Kingston Book Festival 2015 starts Sunday


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Buoyed by over two dozen events, the fourth edition of the Kingston Book Festival (KBF) will spread from bookstores to libraries, to bars, the streets, and even the prisons of Kingston. The dynamic and growing festival will take place from March 1 to 8.

The Neville Hall Lecture Theatre at the University of the West Indies, Mona, will be the launch pad for the festival with Love Affair With Literature IV. Love Affair With Lit will feature novelist Roland Watson-Grant, short story writer Sharon Millar, poet Tanya Shirley and Jamaica's Poet Laureate, Professor Mervyn Morris.

The city's bars will also feature several of the events, including the launch network party which will take over the popular watering hole Ribbiz in Barbican, on Monday, March 2. There will discounts on drinks to publishing industry representatives, as well as opportunities to win prizes.

The bar hopping continues on Tuesday, March 3, at 7 p.m. with the launch of 'Blakka' Ellis' first full collection of poetry, Riddim & Riddles, at Redbones Blues Cafe, New Kingston. The launch event will feature readings by Leonie Forbes, Fae Ellington, Oku Onoura, Donald 'Ice Man' Anderson and Tony 'Pale Face' Hendriks. Dr. Sonjah Stanley Niaah is the guest speaker.

Later in the week audiences will get to mix their love of great literature and good spirits at Late Night Lit, presented by the Jamaican Writers Society (JaWS). Late Night Lit will provide the heady combination of performances from Dingo, Tanya Shirley, Owen Blakka Ellis, Kellie Magnus, Sharon Leach and host Mel Cooke

The festival will also be introducing a new event featuring writers sharing their work at different bars across the city. Dubbed Open Mic, Open Bottle: Rum Shop Readings, the event will take place on Friday, March 6, at 7 p.m. in different bars.

The festival will also be flavoured by a street performance though the Literary Lunch presented by digital magazine Susumba's Book Bag, slated for 1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 4. The lunch-time event will take place in the tree-lined promenade beside the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) on Knutsford Boulevard and will feature a strong range of established and emerging poets including Owen 'Blakka' Ellis, A-dZiko Simba Gegele, Mezan Ayoka, Tricia Allen, Peta-Gaye Williams and Mel Cooke.

The festival will culminate with the Kingston Book Fair at the historic Devon House on Saturday, March 7. The fair will include book launches, readings and performances.

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