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Calabash International Literary Festival will be making its return in May under the theme ‘Jubilation! 50’ from May 25 to 27.
Owing to economic challenges, the decade-long annual festival was to have ended according Kwame Dawes, programming director of the festival. It was in fact unexpectedly cancelled last year.
However, it is being announced that the event will return this year themed ‘Jubilation! 50’, and plans so far are big. “We are so happy to be back to celebrate Jamaica 50 in 2012 and to have a special staging of Calabash,” said Justine Henzell, producer of the festival.
The event that was started by Colin Channer in 2001 is slated for return at Jake’s Resort in Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth. The Calabash Acoustic Ensemble and other performers will provide music on the final day of the festival.
Henzell said special emphasis will be placed on writers in the Jamaican diaspora.
Some of those perople are Kerry Young, Sadie and Melissa Jones, Colin Grant, Shara McCallum, Alecia McKenzie, Patricia McKenzie, Marcia Douglas, and Claudia Rankine.
Henzell notes Jamaican performers living in the island and from the diaspora will be joined by writers from Africa, United Kingdom and the United States.
Challenges continue however. Despite private sector support, the event has still not overcome challenges with the Jamaica Tourist Board to secure their endorsement even as an official Jamaica 50 event.
Still a few lead-up events are slated.