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Festival Authors 2013

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The 2013 NGC Bocas Lit Fest included a line-up of over 70 writers, speakers, and performers. View the text-only version of this page.

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James Christopher Aboud

Poet
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James Christopher Aboud has published two volumes of poems, The Stone Rose and Lagahoo Poems. In 1995 he won the James Rodway Prize for Poetry awarded by Derek Walcott’s Rat Island Foundation. He was appointed a Trinidad and Tobago High Court judge in 2010.
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Ibrahim Ahmad

Senior editor at Akashic Books
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Ibrahim Ahmad is senior editor at Akashic Books, an award-winning Brooklyn-based independent publishing company. He leads frequent workshops with the Algonkian Writers Conferences and the New York Writers Workshop, where he also serves on the board of directors.
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Funso Aiyejina

Poet, short story writer and playwright
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Funso Aiyejina is a Nigerian writer based in Trinidad. He is dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine.
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Lisa Allen-Agostini

Writer of fiction and poetry
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Lisa Allen-Agostini is a writer of fiction and poetry, co-editor of the Trinidad Noir anthology, and founder of the Allen Prize for Young Writers.
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Robert Antoni

Fiction judge, 2013 OCM Bocas Prize
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Robert Antoni was born in the US of Trinidadian parents and grew up in the Bahamas. His most recent novel, Carnival, was shortlisted for the 2006 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize. He currently teaches fiction writing at Columbia University, New York. He is a fiction judge for the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize.
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Marion Bethel

Chair - Poetry judges, 2013 OCM Bocas Prize
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Marion Bethel is a Bahamian poet. She was awarded the Casa de las Américas Prize for her poetry collection Guanahani, My Love in 1995. She is also the chair of the poetry judges for the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize.
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Angelo Bissessarsingh

Historian
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Angelo Bissessarsingh is a historian from Siparia, Trinidad. He is the founder of the Virtual Museum of Trinidad and Tobago heritage resource, and writes a column titled “Back in Time” for the Trinidad Guardian.
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Hugh Blanc

Novelist
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Hugh M. Blanc attended St. Mary's College in Trinidad and later York University, Canada, where he studied Film and Creative writing. His first novel, Between Bodies Lie, received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews Magazine who called it, "A masterfully written exploration of the beauty and cruelty of love, as sharp as it is sensual."
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Ruth Borthwick

Chief Executive of Arvon
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Ruth Borthwick is Chief Executive of Arvon, the leading UK charitable organisation promoting creative writing. She is former Head of Literature and Talks at the Southbank Centre, London.
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Danielle Boodoo- Fortuné

Poet
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Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné is a poet and artist living in Trinidad. She was awarded the Charlotte and Isidor Paiewonsky Prize by the Caribbean Writer in 2009, and is the poetry winner of the 2012 Small Axe Literary Competition.
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Bridget Brereton

Historian
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Bridget Brereton is professor emerita of history at UWI, St. Augustine, and author of From Imperial College to University of the West Indies: A History of the St. Augustine Campus, among other books.
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Michael A. Bucknor

Chair - Fiction judges, 2013 OCM Bocas Prize
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Michael A. Bucknor is a lecturer in the Department of Literatures in English, UWI, Jamaica, and chair of the Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (ACLALS). He is also the chair of the fiction judges for the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize.
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Margaret Busby

Publisher
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Margaret Busby, OBE, is a British writer and publisher. She co-founded the publishing firm Allison and Busby and works widely in publishing in the UK.
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Vahni Capildeo

Poet
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Vahni Capildeo is a Trinidad-born writer, based in the UK since 1991. She has published four books of poetry, most recently Dark and Unaccustomed Words (2012), longlisted for the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize.
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Roslyn Carrington

Novelist
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Roslyn Carrington is a freelance writer and novelist based in Trinidad. She has published three literary novels under her own name and nine romance novels under the name Simona Taylor.
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Savrina Chinien

Lecturer in French Literature
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Savrina Chinien, born inMauritius, is lecturer in Frenchand Francophone Literatureand Film at the University ofthe West Indies, St. Augustine.She is a scholar of the worksof Patrick Chamoiseau.
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Teju Cole

Novelist
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Teju Cole is the Nigerian author of the award-winning novel, Open City, as well as an art historian, street photographer, and Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College.
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John Cowley

Carnival & music researcher
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John Cowley is a Carnival and music researcher, and the author of Carnival, Canboulay and Calypso, the seminal history of Trinidad and Tobago Carnival.
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Cyril Dabydeen

Poetry judge, 2013 OCM Bocas Prize
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Cyril Dabydeen, born in Guyana, currently teaches in the Department of English, University of Ottawa. He has written nine books of poetry, five of stories, and four novels, the latest being Drums of My Flesh. He is a poetry judge for the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize.
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Martin Daly

