News Releases

Oonya Kempadoo to Read at UWI’s 20th Campus Literature Week

For Release Upon Receipt - March 16, 2018

St. Augustine

The Faculty of Humanities and Education’s (FHE) Department of Literary, Cultural and Communication Studies (LCCS) presents their 20th annual Campus Literature Week (CLW) under the theme, Conjurers, Liberators, Wordsmiths. The week will run from March 19 to 23 with daily Noontime Readings with students, staff, alumni, established Trinidadian writers and two junior writers from Dominica who were specially invited as part of Hurricane Maria outreach efforts. Oonya Kempadoo will also be the Feature Reader for the closing night’s Gala Reading and Closing Ceremony. 

Noontime Readings take place from noon to 1pm at JFK Quadrangle with writers reading as follows:

  • March 19 | Lisa Allen-Agostini, Keith Jardim, Otancia Noel, David King, Dr. Muli Amaye
  • March 20 | Sharon Millar, Celeste Mohammed, Celia Sorhainado, Gilberte O’Sullivan, Randy Ablack
  • March 21 | Rhoda Bharath, Lisa LaTouche, Rakhee Kissoon, June Aming, Sammarko Lightbourne
  • March 22| Barbara Lalla, Kavita Rajpath, Garvin Parsons, Chennel Cupid, Alake Pilgrim
  • March 23 | Angelique Nixon, Anna Levi, Bindu Maharaj, Vanessa Salazar, Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw

The Gala Reading and Closing Ceremony takes place March 23 from 5 to 7pm at the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) Auditorium B; followed by a reception on the LRC Greens (light refreshments will be served).There will be a performance by a Spoken Word Artist. 

When asked about her role as the 2018 Writer-in-Residence, Oonya stated in the February 2018 UWI TODAY issue, she stated: “I was very happy to receive the invitation because, for all the years that I have lived and worked in the arts in Trinidad, I have not connected with UWI. So, to connect with the academic Caribbean in Trinidad is an honour. I’m very happy to have the opportunity to interact with Trinidadian students and see how I can help in any way. Trinidad has been very influential in me beginning to write and in my writing … This for me is really special because, after Guyana, Trinidad is my home and I feel a part [of it] and I know enough about the culture, the language, the complex politics and all of the drama that goes with Trinidad.”

For more information, please contact: Adeltrude Bain (Miss)| Department of Literary, Cultural & Communication Studies (LCCS) Faculty of Humanities and Education at 662-2002 ext. 83028 or email:

About Oonya Kempadoo

Oonya Kempadoo, is a citizen of Guyana, Grenada and England and works in the Caribbean region as a social development researcher and writer. A student in fine art and a 10 year 'apprenticeship' with international artistic director and carnival designer, Peter Minshall (collaborator with Jean-Michel Jarre), Kempadoo trained in prototype and graphic design and illustration, from Trinidad to Olympic opening ceremonies for Barcelona and Atlanta.  She tried writing as a project in 1997 and her first novel, Buxton Spice (1998), was bid for by top UK publishers, long-listed for the Orange Prize and translated into six languages. Her second novel Tide Running won a Casa De Las Americas 2002 prize, was also well received on both sides of the Atlantic and Kempadoo was named a “Great Talent for the 21st Century” by the Orange Prize judges. Her latest novel, All Decent Animals, (FSG, New York, 2013), was listed #6 on Oprah Winfrey’s summer reads. Kempadoo was awarded a US Fulbright Scholarship for the development of her current work in progress Naniki - a speculative fiction, multi-media, eco-social project, in 2013.  In 2015 she was awarded professional membership of PEN America, in recognition for her contribution to literature. Co-founder and Director of Grenada Community Library, started in response to the absence of a National Public Library in 2013, Kempadoo can be considered a creative practitioner and activist.


About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, The UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. The UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website:

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)