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Minister De Weever urges youngsters to join Coast Guard

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Minister of Justice, Cornelius De Weever is urging youngsters between the ages of 18-23 to attend the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard information and recruitment day on Saturday, June 22, 2019 at the substation located on Airport Road #2 in Simpson Bay.

“This is a great opportunity for our young men and women who may have an interest in joining the Coast Guard to attend the recruitment drive, and gets a firsthand look at what working with the Coast Guard entails,” said Minister De Weever.

During the recruitment drive there will be on the spot recruitment, information about the Coast Guard, viewing and tour of the boats and equipment. This is open to Dutch passport holders between the ages of 18-23 years.

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Prime Minister says let us “Rally Rally, around our National Flag”

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - Prime Minister Leona Romeo Marlin delivered her National Flag Day Address early Thursday morning during the Flag Day ceremony that took place on top of Cole Bay hill look-out point.

The national address is as follows: “We are gathered here this morning, for the observance of National Flag Day on June 13th, this year we have chosen to pay homage to one of our most beautiful National Symbols, the Sint Maarten Flag here at this venue on Cole Bay Hill. The full celebration of the flag will be done as it was in 1985, on Sint Maarten Day, November 11th.

When one thinks of a country flag, we know that it represents the people of a country, and vice versa, the people represent the flag. It is no secret and it is well documented that the people of Sint Maarten are “resilient” and so too is the Sint Maarten Flag. The Sint Maarten flag was designed by Roselle Richardson, presented by Dr. Claude Wathey, approved and established in the Island Council on June 13th, 1985. Some 34 years later, it is safe to say that the Sint Maarten flag has withstood the test of time.

Today, the Sint Maarten Flag is forever a part of our Historical and Cultural heritage. For those that had the privilege to be apart or witness the genesis of our 10-10-10 celebrations it began with the lowering of the Netherlands Antilles Flag and culminated with the hoisting of the Sint Maarten Flag symbolizing the birth of Country Sint Maarten.

As outlined in the Governing Program the goal of this Government is to create awareness by promoting our national identity. Thus, we can achieve this objective by highlighting the importance of our National Symbols such as the Sint Maarten Flag. Watching our National flag flowing in the wind gives us hope, establishes pride in what we do. A National flag also gives us the strength to persevere even when times are tough.

Books such as “National Symbols” written by Lasana Sekou that describes the elements of the flag, cannot be underscored. These books must be cherished and used to enlighten our citizens and guests alike, as this country forges ahead on its quest of nation building. Our National flag is a shining symbol that brings us together as one.

This morning as the flag was being hoisted and as we have gathered here to pay respect to the Sint Maarten Flag, this simple action exemplifies a true sense of patriotism towards our beloved country Sint Maarten.

Every so often, it hurts when I see our flag discolored, worn or tattered but that dismay soon turns to pride and joy when we see a new Sint Maarten flag on a bright sunny morning like today flying so majestically with the Caribbean blue see in the background.

To those of you that fly your Sint Maarten flag regularly, please make sure to take pride by replacing your old flags and I encourage you to continue to show your patriotism and for those that have not joined in yet, please do so.

From today, let us come together; let us fly our Sint Maarten flags proudly. Go get a small one, get a medium one or get a big one, it does not matter just get one to wave as we express our love for this country.

As a reminder on Constitution Day, the second Monday in October and on Sint Maarten Day November 11th let your flag fly high. Today, on Flag Day June 13th, together with pride! - let us “rally rally, around our National Flag”!!

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Uniformed groups at attention at the SXM Flag on Cole Bay Hill.

 

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Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin addressing the gathering on National Flag Day.

 

 

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A push for market liberalization in the Caribbean

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) – (By Seth Miller) Can cooperation and market liberalization beat out protectionist interests in the Caribbean? The 2019 Caribavia conference wasted little time in bringing that question to the forefront. With representatives from airlines, tourism boards, regulators and governments gathered together in Sint Maarten the scene was set for a lively debate.

Core to the discussion was the question of whether external growth factors could benefit the islands in a way that offsets the risk of potential damage to their local operators. Few countries want to see their home airlines pushed out of business, but the business case for small, single island operations is hard to justify. Curacao recently suffered the loss of InselAir, leaving the island struggling to stay connected to the rest of the world. Giselle Hollander, Director of Traffic and Transport for the island spoke about some of the hard decisions her government is considering, specifically around trying to make sure its two small airlines can survive and thrive while also quickly restoring connectivity it needs. This is not only a tourism consideration but a broader economic challenge. Hollander does not want to develop a policy in isolation, however. Rather, she is keen to "work cooperatively on this front rather than fighting with each other. It is not effective to work on our own policy if it doesn't work within the region."

Hollander is not alone in working to ease regulatory burdens between the Caribbean islands. The Honorable Daniel Gibbs, President of the Collectivité of Saint Martin, described ongoing efforts to ease visa rules for visitors to the island, with a focus on Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Gibbs knows that such policy adjustments represent "a concrete way to increase traffic" to help drive the economic recovery and development the island needs. Such a policy shift would directly support an increase in passengers to L'Espérance airport in Grand Case.

More broadly around the region other regulatory changes are also underway. The Bahamian government recently relaxed foreign ownership rules for its airlines. It is a small step, but one that is opening the market to greater investment and support of the island economies as the air traffic grows. Tropic Ocean Airways is one of several operators working with the governments to help push these changes. CEO Rob Ceravolo believes that change is underway, but also that the progress "is hampered by mistrust between the governments and businesses, and rightly so" based on prior policies that proved exploitative. New programs are being approached as partnerships rather than private entities simply asking for handouts from the governments.

Regulations around pilot licensing and the many jurisdictions also creates challenges for the region. Capt. Paul Delisle, Flight Operations Inspector for the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority notes that his organization delivers nearly identical legislation and standards to the countries it coordinates licensing for, yet it must still issue separate licenses for each country. A common licensing scheme was once the goal, but political barriers hindered that work. Enabling skilled workers to move easily among the islands and airlines could help further develop aviation in the region and reduce the brain drain of skilled workers from the islands.

Much work remains to get from these concepts to functional changes that deliver the benefits to the region. It requires governments to cooperate and compromise, with each other and with private industry. It also requires businesses to invest in their new markets, not just services of their own passengers. But the progress is beginning and results are starting to show.

About:

Seth Miller, Editor-in-Chief of PaxEx.Aero, has over a decade of experience covering the airline industry. With a strong focus on passenger experience, Seth also has deep knowledge of inflight connectivity and loyalty programs. He is widely respected as an unbiased commentator on the aviation industry.

He is frequently consulted on innovations in passenger experience by airlines and technology providers.

You can connect with Seth via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., on TwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn.

