Jamaica Poetry Festival to honour Belafonte, Miss Lou, Gibran
Louise "Miss Lou" Bennett-Coverley

Come August 13, the late Harry Belafonte, Louise Bennett-Coverley, and poet Khalil Gibran will be honoured at the Jamaica Poetry Festival.

"I just hasten to say that we have been engaging with Harry Belafonte for the past 12 years and we have engaged with him from last year before he transitioned, and so we are still honouring him with the Lifetime Achievement Award," event conceptualiser Yasus Afari told the Jamaica Observer.

The event will be held at Louise Bennett Garden Theatre.

Belafonte, whose dynamic acappella shout of "Day-O!" from The Banana Boat Song and other music from world folk traditions propelled him to international stardom, reportedly died at his home in Manhattan, New York, on April 25. He was 96 years old.

Renowned poet and folklorist Louise "Miss Lou" Bennett-Coverley died in July 2006 at 86 years old.

Folklorist Louise Bennett-Coverley

While Gibran is Lebanese-American writer, poet and visual artist best known as author of The Prophet.

This year's Jamaica Poetry Festival will feature performances by Boris Gardiner, Professor Edward Baugh, Jean Lowrie-Chin, Dr Winsome Miller Rowe, Professor Clinton Hutton, Sotera, Dr Emerson Henry, Ras Jaja, Calvin Mitchell, Simone Absolom Gayle, Ossie Gee, and Yasus Afari, while 10-year-old Canadian actress Jazmin "Jazzy J" Headley will act as this year's International Youth Ambassador.

Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett will also be present to read an excerpt from his upcoming book.

Performances will be preceded by an all-inclusive dinner dubbed 'Visions of Hope' from which all proceeds will benefit the Jamaica Society for the Blind.

Yasus Afari

Yasus Afari said preparations have been going smoothly for the annual festival.

"The preparations have been going very well. It takes a lot of work, but we've been doing it for 13 years and we have a team, and so we have been going very well. Everything's pretty much ready to roll," he added.

BY KEDIESHA PERRY Observer writer entertainment@jamaicaobserver.com

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Which long-term investment option is more attractive to you at the moment?