Tenth book fair opens with economist Norman Girvan

POSTED: 05/15/12 11:44 AM

GREAT BAY/MARIGOT – The tenth annual St. Martin Book Fair, will take place from May 31 to June 2. Coordinator Shujah Reiph said that fourteen guest authors and artists, from Asia to the Americas, will be on hand to celebrate the opening at the Belair Community Center on Thursday May 31, at 8 p.m.

Dr. Norman Girvan, a leading economist, author, and professor emeritus at UWI-Trinidad, will deliver the keynote address, “The Cost of Moving Forward with Caribbean Unity,” at the opening ceremony.

Dr. Girvan is an essential ‘go to man’ for presidents and prime ministers and was only recently the United Nations Secretary General’s personal representative on the Guyana-Venezuela border controversy in 2010, Reiph said.

Books by Dr. Girvan and all of the visiting authors, and titles by the growing number of St. Martin writers, will be available at the book fair.

There are over 20 book fair and pre-book fair activities planned for the festival by the Book Fair Committee. All activities are free.

The St. Maarten Tourist Bureau returns as the fair’s main sponsor. “The Tourist Bureau as the main committed sponsor and the University of St. Martin as the home sponsor of the main book fair day, have been collaborating with us from the very beginning,” said Jacqueline Sample, president of House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP), one of the book fair organizers.

The Ministry of Education and Culture, headed by the outgoing minister Dr. Rhoda Arrindell, made a contribution to this year’s event.

The Conscious Lyrics Foundation and HNP have been organizing the book fair since 2003, in collaboration with the Tourist Bureau and the University of St. Martin.

The opening ceremony of the festival is alternated each year between both parts of the island. Various activities, the main book launch, and the school visits by international and St. Martin writers are conducted island-wide “in keeping with the island’s traditional unity,” said Reiph, who is the president of the Conscious Lyrics Foundation.


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