A book fair for the entire family …

 June 1 – 3, 2017

Conscious Lyrics Foundation and House of Nehesi Publishers
in collaboration with St. Maarten Tourist Bureau
University of St. Martin, L.C. Fleming FoundationSOS Radio


St. Martin Book Fair  Program (click to download)


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St. Martin Book Fair News

About us

A book fair for the entire family …

shujah Shujah Reiph Book Fair Coordinator
According to Caribbean Beat magazine, “the St. Martin Book Fair is international and multilingual to the core.” (bit.ly/1RgH7D5) And indeed, the book and literary festival has been offering to the St. Martin people and our visitors three exciting days of books, free literary recitals, cultural performances, multilingual workshops, and exhibitions of educational and multimedia tools with upcoming and famous guest authors, expert workshop presenters, and panelists from St. Martin and around the world. (bit.ly/1Ugz63H)

The St. Martin Book Fair was founded in 2003, by Shujah Alex Reiph, president of Conscious Lyrics Foundation (CLF) and co-founded by Lasana M. Sekou, projects director of House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP). Inspired by the HNP Creative Writing Program (CWP), in which Reiph was a participant, the book fair was organized and launched on June 20, 2003, by CLF and HNP—well before the six-month CWP was completed. The members and officers of CLF spearheaded the organization of the first three-day fair in less than two months.

During the 2003 launch reception, Josianne Fleming-Artsen, president of the University of St. Martin (USM), suggested to Reiph the participation of USM in future book fairs. Since 2004, USM has collaborated with the St. Martin Book Fair, generously providing the use of its campus as home to the main book fair day of workshops, general sessions, book sales, and book signings by guest authors. Also since 2004, the literary fest takes place each year from the first Thursday to the first Saturday of June (“the first weekend of June”).

The idea of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau (STB) as the strategic partner of the St. Martin Book Fair since 2004, came from STB head Regina LaBega during a conversation with Sekou. Through the STB, the government of the territory of St. Maarten has maintained its cornerstone sponsorship of the St. Martin Book Fair. In 2010, the government of the Collectivity of St. Martin became the book fair’s new partner. In 2014, the L.C. Fleming Foundation (LCF) became an exemplary private sector “legacy” patron of the arts. Fabian A. Badejo of ADE Consulting, Dr. Rhoda Arrindell, founder of the Institute for Language Research & Development, and Jacqueline Sample, president of HNP, have been core to book fair ideas and planning over the years. The opening ceremony of the book fair is alternated each year between Great Bay (Philipsburg) and Marigot, both capitals of St. Martin—in keeping with the traditional unity between the one people of both parts of our island nation. The venues of the much anticipated literary evening are selected in such a way that this feature is actually on tour around the island. The symposium of the St. Martin Book Fair is the Presidents’ Forum, hosted by USM (The first President’s Forum Award was presented in 2007 to the distinguished poet Kamau Brathwaite, a book fair guest author that year). The closing ceremony is always highlighted with the “main” or “feature” book launch of a new HNP title, normally published the same year in which the book fair takes place. Since 2005, with the installation of, and as a result of the organization and execution by the energetic Book Fair Committee (BFC), the widening activities to schools, senior citizens homes, the prison, and different districts, novel workshop ideas, and media appearances have involved at least 1,000 people directly and indirectly each year in the St. Martin Book Fair—and increasing. Public and private sponsorship and volunteerism make it possible for all book fair workshops, general sessions, and the opening and closing ceremonies to be free for all of the St. Martin people and visitors to “The Friendly Island.” CLF and HNP, the organizing foundations of St. Martin Book Fair, are non-profit NGOs.

The advertising sponsors and financial gifts and grants from friends, contributors and patrons of the arts have been most important in the development of the St. Martin Book Fair since its inception; and the volunteer, material, and financial support, gifts, and grants are encouraged, always welcomed and greatly appreciated.

