, are non-profit NGOs.

The advertising sponsors and financial gifts and grants from friends, contributors and patrons of the arts have been most important in the development of the St. Martin Book Fair since its inception; and the volunteer, materiel, and financial support, gifts, and grants are encouraged, always welcomed and greatly appreciated.

We welcome one and all to have a “Sweet St. Martin” time at our Charismatically Caribbean book fair.

Shujah Reiph 
Book Fair Coordinator

Autre
Par Autre 27 Avr 2014 20:37