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Sint Maarten well represented at the Global Economic Summit 2019 in The Hague

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – During the Global Economic Summit 2019 (GES 2019), co-hosted by the Governments of the Netherlands and the United States, Sint Maarten was represented by Cristal Legrand and Ife Badejo as local entrepreneurs with a drive and passion for innovation.

Minister Plenipotentiary Jorien Wuite also participated in representation of Prime Minister Leona Romeo Marlin. The two-day GES 2019 showcased the depth and breadth of innovations in the critical areas of energy, connectivity, agri/food and water health with the aim to improve lives around the world.

During the ONL side event with 40 ambassadors and more than 100 entrepreneurs and business reps on June 4th, the delegation comprised of the Minister and Deputy Minister Plenipotentiary Michael Somersall, President of the Board of the Sint Maarten Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Benjamin Ortega, and Senior Policy Advisor, Carol Voges whom all met with institutions and companies interested in doing business with Sint Maarten spanning the areas of aviation, energy storage, network consulting, education services.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry delegation, including Board members Louis Bute and Ife Badejo and Cabinet member Carol Voges, further met with representatives from Dutch entrepreneurial institutions (i.e. Chamber of Commerce, ONL, Invest.NL) to discuss partnerships with the intention to explore business opportunities, capacity building and knowledge transfer to the island.

Follow-up meetings are scheduled to be arranged with local counterparts and partners on Sint Maarten in the upcoming months.

During a courtesy visit to the Cabinet, Legrand, the winner of the Road to GES 2019 hailing from Sint Maarten, an avid and dedicated entrepreneur with Sint Maarten at heart, discussed her future plans for her business Le Grand Voyages.

Apart from being a successful entrepreneur, Legrand is a certified hospitality trainer and has rendered her services to other small and medium sized businesses on Sint Maarten through training after which these businesses received a certification in Hospitality.

The road ahead for Legrand and her business is a most exciting yet challenging one. The Minister Plenipotentiary was happy to be informed and updated about her plans and assured her that she will be most successful as her charisma and dedication to reach her goal are ever present.

The Cabinet proposed to assist where necessary and proposed to act as intermediary for both the Chamber and Legrand in maintaining contacts and in an advisory role. The importance of including the Cabinet in platform discussions are important as the contact with international partners can flow even more efficiently through proper utilization and the creation of a strong synergy with the local business platforms on Sint Maarten.

Minister Wuite, during her participation as representative for Sint Maarten at the GES ‘Future Now’ noted that there is a definite take away from this experience as the market to do business with Sint Maarten is open.

Various opportunities were explored, new innovative businesses and developments were presented and Minister Wuite believes that the global challenges for these sectors are real and of critical importance.

Different breakout sessions focused on priorities for Food & Agriculture and investment and funding opportunities for startups and scale up businesses. “The special break out session ‘Resilient islands’ was well attended, and Legrand did an excellent job to highlight her business pitch”.

The various platforms and mediums created by entrepreneurs play a pivotal role in the enhancement and sustainability of every economy, including Sint Maartens economy. Minister Wuite believes that economic opportunities will receive priority in the coming year at the Cabinet in the Netherlands and she thanked both Legrand and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for teaming up with the Cabinet in representing the island at GES 2019 and in so doing showcasing that Sint Maarten is indeed open for business.

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First Hurricane EXPO Community Evening in Simpson Bay off to a Good Start

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) – The first of four Hurricane EXPO Community Evenings, held in Simpson Bay on June 6th, got off to a good start despite rainy weather. The goal of the Hurricane EXPO Community Evenings is to raise the awareness of the public in order to make the necessary preparations before the peak of the Hurricane Season 2019. The Hurricane EXPO Community Evenings are a precursor to the larger Hurricane EXPO 2019 that is scheduled to take place on June 22nd from 10 am to 4 pm on the Clem Labega Square in front of the former Government Administration Building in Philipsburg.

Persons that attended the 1st Hurricane EXPO Community Evening were able to hear presentations from Emergency Support Function (ESF) #7 who spoke about getting prepared in case of an evacuation or going to a shelter, shelter rules, and their responsibilities during an emergency. UNICEF and the Court of Guardianship addressed concerns of child protection and the importance of communication with your children as part of the preparation process. The importance of having valid travel documents in case evacuation becomes a necessity.

The Association of Psychologists and Allied Professionals (APAP) spoke on why it is important for all persons in our community to express their feelings on the impact of the storm and not to wait until the trauma is too much to bare. Meanwhile, the Animal Defenders reminded the audience that while preparing a personal emergency bag, it is important to prepare one for pets. If pets cannot be taken, please don’t leave them on a leash during the passing of a hurricane. It is advised to have pets tagged or microchipped so that if they are lost and found, the shelter can contact the owner.

Insurance provider NAGICO was also present to share pertinent statistical information and lessons learnt since the passing of Hurricane Irma. Special emphasis was placed on persons avoiding being under-insured by updating their policies with new appraisal reports and making sure they are aware of the contents of their policies.

The 2nd Hurricane EXPO Community Evening will be taking place on Wednesday June 12th at the John Larmonie Cultural Center in Philipsburg at 7:30 PM. This meeting will feature two new additions to the presenter’s line up including the National Recovery Program Bureau and the Central Bank of Curacao & Sint Maarten.

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TelEm Group internet service hit by power supply failure Saturday

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) TelEm Group is apologizing to its Internet customers for their loss of internet service over the weekend, after that service was suddenly interrupted.

The interruption occurred late Saturday afternoon from approximately 4:00 pm to 9:30 pm,

while work was being carried out on a new backup power system at the Smitcoms building in Harbour view.

According to TelEm Group Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Mr. Eldert Louisa, power to Internet Service Provider (ISP) equipment was suddenly cut off after power was unexpectedly lost during more general power upgrade works on the current power system.

“Unfortunately, with the power system going off suddenly the correct procedure and protocols in place to ensure that systems could be brought up right away could not be implemented,” said Mr. Louisa.

He said the systems had to be brought back online more slowly and not once, but twice for the afternoon until all systems were properly re-configured and stable again.

“Ironically a contractor/vendor was assisting in the process of installing a more robust power system to protect against sudden power outage, especially as we are now in the Hurricane season, when this outage happened Saturday,” said Mr. Louisa.

He said despite having all contingencies in place, a failure did however occur that should not have happened. Company technicians and the local vendor carrying out the works Saturday have been asked to present a full report with suggestions of how they can mitigate against other outages of this kind when similar work is carried out in the future.

“I was assured by the contractor/vendor that this would be a routine upgrade that would not affect service, and this turned out not to be the case, so I’m calling for some answers and bringing the vendor’s attention to our loss of business and to the effect on our customers,” said the CTO.

