The November publication coincided with the first NGC Bocas Lit Fest South Central, a programme of events, sponsored by NGC and hosted by the festival in San Fernando and Chaguanas last weekend in collaboration with booksellers Nigel R Khan and RIK Services Ltd and UTT.
The Trinidad-based quarterly magazine of Caribbean literature and arts highlights and reviews new and recent Caribbean books alongside interviews with writers, original poems and fiction, and essays on literature and culture. It is free on line to all readers, with no subscription fee, at www.caribbeanreviewofbooks.com.
The CRB has a long history as one of the few and most important literary journals in the region. The original CRB was published from 1991 to 1994 in Mona, Jamaica. In May 2004, the magazine was revived by a team of writers and editors based in Port-of-Spain. The last print edition was published in 2009, and in 2010, the CRB was relaunched as an online magazine. With the November 2013 issue, the CRB begins a partnership with the non-profit Bocas Lit Fest, established to promote and support Caribbean literature. www.bocaslitfest.com.
“We are very happy that the CRB will be back doing its work of provoking conversations about what is going on in the world of writers and their readers”, says festival founder, Marina Salandy-Brown who adds, “it seemed perverse that as Bocas started, CRB went into abeyance when it has a role to play in the business of building a readership for books from and about the Caribbean and bringing new writers to a wider audience.”
Though supported by the festival, the CRB will maintain its editorial independence. “The CRB’s literary coverage will obviously inform the festival, and the festival programme will turn up writers and books that the CRB ought to cover,” says Nicholas Laughlin, CRB editor who is also programme director of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest.
In the nine and a half years since the CRB was revived in 2004, the magazine has reviewed several hundred Caribbean books, and published writing by such literary luminaries as Derek Walcott, Martin Carter, and Lorna Goodison, as well as celebrated younger writers like Kei Miller, Vahni Capildeo, Marlon James, Shara McCallum, and Christian Campbell. Novelist and poet David Dabydeen has written, “I think CRB is the most important development in the region, in literary criticism, for generations.”