Monthly Archives: March 2010

The Word, Alive


If you didn’t experience at least one night of the Word Alive Literary Festival this past weekend, you have deprived yourself of an opportunity to be immersed in a celebration of creativity, an excess of artistic expression with roots in Saint Lucia and the Caribbean, a brilliant prism of the past, present and future; and some fantastic entertainment to boot.
A four night, three-day callaloo of international drama that included spoken word, literature, film, music and theatre, Word Alive 2010 graduated from its humble beginning as a poetry slam at La Place Carenage, to a proper arts festival, albeit in the fledging stage.
The festival opened on Thursday March 25 with ‘White Egrets’, the latest work by Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott taking off with a reading and book signing. The international launch here just days after the book’s release was as unexpected as the work from the 80-year-old poet, who had previously indicated that he had written his last line.
Professor Emeritus and Walcott scholar Edward Baugh introduced the work as familiar, reworked, tuned to new nuances yet featuring Walcott’s recurring obsessions, while noting that Walcott still can astonish and applauding the poet’s undiminished excellence.
The festival cut to a two-day film conference featuring Saint Lucian film maker Davina Lee, with support from PACE, on Friday and Saturday, with viewings of two scintillating regional films.
The jewel of the festival, the Word Alive spoken word contest, saw fresh Saint Lucian voices competing against the backdrop of acclaimed regional artistes.
Sunday was almost gluttonous with a brimming platter of eclectic writers and performers who took turns on-stage throughout the day. The re-staging of director Drenia Frederick’s interpretation of The Coloured Museum was a turbulent journey through many of the weekend’s themes – black history, identity, progress, religion and creativity.
Although festival producer and master of multi-tasking Adrian Augier declared Word Alive open on Thursday, was actively involved throughout the four days and took the last curtain call as part of the cast of The Coloured Museum on Sunday night, it was clear this was no one-man-show. The supporting cast of writers, performers, thespians and artists, the crew and the team from the Saint Lucia Arts Festival Company must be applauded for presenting this coubouyon of artistic excellence to Saint Lucians. Next year hopefully many more of us, particularly from the education system, will applaud in appreciation, having ourselves tasted of this artistic feast, which in the words of Augier, are beyond bananas and bacchanal.