Queens Book Fair: The Story of a Great Literary Festival


By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

The first Queens Book Fair and Literary Festival was a resounding success. It drew 40 authors from around the world to Richmond Hill, in New York. The writers read their works to an appreciative audience. The program also featured children and adults reciting poetry, making speeches and emphasizing the importance of reading and literature. The classical musical renditions impressed an audience that wanted more.

The Literary Festival was the first of its kind in the community. The organizers were unsure about the response. This was not the usual weekend offering for which Richmond Hill is known. But to the delight of all, the community came out in large numbers. The hall was crowded and there was standing room only.

It was interesting to hear the authors speak about their work that touched many subject areas. They ranged from life in the diaspora, history, politics, economics and religion, to Caribbean creolese and artistic expressions. The consensus was that the Book Fair and Literary Festival was a breath of fresh air, and was long overdue in a community that is known for its high level of literacy.

We present pictorial highlights, compliments of Suzanne Mahadeo, Prea Commevent, and others. The organizers are busy planning next year’s Festival.