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"Word Upon Word": 15 Quotes From Calabash 2016

Calabash 2016 brought several quote-worthy moments

The 2016 Calabash International Literary Festival ended on Sunday, June 5, after a weekend full of celebration of the word through fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and song. Throughout the three days, whether on the main stage or on the verandah at Jakes for the Cafe Series there writers made memorable and meaningful statements about art, life and the artistry of life. 

Here are 15 Quotables from Calabash 2016:

Whether under the tent or seated on the grass, the audience supped on the words of the world's best writers

Chris Abani

“This whole thing is an art installation. So, we’re all living in Sally’s [Henzell] imagination.”

“We all want to wear masks but we don’t want to be judged by those masks.”

“Talent is not what determines success. It’s your ability to deal with rejection.”

Baz Dreisinger

“In prison, you can choose to see the sky or you can look at the moss on the ground. I choose to look at the sky.”

“Inequality is what fuels crime and is what fills prison cells.”

Nina Revoyr, Decca Aitkenhead and Baz Dreizinger

Tishani Doshi

“My role as a poet is to be as insistent as a mosquito.”

Paul Holdengraber

“I have this disease called quote-omania from which I do not really want to be cured.”

Nikola Madzirov

“My only weapon is my fragile, fragile poetry.”

“This is something different and I want to thank you for it.”

Nikola Madzirov and Tishani Doshi

Kei Miller

“[M]aps are used to straighten out and erase a small bit of history’s disgrace.”

“Calabash bay: water upon water, word upon word.”

Pam Mordecai

“I am a poet masquerading as a novelist.”

Kei Miller

Nina Revoyr

“[Writing has] a lot of truth: some fictional, some dancing to the rhythm of poetry and some based in fact”

Gillian Slovo

“In making culture it might work, or it might not work. But you’ll learn more from failure than success.”

“I don’t just need words. I need character.” 

Kwame Dawes literally carrying the weight of words in the numerous books

Bonus Track

Kwame Dawes

“The secret to Calabash is that we invite the people we want to hear.”