“We are fully aware of how important our internet service is to customers, and we continue to replace equipment that is end of life and put equipment and systems in place to minimize these types of interruption as much as possible to get our customers back online in the shortest possible time,” said Mr. Louisa.

TelEm Group CEO, Mr. Kendall Dupersoy, himself was online with several technicians to find out what was the issue and was informed how the problem was being resolved. “I received quite a few calls from various people in the community who could not get online, but once they were told what was happening, they were very understanding and patiently waited until we were back up again,” said Mr. Dupersoy.

The CEO said a number of persons feared the worse - that the company’s undersea link may have been damaged, leaving them without internet service for many more hours.

“I was able to assure our business and residential customers that the undersea link was not the cause of the problem Saturday, and also assure them that in the event there would be such an incident, we have invested in a secondary backup system that will take over if the current fiber cable becomes damaged,” assures the CEO, Mr. Dupersoy.

Mr. Dupersoy has meantime apologized to TelEm Group Internet customers and the public generally for any inconvenience caused by Saturday’s loss of internet service.

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CELEBRATING THE FIRST-EVER WORLD FOOD SAFETY DAY

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – The Inspectorate at the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour issued the following statement in connection with the first World Food Safety Day. Food safety is the absence -- or safe, acceptable levels -- of hazards in food that may harm the health of consumers. Food-borne hazards can be microbiological, chemical or physical in nature and are often invisible to the plain eye: bacteria, viruses or pesticide residues are some examples.

Food safety has a critical role in assuring that food stays safe at every stage of the food chain - from production to harvest, processing, storage, distribution, all the way to preparation and consumption.

With an estimated 600 million cases of foodborne illnesses annually, unsafe food is a threat to human health and economies, disproportionally affecting vulnerable and marginalized people, especially women and children, populations affected by conflict, and migrants. An estimated three million people around the world -- in developed and developing countries -- die every year from food and waterborne disease. Food is the starting point for our energy, our health and our well-being. We often take for granted that it is safe, but in an increasingly complex and interconnected world where food value chains are growing longer, standards and regulations are that much more important in keeping us safe.

 2019 Theme: Food Safety, Everyone’s Business

The theme of this year’s Food Safety theme invites us to recognize that food safety is everyone’s business. The way in which food is produced, stored, handled and consumed affects the safety of our food. Complying with Global food standards, establishing effective regulatory food control systems including emergency preparedness and response. Providing access to clean water, applying good agriculture practices (terrestrial, aquatic, livestock, horticulture), strengthening the use of food safety management systems by food business operators, and building capacities of consumers to make healthy food choices are some ways in which governments, international organizations, scientists, the private sector and civil society work to ensure food safety. 

Food Safety and Sustainable Development Goals

Food safety is key to achieving several of the Sustainable Development Goals and World Food Safety Day brings it into the spotlight, to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks. Safe food contributes to economic prosperity, boosting agriculture, market access, tourism and sustainable development.

  • Goal 1— there is no food security without food safety. Ending hunger is about all people having access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round.
  • Goal 2 — Food safety has a direct impact on people’s health and nutritional intake. Foodborne diseases are preventable.
  • Goal 3 — when countries strengthen their regulatory, scientific and technological capacities to ensure that food is safe and of the expected quality throughout the food chain, they move towards more sustainable patterns of food production and consumption.
  • Goal 4 — a globalized world with annual food exports currently in excess of USD 1.6 trillion and complex food systems demands international cooperation across sectors to ensure food is safe. Food safety is a shared responsibility among governments, food industries, producers and consumers.

Food Safety and the United Nations

Keeping food safe is a complex process that starts on the farm and ends with the consumer. All stages of the food chain, from production, harvest and storage to preparation and consumption, must be considered. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is the only international organization overseeing food safety along all aspects of the food chain.

Through a longstanding partnership, FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO) support global food safety and protect consumers’ health. FAO generally addresses food safety issues along the food chain during production and processing, while WHO typically oversees relationships with the public health sector. Safeguarding food so that it is safe to eat does not stop with its purchase though. At home, consumers have a part to play in making sure that what they eat remains safe.

Cognizant of the urgent need to raise awareness at all levels and to promote and facilitate actions for global food safety, the General Assembly of the UN decided on December 2018 to designate June 7 as World Food Safety Day.

Why Do We Mark International Days?

International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool.

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UNICEF Netherlands launches hurricane preparedness youth video workshop and competition

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - As part of UNICEF Netherlands’ hurricane preparedness campaign, the children’s rights organization, will be organizing a video workshop and competition geared towards youth ages 8 – 18. Competition prizes include ‘surprise-kits’ valued at $300 for various ages.

The workshop, on June 15, will touch on UNICEF Netherlands’ work, hurricane preparedness information and how to create short videos with a smartphone. The videos that participants will create during the workshop will focus on preparing and involving the youth in hurricane preparedness.

“We will be creating the videos in a fun manner and with lots of teamwork. There is limited space, so sign up soon!” says Laura Bijnsdorp, who will be hosting the workshops on behalf of UNICEF Netherlands, alongside Mareeka Dookie - both work with UNICEF Netherlands and have video-production and teaching experience.

All videos created during the workshop will be entered into UNICEF Netherlands’ video competition. The deadline for the video competition is on June 30. Videos must be no longer than 3 minutes and should focus on hurricane preparedness. You can get creative and make a music video, skit, informational presentation and so forth.

The completed videos will be used to encourage others to get “ready, set and prepared!” on various communication channels of UNICEF Netherlands. The three winners will be announced on July 1 in the age groups of 8 – 11, 11 – 14 and 15 – 18.

Maximum 15 persons (ages 8 – 18) can sign up for the FREE workshop on June 15. Please register at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to secure your spot.

For more information on the workshop, competition and other ongoing activities of UNICEF Netherlands on Sint Maarten visit: facebook.com/unicefsxm.

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TelEm Group teaming up with Rio Productions for Lighted Parade 2019

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – After teaming up with the carnival promotion group Rio Productions for a hugely successful 50th anniversary of carnival this year, TelEm Group says it will teaming up with the group once again – this time for the 8th Annual Lighted Parade through the streets of Philipsburg slated for July 5th.

Organizer, Brenda Wathey is aiming to turn the event into the region’s brightest and most attended night parade and is partnering with some of the best in the industry to achieve this. Earlier this week, Rio Productions announced that it joined with the ever-popular event promotion group Kalaboom. The Oualichi Festival/ SXM Best Weekend will run from July 4th

7th, showcasing a host of musical performances under the umbrella of promotional company Kalaboom Events.

The combination of Rio Productions and Kalaboom is predicted to turn this lighted parade into the most spectacular one yet!  “Both groups are into the promotion of culture in the community and so it is a win-win for all of us,” said TelEm Group Marketing & Sales Officer, Stephani Jong-Loy.

