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The OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature


The 2015 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature longlist will be announced in March 2015.


Please note that OCM Bocas Prize entries that miss the final deadline are not acknowledged or returned.




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



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


2014 OCM Bocas Prize Winner

As Flies to Whatless Boys by Robert Antoni was announced as the overall winner of the 2014 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature on Saturday 26 April during the 2014 NGC Bocas Lit Fest.


2014 OCM Bocas Prize Shortlist

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: 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)


2014 OCM Bocas Prize Longlist

2014 ocm bocas longlist covers


Robert Antoni: As Flies to Whatless Boys (Akashic Books)

Edwidge Danticat: Claire of the Sea Light (Alfred Knopf)

Kerry Young: Gloria (Bloomsbury Circus)



Edward Baugh: Black Sand: New and Selected Poems (Peepal Tree Press)

Malika Booker: Pepper Seed (Peepal Tree Press)

Lorna Goodison: Oracabessa (Carcanet)

Roger Robinson: The Butterfly Hotel (Peepal Tree Press)



Gaiutra Bahadur: Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture (University of Chicago Press)

Carole Boyce Davies: Caribbean Spaces: Escapes from Twilight Zones (University of Illinois Press)

Kei Miller: Writing Down the Vision: Essays and Prophecies (Peepal Tree Press)

Read more about the 2014 longlisted entries here.



Linton Kwesi Johnson, Overall Chair
Jamaica; based in United Kingdom

Marjorie Thorpe, Vice-Chair
Former academic and Commonwealth Writers’ Prize judge
Trinidad and Tobago



Mervyn Morris, Chair
Author and academic

Bernardine Evaristo
United Kingdom

James Christopher Aboud
Author and jurist
Trinidad and Tobago



Hazel Simmons-McDonald, Chair
Author, academic, and principal of the University of the West Indies Open Campus
St. Lucia

Neil Bissoondath
Trinidad and Tobago; based in Canada

Sunity Maharaj
Trinidad and Tobago



Kenneth Ramchand, Chair
Trinidad and Tobago

Zee Edgell
Belize; based in United States

Boyd Tonkin
Literary editor, UK Independent
United Kingdom


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)