The BVI Literary Festival was founded in November 2021 as part of the Department of Culture’s Culture and Tourism Month activities and operates in collaboration with the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College.
The BVI Literary Arts Festival (BVI Lit Fest) is an annual coming together of writers, poets, publishers, booksellers and book lovers to celebrate the literary arts and the creative process through workshops, panel discussions, readings, signings and launches. The festival includes a full programme with a mixture of local, regional and internationally acclaimed writers and poets. This year’s activities were held from November 2nd-5th, 2023.
Local CEOs Mr. Averad Penn of CCT and Mr. Michael Thomas of Clearance Thomas Limited both took time to share their induvial journeys through the BVI Business legacies panel which kicked off the events on Friday November 3rd, 2023 at 10am. This particular panel was held at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College and moderated by Shae Alexander.
Penn while answering a question from the audience spoke on creating a Culture of Excellence, “At CCT we try to have a family environment, we spend a lot of energy trying to determine what our corporate culture is and be very specific about the things that we champion within our corporate culture. We champion Education and providing opportunities for young persons and it’s something that we are really proud of at CCT.”
The BVI Lit Fest aims to create a space in which lovers of the Literary Arts can engage in deeper, more focused discussions on cultural identity through literature. It fosters the development, promotion, and marketing of the works of the authors of BVI Literature. Mr. Michael Thomas addressed continuity in business.
“Once you know and understand the culture, fitting into the organization and watching the organization grow and being a part of that growth is something we aspire to continue to promote at CTL.”
Both general answered questions from the audience and shared nuggets of success that have allowed them to thrive in their respective industries.
The inaugural BVI Lit fest was held between the 2nd and 13th of November 2021. It consisted of the “Writing with Writers’ Workshop” series, the “Let’s talk Lit Panel Discussions, a book fair and “Evening of Music and Poetry.” The workshops, which were held virtually, included workshops on poetry, publishing, and non-fiction. This year’s LIT fest was the second in person and took a similar form for the weekend of activities. President of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community college and Virgin Islands Poet Laureate, Dr. Richard Georges was also one of the presenters.
Other speakers included, Paul Krugman, Charmaine Wilkerson, Afua Hirsch, Leone Ross, Jonathan Escoffery, Tiphanie Yanique, Alecia McKenzie and Anthony Anaxagorou.