Stephani explained that for the first time, the annual Lighted Parade will be featured as part of

The Oualichi Festival/ SXM Best Weekend and will take place on the second day of the lineup. The entire roster consists of a night of free concerts, premium parties, the lighted parade, and a fun-packed beach party. Performances by artists such as “Farmer Nappy”, “Triple K” have already been announced, with many more to be added as this week goes by.

She said this is the first year that TelEm will join Rio’s Lighted Parade as a partner, and the company is pleased to be part of an event which will attract revelers both Dutch and French as well as participants from the surrounding islands.

“TelEm Group expects nothing less than a high-energy event to once again connect with our customers and the general public on the Dutch and French sides of the island. We will certainly be setting out to make the lighted parade a night to remember for everyone,” added the Marketing & Sales Officer.

For more information concerning the start of t-shirt/ package sales, participants are encouraged to follow the TelCell facebook page, Rio Productions and Kalaboom Events on Facebook, or visit the Rio Productions web page for more detailed formation: www.rioproductions.sx

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Introduction to: Guest Authors and Workshop Coordinators of St. Martin Book Fair & Program

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG/ST. MARTIN (MARIGOT) – The 17th Annual St. Martin Book Fair organized by Conscious Lyrics Foundation will kick-off on Thursday. Here is an introduction to the guest authors and workshop coordinators as well as the daily program.

David Ambrose is a Grenadian educator and author. He holds a master’s degree in Education – Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Phoenix. Ambrose is a communication studies lecturer at T.A. Marryshow Community College in Grenada. He is part of the founding team of the Meridian School of Grenada and became head of the all-age private school in 2003. Ambrose published his first novel, White Spice, a crime thriller, in 2015. His second book, That Time in Bogles – A Carriacou Tale, was released in 2018. Ambrose lives in Grenada with his wife and two children.

Barbara Andrea Arrindell is the manager of Best of Books, a leading bookstore in Antigua. She is an ardent promoter of reading and literature in Antigua and Barbuda. Arrindell is a human resources management graduate from The University of the West Indies – Cave Hill, Barbados.

Rhoda Arrindell, PhD, is a St. Martin linguist and educator. The former Humanities Division head at the University of St. Martin (USM) has taught English composition and reading; Caribbean literature; and world literature. Dr. Arrindell served as the first minister of Education, Culture, Sports, and Youth Affairs for the southern or Dutch-controlled part of St. Martin after the territory obtained its adjusted “autonomous status” in 2010. She co-authored chapters in Agency in the Emergence of Creole Languages (Dr. Nicholas Faraclas, Ed.), edited Brother Rich ... , Creative Writing in St. Martin; and presents papers on linguistics and literature at international conferences. On May 18, 2016, Dr. Arrindell appeared before the Central Committee of the Parliament of St. Maarten with fellow members of the Independence for St. Martin Foundation (ISMF). She presented the ISMF position to the parliamentarians on why the territory should be placed back on the decolonization list of the United Nations. Dr. Arrindell is the owner of the multipurpose café, Source of Inspirational Learning (SoIL). Dr. Arrindell’s book, Language, Culture, and Identity in St. Martin, is available at St. Martin Book Fair 2019, SPDbooks.org, and other bookstores. (houseofnehesipublish.com)

 Fabian Adekunle Badejo is the author of Fantasies – Love-making poems, Claude – A Portrait of Power, and Salted Tongues–Modern Literature in St.Martin. His essay “Negritude in the Forgotten Territories: Lasana Mwanza Sekou and Aimé Césaire” appears in Negritude: Legacy and Present Relevance (eds. Isabelle Constant, Kahiudi C. Mabana). In 1982, Badejo coordinated the groundbreaking St. Maarten Festival of Arts & Culture (SMAFESTAC). He has produced concerts by kaisonian Mighty Dow and humorists Paul Keens Douglas and Fernando Clark. He has also directed plays and film documentaries and presented scholarly papers on St. Martin’s literature and culture at regional and international conferences. Between 1989 and 2005, the former Nigerian diplomat was managing director/editor, publisher, and news director respectively of The St. Maarten Guardian, St. Martin Business Week, and Today. Badejo is the producer/host of the long-running weekly radio magazine Culture Time on PJD2. (houseofnehesipublish.com)

Peter Bailey is an award-winning author and journalist who formerly worked as a staff writer for Time, Newsweek and The Miami Herald before launching NiteCap Media. Bailey penned the memoir of Miami hip hop pioneer Trick Daddy, Magic City: Trials of a Native Son, a book called “one of the pop music gems of 2010” by The New York Times. His NiteCap docu-series is routinely featured on BET, The Huffington Post, Vibe and other USA media outlets. Mike Tyson, Fantasia, 50 Cent, Janelle Monae, T.I., and billionaire developer Don Peebles are some of the newsmakers featured on NiteCap. Bailey made his acting debut alongside Lynn Whitfield, Clifton Powell and Keith David in the Civil War film The North Star. He is currently on tour screening his latest film Paradise Discovered, inspired by his New York Times Op Ed on Caribbean hurricane survivors, “Has America Forgotten the Virgin Islands.” Bailey was born in the Virgin Islands of Anguillan heritage. The media executive resides in Miami where he was honored as “one of Miami’s most powerful and influential Black business leaders of 2019” by Legacy Miami.

Nicole Cage (Martinique), poet, novelist, journalist, Spanish teacher, psychotherapist, publisher. She speaks French, Creole, Spanish, and English. In 1996, Cage was awarded the prestigious Casa de las Américas prize for Arc-en-ciel, l’espoir, a collection of poems for children and young adults. Her novels and poetry books, which include L’Espagnole, Aime comme musique ou comme mourir d’aimer; Palabras de paz por tiempos de Guerra; Dèyé pawol sé lanmou/Par-delà les mots, l’amour–Poèmes bilingue, and Vole avec elle, have been published in Martinique, Venezuela, France, and the UK. Cage has performed her poetry, often accompanied by jazz, at literary festivals in Colombia, Romania, Mexico, Tunisia, El Salvador, Canada, and St. Martin. Her poems have been translated into Albanian, Arabic, Romanian, Macedonian, English, and Spanish. Awards include the OENEUMI Award (Macedonia), the Poetry Creativity Award (Lebanon), and the Prix Gros Sel for her novel C’est vole que je vole.

Wendy Crawford-Daniel, PhD, teaches sociology at St. George’s University. The research sociologist serves on the Education Task-Force aimed at modernizing education in Grenada. Her population and research projects have focused on persons with disability, disaster preparedness planning, quality of life of older adults, and juvenile justice reform. Dr. Crawford-Daniel serves on the board of directors for the Hilarion Home for the Aged and chairs the Board of Directors of the Grenada Save the Children Fund. She is the author of Unveiling Island Passion, a novel, and Son Rising, a fictional account of the experiences of a gay young man growing up in Grenada.

