St. Martin writer Georges Cocks, 3 HNP authors at 3rd Caribbean Writers Congress

A young generation writer, Georges Cocks, represented St. Martin at the 3rd Caribbean Writers Congress, organized by the Association of Caribbean Writers (ACW) and the Regional Council of Guadeloupe, from April 10-13, 2013.

Ambassador Chiqui Vicioso, leading author from the Dominican Rep., in-transit at SXM with St. Martin Book Fair coordinator Shujah Reiph  (CLF photo)

Ambassador Chiqui Vicioso, leading author from the Dominican Rep., in-transit at SXM with St. Martin Book Fair coordinator Shujah Reiph (CLF photo)

The 51 authors registered for the conference from throughout the Caribbean, Venezuela, Colombia, Guyana, and the USA, included Ambassador Chiqui Vicioso (Dominican Rep.), Marion Bethel (The Bahamas), and Emilio Jorge Rodriquez (Cuba), said Jacqueline Sample, president of St Maarten’s House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).

“We try to keep up with our writers and let readers in St. Martin and throughout the region know about their professional movements, achievements, and the performance of their books that are published in St. Martin,” said Sample.

Getting samples of the HNP titles authored by Chiqui, Marion, and Emilio to the congress was one of the publisher’s tasks, especially the bilingual and trilingual books by Emilio and Chiqui,” added Sample.

“Our new French edition by Emilio on Haitian literature, Haïti et l’identité littéraire trans-caribéenne, was given a soft introduction at the conference through the hard working folks at Jasor bookstore,” observed Sample.

Bridging language zones or gaps between Caribbean people through their writers and books was a major point made by Josette Borel-Lincertin, President of the Region of Guadeloupe.

Marion Bethel (R), filmmaker and award-winning Bahamian author, in-transit through St. Martin from the Caribbean Writers Congress, Guadeloupe, at Yvette’s Restaurant discussing St. Martin Book Fair 2013, with her publisher Lasana M. Sekou (CLF photo)

Marion Bethel (Left), filmmaker and award-winning Bahamian author, in-transit through St. Martin from the Caribbean Writers Congress, Guadeloupe, at Yvette’s Restaurant discussing St. Martin Book Fair 2013, with her publisher Lasana M. Sekou (CLF photo)

The world-honored literature of the Caribbean needs to overcome language barriers and geographical boundaries to try to build a common literary space,” said President Borel-Lincertin. She was speaking about the importance of the bi-annual discussion and planning meeting of the ACW members as a common literary space.

Cocks, soon to be published in an anthology of 25 St. Martin writers, stood ready to provide fraternal assistance to the HNP authors in Guadeloupe. He was also instrumental in getting book samples to Jasor for exhibition at the conference and invitations to promote the upcoming St. Martin Book Fair.

Writers feel good when they can see or know that their books are accessible at a conference for fellow writers, reviewers, and audience guests,” said Sample.

The Guadeloupe-based Cocks hails from French Quarter. “Some of his poems reflect an aspect of a St. Martin diaspora, the desire to reconnect, a somewhat unique element in writings from or about St. Martin,” said Lasana M. Sekou, editor of the upcoming book of mostly young poets from both parts of the island.

Participating in the St. Martin Book Fair by Cocks over the last few years has boosted his appearance as a writer in Guadeloupe and made more people on both islands aware of his seminal print-on-demand novels and poetry collections.

Edwidge Danticat wins ACW Grand Literary Prize 2013 in Guadeloupe

The US writer Russell Banks was the guest of honor at the ACW congress, which had as its theme: “A collective epic, fighting for freedom; historical truth and fiction in Caribbean literature.”

According to Borel-Lincertin, the Regional Council recognizes “the importance of cultural development, including literature” in its partnership with ACW to organize the 3rd Congress of Writers of the Caribbean (Congrès des Ecrivains de la Caraïbe).

The ACW awarded its Grand Literary Prize [Grand Prix Littéraire] this year to novelist Edwidge Danticat, for her most recent work Create Dangerously. The prize is one of the financially richest of four important and increasingly coveted Caribbean literary prizes.

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