“Crime&Punishment” at the 12th annual St. Martin Book Fair

The 12th annual St. Martin Book Fair will take place at venues throughout the island from Thursday, June 5 to Saturday, June 7, 2014, said book fair coordinator Shujah Reiph.

“The St. Maarten Tourist Bureau (STB), as the strategic partner, has made it possible for us to announce the book fair date at this time; and we’re busy contacting the authors and workshop leaders that will treat our island’s people and visitors to three exciting days of ‘a book fair for the entire family,'” said Reiph.

“Crime&Punishment” is the classic-sounding theme of this year’s literary festival. “In 2014, the St. Martin Book Fair opens in the South. New and famous authors will visit schools throughout the island. At the Friday literary evening, which was held in Grand Case last year, visiting writers and St. Martin authors will read from their books. The closing ceremony and main book party are also highlights of the book fair at different venues,” said Reiph, who is also president of the Conscious Lyrics Foundation (CLF).

The main book sale exhibition, multimedia activities, and workshops such as the hugely popular herbal health, cooking, hair, and Ponum dance workshops of former years – always take place at the University of St. Martin (USM) on the Saturday.

"Alternating the book fair's opening ceremony between both capitals is an annual feature of the festival that celebrates the Traditional St. Martin unity," said Reiph.

Alternating the book fair’s opening ceremony between both capitals is an annual feature of the festival that celebrates the Traditional St. Martin unity,” said Reiph.

CLF and House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP) organize the St. Martin Book Fair in collaboration with STB and USM. In previous years the St. Martin Tourist Office and the Department of Culture in Marigot and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs in Philipsburg have been significant sponsors.

The financial cuts in STB’s 2014 budget have already affected book fair plans but the organizers are pressing ahead. “I’m still hoping that private sponsors, legacy patrons, other government departments, and advertisers will return or become new book fair partners this year,” said HNP president Jacqueline Sample.

Over the years, St. Martin Book Fair contributors have included United Car Rental, SDL, Black Dimensions In Art, Inc., Peridot, Kennesaw University, Sea Palace, Dauphine Telecom, and SEMSAMAR. A financial contribution to the St. Martin Book Fair is tax-deductible.

Between 2003, when it was founded, and 2013, authors visiting St. Martin for the St. Martin Book Fair, hailed from China, India, Israel, Morocco, Italy, Netherlands, France, Aruba, Curacao, Trinidad, Barbados, Grenada, St. Lucia, Saba, Dominican Rep., Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, the USA, and Canada among other countries and territories. Each year a published St. Martin writer appears on the official book fair poster to represent the island’s writers, said Reiph.

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