Doris Dumabin (Guadeloupe), is the author of four novels. The adult theme books are known to raise eyebrows in her homeland because of the way that she writes about male-female relationships in the new worlds that she explores in her French language fictions. The novelist continues to attended literary conferences and festivals such as the Caribbean Writers Congress and the St. Martin Book Fair.

Sara Florian obtained a Ph.D. in Modern Philology at Cà Foscari University, Italy. Her postdoc in Contemporary Singapore Literature was obtained at Singapore Management University. Dr. Florian has studied Caribbean literature at the research facilities of The University of the West Indies in Jamaica, Trinidad, and Barbados—where she interviewed noted authors and scholars such as Mutabaruka, Gordon Rohlehr, Kenneth Ramchand, Edward Baugh, Mervyn Morris, St Hope Earl McKenzie, Maureen Warner-Lewis, Carolyn Cooper, Jeannette Allsopp, Kendel Hippolyte, John Robert Lee, AJA, David Rudder, Hubert Devonish, Funso Aiyejina, Velma Pollard, Jean D’Costa, and Jennifer Rahim. Florian teaches Italian at the National University of Singapore. According to Dr. Florian, “My infatuation with ancient history led me, as a side passion, to share Latin and ancient Greek with my students. My Venetian roots have accompanied me through various uprooting and re-routing journeys. Like the beautiful city on the water, I share an independent spirit of survival and intellectual curiosity, which steered me toward my first encounter with Caribbean literature.” Dr. Florian’s literature reviews, essays, poems, and short stories have appeared in Small Axe/sx salon, Tripwire, Caribbean Quarterly, Moko – Caribbean Arts and Letters, The Sunday Gleaner, and The Jamaica Observer. Luce, la città morente che mi ha fatto rinascere / Light, the dying city which gave me life again (2011) is her debut bilingual novel. Dr. Florian is among the new generation of Caribbeanist scholars, and Caribbean Counterpoint: The Aesthetics of Salt in Lasana Sekou is her first book on comparative and contemporary Caribbean literature. (houseofnehesipublish.com) 

Tamara Groeneveldt was born in St. Martin in 1984. She grew up in the traditional fishing village of Grand Case as it was rapidly evolving into a virtual international “cuisine capital of the Caribbean.” Groeneveldt holds a master’s degree in social work from Florida A&M University. In 2012, Groeneveldt read at the Greenlight and Social Cracks slams in St. Martin. She has recited poetry for official St. Martin Day programs and other cultural presentations attended by the island’s officials and the visiting king and queen of the Netherlands; at the “10,000 Men March for St. Martin” (2013); and at “For A World Without Walls” (2019). Groeneveldt coordinates Under the Gazebo, the poetry open mic for the St. Martin Book Fair and recited at the festival’s international literary evening in 2018. The poetry of the former award-winning president of Soualiga Corporate Toastmasters Club were first published in Where I See the Sun – Contemorary Poetry in St. Martin (2013). After The Storm is the first book by Tamara Groeneveldt. (houseofnehesipublish.com)

Deborah Jack (St. Martin), is a poet and visual artist whose work is based in video/sound installation, photography, painting, and text. Deborah has published two poetry collections with House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP), The Rainy Season (1997) and skin (2006). She has read her poetry at literary festivals in St. Martin, South Africa, Indonesia, and Netherlands. Her visual artwork has been exhibited in solo and group shows in the Caribbean, the USA, and Europe. Group exhibitions include the traveling exhibition Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago, which opened at the Museum of Latin American Art in Los Angeles, the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling, the Frost Museum at FIU and Portland Museum in Maine in 2019.  Her work is being featured in The Other Side of Now at the Perez Art Museum of Miami in 2019. Jack’s work has been exhibited at the 2014 SITE Santa Fe Biennial, Brooklyn Museum, the Jersey City Museum, The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, and Artspace New Haven. Residencies include a Lightwork and the Big Orbit Gallery Summer Artist in Residence. Jack has received a Prince Bernhard Fund grant, a CEPA Exhibition Award, and a New York Foundation for the Arts SOS grant. Deborah Jack is an Associate Professor of Art at New Jersey City University.

Olsfred James is an author and spoken word artist. He is co-founder of The Spilling Ink, an organization that promotes the arts and artists of Antigua and Barbuda. The Spilling Ink received the country’s Literary Art award in 2017. Olsfred’s self-published books are Ashes: A Broken Inception and Ashes: The Continuum. His poetry chapbooks are Silhouettes of Rose, Affliction of Rose, and Reflections of Rose.  

Collette Jones-Chin earned bachelor’s degrees in art education, painting, and graphic arts from the University of Guyana and the Burrows School of Art. As a set and costume designer, she has performed and mounted several one-woman and group exhibitions in the Caribbean region and in North and South America. Jones-Chin is an educational youth and community development expert with training in human resource and operations management. Jones-Chin was instrumental in establishing Guyana’s National School of Theatre Arts and Drama and served as its first director of studies, lecturer of Design and Production Management, and festival director. She is the recipient of theater, visual arts, and playwriting awards. She is the director and executive producer of SENOJ CREATIONS. Jones-Chin is married and has one daughter. She resides in Anguilla where she founded Stages Anguilla, a youth drama club. Her first book, Mahaica Belle Rings, highlights childhood experiences in the countryside of Guyana.

Louie Laveist (St. Martin), actor, theater director, politician. He was a founding member of the Cole Bay Theater Company (CBTC) at age 15. In 1991, Laveist founded the United Theatre Company, wrote and directed his first play Who’s Fooling Who?; and became the drama coordinator at the government’s Department of Culture in Great Bay (Philipsburg). In the early 1990s, he took courses in acting and writing plays at Jamaica’s Little Rock Theatre and attended lectures by noted author/playwright Earl Lovelace. Laveist directed his Forbidden Love (1992) at Trinidad’s Little Carib Theatre for CARIFESTA VI in 1995. In 1996, he attended the drama workshop of the Caribbean Writers Institute, University of Miami. It is out of that workshop, conducted by Fred D’Aguiar, that he wrote Bondage (1997), his fourth play. In 2002 he wrote his fifth play, Love You To Death!, which looks at domestic violence and was performed in St. Martin and Cuba that same year. The House That Jack Built and Other Plays is Laveist’s first and only book to date. Awards include “Best Actor” and “Best Supporting Actor” from Aruba’s Caribbean/Latin American Drama Festival. Laveist was profiled in the book St. Martin Massive! A Snapshot of Popular Artists (2000) as one of the island’s 20 most popular artists at the turn of the century. (houseofnehesipublish.com)

N.C. Marks (Natasha C. Marks) is a writer from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Marks holds an MSc in Environmental Management from the University of London and teaches geography at the St. Vincent Girls’ High School in her Caribbean homeland. Her previous publications are When Silence Speaks (2011) and Memoirs of a Teacher (2012). Marks’s writings have appeared in The Daily Herald, repeatingislands.com, and Moko – Caribbean Arts and Letters. The new novel by Marks, Plastered in Pretty (HNP), which has recently been reviewed in The Jamaica Gleaner, is available at St. Martin Book Fair 2019, SPDbooks.org, and other bookstores. At the Anguilla Lit Fest 2019, where Marks was a guest writer along with Alice Walker, she presented the acclaimed USA author a copy of her dystopian novel. According to thecaribbeancurrent.com, Walker later told Marks: “I’m reading Pretty and I’m loving it. It’s fresh, you are writing for these times. I also like the fact that you spoke in your language.” 

