The Cayman Islands Poetry Festival, which begins on Dec. 5, aims to gather poets, performers, artists and members of the public to celebrate this genre and its relationship with other art forms, while educating people and promoting literacy and reading poetry.
The festival not only offer spaces for people of all ages to enjoy it, but also to bring poetry and the arts to all demographics. It will offer the best of local and international poets and performers, organizers said in a press release.
The festival is free and open to all. It is dedicated to celebrating the diversity of cultures in Cayman and spreading words of peace, love, acceptance, transformation and tolerance among all members of society.
The opening ceremony starts at 6:30 p.m. at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands. Professor Mervyn Morris, professor emeritus of creative writing and West Indian literature and Poet Laureate of Jamaica, will be the special guest.
Referring to Morris, educator Ralph Thompson said, “In addition to his poetry, which has ranked him among the top West Indian poets, he was one of the first academics to espouse the importance of nation language in helping to define in verse important aspects of Jamaican culture.”
Professor Morris will read some of his poetry and reflect on the importance of keeping literature alive as a way to preserve the nation’s cultural values and heritage.
A Cayman language heritage celebration will be held at Art Nest Studio in Pasadora Place from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
A panel about literature in Cayman will analyze the actual situation and future endeavors and challenges for the literary arts in the islands. This is scheduled for the George Town Public Library from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Nosotros, the Spanish Poetry group, will host four international poets from Cuba and Honduras and the regular Spanish-speaking local poets at Art Nest Studio from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Floetry with very diverse styles and voices will perform at the Cayman Distillery, starting at 7 p.m.
The George Town Public Library hosts the Youth Poetry Slam, where young poets (ages 13-19) will compete, presenting their own pieces.
Other events, including a joint literary-cultural gathering with inmates and visits to schools are scheduled as part of the Poetry Festival. In total, 22 local and five international poets will take the stage during this week-long event.