The Trinidad and Tobago Literary Festival

The OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature

Nine writers from five territories have made the longlist for the 2015 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature.

2015 ocm bocas longlist covers

The 2015 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature longlist

The Prize longlist, announced by the judges on 8 March, 2015, includes three genre categories: poetry, fiction, and literary non-fiction. The winners in each category will be announced on 1 April, and the Prize will be presented on Saturday 2 May, during the fifth annual NGC Bocas Lit fest in Port of Spain. The overall winner will receive a US$10,000 award with smaller awards for the other winners.



  • Sounding Ground, by Vladimir Lucien (Peepal Tree Press)
  • The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion, by Kei Miller (Carcanet)
  • The Merchant of Feathers, by Tanya Shirley (Peepal Tree Press)



  • A Brief History of Seven Killings, by Marlon James (Riverhead)
  • House of Ashes, by Monique Roffey (Simon and Schuster)
  • Land of Love and Drowning, by Tiphanie Yanique (Riverhead)



  • Not for Everyday Use, by Elizabeth Nunez (Akashic)
  • King Short Shirt: Nobody Go Run Me, by Dorbrene E. O’Marde (Hansib)
  • Dying to Better Themselves: West Indians and the Building of the Panama Canal, by Olive Senior (UWI Press)

Read more about the longlist here


2015 Judges

  • Austin Clarke, Overall Chair
  • Marjorie Thorpe, Vice-Chair
    Former academic and Commonwealth Writers’ Prize judge
    Trinidad & Tobago



  • Laurence Breiner, Chair
    United States
  • Pamela C. Mordecai
  • Patience Agbabi 
    United Kingdom



  • Carolyn Cooper, Chair
  • Silvio Torres-Saillant
    Dominican Republic/United States
  • Bhaskar Sunkara
    Editor, Jacobin Magazine
    United States



  • Clare Alexander, Chair
    Literary Agent
    United Kingdom
  • Nalo Hopkinson
    Jamaica/United States
  • Ria Julien
    Literary Agent
    Trinidad & Tobago/United States


About the Prize

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, sponsored by One Caribbean Media. This year, the other category winners will also receive a cash award.

The inaugural OCM Bocas Prize, presented in April 2011, was won by Derek Walcott’s collection of poems White Egrets. The 2012 Prize was won by Earl Lovelace’s novel Is Just a Movie, the 2013 Prize was won by Monique Roffey’s novel Archipelago, and the 2014 Prize was won by Robert Antoni’s novel As Flies to Whatless Boys. 

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 2015 prize, a book must have been published in the calendar year 2014, and written by an author born in the Caribbean or holding Caribbean citizenship. Books must also have been originally written in English.

Download the full submission guidelines here.

The winner of the 2015 OCM Bocas Prize will be announced on 2 May 2015 at the fifth annual NGC Bocas Lit Fest. The submission deadline for books published between 1 January and 31 October, 2014 is 10 November, 2014. The deadline for books publishers between 1 November and 31 December, 2014 is 9 January, 2015.

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


2014 OCM Bocas Prize Winners

ocm bocas shortlist covers larger

From a longlist of ten titles in poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, the prize judges chose the winning book in each genre category:

  • 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)

Read more about the 2014 longlisted entries here.


2013 OCM Bocas Prize winners

  • 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 WINNER: 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)