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St. Martin Book Fair on free speech

Great Bay, St. Martin (May 29, 2011) — The just-released program of the St. Martin Book Fair, June 2 – 4, is a mix of workshops, discussions, book launches, book sales, book signing by new and famous authors, and original literary readings, said book fair coordinator Shujah Reiph.

On Thursday, June 2, the ribbon cutting ceremony, which will honor the nation’s fishermen and declare the book fair open, will be preceded chiefly by an evening with Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott, making worldly comments and reading from his newest works, said Reiph. This opening ceremony takes place at the Chamber of Commerce Bldg., Spring Concordia, Marigot, at 8 PM. Admission is free and new books will be available.

The first highlight on Friday is the Presidents Forum at the University of St. Martin (USM), starting at 4 PM. The forum focuses on freedom of speech and expression in St. Martin relative to the work of the four speakers. The panelists include author and political scientist Joseph H. Lake, Jr. and Kaiso Brat, St. Martin Calypso King 2011. The new USM president, Annelies van den Assem, LL.M., will introduce the panel, said Reiph.

Books galore, authors around to sign them, “I’m just excited about all of this,” said Reiph, “but don’t miss the workshops for the entire family.” Among the Book Fair workshops on Saturday are: ‘The Great Salt Pond: Untangling the History of Salt in St. Martin” by Dr. Jay Haviser; A literacy workshop by Dr. Rene Baly for at-risk youth and their parents. The ‘Language in literature’ workshop by Dr. Rhoda Arrindell. Participants can bring their own poems and fictions to be critiqued in this creative writing workshop.

“Don’t miss the spiritually-based motivational workshop,” said Sample. It is entitled, ‘365 Secrets for a Healthy Mind, Body, and Spirit’ by author and former Essence editor Stephanie Stokes Oliver. The photography workshop will be conducted by by Drisana Deborah Jack. At the end of the day Mix Master Pauly will give a live DJ Workshop: ‘Mixing sound, A freedom of expression.’

Then comes the evening party to “step out” to. The book party for From Yvette’s Kitchen To Your Table – A Treasury of St. Martin’s Traditional & Contemporary Cuisine by Yvette Hyman will take place at Belair Community Center, Cay Hill, at 8 PM. Tourism director Regina LaBega is the guest speaker at the Closing Ceremony and Main Book Launch. Award-winning musician and kaisonian Mighty Dow, will perform on pan, and the Presidents Award will be presented at the end of the Saturday evening program, said Sample.

For more about the St. Maarten Book Fair program, visit or

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