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Kingston Book Festival 2013 Launched

Kingston’s book industry is planning a takeover of the city in early March. Plans for a multi-venue festival were unveiled at the launch of the 2nd installment of the annual Kingston Book Festival which is planned for March 2 - 10, 2013. This year, the Kingston Book Fest is being staged under the theme ‘Celebrating the Arts’ and so along with readings and seminars will also incorporate performances of dance, drama, film and music as well as art exhibitions.
During his greetings, BIAJ president Norman Marshall pointed out that the BIAJ has a long history of staging book fairs and the KBF marks the re-stimulation of that drive and was devised to BIAJ to promote literacy and a love of reading as well as to showcase the breadth of Jamaica’s publishing industry.

Scarlett Beharie of Jada reads from Sylvia Wynter's Hills of Hebron“Jamaica has a vibrant and diverse heritage burgeoning with great talent and through this festival we will celebrate books, we will celebrate he arts, we will celebrate Jamaica,” said Mr. Marshall.

As Festival Chair Kellie Magnus pointed out, KBF 2013 is significantly grander in its ambitions that the previous installment. “This is the biggest festival that we've ever attempted to have, and we couldn't even attempt to have it without this support of our partners,” she said. Kingston Book Fest 2013 has partnered with Dance Umbrella, the Edna Manley College, David Morrison and the National Library of Jamaica.

She also noted that Jamaican publishers have an impressive range of books focused on the arts which will be showcased throughout the festival. "Our publishing members have really been mining the arts for years and have put together a wonderful collection of books," she said. "And that allows us to put together a really fabulous array of writers to participate in the festival. We have an impressive array of writers who are writing about Jamaican culture."

Indeed the festival line-up includes several of Jamaica’s most celebrated authors such as Lorna Goodison, Kei Miller, Edward Baugh, Carolyn Cooper, Nomaddz, Sonjah Stanley Niaah and Tanya Shirley as well as rising voices such as Mel Cooke, Diana McCaulay, A-dZiko Simba and Roland Watson-Grant.(l-r) Norman Marshall, Rebecca Tortello and Katrine Smith

The festival will also feature special guests including Christopher John Farley senior writer with the Times and editor of Speakeasy, the Wall Street Journal’s cultural website. Independent publisher Johnny Temple of Akashic Books and Marva Allen of the Hue Man Book Store are also on the roster.

The week of activities will also include seminars and networking sessions as well as tours to primary and high schools.

"We are concerned about the aging of our industry," Magnus explained. “So the tour will open the eyes of students to the professional opportunities in the book industry.”

Kingston Book Festival 2013 will also feature the return of the Kingston Book Fair which will take place at Devon House on Saturday, March 9, 2013. The festival closes on Sunday, March 10 with a book focused tour of the National Biennial at the National Gallery of Jamaica.

The launch took place at the Spanish Court Hotel on Thursday, February 7, 2013, and closed with Scarlett Beharie reading from Sylvia Wynter's Hills of Hebron.