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Rochelle Ward represents St. Martin writers at Book Fair 2015

Faizah Tabasamu (Rochelle Ward) represents the nation’s writers and authors at 13th annual St. Martin Book Fair, June 4 - 6, 2015.
Faizah Tabasamu (Rochelle Ward) represents the nation’s writers and authors at 13th annual St. Martin Book Fair, June 4 – 6, 2015.

GREAT BAY/MARIGOT, St. Martin—Rochelle Ward has been selected to represent the island’s writers and authors at the 13th annual St. Martin Book Fair, June 4 – 6, 2015, said Jacqueline Sample, president of House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).

Ward also writes under the name Faizah Tabasamu, and has been published in the recent  book, Where I See The Sun – Contemporary Poetry in St. Martin. “Faizah is one of the island’s few consistent and quality bloggers, at and Also, the author Lasana Sekou considers her to be St. Martin’s leading new generation poet,” said Sample.

“It will be an honor to hold the torch of St. Martin’s literary expressions this year at the St. Martin Book Fair. I encourage all other local writers to come out to this weekend event where writers, wordsmiths, and philosophers from around the world rally on our island. Come, let them feel the strength of our pulse,” said Ward.

“Each year a published writer is selected by book fair organizers to represent the nation’s writers and authors. The writer’s photo appears on the book fair poster as one of the invited authors from around the world. The selected writer coordinates a workshop and attends as many book fair activities as possible, like a St. Martin literary ambassador,” said Shujah Reiph of Conscious Lyrics Foundation (CLF). The literary festival is organized by CLF and HNP.

“Another encouragement for writers and publishing in St. Martin is the book exhibition at the opening ceremony on June 4, and on the main book fair day at USM, on June 6, said Reiph. “New to the exhibition will be school teacher Joselyne Arnell.” Ignacio and the Mysterious Egg is the first children’s book by the French Quarter native, “and it came out only a few weeks ago,” said Reiph.

All authors living on the island, whether they are self-published or published by a traditional publisher can sell their books at the book fair. In this way, St. Martin people and our visitors get to see, and to buy as gifts or for personal reading pleasure, more books in one place than they might get at any other time or place on the island, said Reiph.

“The writers also get a chance to meet more people in one place,” said Reiph. Writers and booksellers of all types of books will get a free table on a first come basis by contacting, according to a Book Fair Committee information letter.

“The June 4 opening ceremony of the island-wide book fair takes place at the Territorial Media Tech, at 8 PM, in Spring Concordia, Marigot. The new center houses the public library, and is “a super attraction this year because of its spaciousness and attractive design,” said Reiph.

“All of the people of our entire island are invited to the opening ceremony, to meet exciting writers, find new books, and to participate in all activities of the 13th annual St. Martin Book Fair, on June 4 – 6, 2015,” said Reiph.


New Anguilla poetry book launches at Governor’s reception for LitFest 2015

GREAT BAY—Where I See The Sun – Contemporary Poetry in Anguilla, A New Anthology Edited by Lasana M. Sekou, launched Thursday, May 21 at Government House in Anguilla.

Her Excellency, Ms. Christina Scott, the Governor of Anguilla, will hosted “the official launch of the book” at the “reception to commemorate the 4th anniversary of the ‘Anguilla Lit Fest,’”. The literary festival runs from May 21-24.

Where I See The Sun has already met with bold comments from new generation poets and authors, said Jacqueline Sample, president of HNP, the book’s publisher.

“This is pure poetry: critical, sincere and plain. The glorious and convoluted history of small island nations sits heavily on the shoulders of so few. This may be your only chance to hear them speak like this,” writes Wena Poon, award-winning Singapore-born American author.

The Guadeloupean author and hiphop artist Fola Gadet finds that the poetry of the collection is “rooted in a strong desire for real freedom.” There are over 90 poems by 43 poets from the 35 sq. mi. island in the book. Most of the poets and the poems were never published before.

The anthologized poets include: John T. Harrigan, Bongo Joe, Medora, Tyrone James, Vanessa Croft Thompson, Catrina Jones, Alexis Ryan, Sharleen Gumbs, Fabian Fahie, George Hodge, Zipporah Bannister, Marvin Gumbs, Kay Ferguson, Davon Carty, Magueda Jackson, Wendell Lake, Gregory Maye, and Bankie Banx.

“Their names may ring hollow to many a literary critic or student of Caribbean Literature, (with the exception, perhaps, of the venerable Bankie Banks, a true musical legend who has stuck to his Anguilla roots through thick and thin),” wrote literary critic Fabian Adekunle Badejo in the preface to the book.