Columnist and former Senator
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Martin Daly, SC, is a Senior Counsel of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and a former senator. He writes a weekly column in the Trinidad Express on current affairs, with emphasis on the importance of art and culture to the well being of the society.
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Anthony de Verteuil

Historian
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Anthony de Verteuil, C.S.Sp., is the former principal of St. Mary’s College, a historian, and a renowned academic who has produced several books on the history of Trinidad and Tobago.
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Elise Dillsworth

Literary agent
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Elise Dillsworth worked for thirteen years at Virago Press before becoming a literary agent and founding the Elise Dillsworth Agency in London in 2012. She is the co-founder and chair of the Diversity in Publishing Network. She is also a fiction judge for the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize.
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Chris Dolan

Novelist and screenwriter
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Chris Dolan is an award-winning author, playwright and literary critic from Glasgow, Scotland. His most recent book is Redlegs.
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Alison Donnell

Professor of modern literatures at University of Reading
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Alison Donnell is Professor of Modern Literatures in English at the University of Reading, and co-editor of the Routledge Companion to Anglophone Caribbean Literature.
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Helen Drayton

Novelist and poet
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Helen Drayton is a writer, poet, artist, lecturer, and independent senator in the parliament of Trinidad and Tobago.
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Richard Drayton

Chair - Non-fiction judges, 2013 OCM Bocas Prize
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Richard Drayton is a Guyana-born historian and currently Rhodes Professor of Imperial History at King’s College London. He is author of Nature’s Government: Science, Imperial Britain, and the “Improvement” of the World (Yale University Press, 2000). He is the chair of the non-fiction judges for the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize.
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Ryan Durgasingh

Literary scholar
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Ryan Durgasingh is an MPhil student in Literatures in English at UWI, St. Augustine, where he also teaches lingusitics. He is an editor and interviewer for The Spaces Between Words podcast.
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Sonia Farmer

Poet and publisher
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Sonia Farmer is a Bahamian writer, author of two chapbooks. She was poetry winner of the 2011 Small Axe Literary Competition, and she is the founder of Poinciana Paper Press.
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Ifeona Fulani

Writer
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Ifeona Fulani is a Jamaican writer, currently teaching at New York University. Her most recent book is a collection of short stories titled Ten Days in Jamaica.
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Arnold Gibbons

Former cricketer
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Arnold Gibbons made hisfirst class cricket debut forBritish Guiana in 1953, againstIndia at Bourda. He wenton to become Professor ofCommunications at HunterCollege, City University of NewYork.
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Paula Gopee-Scoon

Member of Parliament
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Paula Gopee-Scoon is a Member of the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago, and a former Minister of Foreign Affairs.
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Colin Grant

Historian and BBC Radio Producer
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Colin Grant, born in the UK of Jamaican parents, is a historian and producer for BBC Radio. He is the author of Bageye at the Wheel and the acclaimed biography of Marcus Garvey, Negro with a Hat.
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Jackie Hinkson

Artist
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Jackie Hinkson is a prominent Trinidadian artist. What Things Are True, his autobiography, was published in 2012 to accompany a retrospective of his work at the National Museum and Art Gallery in Port of Spain.
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Kendel Hippolyte

Poet - winner of the 2013 OCM Prize for Poetry
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Kendel Hippolyte is a St. Lucian poet and playwright. His most recent book, Fault Lines, is the winner of the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize for Poetry.
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Marlon James

Novelist
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Marlon James is a Jamaican writer, currently a professor of literature and creative writing at Macalester College in Minnesota. He is the author of The Book of Night Women and John Crow’s Devil.

Marlon James talking about his novel The Book of Night Women. http://youtu.be/7XcnJVWBfdI
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Barbara Jenkins

Fiction writer
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Barbara Jenkins is a Trinidadian writer. Her debut book of short stories, Sic Transit Wagon, is forthcoming from Peepal Tree Press.
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Deborah John

Journalist
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Deborah John has been a journalist for over thirty years. She also writes poetry and fiction, and is interested in the history and evolution of Trinidad and Tobago’s carnival and calypso. She is currently the Publications Editor for News and Features with the Trinidad Express.
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Oonya Kempadoo

Novelist
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Oonya Kempadoo, based in Grenada but born in England of Guyanese parents, is author of Buxton Spice and Tide Running, winner of the Casa de las Américas Literary Prize for best English or Creole novel. Her latest novel is All Decent Animals.
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Barbara Lalla

Novelist
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Barbara Lalla is professoremerita of language andliterature at UWI, St.Augustine, and author of thenovels Cascade and Arch ofFire.
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Nicholas Laughlin

