Alliouagana1 Festival of the Word: A Literary Festival for Montserrat
Montserrat, the small island which Henry Nelson Coleridge, the nephew of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, briefly visited in 1825 “for relief to breathe its air”2 is the birth place of such literary figures as M.P Shiel, the first unofficially acclaimed King of Redonda3, playwright Edgar White and the late poet, novelist and academic, E. Archie Markham. The island will be holding its first literary festival, the Alliouagana Festival of the Word, from November 13 – 15, 2009.
Writers, publishers and literary agents around the world as well as Montserratians living overseas will have the opportunity to establish and strengthen connections while participating in the celebration of the word in its many manifestations. Authors who have won various literary awards have generously agreed to participate in the first literary festival to be held on this island which over the last two decades has seen the emergence of a disaster literature.
An exciting package which includes all of the island’s attractions (diving, hiking, bird watching, snorkeling, volcano viewing and education), combined with special rates for accommodation and on island transportation has been developed to ensure that all visitors enjoy the island and the festival.
The Art and Craft sector has been involved in developing a range of attractive souvenir items that will be made available at the venue. These include locally produced items carrying the literary festival logo such as t-shirts and bags, as well as other craft items. Food vendors will be given an opportunity to introduce an international audience to the cuisine of Montserrat and the Caribbean. Books will be available from the book stall and pampering sessions in reflexology and other healing therapies will be offered.
The Steering Committee for the Alliouagana Festival of the Word (AFW) would like to thank the many authors who have generously agreed to participate in the Festival and the numerous volunteers who have given of their time, talent and resources. A deep debt of gratitude is also owed to the Montserrat Tourist Board for the grant provided under the Tourism Challenge Fund which along with other funds raised have made the Alliouagana Festival of the Word possible in 2009.
We warmly invite you to our first Alliouagana Festival of the Word.
Come, if you love words.
Come if you love Montserrat.
Come, if you’d simply love to get the best of both worlds. (A-dZiko Simba)
Alliouagana Festival of the Word
1Alliouagana or ‘Land of the Prickly Bush’ is the name by which the Amerindians called the island renamed Montserrat by Columbus in 1493.
2Henry Nelson Coleridge, Six Months in the West Indies, London: John Murray, 1825.
3Redonda is an even smaller island to the North West of Montserrat. It was annexed by Antigua in the 1800.