We welcome one and all to have a “Sweet St. Martin” time at our Charismatically Caribbean book fair.

(© Lasana M. Sekou/House of Nehesi Publishers.)


Purpose and Objectives of the St. Martin Book Fair

Mission Statement

To develop a marketplace for the multifaceted and multimedia exhibition and promotion of books, periodicals and publishing technologies and to facilitate St. martin, Caribbean, and international exchange in these. To provide a meeting place for the exchange of ideas and information for all stakeholders in the literary industry through, workshops, seminars, reading, and cultural manifestations.


To be the dynamic platform for the books and information on and about St. Martin; establishing an eventful meeting place for the national literature of St. Martin and the literary cultures of the Caribbean; networking with literary cultures from around the world.


To support the right of the people of St. Martin to have full access to books, which are culturally and materially relevant to their reading needs.

To support the right to freedom of expression and the fullest possible exchange of ideas and information through books and other reading and knowledge-based materials.

To promote professional ethics and conduct and fair practice in St. Martin and Caribbean book and related industries.

To provide total customer satisfaction through personalized quality service to all St. Martin Book Fair participants and guests – in keeping with the “Friendly St. Martin” and “Charismatically Caribbean” experience.

Contact Information

Shujah Reiph
Book Fair Coordinator
Conscious Lyrics foundations
P.O. Box 774
Philipsburg, St. Martin
Email: consciouslyrics@yahoo.com

House of Nehesi Publishers
P.O. Box 460
Philipsburg, St. Martin
Email: nehesi@sintmaarten.net
Email: Houseofnehesipublish@gmail.com
Web: www.houseofnehesipublish.com


Launched at St. Martin Book Fair. A “must read‘ selection by Vogue magazine.
The Adulterous Citizen — poems, stories, essays by Tishani Doshi

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St. Martin Book Fair in the New York Daily News with Jared McCallister and in Writers Digest among “5 Great Caribbean Literary Festivals,” in the magazine’s travel feature by Antiguan author Joanne C. Hillhouse.

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New Books

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St. Martin Book Fair 2003
Our own voices
St. Martin Book Fair 2004
The history we make
St. Martin Book Fair 2005
The national book, a universal offering
St. Martin Book Fair 2006
Migration: Movement of the People
St. Martin Book Fair 2007
Writing Justice
St. Martin Book Fair 2008
St. Martin Book Fair 2009
St. Martin Book Fair 2010
St. Martin Book Fair 2011
Freedom of Expression
St. Martin Book Fair 2012
Forward …
St. Martin Book Fair 2013
Drum Beats
St. Martin Book Fair 2014
Crime & Punishment
St. Martin Book Fair 2015
The Word
St. Martin Book Fair 2016
The Science of It

House of Nehesi Studio

Dope Up RoughingsDope Up Roughings
“The Salt Reaper – Selected poems from the flats” © 2009 by Angelo Rombley, Big Eye Opener Studios.

“The Salt Reaper – Selected poems from the flats” © 2009 by Angelo Rombley, Big Eye Opener Studios.

“The Salt Reaper – Selected poems from the flats” © 2009 by Angelo Rombley, Big Eye Opener Studios.

Lasana Sekou, Saint Martin
Memoria del Festival Internacional de Poesía de Medellín.

Love Song Make You CrySelected reading from Nativity
by Lasana Sekou; Performance: Clara Reyes. Video courtesy: © 2006 Marguerite Laurent.

Profile of Tanny & The Boys

tanny & the boysTanny & The Boys is the premier string band of St. Martin, and some would dare say of the North Eastern Caribbean. The musical group remains remarkably popular with the young and the old; and it has entertained personages from the Mighty Sparrow, kaiso king of the world, to Queen Beatrix of the Dutch kingdom. Tanny & The Boys was founded in the late 1970s and has the distinction of being the oldest existing band—of uninterrupted music-making–on the island. Read more