Wednesday, June 6 was a banner day for the creative arts. The non-profit organization Creative Nassau (CN) announced its newest project, which highlights one of CN’sstrategies to drive the creative industries in The Bahamas. SeaWords Bahamas ALIV (SeaWords) will hold its inaugural three-day event 9 to 11 November, 2018 at the Convention Centre, Atlantis, Paradise Island. The literary festival will welcome Bahamians and international participants to technique-building workshops, and feature performances bynone other than Britain’s Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, a world-renowned poet and author, along with a superbly talented group of Bahamian writers.
The festival website, www.seawordsbahamas.com, will provide links for registering for Festival packages and booking special accommodation packages at Atlantis, which go active on July 1. Also available will be information about purchasing tickets for the performance events that are open to the general public.
Present at the launch event were the five members of the Festival organizing committee, including Pam Burnside, president, Creative Nassau & proprietor, Doongalik Studios Art Gallery; NekoMeicholas, artist & publisher, Guanima Press Ltd; Richard Coulson, author, retired lawyer & financier; Rosemary Hanna, author, photographer & retired banker, and Patricia Glinton-Meicholas, author, poet & culture critic, vice president, Creative Nassau and SeaWords chair.Also on hand were representatives of two of the major sponsors: Gravette Brown, ALIV Chief Commercial Officer and Paul McWeeney, President, Sunshine Insurance Agents & Brokers.
Burnside voiced her confidence in the success of Creative Nassau’s newest venture. “So far, Creative Nassau has attracted quality sponsors, and we have put together a dynamic organizing committee. All of the members are recognized creatives, who are willing to go full tilt in making SeaWords Bahamas ALIV an entertaining and rewarding experience for all participants and for our country as a whole.”
Speaking on behalf of title sponsor ALIV, Brown noted: “We believe the Festival is an innovative and progressive move in the direction of educating, nurturing and bringing awareness to all aspects of the literary world right here in The Bahamas. At Aliv we believe there is a natural interplay between technology and arts. We have a long history of successful collaboration with other artistic communities and now we are happy to move into this partnership with the literary arts.”
Glinton-Meicholas revealed the Festival’s novel mission and the notable group of already confirmed participants.“With the support of generous companies such as title sponsor ALIV, Atlantis and Sunshine Holdings Ltd, we are launching a festival dedicated to promoting and celebrating writing as an art form and profession and equally as a multi-billion-dollar creative industry with the power to bring valuable diversification to the Bahamian economy,” Glinton-Meicholas noted.
“Highlighting the scheduled performances of literary works will be the Dame Carol Ann Duffy, Britain’s Poet Laureate since 2009 and the first woman to be so named in the four centuries since the title was created. Recipient of many distinguished awards, Ms Duffy’s work has been extensively published, including her poetry collections and books for children. The opening reception of the Festival will feature readings by a bevy of recognized and emerging Bahamian poets and authors. They include Marion Bethel, Helen Klonaris, LelawatteeManoo-Rahming, Eric Rose, Zemi Stewart, University of The Bahamas student Ide Thompson and myself. These events are included as a benefit to those registering for the full Festival package. The general public may purchase tickets locally.”
As announced, the SeaWordscore agenda will comprise workshops on writing poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Also highlighted will be writing for the media, poetry and playwriting, film script development, the book’s journey from concept to publication, and intellectual property law, which is essential to creative processes such as writing.
Workshop facilitators are seasoned, recognized professionals. Invitations s are currently being sent out to titans of The Bahamas’ newspaper industry to participate in a panel discussion on journalism. SeaWords has already secured the participation of such as Diane Gedymin and Dr Adair White Johnson, both veterans of the publishing industry, who have written and published best sellers; Michelle Malcolm, veteran broadcaster and general manager of the new ILTV; Suzette Parker, writer and producer of the live morning TV show Bahamas@Sunrise and the Financial Voice; award-winning filmmaker Kareem Mortimer, University of The Bahamas professors Christopher Curry, Ph.D. and Nicolette Bethel, Ph.D.; and attorney Erica Pople-Ferreira, Managing Partner, Ferreira & Co.
‘We are pleased and deeply grateful to have attracted the sponsorship of ALIV as title sponsor, Atlantis our Platinum sponsor, and the Sunshine Group of Companies as a Diamond sponsor. We are grateful also for the support of the Jackson Burnside Library Fund and Guanima Press Ltd. Creative Nassau has set some ambitious and very necessary goals for our SeaWords Bahamas Literary Festival; it would be difficult to achieve them without serious sponsorship,” Glinton-Meicholas said.