Calabash: So Much Things To Say
Much like the dasheen, there is just so much to be said for the calabash.
It is just the kind of staple that manages to multitask and be multilingual in one fell swoop.
The calabash or bottle gourd or opo squash (not to be confused with the calabaza) is a vine grown for its fruit, which can either be harvested young and used as a vegetable or harvested mature, dried, and used as a bottle, utensil, or pipe. The calabash was one of the first cultivated plants in the world, grown not for food but as a container.
Calabash is also the name of this acclaimed journal of Caribbean Art and Letters.
And then there’s the Calabash International Literary Festival, without which this post would be unintentional.
The Calabash International Literary Festival was founded in 2001 by novelist Colin Channer with the support of friends, the poet Kwame Dawes and the producer Justine Henzell.
Their aim was simple—to create a world-class literary festival with roots in Jamaica and branches reaching out into the wider world. And to read the reviews from press and creatives alike, the Festival had more than lived up to its heart and mission: ” … Calabash is a high-grade international event in which writing from the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia forms a thought-provoking mosaic of story, history and mythology.” The Independent on Sunday
The three-day festival of readings and music with other forms of storytelling folded in the mix, makes its home yearly in Jamaica, West Indies. True to its Calabash is “earthy, inspirational, daring and diverse.” It’s the only annual international literary festival in the English-speaking Caribbean.
All festival events are free and open to the public. Accordingly, PASSION is the only price of entry.
For all this and more, I mean to take my place at Calabash 2011.
So, what do you know about a Calabash? How and where has it shown up in your life? Will you be in attendance?
So much things to say. I’m listening…
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