A Great Literary Festival in Jamaica

If you love books and love the Caribbean, there is an international festival here in Jamaica you should plan to visit the next time you book a Jamaica villa rental.

The Calabash Festival is a three-day, May literary event that has been held here in Jamaica for more than a decade.  Sure, you’re familiar with Jamaica’s music and its food, but did you know that this sunny island is also home to a vibrant literary scene?

The festival is set up on a gorgeous stretch of sand in the small fishing village of Treasure Beach where you can buy both jerk chicken and the latest Jamaican poetry all at the same time.

Calabash has everything you need for a great literary festival in Jamaica, including authors doing live readings from their works, and the chance to discover and meet new authors with a distinctive Caribbean voice. Calabash happens every year in May, and has attracted island writers including Derek Walcott, Junot Diaze and Kevin Young, as well as authors from as far away as Asia and Africa.

The best part is that it all happens outside, right on the beach, with the sounds of the surf acting like an accompanist to the lilt and poetry of the spoken word.

Everyone grabs something tasty to eat, something cool to drink, and settles under the shade of the palm trees to soak up the sun and the joys of local literature. Authors say there is simply no other literary festival on earth that exudes this sense of joy and community.

Part of the fun is the location.  Treasure Beach is completely untouched by tourism.  Nestled on the southwest coast of Jamaica just an hour’s drive from the Jamaica villa rental at the Tryall Club, Treasure Beach has no resorts and no big restaurants.

Of course, it’s not a Jamaican festival without a little music, so Calabash also features nightly reggae concerts and acoustic performances.