Plans are underway to establish an ANNUAL LOUISE BENNETT-COVERLEY FESTIVAL in Jamaica this year.
In September 2022, Jamaica will experience a world-class event in Gordon Town, St. Andrew. Thankfully, a planning committee led by the poet, novelist, and cultural activist Professor Opal Palmer Adisa and comprised of varied stakeholders and strategic partners is working to present the inaugural Festival.
Professor Adisa announced the Festival to the Jamaica Library Service (JLS) management at a book presentation ceremony. Correspondingly, the ceremony took place at the JLS headquarters, 2 Tom Redcam Drive.
The objectives of the Festival are 1) to ensure that the promotion, teaching and performing of Louise Bennett’s work are perpetual in Jamaica and throughout the diaspora. 2) To encourage more study and scholarship on Louise Bennett’s work. 3) To encourage Jamaicans to actively preserve Jamaica’s cultural heritage through language, storytelling and folklore.
Professor Adisa presented the JLS with 53 volumes representing five titles from her collection. The donation included three publications released since the start of 2022. The publications were namely; 100+ VOICES FOR MISS LOU, an anthology of Poetry, Tributes, Interviews and Essays; PORTIA DREAMS, the authorized childhood biography of Jamaica’s first female Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller; and THE STORYTELLER’S RETURN, a collection of story poems interrogating memory, culture, longing and belonging. Also donated were two children’s books, DANCE QUADRILLE and LOOK: A MOKO JUMBIE which highlight elements of the folk culture of the US Virgin Islands. As a matter of fact, Professor Adisa lived and taught in the US Virgin Islands shortly before returning to Jamaica in 2017.
In accepting the book donation, the Director-General of the JLS, Miss Maureen Thompson, thanked Professor Adisa for her commitment to preserving Jamaica’s history and rich culture. Similarly, she also encouraged Jamaican authors to gift libraries with their publications. The Director-General also commended the CHASE Fund for supporting the JLS. Their assistance enables the library’s efforts to secure a safe space where its clients – children and adults. Because of their help, clients can access ICT resources made available through the fund and a wide range of programmes and services.
Miss Thompson announced that the 2022 National Reading Competition would this year be staged under the theme, ‘RE-IGNITING A NATION TO READ’.
Contact Miss Dionne Barnett, Senior Librarian, JLS, via telephone at +1 876-278-0886