Fri | Aug 17, 2018

Virgins converge on Calabash

Published:Sunday | June 10, 2018 | 12:00 AMJanet Silvera
The affable Carolyn Cooper, again had the Calabash crowd captive not only with her hairdo and clothing, but her ability to manage their time in the open mike segment.
The late Ian Boyne's daughter, Kelly-Ann (left) celebrating the literary arts like her dad would, with friend Tonisha Ngoci of Ngoci Sweet Blessings.
Apex Radiology's Dr Ann Bridgewater (left) and director of public prosecution, Paula Llewelyn, having a whale of a time at Calabash.
Calabash Queendom repping Edna Manley: (from left) - Coleen Douglas, Jaycie Lewis and Camille Quamina.
Ambassador Aloun Assamba gets a lot of love from award-winning writer Kei Miller at Calabash.
From left: Author Ishion Hutchinson, shares lens time with artist Bianca Bartley and businessman Wayne Chen.
Sahai Maxwell looking like a true empress at Calabash.
Talk about easy like Sunday morning: JMMB's Donna Duncan-Scott (right) chillaxing with New Yorker, Hanna Campbell.
Yogi Cassanie McKenzie (left) and actress, Makeda Solomon at Calabash.
From left: Sharmilla Beezmohun of Speaking Volumes UK, Kym McCulley, of Climate Smart Accelerator and Heneka Watkis-Porter, of Patwa International, having a whale of a time at Calabash 2018 in Treasure Beach St Elizabeth.
Dynamic Event Service's Dollis Campbell, defined purity at Calabash 2018 in Treasure Beach St Elizabeth.
Stush in Bush's Lisa Binns (left) and digital marketer, Tanayia Woolery, lit up Calabash 2018 in Treasure Beach St Elizabeth, recently.
When the music hit, you feel no pain, the dancing duo: Elizabeth Seltzer (left) and Markels Roberts.
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Over 3,000 persons turned out for the 14th staging of the Calabash Literary Festival, hundreds of them, virgins, seemingly on a 'pilgrimage' of sorts.

One thing was for certain, first-timers at Calabash 2018 were 'Lit' by the readings, the camaraderie, and the melting pot of cultures that greeted them in Treasure Beach in St Elizabeth, last weekend.

From as early as Friday night, the vibes from the midnight concert, ignited by reggae's future, Lila Ike and Naomi Cowan, indicated to lovers of the art that they were in for a par excellence experience.

Indeed, it was all about that lasting experience, capable of bringing unsolicited ambassadors to an event that now shapes Jamaica as an oasis of the literary arts.

"It's what I expected and more. The vibes, the readings, the energy, the electricity are among the pluses that will make me come back to Calabash," exclaimed newbie, Andrene Davidson.

Joy Robinson, a Jamaican, who lives in Maryland, USA, but comes home at the knock of every drum pan, was just as smitten.

"It has been culturally enlightening for me, in respect of the diversity of race, age, and culture. I like the fact that there is no admission fee. It allows the community to be part of it," she said.

Others who lost their 'virginity' at the festival, included, Carol Archer, Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams and husband, Peter, Chris Zacca, Philipp Hofer, Godfrey and Odette Dyer, Sonya Nalkiran, Charmaine Harrison, Audrey Budhai, and James Forbes, and several persons from the UK.

Based on the number of foreigners, and the wide benefits to the community, Calabash needs to be "supported fully" by entities such as the Jamaica Tourist Board and the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), remarked Aloun Assamba, former Minister of Tourism, who wants to see the festival returning to the years it was held annually.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com