The other writers are: Mikael Mussington, Teresa Richardson, Vernon Webster, Sharon Lake, Clemvio Hodge, Jemmisa Graneau-Gumbs, Rolandito Richardson, Akeem Rogers, Amethyst Davis, Leroy Hill, Iain Bibby, Rita Celestine Carty, Cassilda Carty, Patricia Adams, Reuel Ben Lewi, Marnair, Alvin Payne, Romeine Browne, Delano Smith, Hyacinth Hughes, Akeem Rogers, Jervayne Daniel, Jason Richardson, Dollynell Best, Rennetta Lewis, and Oluwakemi Linda Banks.

The important thing about the budding and seasoned poets in Where I See The Sun “is that they now will be heard throughout the region and beyond and the story they tell, a reminder that size really doesn’t matter when it comes to human experience and existence or for that matter where it concerns creative output,” said Badejo.

Where I See The Sun will be available at the Anguilla Lit Fest, the 13th annual St. Martin Book Fair, IrieLife, Van Dorp,,, and other bookstores.

Caption: Where I See The Sun – Contemporary Poetry in Anguilla, A New Anthology Edited by Lasana M. Sekou (House of Nehesi Publishers).
Caption: Where I See The Sun – Contemporary Poetry in Anguilla, A New Anthology Edited by Lasana M. Sekou (House of Nehesi Publishers).


Arrowroot Workshop returns to St. Martin Book Fair 2015

Vernicia Brooks of Nature Valley Association (VB Photo)
Vernicia Brooks, President of Nature Valley Association (VB Photo)

GREAT BAY/MARIGOT, St. Martin —The Nature Valley Association of Colombier will coordinate the “how to do” workshop on arrowroot at the 13th annual St. Martin Book Fair, June 4 – 6, 2015, said Shujah Reiph, book fair coordinator.
The association is well known for its hands-on exhibitions of traditional culture, agriculture, and nature conservation in Colombier, the St. Martin village that is well known for its fertile agricultural land. “Nature Valley had such a successful workshop on ‘how to make guavaberry’ at book fair 2012, that it makes even the idea of an arrowroot workshop so exciting for book fair 2015,” said Reiph on Sunday.
According the Vernicia Brooks, president of Nature Valley, the association members will show and discuss the arrowroot plant and rootstock history and its uses in St. Martin; the traditional pounding method of the arrowroot; how the starch is made from the Caribbean herbaceous plant; and “medicinal virtues” and cooking uses of the fine-grained starch that is made from arrowroot.
Brooks said that the workshop will touch on what Nature Valley has learned about arrowroot uses in other Caribbean islands but the emphasis will be on the history, cultivation, cultivators, preparation, and uses of arrow throughout the island of St. Martin.
In some villages of old-time St. Martin, the arrowroot harvest and preparation were very ceremonial. The ceremony included dance, celebratory songs, and specific work songs sung to the rhythm of drums and the pounding of the arrowroot with long pestles in large mortars, according to Thomassillienne Arnell, a former research source about Traditional St. Martin at House of Nehesi Publishers.
Arrowroot, both as a plant and food native to the region, also has a persistent air of mystery about its preparation and uses, especially in connection to pregnant women, and with regard to its ancient Amerindian use as an anti-toxin. The origin of the name arrowroot might be the Arawakan term aru-aru (“meal of meals”). According to wikipedia, “Archaeological studies in the Americas show evidence of arrowroot cultivation as early as 7,000 years.”
Although arrowroot starch can be made from several tropical plants, the particular plant popularly used on an island or in an area, along with its tuber and the starch obtained from it, often go by the same name: arrowroot.
The free arrowroot workshop will take place on Saturday, June 6, the main day of book fair sales, book signings, and workshops at the University of St. Martin (USM).
Conscious Lyrics Foundation and House of Nehesi Publishers organize the St. Martin Book Fair in collaboration with its strategic partner the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, USM, LC Fleming Foundation, and St. Martin Tourist Office.


Corporate Heavy Weights To Be Honored At Invest Caribbean Now

Butch Stewart-Sandals
Butch Stewart-Sandals

NEW YORK, NY – Five top corporations serving the Caribbean region as well as the man who built a tourism empire from the ground up, will all be honored in New York City tomorrow, June 4th, as Invest Caribbean Now 2014 gears up for its fourth presentation and awards reception.