Heddrick McBride is an author and owner of McBride Collection of Stories LLC. His mission is “to provide diverse children’s books that educate and entertain all readers.” He has published 60 books in his first four years of operating his publishing company. McBride’s books have been featured in publications such as L.A Times, USA Today, and The Bleacher Report. His titles have also been seen on television programs such as ESPN SportsNation, The Bill O’Reilly Show, Time Warner Sports, ESPN Sportscenter, NY 1 News, and the Michael Kay Show. He has co-authored books with 12 professionals, including NBA Star Metta World Peace, and reality television stars Lisa Nicole Cloud and Yandy Smith. McBride’s books are used in schools in US cities, including New York City, Buffalo, Boston, Baltimore, Miami, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Atlanta. McBride Stories books are also being read in South Africa, Kenya, and St. Martin. The new title by McBride is St. Maarten Strong and its English and French editions are available at St. Martin Book Fair 2019. In his spare time, he enjoys watching movies and hanging out with his wife Danielle and their daughter Skylar.

Kei Miller is an award-winning Jamaican poet, fiction writer, essayist and blogger. Miller was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. He read English at the University of the West Indies, but dropped out short of graduation. However, while studying there, he befriended the poet and professor Mervyn Morris, who encouraged his writing. Afterward, Miller began publishing widely throughout the Caribbean. In 2004, he left for England to study for an MA in Creative Writing (The Novel) at Manchester Metropolitan University under the tutelage of poet and scholar Michael Schmidt. Miller later completed a PhD in English Literature at the University of Glasgow. A powerfully prolific Caribbean writer, Kei Miller’s books include Augustown, The Cartographer Tries to Map A Way to Zion, Writing Down the Vision: Essays & Prophecies, The Last Warner Woman, Kingdom of Empty Bellies, There Is An Anger That Moves, and Fear of Stones and other stories.

Opal Palmer Adisa, PhD (Jamaica). is the Director of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies at the University of West Indies. Adisa has lectured and read her work throughout the United States, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Germany, England and the city of Prague, and has performed in Italy and Bosnia. An award-winning poet and prose writer Adisa has over sixteen titles to her credit, including the novel, It Begins With Tears (1997), which Rick Ayers proclaimed as one of the most motivational works for young adults. She has been a resident artist in internationally acclaimed residencies such as El Gounda (Egypt), Sacatar Institute (Brazil), McColl Center (USA), and Headlines Center for the Arts (USA). Opal Palmer Adisa’s work has been reviewed by Ishmael Reed, Al Young, and Alice Walker, who described her work as “solid, visceral, important stories written with integrity and love.” Following in the tradition of the African “griot” Opal Palmer Adisa, an accomplished storyteller, commands the mastery and extraordinary talent of storytelling, exemplary of her predecessors. Through her imaginative characterizations of people, places and things, she is able to transport her listeners to the very wonderlands she creates. For the last 23 years Opal was a distinguished professor at California College of the Arts. She has been a visiting professor at several universities including, Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley and University of the Virgin Islands. Her poetry, stories, essays and articles on a wide range of subjects have been collected in over 400 journals, anthologies and other publications, including Essence magazine. She has also conducted workshops in elementary through high school, museums, churches and community centers, as well as in prison and juvenile centers. (opalpalmeradisa.com)

Geoffrey Philp has written two novels, Benjamin, My Son and Garvey’s Ghost; five poetry collections, Exodus and Other Poems, Florida Bound, Hurricane CenterXango Music, and Dub Wise; two collections of short stories, Uncle Obadiah and the Alien and Who’s Your Daddy?, and three children’s books, Marcus and the Amazons, Grandpa Sydney’s Anancy Stories, and The Christmas Dutch Pot Baby. His work is represented in nearly every anthology of Caribbean literature, and he is one of the few writers whose work has been published in the Oxford Book of Caribbean Short Storiesand Oxford Book of Caribbean Verse. A former James Michener Fellow at the University of Miami, Philp was a Jamaica Diaspora Luminary Honoree for Literature (2016), which was awarded by the Consulate General of Miami. Philp’s work is featured on The Poetry Rail at The Betsy in an homage to 12 writers that shaped Miami culture. He is currently working on a collection of poems, “Letter from Marcus Garvey.”

Clara Reyes is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, and founder of the Imbali Center for Creative Movement. Her master’s thesis is the first study of the Ponum, the “national” dance of St. Martin (North and South). In 2003, she staged In the Company of Women dance-theater and Ponum the Musical – St. Martin’s Dance of Liberation in Philipsburg and Marigot. A recipient of the Conscious Lyrics Foundation (CLF) “Personality of the Year Award,” Reyes has taught at the St. Maarten Academy and lectured at the University of St. Martin. In 2004, the John Larmonie Center for Creative Arts named one of its dance halls in honor of this first lady of St. Martin dance. Reyes choreographed and directed Run for Freedom (2005) and St. Martin is My Home … The Musical (2006)—both CLF productions. Reyes has also produced and directed In the Company of Men – His/story. She co-produced and directed Vagina Monologues St. Martin, one of the most successful theatrical productions on the island in recent memory. In 2013, Clara Reyes became a founding director of the National Institute of Arts (NIA). In 2018, the government of St. Martin (South) appointed Clara Reyes as head of the territory’s department culture.

