The BVI Literary Festival was founded in November 2021 as part of the Department of Culture’s Culture and Tourism Month activities and operates in collaboration with the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College. 

The BVI Literary Arts Festival (BVI Lit Fest) is an annual coming together of writers, poets, publishers, booksellers and book lovers to celebrate the literary arts and the creative process through workshops, panel discussions, readings, signings and launches. The festival includes a full programme with a mixture of local, regional and internationally acclaimed writers and poets.

The BVI Lit Fest aims to create a space in which lovers of the Literary Arts can engage in deeper, more focused discussions on cultural identity through literature. It fosters the development, promotion, and marketing of the works of the authors of BVI Literature.

The inaugural BVI Lit fest was held between the 2nd and 13th of November 2021.  It consisted of the “Writing with Writers’ Workshop” series, the “Let’s talk Lit Panel Discussions, a book fair and “Evening of Music and Poetry.” The workshops, which were held virtually, included workshops on poetry, publishing, and non-fiction. These were facilitated by the Virgin Islands Poet Laureate, Dr.Richard Georges, Anthony Anaxagoru, and Andre Bagoo, respectively. The panel discussions, which were also held virtually, focused on essay writing, fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. The guest panellists for the essay writing panel discussion were Andre Bagoo, Amanda Choo Quan, and Amilcar Sanatan. The guest panellists for the fiction panel discussion were Cadwell Turnbull and Tiphanique Yanique. The guest panellist for the non-fiction panel discussion was Tami Navarro. The guest panellists for the poetry panel discussion were Raymond Antrobus, Canisa Lubrin, and Desiree Seebaran.



Event Schedule plan

Conference Schedule.

First Day November 3, 2022
Second DayNovember 4, 2022
Third DayNovember 5, 2022
Fourth DayNovember 6, 2022

Writer’s Reception

BVI Lit Fest Check-In

The Unwritten Truth: Covering Crisis

The endeavour of national and international crises coverage comes with the responsibility to adhere to facts while creating an attractive narrative for the audience. The panel discusses the fine line between unveiling and veiling reality when reporting facts and creating discourse. 

The Poems We Imagine

Philosophy considers imagination a tool of investigation. The panel explores the contribution that poetry and the imagination that informs it can give to understanding the world and creating the vision of a future.

A Life in Literature

Rich with their long careers as writers and educators, the guests of this panel will share their experience and initiatives to foster literacy and literary interest in the Virgin Islands. 

Climate Change and BVI

Climate change reveals our existential hopes, fears, and collective anxieties. It is rapidly shifting economic, social, and cultural realities. Join Angela Burnett Penn, Noni Georges, and Dr. Lianna Jarecki for a dynamic panel on sustainability and solutions.

Are We Gatekeepers or Gardeners?

What makes a poem, a story, or an essay deserving of publication? How can we nurture emerging writers from lesser heard spaces and evangelise the best of Caribbean letters? The editors of The Caribbean Writer and Moko Magazine share their experiences running print and virtual literary journals. 

Off-Site Tour: Mangrove Nursery

Guests and people from the community are invited to a tour of HLSCC Mangrove Nursery which is successfully replenishing mangroves on the coastline, heavily damaged by 2017 hurricanes Irma and Maria. A group of experts will illustrate the process and its outcome.  

Economic Development/Impact of Geopolitics

At a time of political transformation in the Virgin Islands, a group of economy experts will discuss the influence of geographical factors on the politics and economy of the territory, and how its international relations are consequently reshaped.  



Reading: The Poems of Alphaeus O. Norman

Anegadian sailor, engineer and poet, Alphaeus O. Norman is the earliest British Virgin Islander whose poems survive to the present. The session is dedicated to the reading of his poetry and celebrating his place in Virgin Islands Literature.

Future Tense/Caribbean Imaginary

The panel, moderated by Freeman Rogers, investigates the contribution of Caribbean literature to world literature and its power to represent and control a future that in many ways makes us uncertain.  

What Is a Nation? Political Development in the Overseas Territories

Experts in social, political, and juridical issues will gather in this panel to debate the idea of “Nation” and discuss the possible political future in the OTs.  

The Ancestors Speak

Recovering ancient and local narratives is the key to understanding the present and planning the future of a people and a nation. This panel is dedicated to the mapping of that process in the Virgin Islands. 

Local Filmmaker’s Showcase

Local filmmakers will showcase their latest production with a set of short films and will discuss their work and their experience with the film industry in the Virgin Islands.

What is Unspoken?

Poet Laureate and President of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, Dr. Richard Georges hosts a broader conversation with Kei Miller about how he tackles things that are often left unsaid across his oeuvre. 

Light A Fire: Emerging BVI Writers Perform

In the charming garden of The Sushi Bar on Main Street, a group of talented emerging writers/poets from the Virgin Islands alongside 2021 Grand Slam title winner, Derron Sandy will read their poetry and remind the public how poetry is a powerful source of burning beauty and inspiration.

You Wrote a Book! Now What?? (Publishing Workshop)

his workshop is intended to walk attendees through the process of publishing through traditional, independent and self-publishing (yes there is a difference between the latter, two!) Topics to be covered include: How to Get an Agent, The Importance of Getting your Manuscript Professionally Edited, Choosing Your Publisher, Marketing and PR Tips to Engage Your Reader. 

When Walls Talk Back: Poetry and Public Space (Poetry Workshop) 

Using wheat pasting as a framework, this workshop will explore the role of poetry in public space. What happens when our needs and desires are relegated to silence in the realm of the private—left unspoken, unwritten and unknown. What can be if we intervene in public life with poetry. We’ll rescue that which we feel has been subdued, writing towards its reclamation, and thinking about how to re-collectivize poetry and take back public space. If you could cover the streets in poetry, make walls talk back, what would they say? 

The Blankest of Blank Pages: The Essay as Lyric (Non-Fiction Workshop)

“It is the blankest of blank pages,” the writer Rachel Cusk once observed of the essay. This workshop will embrace this blankness and test various concepts of the essay. It will pay attention to the idea of the essay as thought in process and explore aspects of form and voice commensurate with such. In this vein, the workshop will examine perspectives ranging from those of Theodor Adorno and Jacques Derrida to the more recent practice of Kevin Adonis Browne and more. In the process, we will consider how the essay might engage the poetic and consider the uses of the...



Concept Writing : The Unique Performance  (Spoken Word Workshop)

The ability to write with performance in mind is one of the major differences between page and stage poetry. Derron Sandy teaches the art of concept writing to bring an idea alive behind a microphone. The workshop covers the basics of performance and the advanced art of concept design.

The Elements of Plot and Character Building (Fiction Workshop)

New York Times bestselling author Tobias S. Buckell talks about the basics of the craft of plotting and character building through guided exercises (bring pen and paper) and finishes with a 1/2-hour Q&A about the publishing process.

From Inspiration to Publication: Sharing Insights on the World of Children’s Books (Children’s Literature Workshop)

Dinah Johnson will use her experience as a picture book author as a point of departure for introducing workshop participants to the children’s & young adult book world. Topics of exploration will include issues of craft, such as generation of ideas and the process of revision. In addition, she will address some of the things that sometimes surprise creators, such as writers generally not choosing the illustrators of their books. There will be ample time for questions and discussion.

Poetry Slam Competition

Poets will be assessed on how they interpret, perform, craft a written work and respond to this year’s BVI Lit Fest theme: “Unspoken. Unwritten. Unknown.”

Writers' Excursion


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