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Caribbean Literary Icons Celebrated in Film for Word Lit Fest 2017

Derek Walcott, Jean Rhys and E. R. Brathwaite films for Word Fest 2017

With June, celebrated as Caribbean American Month in the United States, fast approaching, the Caribbean Cultural Theatre has announced its line up for Wordfest 2017. This year’s edition will also include a pre-Word Film Screenings dubbed ‘From Page to Screen’, celebrating the lives, legacy and vision of three Caribbean literary icons through film and conversation.

Poetry is an Island, directed by Ida Does is the first of the films to be screened. Poetry is an Island presents an intimate portrait of the St. Lucian poet, playwright, and painter. The film has been hailed for its remarkable insights into Walcott as a man and icon. The screening takes place on Thursday, June 1, 2017, 7:00 pm, at the Medgar Evers College and, will be accompanied by a discussion led by writers Hermina Marcellin and Mervyn Taylor.

James Clavell’s adaptation of E.R. Brathwaite’s novel To Sir With Love will also be screened at the Medgar Evers College, but this time on Friday, June 2, 2017, at 7:00 pm. To Sir With Love starred screen legend Sidney Poitier and recounts the Guyanese author’s teaching experiences in the deprived London East End. Post Screening discussions will be led by author Rosalind Kilkenny-McLymont.

The screenings will be rounded out by a look at the adaptation of Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea, directed by Michael Gilkes. Rhys’ masterful feminist novel was a response to Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre retelling the story of the madwoman in the attic. The screening will be accompanied by a conversation on women writers in Caribbean literature, lead by novelists Naomi Jackson and Elizabeth Nunez. The screening takes place on Saturday, June 3, 2017, at 6:30 pm at the Antigua & Barbuda House.

Word! - A Caribbean Lit Fest will take place at the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza, Brooklyn, June 11, 2017, beginning at 1:00 pm. The main event will feature four sessions. This year's authors include Nicole Dennis-Benn (Here Comes the Sun), Robert Antoni (Trinidad Noir), Tiphanie Yanique (Land of Love and Drowning), Gaiutra Bahadur (Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture) and Sophia Jones (Born of a Monster). 

The event will also feature a young readers platform where writers will include Opal Palmer Adisa, Devon Harris, Carol Ottley-Mitchell and Daniel José Older.