The OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature

The 2016 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature is now open for entries

About the Prize

The 2016 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature is open for entries.

The OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature is a major award for literary books by Caribbean writers. Books may be entered in three categories: poetry, fiction, and literary non-fiction. The prize includes an award of US$10,000 for the overall winner, sponsored by One Caribbean Media. The other category winners receive a cash award of US$3,000.

The OCM Bocas Prize has two stages. First, panels of distinguished judges select the best book in each of the three genre categories. Next, the chairs of the poetry, fiction, and non-fiction panels, joined by the overall chair and vice-chair of the prize, form a final prize jury to select the overall winner from the three genre winners.

To be eligible for the 2016 prize, a book must be published in the calendar year 2015, and written by an author born in the Caribbean or holding Caribbean citizenship. Books must also be originally written in English.

Download the full submission guidelines here. The submission deadlines for the 2016 Prize are 9 November, 2015 (for books published up to 31 October, 2015), and 8 January, 2016 (for books published between 1 November and 31 December, 2015).

For further information about the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, contact us at

2016 OCM Bocas Prize Judges

OVERALL CHAIRMAN: Dionne Brand (based in Canada)

VICE CHAIR: Marjorie Thorpe (based in Trinidad & Tobago)


Michael Dash – Chair (based in USA)
Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert  (based in USA)
Barbara Lalla (based in Trinidad & Tobago)


Ramabai Espinet – Chair (based in Canada)
Claire Armitstead (based in United Kingdom)
Marlon James (based in USA)


Gemma Robinson – Chair  (based in United Kingdom)
John Robert Lee (based in St. Lucia)
Vivek Narayanan (based in USA)

*Note to publishers: please contact us at for mailing addresses to send an entry directly to a judge based in your country.

2015 OCM Bocas Prize winners

ocm bocas prize 2015 shortlist covers

  • POETRY and OVERALL PRIZE: Vladimir Lucien: Sounding Ground (Peepal Tree Press)
  • FICTION: Marlon James: A Brief History of Seven Killings (Riverhead)
  • NON-FICTION: Olive Senior: Dying to Better Themselves: West Indians and the Building of the Panama Canal (UWI Press)

  2014 OCM Bocas Prize winners

ocm bocas shortlist covers larger

  • FICTION and OVERALL PRIZE: Robert Antoni: As Flies to Whatless Boys (Akashic Books)
  • POETRY: Lorna Goodison: Oracabessa (Carcanet)
  • NON-FICTION: Kei Miller: Writing Down the Vision: Essays and Prophecies (Peepal Tree Press)

 2013 OCM Bocas Prize winners

Books shortlisted for the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize

  • POETRY: Fault Lines, by Kendel Hippolyte (St. Lucia)
  • FICTION and OVERALL PRIZE: Archipelago, by Monique Roffey (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • NON-FICTION: The Sky’s Wild Noise: Selected Essays, by Rupert Roopnaraine (Guyana)

 2012 OCM Bocas Prize winners


  • POETRY: The Twelve-Foot Neon Woman, by Loretta Collins Klobah (Puerto Rico)
  • FICTION and OVERALL PRIZE: Is Just a Movie, by Earl Lovelace (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • NON-FICTION: George Price: A Life Revealed, by Godfrey P. Smith (Belize)

 2011 OCM Bocas Prize winners


  • POETRY and OVERALL PRIZE: White Egrets, by Derek Walcott (St. Lucia)
  • FICTION: How to Escape from a Leper Colony, by Tiphanie Yanique (US Virgin Islands)
  • NON-FICTION: Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work, by Edwidge Danticat (Haiti)