The 21st annual St. Martin Book Fair has been postponed for reasons related to the health of the lit fest coordinator Shujah Reiph, said the Book Fair Committee (BFC) on Monday.
The Conscious Lyrics Foundation (CLF) also issued a statement over the weekend. “The new date to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the festival in 2023 will be announced soon,” said CLF, the lead organization of the island-wide literary festival.
“In supporting Shujah’s recovery process we are working with our community partners to continue to plan for the best book fair yet,” said CLF.
The lit fest, with the theme of “resistance,” was already promoting the 2023 edition scheduled for June 1 – 3.
BFC said that 35 authors and workshop leaders from St. Martin, throughout the Caribbean, the USA, and Asia were set to participate in the book fair that was once described in Trinidad’s Caribbean Beat as “international and multilingual to the core.”
“I have to say again that I’m so touched by the many well-wishers since my health emergency early last week; and for the words of condolences at the passing of my father Arsene Reiph last Friday,” said Shujah Reiph, who is also president of CLF.
The pre-book fair play, Spitfire: The Lohkay Story, written by Shujah Reiph and directed by Fabian Adekunle Badejo, has also been postponed. Persons with tickets for the play, which was scheduled to premiere at Loterie Farm on May 31, are urged to hold on to their tickets as they will be honored for the new show date, said CLF.
The BFC also plans to be involved with pre-book fair activities such as a writers retreat, book launch, and “authors’ talk” on radio—all leading up to the new date that is to be set for the St. Martin Book Fair 2023.
In its weekend statement CLF thanked “the people of St. Martin” for their “understanding” and “for the continued support of our cultural and educational activities and events throughout the year.”
Both CLF and BFC are asking the public to “Kindly look out for further updates; and enjoy previous lit fest features @ houseofnehesipublish.com/sxm/st-martin-book-fair/ .”