Alex Richards (St. Martin), researcher, translator, and librarian. Richards has also worked as a policy advisor to the government of the Collectivity of St. Martin

Z’Haria K. Richardson is the 2019 St. Martin kaiso queen, known as Empress Zee. In 2014, she was “introduced” to kaiso in performance as one of the opening singers for the Mighty Sparrow concert at Port de Plaisance in St. Martin. In 2015, Empress Zee entered her first calypso competition with the songs “Calypso ain’t just a man thing” and “Be Positive.” Empress Zee returned to the stage in 2016, with the tunes “Politics Not for Me” and “The Flock.” In the 2017 calypso competition of the St. Maarten Carnival, Empress Zee reached the finals for the third consecutive year. In 2019, the kaisonian was back on the carnival stage with “Round and Round,” a song about government’s sloppy service to the public. Her second song, “Calypso is Here to Stay,” listed her displeasures with the lack of support for the art form from the carnival foundation (SCDF), her fellow kaisonians decision to boycott the competition, and radio stations and DJ’s support for foreign music, “while calypso is hardly ever heard outside the carnival season.” With these two tunes, Empress Zee captured the nation’s kaiso crown for 2019.

Max Rippon (Marie-Galante, Guadeloupe) is the author of eleven books of poems, essays on tourism, and narratives, including Pawòl naïf, Agouba, Le Dernier Matin–Récit, Six virgule trios–Secousses à Terre-de-Bas, and Blues an tout lang. He is a strong advocate of Kwéyòl as a popular and literary language. Rippon’s books Le Dernier Matin, Marie La Gracieuse, and Debris de Silences are taught in schools in Guadeloupe and St. Martin. He is featured in the poetry collection Hurricane, Shouts of Islanders (Hurricane, Cris d’Insulaires) among such noted authors as Aimé Césaire, Derek Walcott, and Nabile Fares. Rippon has participated in literary festivals in Guadeloupe, Nicaragua, USA, and France. Over the years, the St. Martin Book Fair has been selected as the release venue of two of Max Rippon’s books, including Marie Galante Regards.

Chika Unigwe (b. 1974) is a Nigerian writer who lives in Belgium and who writes in English and Dutch. With her stories written in English she won the BBC Short Story Award in 2003, the Commonwealth Short Story Award in 2004, and was nominated for the Caine Prize, the African Booker Prize. She made her debut as a novelist in 2005 with De feniks (The Phoenix), about the personal problems of an African woman in Flanders. In the novel Fata Morgana (2007) sex trafficking from Nigeria is portrayed through the world of prostitutes in Antwerp. It has been translated into English, Italian, German, and Hungarian. In her latest novel Nachtdanser (Night Dancer), which is set in Africa, Chika Unigwe returns to Enugu, the city of her birth in the southern part of Nigeria. (www.letterenfonds.nl)

Gerard van Veen was born in Alkmaar, the Netherlands, in 1933. He came to the Caribbean in 1961, and worked in pastoral, social, educational, and cultural fields. In 1983, Gerard van Veen made St. Martin his home, after retiring from the priesthood in Aruba where he had written four books. He worked as a probation officer in St. Martin until 1993, after which he taught sociology and Dutch language courses at the University of St. Martin. He has acted on stage under the direction of Ian Valz during the 1980s heyday of theater on the island. Gerard van Veen’s articles on social issues have appeared in the Newsday, Chronicle and The Daily Herald newspapers. His column “Church News Bits” has appeared in the Weekender supplement of The Daily Herald for almost 20 years. He is the author of St. Theresa’s San Nicolas; Savaneta, Antes y Awor; Religious Snapshots; Lambee & The Road that Couldn’t be Built; and Hakuna Matata & Other Travel Stories. Awards and honors include a Paul Harris Fellow and a Member in the Order of Oranje-Nassau. Van Veen’s newest book, Soualiga Catholica–St. Martin of Tours Parish (1841 – 2016), commemorates the 175th anniversary of the St. Martin of Tours Parish in the South or Dutch part of St. Martin (the island is also called Soualiga, reputedly an Amerindian name which means “Land of Salt”). The autobiographical Schoolboy in Wartime by Gerard van Veen is the senior St. Martin writer’s newest book—available at St. Martin Book Fair 2019 and SPDbooks.org. (houseofnehesipublish.com)

Yvonne Weekes is a writer of poetry, prose and drama. Her poetry and prose have appeared in Interviewing the Caribbean, Wadagabei, and Poui literary journals. Weekes is a recipient of the Frank Collymore Literary Endowment Award for her memoir Volcano (2006). Her first play “Blue Soap” was published in the anthology Emancipation Moments (2010). Weekes was born in London, England, to Montserratian parents, and has taught English and Drama in London, Montserrat, and Barbados. On moving to Montserrat she formed the Rainbow Theatre Company and became the island’s first Director of Culture. In 1996, following the Soufrière Hills volcano eruption, Weekes moved to Barbados, where she taught theatre at the Barbados Community College and developed its Associate degree in Theatre Arts. With over 40 years of experience in the performing arts she has been a resource person for the Caribbean Examinations Council, developing syllabi and training teachers from across the region. Weekes received her PhD in education from The University of the West Indies – Cave Hill, where she lectures in theatre and arts education. The poetry collection Nomad, the newest book by Dr. Yvonne Weekes, is available at St. Martin Book Fair 2019 and SPDbooks.org. (houseofnehesipublish.com)

Pre-Book Fair Activities

Monday, June 3 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Film screening Paradise Discovered – The Anguilla Connection John Larmonie Center, Philipsburg

Tuesday, June 4 8 pm – 11 pm

Poetry evening The Poets Lounge Simpson Bay

Wednesday, June 5 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Authors reception SoIL café

Thursday, June 6 9 am – 12 noon

Meet the Writers New writers on the scene and leading authors visit primary schools and high schools throughout the island to discuss their work, experience with writing books, the value of reading and literature with teachers and students.

12 noon

Radio Roundable St. Martin Book Fair guest writers in an open discussion on the popular radio program “12-to-1 Talk with Fernando Clark,” SOS Radio 95.9 FM. Topics ranging from each writer’s interpretation of the 2019 book fair theme, “New Ground,” to the writers engaging any number of surprise questions from program host Fernando Clark, St. Martin’s kaiso historian, and one of the Caribbean’s leading comedian. Guest authors: Kei Miller (Jamaica/United Kingdom), Drisana Deborah Jack (St. Martin), Yvonne Weekes (Barbados/Montserrat), David Ambrose (Grenada) Host: Fernando Clark

8 pm – 10 pm

Opening Ceremony New Books Introduced & Book Signings “Under the Literary Big Tent” Lazy Bay fair grounds (Lazy Bay parking lot) Marigot

8 pm Welcome Master of Ceremony

Words of Welcome Mr. Jacques “Billy D” Hamlet Manager, Lazy Bay parking lot Mr. Shujah Reiph President, Conscious Lyrics Foundation Dr. Antonio Carmona Báez President, University of St. Martin Hon. Leona Romeo-Marlin Prime Minister of St. Maarten Hon. Daniel Gibbs President of the Collectivity of St. Martin Introducing Featured Books Plastered in Pretty by N.C. Marks (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) Nomad by Yvonne Weekes (Barbados/Montserrat) New titles from House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP) Guest Recital Max Rippon Poet, novelist (Marie-Galante)

Keynote Address Peter Bailey Award-winning author, media executive, filmmaker (Virgin Islands/USA) Ribbon Cutting Ceremony The 17th Annual St. Martin Book Fair 2019 is declared open • Book Fair exhibitions • Authors present for book signings • Reception. Refreshments served.

