The highlight of the festival should have been the hundreds of nationals flocking the University Campus instead the lawns of tertiary institution remained almost undisturbed during the weekend of Dominican, Caribbean and International Word Power.
I remember the Minister for Culture, the Hon. Laureen Bannis-Roberts, emanating from her bowels the need for more locals to pay more interest in literacy and creative arts (poetry, short story, etc). Despite the poor crowds, the few who stepped forward were pleased with the output from all participants. I only attended the opening ceremony on Friday Night and most of Saturday (I performed during the Saturday open mic session) but I came out of the event with even a greater enthusiasm for poetry and short story.
I wasn't going to let the poor showing deter me, instead I saw it as a challenge to get our young persons more involved in creative writing. Besides, the young people weren't the ones who were absent, although there could have been more youth attending the festival, there was a good percentage of them seated and even participating in the performances.
The highlight for me wasn't the opening ceremony or the performances but I actually prefered the workshop sessions. I enrolled in the creative writing workshop (last year I was enrolled in the poetry workshop) and my lecturer surely took me off guard. He wasn't what I expected, he was alot better. Colin Channer, noted Jamaican writer and best selling author, gave us daily sessions on improving our creative writing. He has unorthodox processes, well at least they are to me, but still I could relate to his methods and except for one time (where he scolded my writing) I was always engaged in what he was saying.
So now, I have partnered with a friend (Monelle Alexis) and we are going to start off a writer's club for young people who are involved in poetry and short story writing. It will be an avenue for us to critic our work and eventually assist in our development as writers and maybe authors (sooner if not later).
The Dominica Writer's Guild has also seen a sort of rebirth, a meeting is scheduled for this Wednesday to look at ways of developing the grouping. I'm looking forward to it but if those old bums, lol, don't engage the young minds, I am prepared to do so.
All in all, I think the festival reached its main objective and stimulated the minds of those interested in the artform. Oh, by the way, look out for my poetry book, it is in the final stages of edit.