Anguilla’s Literary Festival

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Anguilla’s unique literary festival appeals to readers, writers and thinkers

Visit for the most up-to-date schedule and list of participants

THE VALLEY, Anguilla – March 24, 2016 – Anguilla is set to host the fifth annual Anguilla Lit Fest: A Literary Jollification at the Paradise Cove Resort from May 19-22, 2016.  This year’s distinguished panel of authors includes:

  • Kate White — award-winning author and former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, (So Pretty it Hurts The Sixes, Eyes on You)
  • Christina Baker-Kline — award-winning, best-selling author, lecturer and philanthropist (Orphan Train, The Way Life Should Be, Sweet Water, Bird in Hand, Desire Lines)
  • Valerie Wesley Wilson — world-renowned, best-selling author (Playing My Mother’s Blues, Always True to You in My Fashion, Ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do, When Death Comes Stealing)
  • Alafair Burke — award-winning, best-selling author, professor (THE EX, Under Suspicion)
  • Jason Reynolds — poet, author and motivational speaker (When I Was the Greatest, Boy in the Black Suit, All American Boys)
  • Naomi Jackson — award-winning debut author from the island of Barbados (The Star Side of Bird Hill)
  • Krista Bremer — award-winning author and associate publisher of The Sun magazine (A Tender Struggle)
  • Colin Channer — celebrated award-winning author, professor of creative writing, and co-founder of the Calabash International Literary Festival in Jamaica (The Girl with the Golden Shoes, Iron Balloons, Waiting in Vain)
  • Montague Kobbé — award-winning author (The Night of the Rambler, Tales of Bed Sheets and Departure Lounges, On the Way Back)
  • Yona Deshommes — senior publicity manager of Atria Books/Simon & Schuster (her current and upcoming projects include Citizens Creek by Lalita Tademy, Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae, Infinite Words by Zane, I Am Charlie Wilson by Charlie Wilson)
  • Fabian Adekunle Badejo — award-winning author, philanthropist, media host, social activist (Claude – A Portrait of Power, Salted Tongues  – Modern Literature in St. Martin, St. Martin Massive! A Snapshot on Popular Artists)

The Pride of Anguilla writers and poets include:

  • Don Mitchell — author, lecturer, Anguilla historian
  • Timothy Hodge — debut author, playwright
  • Alexis Gumbs — author, poet
  • Patricia Adams — Department of Youth and Culture endorsed author
  • Cassilda Thomas Carty — Department of Youth and Culture endorsed author
  • Fiona Wilkerson — debut poet
  • Chris Richardson — debut author

This year’s event will also celebrate the winners of the 2016 Malliouhana Poetry Competition, under the theme Revolution Tomorrow: Rumblings, Perceptions, Aspirations, which is coordinated by the University of the West Indies Open Campus Anguilla, Anguilla Community College, Anguilla Library Service and the Department of Youth and Culture; the performance poets of The Anguilla Under Ground, a satellite event of the Anguilla Lit Fest;  as well as  presentations and book launches of Anguillian authors, playwrights and poets  as part of a literary arts initiative of the island’s Department of Youth and Culture.  A selection of books of the featured guest authors, poets and publishers will be available for purchase on site from The Anguilla Lit Fest Book Table, which is coordinated by the Anguilla Library Service.

The Anguilla Lit Fest: A Literary Jollification pays homage to Anguilla’s literary heritage and offers yet another great reason for visitors to come to the island during the early summer period for the event. A registration fee of US$150.00 includes a welcome cocktail party, breakfast and lunch presentations, special sessions with the authors and fun-filled evening soirees. The program includes a free day on Sunday to ensure that participants will have the opportunity to experience the best of all Anguilla has to offer. As in previous years, arrangements are being made for a cross- section of students from the Primary Schools to interact with the visiting authors, and for students from the Secondary School to attend the presentation of the event headliner as specially invited guests. The program also includes a special session for children and young writers on the afternoon of Saturday, May 21st.

Residents of Anguilla will pay a special price of US$100.00 for participation in Lit Fest 2016, subject to presentation of proof of residency.  A special offer of US$50.00 per day will also be extended to those persons registering for either day of the event before May 12th, 2016.  After May 12th, one day registration reverts to US$85.00 per day.  Registration is available online and tickets can be purchased at the Anguilla Tourist Board and the Anguilla Public Library.

The name of the festival speaks to a very important facet of Anguilla’s cultural heritage–The Jollification. Rhona Richardson-Roydon, a member of the Anguilla Community Foundation, explains the concept of the Jollification as “a getting together of people to share and help neighbors.” This was done through the plowing and planting of ground (fields), all against the backdrop of men working together, women cooking, and children playing, while the work was carried out free of cost with much laughter, singing and “jollification.” Noted economist, historian, author and playwright, Marcel Fahie writes that through the Jollification, “We helped each other with the construction of our homes. Mutual aid and assistance in the form of free labor was also employed to build community facilities, access roads to and from isolated parts of villages, church buildings, community halls and playing fields. The spirit and elements of the jollification survive to this day in various forms. Most notable is the contribution of our time and effort to furthering the programs of our religious and charitable organizations.”

“The Government of Anguilla is pleased to endorse this important event in our island’s calendar,” says Honourable Parliamentary Secretary with responsibility for Tourism and Sports, Mr. Cardigan Connor.  “We recognize the value of promoting the development of the literary arts for our people, and especially our young people, who need to be encouraged to channel their youthful energies in more creative ways.  We are committed to being a part of an event that appeals not only to our residents but also to visitors in search of authentic island experiences, while at the same time enabling the preservation, celebration and enhancement of our literary heritage as a people.”    

Special vacation packages for the event are being offered by a number of Anguilla’s leading accommodation establishments, including the host hotel, Paradise Cove Resort.

Paradise Cove

Valid for dates May 17 – 24, 2016
4 Nights Accommodation for 2 persons with full breakfast daily
Includes all applicable service charges and levies
Rates start from US$900.00
Tel. No. 264-497-6603/6957/6959
Fax No. 264-497-6927

E mail: Website:

CuisinArt Golf & Spa Resort

Valid for dates May 17 – 24, 2016
Special nightly rate of $325.00 per room, Continental Breakfast included, complimentary WIFI, plus 20% Tax/Service Charge and $3 per adult per night marketing levy.
Tel: 800-943-3210


Flights can be arranged on American Airlines, Jet Blue, US Airways, United Airlines, Delta Airlines and Continental Airways through San Juan, Puerto Rico, connecting directly to Anguilla with Seaborne Airlines, or through St. Maarten with onward connecting flights or ferry into Anguilla; as well as on regional carrier LIAT (  Travel from the Caribbean can also be done through Winair (

For more information on the Anguilla Lit Fest: A Literary Jollification or to register for this year’s event, go to or or call 1 264 497 6603.  You may also engage with the Lit Fest community on Facebook ( and Twitter.