This year, DHL Caribbean is being presented the Service Excellence Award – Logistics for its commitment and investment in the Caribbean region and for providing Caribbean customers with quicker courier service while Trinidad & Tobago-based bank, First Citizens, will receive the Service Excellence Award – Banking for its excellent service, investment and commitment to the Caribbean region and the world, in the field of banking and for being one of the highest-rated indigenous financial institution in the English-speaking Caribbean.

DHL’s Caribbean team, led by Managing Director Reiner Wolfs, will be on hand to accept the award at the ICN event in the Cambridge Room at the Harvard Club of New York from 4-6 p.m. tomorrow while First Citizens Investment Services general manager, Jason Julien, and assistant general manager, Sana Ragbir, will accept on behalf of the bank.

HBO Latin America’s 10-member team, led by Javier Figueras, corporate vice president of Affiliate Relations, will receive the ICN 2014 Alliance Award for its commitment to partnership and expansion in the Caribbean region, including with TiVi S.A. – the fast-growing television provider in Haiti while One Caribbean Television’s team, led by founder Brian Lilly will be on hand to receive the ICN Media Visionary Award for its commitment to the region by its service to over millions of Caribbean nationals daily.

The ICN 2014 Visionary Award for showing strategic decision to expand into a much needed inter-regional carrier in the Caribbean region, will be presented to interCaribbean Airways’s team, led by Chairman Lyndon Gardiner while the prestigious 2014 ICN Leadership Award will be presented to the Hon. Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, OJ, CD, Hon. LLD, Chairman of Sandals Resorts International for commitment and dedication to the Caribbean region and its people.

Stewart along with Sandals CEO, Adam Stewart and a six-member delegation will be on hand to accept the award.

Meanwhile, Hollywood actor Malik Yoba will bring greetings to delegates while One Caribbean Television’s Joey Stevens and his side-kick Bob will emcee the ceremony.

The awards presentation and high powered networking reception will wrap up the summit that will kick off in the Harvard Hall of the Club at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow with emcee, WNYW-TV Emmy-winning news anchor, Ernie Anastos; a prayer of prosperity by Rev. Dr. Belgrave Pelle, Dean of the Anglican Church of America; a New York State Welcome by Claire McLeveighn, Vice President of Trade and Investment at Empire State Development and a Beijing Welcome by Dr. Ma, Lin, Deputy Secretary-General of Beijing Municipal Government.

The summit will then move into several panel discussion including: Global Trends & The Caribbean; Beijing-Caribbean Tourism And Investment Opportunity; Introducing The New Trend In Tourism – Medical Tourism; Introducing A New Trend In The Caribbean – Clean Energy and the Caribbean Diaspora as a source of investment.

Additionally, the first half of the event will include an opening address by ICN founder and chairman, Felicia J. Persaud; a keynote address by Harvard graduate Dr. Isaac J. Newton, of Paramount Communications Consultancy; a spotlight on specific investment opportunities in Trinidad & Tobago with Minister of Trade, Industry, Investment and Communications, Sentor Vasant Bharath; an investment announcement on the Caribbean Market Village of St. Lucia and a focus on ‘Advancing Wealth In The Caribbean With Technology,’ from Trinidad-born, LA resident, Anthony Wellington Phills, branding specialist of Disney’s ‘Million Dollar Arm’ and founder of Caribbean Commerce Magazine/Media, Calypso Cloud and Blinglet Inc.

For more log on to ICN’s summit page at This year’s Summit will be live tweeted at using #investingcarib. Additionally fans can follow the summit at Facebook or


Presenters for ICN 2014 include: Hard Beat Communications, The Caribbean Tourism Organization, One Caribbean Television, The Woody Wilson Collection of Beverly Hills, The PR Newswire, the Caribbean Commerce Magazine, Blinglets, The Caribbean Council for Economic Development, the World Tourism Cities Federation, China Daily, InvesTT, the Chinese Business Development Center, the Sino-American Friendship Association, Martinique Promotion Bureau- CMT USA, CaribPR Wire, News Americas Now, the Jamaica Observer, CaribSeek, WINN-FM and GCaribbean Magazine.

Programme for Queen’s #BatonRelay on Montserrat

QUEEN’S  BATON  RELAY – Montserrat, March 25 – 27, 2014

QBR Barbuda
The Queen’s Baton Relay has also visited Barbuda on its journey to the twin-island state of Antigua and Barbuda. Montserrat will be #50 on the 70 nation tour.

Arrival at J. A. Osborne Airport on March 25, 2014 (2 charters at 0850 and 0905)

Baton to arrive on the second charter at 0905

9:15 Premier Meade to receive the Baton

9:20 The CGF Representative (Fortuna Belerose – CGF Regional Vice President) to say a few words.

