My lover-lover, Calabash, she has come back from the dead and my heart glad. I didn’t see her last year after ten, faithful years since 2000 and truth is I thought she gone forever.
Producer Justine Henzell, poet Kwame Dawes and novelist Colin Channer, keep her free but that freeness is expensive. They say that hard cash not easy to find in these hard times for Jamaica, land of wood and water. No mind that for ten years she was royal, reigning as the premier literary festival in the Caribbean and a vital part of the calendar of international literary festivals that include big-ass rivals like the Guardian Hay, Prague Writers’, and the Jaipur Literature Festivals.
But back she come for Jamaica’s 50th independence anniversary—her intellect, grace and humour crashing on the shores of the bay outside the south coast Jake’s Hotel. It’s like she never left sleepy Jake’s. For three heady days and nights I share her with crowds that swell to over a thousand as locals and those from foreign gather to lick up her words and inhale her music.