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Bajan writers feel pressured

Yvette Best

Bajan writers feel pressured

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BARBADOS HAS an excellent community of writers – but they need help from bookstores.
That is the opinion of three local writers who were featured during a reading at the Barbados Public Library on Saturday.
Writers D.J. Simmons, Robert Sandiford and Karen Lord made the comments during a session in which they read excerpts from their works, as well as those of Dan Chaok, Margaret Atwood and Richard Holmes respectively.
The reading was the final event for National Library Week.
During the question and answer segment of the programme, the three writers said they were part of a network, sharing information, working together on projects and supporting each other’s performances.
They said they were still having issues with bookstores.
Lord, author of Redemption In Indigo, said the bookstores did not have as “much interest in local writers as they should”. 
She reasoned that visitors to the island would more want to pick up a local book rather than one written by a foreign author, which they could easily buy at home.She suggested that bookstore owners should become more acquainted with what was happening in Barbados and the region among the writers.
Her sentiments were echoed by Simmons and Sandiford. Sandiford said a “greater push” internationally for marketing of local works was needed. 
Simmons, who is a full-time writer, said he would like to see a single database or point of reference where information on all local works and writers could be found.
Director of the Library Service Annette Smith said the library had facilitated readings in the past and would be looking to have them on a regular basis.