The Caribbean Writer

Nikole Hannah-Jones

Pulitzer Prize winning author Nikole Hannah-Jones to headline VI Lit Fest

BETHANEY LEE Daily News Staff


ST. THOMAS — “Disruptions, Disguise and Illuminations.”


That’s the theme of this year’s Virgin Islands Literary Festival and Book Fair in partnership with “The Caribbean Writer.”


The event, to be held April 8-9, coincides with the theme chosen for Volume 36 of “The Caribbean Writer.”


The two-day event showcases international and locally renowned authors by providing virtual seminars, workshops, and activities with the literary giants, such as Pulitzer Prize-winning author Nikole Hannah-Jones, who is headlining the Festival.


Hannah-Jones, in 2020, won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary for her work for The New York Times on the “The 1619 Project,” a series on slavery that became one of the most talked-about journalistic endeavors as it was produced not only as a magazine, but podcasts and a newspaper section among others. Hannah-Jones now serves as the inaugural Knight Chair in Race and Journalism at Howard University School of Communications.


In a released statement, Literary Festival Chairperson Alscess Lewis-Brown said the entire community is invited to “enjoy the banquet of ideas” and immerse themselves in the theme.


She noted that reading, writing, artistic expression, and meaningful dialogue is “exemplified at our literary festival,” and create an empowerment “to seek the changes lurking within our own questions.”


This year’s Festival will be a hybrid event with all activities on April 8 conducted virtually and on April 9 the Festival will kick off with an in-person Bush Tea Morning Social at 7:30 a.m. at the University of the Virgin Islands Great Hall on St. Croix.


There are other events scheduled, according to Lewis-Brown.


In an interview with The Daily News, she said anyone looking to participate in activities like the Ekphrastic poetry competition can register early online, but are welcome to participate even if unregistered beforehand.


The “New Blood Art Exhibit” will be held at the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts “so when people come down and view the exhibit they can write a response to one of the pieces,” Lewis-Brown said. “It’s just kind of a fun way we can mix the experience of the museum with the poetic aspect of it as well.”


The Book Bacchanal will be held virtually this year, Lewis-Brown said, and writers are required to sign up for the event at the Festival’s website.


“The book bacchanal, a lot of people are excited about that. It’s where writers get about six minutes to share their book, their inspiration, and any other thoughts on their books that they have published,” Lewis-Brown said. “It’s a great opportunity for writers to share their work and introduce people to what they have written.”


For a complete schedule of the happenings, a peek at the various attending authors, or to register for the event visit

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