9:25 to 9:45 Masquerades perform with baton, photo opportunities and meet the press.

9:45 Baton to leave the airport escorted by the Police and carried by Miss Montserrat Tazia Briscoe to the village of Lookout.

9:55 Upon arrival at Lookout, the Baton will be carried to the school lawn of the Lookout Nursery and Day Care Center for a photo with the students.

10:00  The Baton will be run from the Nursery School past the Lookout Primary School where the students will be assembled on the side of the road outside their school.

The runners are: _Jordan Ryan, Victor Ludorum, Joint School Sports

The runners are:_Anicia Turner Victrix Ludorum, Joint School Sports

10:20 The Baton will travel around Lookout Village and then to the Tropical Mansion Suites Hotel. The Special Needs Athletes will be there for photo opportunities.

1:00 – 3:00   Travel to the Montserrat Port Authority for a trip and photos of Plymouth from the MV. Shamrock and Hubert Buffonge’s Boat (weather permitting)

5:15     Travel to the MVO for sunset photo of the volcano etc. To be met by: Rod Stewart, director of the MVO.

6:30   Dinner at Olveston House with the Montserrat Rotary Club

DAY 2 – March 26, 2014

8:55   Baton to leave the Hotel in Procession (Police, Open Car with Miss Montserrat, Athletic Officials etc. It will travel to the Brades Primary School where it will be met by the students of the Brades Primary School.  Miss Montserrat will hand the baton to the principal Ms Inez Fenton.

Runners: Aidan Livan_ and Waynette Fenton

9:20  Baton departs and will be met by James ‘Scriber’ Daley of Scriber Adventure Tours at the Oriole Walkway Trail (Woodlands entrance) for photo opportunities.

10.00  Children arrive from St Augustine School, Aunt Madge & Salem Day Care Centres

St Augustine School Glee Club take up positions at entrance to Government House (GH)

10.15  School children to be seated near front door of GH

His Excellency the Governor arrives at GH

10:20  Miss Tiffanie Skerritt reports to the front door of GH in National Dress

His Excellency the Indian High Commissioner arrives at GH

10.25 Governor, High Commissioner and Miss Skerritt take up positions at GH Entrance

10:27 Baton runners depart on slow run own main drive at GH

10.30 On arrival of the baton at GH entrance the Glee Club perform the National Song

10.32  The baton is presented to the Governor by the lead runner Shareese Chambers

The Governor accepts the baton on behalf of Montserrat

10.40   Richard Aspin welcomes all

Speeches from:

  1. The Governor – H.E. Adrian Davis
  2. The Queen’s Baton Relay Team Leader – Louis Rosa
  3. A representative from  GOM  — Hon. Colin Riley

The Governor then presents a plaque to the QBRTL.

10.50 Adults will then go inside Government House for refreshments and the signing of the                    accompanying Commonwealth Games Book by Miss Tiffany Skerritt.

10.55 The baton is passed around the assembled school children by the President of the Montserrat Commonwealth Games Association, Mr Bruce Farara and his members. (Photo opportunities)

11.15 Glee club sing a goodbye song and the baton departs (by road) through bottom gate

11.30 School children depart.

11:30  Baton departs Government House. Stops at Fire Station and Police Headquarters before making its way to the Little Bay Public Market (Tourist Board) when it will be run by the senior Montserrat athletes to take part in the MSS parade of Athletes starting at 12:30 (as below)

Baton to be run from the Market to the Little Bay Sports Field.

The Baton will be run from the Public Market to the Little Bay sports field by Lester Ryan and other MSS past students who are also training members for the Montserrat Commonwealth Games Team to Glasgow 2014. It will arrive at exactly 12:30pm

Names: Lester Ryan, Julius Morris, Arlin Skerritt and Alford Dyett.

It will be run to the start position of the March Past where it will be handed to:

Warren Thomas and Mikila Gittens (Winners of Road Race) to lead the parade.

At the end of the parade the baton bearers will assemble in front of the tent for the opening ceremony.

Opening Ceremony Agenda Item 1:  Prayer

After the prayer the Baton will be presented to the MSS Principal, Mrs. Cherlyn Hogan who will accept it and place it on a display table.

Opening Ceremony Agenda Item 2:   Principal’s Welcome and Remarks.

Opening Ceremony Agenda Item 3:   Opening Remarks, Hon. Jermaine Wade

Master of Ceremony – Eugene Skerritt

The baton will be on display during the sports and used for photo opportunities.

DAY 3 March 27, 2014

Optional for revisits, press, photo opportunities before the baton departs Montserrat at 4:30 pm.