Books + Beaches: Anguilla Lit Fest
I had the pleasure of chatting with the author, poet and activist at the annual Anguilla Lit Fest last May, when readers and writers gathered for a weekend of “literary jollification” at Paradise Cove Resort on the tiny island best known for its 33 idyllic beaches (and Anguilla crawfish – but that’s a story for another time ...)
In its eighth year, the festival is a celebration of the island’s own literary and poetic talent and best-selling international authors, as well as publishers and digital content creators. This year’s lineup included author Jason Reynolds; motivational speaker Tony Gaskins; poet Kane Smego; Glory Edim, creator of WellReadBlackGirl; writer and publisher Denene Millner; and blogger Sheri Gaskins.
Glory, Denene and Sheri were part of a panel I moderated – Bloggers, Book Clubs and Building Your Brand – and shared take on all three subjects to a crowd of aspiring writers. The presentation was well received – and I was well relieved!
But the highlight of the weekend was definitely the conversation between Ms. Walker and her editor, Dawn Davis. Speaking to an intimate audience of about 70 people, she was as candid I expected, but also surprisingly funny and warm. Sitting cross-legged on stage with her bare feet tucked underneath her, she discussed not just the creative process behind her work (her latest is the poetry collection Taking The Arrow Out of the Heart) but also shared her opinions on subjects as disparate as impatience, criticism, financial security and the antidote to pain (spoiler: it’s dancing!)
But Anguilla’s Lit Fest isn’t only about books; it’s about beaches, too. And the festival includes plenty of social events – on the sand and off – that offer visitors the chance to explore the idyllic isle and its shores.
Watch my video for the lowdown on the book-related events. And then watch this space for my next video, in which I explore the island and show you why it’s one of my favorites.