Lasana Sekou at Virgin Islands Literary Festival & Book Fair 2016

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GREAT BAY, St. Maarten – St. Maarten’s author Lasana M. Sekou conducted the Spoken Word workshop and was a publishing panelist at the Virgin Islands Literary Festival and Book Fair, which ended in St. Croix last Sunday, April 24, said president of House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP) Jacqueline Sample.

“Lasana M. Sekou (was) tremendous in his presentation. The VI Lit Fest was honored by his presence,” said chairman of the festival Dr. Simon B. Jones Hendrickson.

“On Thursday, Lasana used YouTube videos of his performances, live reading of a participant’s work and of a poem from his own upcoming book in an overview presentation of reading styles, symbolism in poetry, spoken word structures, and other features of verse,” said Sample.

According to Sekou, “The workshop participants were especially interested in discussing how and when a poet feels or knows that it’s the time or place to write, or what to write about.” Sekou is the projects director at HNP, an indie press here that has published his work, and that of new and noted authors from different parts of the world.

Head of the UVI Virgin Islands Caribbean Cultural Center Dr. ChenziRa Kahina facilitated the Spoken Word workshop.

The publishing panel at UVI Great Hall on Saturday, April 23, consisted of New York publicist from Simon & Schuster Yona Deshommes; Caribbean Reads publisher Carol Mitchell, and Sekou, sharing with the audience pointers and insights about how to get a book published.

Dr. Hendrickson, who is also an economist, facilitated the presentation, which was entitled: “So You Want To Publish Your Work (Digital and Print)?” The speakers touched on what editors and publishers look for in a manuscript, the importance of having an agent, writing about what you know, and knowing and respecting your market of readers, said Sample.

Award-winning novelist Dr. Elizabeth Nunez delivered the keynote address of the second edition of the five-day VI Literary Festival and Book Fair, which opened on April 20.

Presenters included over 30 authors, scholars, educators, filmmakers, kaisonians, and publishers such as Earl Lovelace, Nicole Phillip-Dowe, Camille Macedon, Asha Lovelace, Tobias Buckell, Awin Bully, Howard and Mitzi Allen, Lise Bostrup, Velma Pollard, Keithlyn B. Smith, Rosalind Kilkenny, David Edgecombe, and Ida Does.

Caption: At the VI Literary Festival & Book Fair 2016. From left to right: Projects Director, HNP Lasana M. Sekou; Dian Greaux Levons, Executive Assistant to Dr. Simon B. Jones Hendrickson; General Manager, Jamaican Copyright Licensing Agency Carol A. Newman; Board of Directors member, VI Economic Development Authority Dr. Simon B. Jones Hendrickson, following a tour of the UVI Virgin Islands Caribbean Cultural Center in St. Croix.