‘All of the stories are trying to find that crack in the wall, or in the mind, that can lead to something new.’
Georgina Godwin, host of the British Council Arts podcast, spoke to Helen Klonaris in Charleston during the Small Wonder Short Story Festival in September. Helen was the third British Council International Writer in Residence at the festival: a Bahamian writer, performer, activist and teacher who lives between the Bay Area, California and Nassau, Bahamas. Georgina also interviewed Tanya Andrews, Programme Director of Small Wonder, and Nicholas Laughlin, a Trinidadian writer and editor, who is also the programme Director of BOCAS Lit Fest, the Caribbean's biggest festival of words and stories.
'I have a really deep sense of rootedness in the Bahamas. It's the energy in my body I take wherever I go.'
First, Georgina spoke to Tanya Andrews as they strolled through the gardens of Charleston, discussing the artistic context surrounding Small Wonder and the British Council’s International Writer in Residence programme. Then Helen Klonaris speaks about activism, identity, and place in her life and writing. Finally, Nicholas Laughlin talks about his ongoing work with BOCAS building audiences for Caribbean writers nationally and internationally.
‘Just being in touch with the festival began to spark off new ideas. I felt as if there was a wind moving through me and opening up all the doors and windows.'
The Small Wonder Short Story Festival takes place every year at Charleston, a farmhouse in East Sussex associated with the influential group of artists, writers, and intellectuals known as the Bloomsbury Group. An annual celebration of the short story, Small Wonder is both international and local, and welcomes writers from a variety of traditions. This year included a special event designed to showcase and celebrate contemporary Caribbean writing.