GREAT BAY, St. Martin — Dr. Rhoda Arrindell and Nicole Cage are the winners of the “Presidents Award” from the St. Martin Book Fair 2019.
Arrindell and Cage accepted the award at the Main Book Launch and Closing Ceremony of the festival’s 17th edition, June 8. Corporate citizen Motorworld hosted the event at its glittering Showroom in Cole Bay, said book fair coordinator Shujah Reiph.
“The Presidents Award is presented to individuals and institutions whose work is noted for its excellence and for combining literary, cultural, and liberation components in the service of progress, of their people or nation, and of humanity,” said Lasana M. Sekou, projects director at House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).
Dr. Rhoda Arrindell is a St. Martin educator, leading linguist, and author of Language, Culture, and Identity in St. Martin. The former Humanities Division head at the University of St. Martin (USM) has taught English composition and literature.
Dr. Arrindell co-authored chapters in Agency in the Emergence of Creole Languages (Dr. Nicholas Faraclas, Ed.) and edited Brother Rich … , Creative Writing in St. Martin. In early June (following hurricane Irma’s destruction) she re-opened her youth sports academy and the multipurpose café, Source of Inspirational Learning (SoIL).
Nicole Cage, from Martinique, is an author, journalist, Spanish teacher, psychotherapist; and founder of the book publisher Cimarrón EdiProd.
Cage is also a recipient of the coveted Casa de las Américas prize for Arc-en-ciel, l’espoir, a children and young adults poetry collection. Her novels and poetry books include L’Espagnole, Palabras de paz por tiempos de Guerra, Dèyé pawol sé lanmou/Par-delà les mots, l’amour–Poèmes bilingue, and Vole avec elle.
The Presidents Award statue (always handcrafted of African wood and this year of Kenyan design), was presented to each awardee by Reiph and Dr. Antonio Carmona Báez, USM president. The audience of some 300 guests included authors from around the world, tourists who timed their vacation to coincide with the annual St. Martin Book Fair, and St. Martin’s people from all walks of life, said Sekou.
Previous winners of what the Daily Herald has called a “prestigious award,” include Kamau Brathwaite (Barbados), Benny Wenda (West Papua), Derek Walcott (St. Lucia), Dr. Quince Duncan (Costa Rica), Sir Roland Richardson (St. Martin), and Edwidge Danticat (USA).
Conscious Lyrics Foundation (CLF) and the Book Fair Committee organized the St. Martin Book Fair, June 6 – 8, 2019, in collaboration with strategic partner St. Maarten Tourist Bureau; University of St. Martin (USM); L.C. Fleming Foundation; Motorworld; SOS Radio; and Nagico. The Presidents Award is named after the presidents of CLF, HNP, and USM.