Bocas News

News throughout each festival and all year round

Judge Spotlight – Marion Bethel

Chair of the poetry judging panel, Marion Bethel is a Bahamian writer of poetry, short fiction and essays. She has worked as an attorney since 1986, and is a graduate of Cambridge University. Bethel’s work has been published in prominent journals and literary magazines, including BIM, Poui, Callalloo, WomanSpeak, The Caribbean Writer and The Massachusetts Review. Anthologies in which her writing has appeared are Moving Beyond Boundaries, Wheel and Come Again and MaComère, the Journal of the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars.

In addition to these publishing credits, Bethel is also the author of two full volumes of poetry. Her first, Guanahani, My Love (1995) was the winner of the Casa de las Américas Prize, and was reissued by House of Nehesi Publishers in 2009. Her second volume of poetry, Bougainvillea Ringplay (2009) was published by Peepal Tree Press. In a special 2013 NGC Bocas Lit Fest themed issue of their quarterly newsletter, Paper Based Bookshop featured a spotlight review on Bethel’s latest collection, glowingly evincing that it

“semaphores a rich linguistic relationship: intersections are made between English and the poet’s Bahamian tongue, resulting in poems that tell the truth in magnificent variations of uttered sound. As with Hippolyte’s Fault Lines, these are unsettlingly honest navigations, too, housed in a style that is at once crisp and undulating, precise and generous in all it seeks to unveil. All of the reader’s senses are called upon in the process of absorbing Bougainvillea Ringplay: it enforces a series of transportive euphorias, as does the best work that seeks to delineate the shifting of seasons and the demarcation of desire.”

Where can you see Marion Bethel at this year’s festival?

  • Thursday, 25th April: A poetry session with Cyril Dabydeen. (10.30–11.30 am, AV Room)