Governor-General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Professor Kenneth Hall will deliver the keynote address at the signature event of the Caribbean Canadian Literary Expo (CCLE) in Toronto, Canada on Thursday, June 7.
The event, which is being held to honour acclaimed Barbadian-born author Austin Clarke, will take place at the Elizabeth Beeton Auditorium at the Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street.
Professor Hall’s address will focus on the Bicentennial of the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, which is being commemorated this year.
The 73-year-old Mr. Clarke has written several novels and short stories during his long and illustrious career, including ‘Growing up Stupid Under the Union Jack’, ‘When Women Rule’, ‘Nine Men Who Laughed’, and ‘Pigtails n’ Breadfruit: The Rituals of Slave Food’.
Mr. Clarke’s most recent book, ‘The Polished Hoe’, has won him a plethora of awards, including the Giller Prize for Fiction, the Trillium Prize, the Commonwealth Writers Award, and the Commonwealth Writers Best Book Award for Canada and the Caribbean region.
The event will also feature poetry readings from Cuba and Haiti.
Chaired by Jamaica’s Consul General Anne-Marie Bonner, the CCLE is being held in association with the CARICOM Consular Corps, under the theme ‘Word Waves’ and in recognition of the Bicentennial of the abolition of the Transtlantic Slave Trade.
Four generations of Caribbean writers and books are being highlighted at various book launches, book readings, storytelling sessions, workshops and discussions, across the Greater Toronto Area from June 1 to June 10. Some of the authors to be featured include Jamaicans Lorna Goodison, Nalo Hopkinson, and Dr. Colin Palmer; Trinidadian Earl Lovelace; Cubans Dr. Rogelio Martinez Furé, and Georgina Herrera; Grenadian Richardo Keens-Douglas; and Haitian JouJou Turenne.
On Wednesday, June 6, in a session entitled ‘Harlem Meets Toronto’, Paul Robeson, Jr. will talk with Max Rodriguez, founder of the Harlem Book Fair. On Saturday, June 9, a live broadcast is scheduled to take place to discuss ‘200 years: Remapping the Caribbean Diaspora’ featuring local and international scholars; and on Sunday, June 10, there will be a launch of the book, ‘Eric Williams – The Making of the Modern Caribbean’ with presenters Dr. Colin Palmer, and Erica Williams-McConnell of the Eric Williams Memorial Collection.
The Caribbean countries participating in the CCLE are Aruba, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Lucia,
St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.