Friday, June 7 9 am – 12:30 pm

Meet the Writers

New writers on the scene and leading authors visit primary schools and high schools throughout the island to discuss their work, experience with writing books, the value of reading and literature with teachers and students.

9 am – 10:30 pm University of St. Martin, Rm 202 Philipsburg I – Creative Writing Master Class with Opal Palmer Adisa

2 pm – 3:30 pm General Session I University of St. Martin, Rm 202 “Word up” A frank and open discussion with teenagers from St. Martin high schools (North and South) about their ideas for their island’s future. Panelists: Olsfred James (Antigua), Z’haira “Empress Zee” Richardson (St. Martin), David Ambrose (Grenada) Moderator: Jamila Mussington

8 pm – 10 pm LITERARY EVENING Launch of debut poetry book After The Storm by Tamara Groeneveldt (St. Martin) Recital Guest authors from the USA, Guadeloupe, United Kingdom, Grenada, Jamaica, Barbados, Montserrat, Nigeria, Singapore, Italy, Antigua, Martinique, St. Martin, Marie-Galante, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Music Interlude Clara Reyes and Friends (St. Martin) Rancho del Sol restaurant Orient Bay, French Quarter Admission free

Saturday, June 8, 8 am – 4 pm

Book Fair main day, exhibition of books, book sales, book signings, workshops, all open to the public. Free admission University of St. Martin (USM), Philipsburg

9 am – 10 am I – In the Children’s Room, Rm 106 Storytelling, games, songs and more. Ages: 4-12. Storytelling may be in various languages. Special guest appearance, Heddrick Mc Bride (USA), children’s book author and presentation of his new children’s book about hurricane Irma, St. Maarten Strong (English and French editions).

10 am – 1 pm In the Children’s Room, Rm 106 Spelling and reading competition coordinated by Merlyn Joseph (St. Martin), teacher, Barbara Arrindell (Antigua), director, Best of Books bookstore.

9 am – 10:30 am II – First Aid Workshop, Rm 103 A hands-on workshop, understanding and performing first aid assistance in case of an emergency at home and/or in public places. by St. Maarten Red Cross

III – New Technologies and Film Production, Rm 102 An interactive workshop about the new technologies, media apps, and communication platforms that bring audiences closer to film and entertainment. by Joel Ayuk, CEO, Cani TV (St. Martin)

IV – Panel Discussion on Theater, Rm 104 A discussion on the state of theater in the Caribbean region. How can this art form better influence the culture, history, and social fiber of the region’s countries and territories? Leaders and practitioners of theater will give us their insights about what is going on and what should be happening “on stage” in the region. Panelists: Colette Jones-Chin (Anguilla), Dr. Yvonne Weeks (Barbados/Montserrat), Hon. Louie Laveist (St. Martin) Moderator: Clara Reyes (St. Martin)

V – Panel Discussion on Writing Today, Rm 202 How authors and emerging writers are writing in the 21st century about various social and political challenges facing Black people in particular and Caribbean people in general; and are the writers reflecting developments related to, for example, Black Lives Matters in the USA, the Windrush crisis in the UK, and seminal discussions on Reparations in the Caribbean region. Panelists: Dr. Kei Miller (Jamaica/United Kingdom), Dr. Wendy Crawford-Daniel (Grenada), Dr. Antonio Carmona Báez (St. Martin) Moderator: Fabian Adekunle Badejo (St. Martin)

10:35 am – 10:50 am University of St. Martin (USM), Philipsburg Coffee, tea, and pastries break

11 am – 12:30 noon University of St. Martin (USM), Philipsburg

VI – Books and translations, Rm 202 This panel discussion promises to be fascinating as it highlights the prose and cons of literary translations. A question bound to be tackled: Is justice being done to an author’s original work when it has been translated? Panelists: Nicole Cage (Martinique), Fabian Adekunle Badejo (St. Martin), Dr. Sara Florian (Italy/Singapore), Chika Unigwe (Nigeria/Netherlands/USA) Moderator: Alex Richards (St. Martin)

VII – Salt and Hurricane, Rm 206 In this multimedia workshop the artist will show images and discuss the emergence of salt and hurricane elements in her creative work as cultural symbols of St. Martin. by Drisana Deborah Jack, author, artist, professor (St. Martin)

VIII – Presentation of Plastered in Pretty, Rm 103 Author N. C. Marks (St. Vincent and The Grenadines), discusses her dystopian Caribbean novel, Plastered in Pretty, with the Young United Women Book Club. All book fair-goers are welcome to attend and join in. Hosted by the Young United Women Book Club

IX – The Sweetness of the Guavaberry, Rm 102 The guavaberry workshop will highlight the production process of the premier traditional St. Martin liquor. Guavaberry taste samples will be available to workshop participants. by Louis and Luz-Maria Maccow (St. Martin), Guavaberry Colombier Tradition company.

Lunch break 12:30 am – 2:55 am 2 pm – 3:30 pm

Presidents’ Forum, Rm 202 Introduction Antonio Carmona Báez, PhD President, University of St. Martin Rapporteur/moderator Rhoda Arrindell, PhD Institute for Language Research and Development New Grounds: Rebuilding After the Storms Panelists: Peter Bailey (USA/Virgin Islands) Author, filmmaker, former TIME and Newsweek journalist CEO, NiteCap Media Opal Palmer Adisa, PhD (Jamaica) Author, storyteller, professor University of the West Indies – Mona Geoffrey Philp (USA) Poet, novelist, educator

Saturday, June 8 8 pm – 10 pm

Main Book Launch & Closing Ceremony Motorworld Showroom 20 Welfare Road, Cole Bay

Welcome Mistress of Ceremony, Marie Richardson

NEW BOOK LAUNCHED: Caribbean Counterpoint The Aesthetics of Salt in Lasana Sekou by Sara Florian, PhD (Italy/Singapore)

Guest Speaker Kei Miller, PhD Novelist, poet, essayist, blogger (Jamaica/United Kingdom)

Guest Recital Chika Unigwe Novelist, literary critic (Nigeria/Netherlands/USA)

Presentation The Presidents’ Award

Word of Thanks Shujah Reiph Coordinator St. Martin Book Fair

Thank you for participating in the 17th Annual St. Martin Book Fair 2019

 

 

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