Editor
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Nicholas Laughlin is editorof Caribbean Beat and TheCaribbean Review of Books,and programme director ofthe NGC Bocas Lit Fest.
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Earl Lovelace

Novelist
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Earl Lovelace is a Trinidadian writer. His books include the Caribbean classic The Dragon Can’t Dance, and Salt, winner of the 1997 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. His novel Is Just A Movie won the 2012 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature and Grand Prize for Caribbean Literature, from the Regional Council of Guadeloupe.
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Hannah Lowe

Poet
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Hannah Lowe, born in the UK to a Jamaican father, is an award-winning poet. Her first full collection, Chick, was published by Bloodaxe in 2013.
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Mark Lyndersay

Journalist
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Mark Lyndersay is a Trinidadian photographer and journalist. His Trinidad Guardian column BitDepth is the longest running newspaper column reporting on technology in the country.
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Kellie Magnus

Children's fiction writer
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Kellie Magnus, author of Caribbean Street Food, is a Jamaican journalist and author of the popular children’s Little Lion series set in Jamaica. She writes for the New York editions of the Daily News and The Jamaica Gleaner.
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Sunity Maharaj

Director of the Lloyd Best Institute of the West Indies
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Sunity Maharaj is a media professional of thirty-five years’ experience. She is currently Director of the Lloyd Best Institute of the West Indies.
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Ralph Maraj

Playwright, actor, politician
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Ralph Maraj is a former politician, Cabinet minister and teacher, and also a playwright and actor, having distinguished himself in the lead role of the film Bim.
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Diana McCaulay

Novelist
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Diana McCaulay is a Jamaican writer, newspaper columnist and environmental activist. She is the author of two novels: Dog-Heart and Huracan, and she was the Caribbean regional winner of the 2012 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.
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Antonia MacDonald-Smythe

Non-fiction judge, 2013 OCM Bocas Prize
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Antonia MacDonald-Smythe was born and grew up in St. Lucia. She now lives in Grenada, where she is a professor in the department of Liberal Studies, Senior Associate Dean in the School of Arts and Sciences, and Assistant Dean in the Graduate Studies Program at St. George’s University. She is a non-fiction judge for the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize.
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Ian McDonald

Poet
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Ian McDonald, born in Trinidad and based in Guyana, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has published five collections of poetry, most recently The Comfort of All Things.
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Pankaj Mishra

Novelist, literary critic, historian
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Pankaj Mishra is an Indian literary and political essayist whose writing has been widely anthologized. He has published five books, most recently From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia.
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Deryck Murray

President of the Queen’s Park Cricket Club
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Deryck Murray is President of the Queen’s Park Cricket Club and former wicketkeeper for the West Indies cricket team from 1963 to1980. His 1963 record for the most dismissals by a West Indies wicketkeeper in a Test series is unbroken. He is Chairman of the Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute.
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Susheila Nasta

Editor
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Susheila Nasta, MBE, is editor of Wasafiri, the magazine of international contemporary writing which she founded in 1984. Currently Professor of Modern Literature at the Open University, she has published widely on the Caribbean, Black British and South Asian diasporas. She is literary executor for the estate of Sam Selvon.
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Courttia Newland

Novelist
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Courttia Newland is a Jamaican writer based in the UK. His latest novel, The Gospel According to Cane, was published by Akashic Books (US) and Telegram (UK) in 2013.
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Marsha Pearce

Writer and cultural studies PhD candidate
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Marsha Pearce is a writer, artist, and cultural studies PhD candidate at the University of the West Indies. She is also the 2006 recipient of the Rex Nettleford Cultural Studies Fellowship.
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Alake Pilgrim

Fiction writer
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Alake Pilgrim is a fictionwriter, winner of twoCommonwealth Short Storyawards and a fiction prizein the Small Axe LiteraryCompetition.
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BC Pires

Journalist
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B.C. Pires is a Barbados-basedTrinidadian journalistbest known for his satiricalcolumn, Thank God It’s Friday,which appears in the TrinidadGuardian. Thank God It’sFriday, a collection of his bestcolumns, was published in2005.
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Jeremy Poynting

Publisher
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Jeremy Poynting is the founder and Managing Editor of the UK publishing house Peepal Tree Press, the largest publisher of Caribbean literature in the UK.
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Kenneth Ramchand

Literary critic
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Kenneth Ramchand is one of the Caribbean’s most distinguished literary critics, author of the seminal study The West Indian Novel and Its Background (1970). He is professor emeritus of West Indian literature at the University of the West Indies and former president of the University of Trinidad and Tobago.
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Shivanee Ramlochan

Literary reviewer
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Shivanee Ramlochan is a Trinidadian arts reporter, literary reviewer, and book blogger. She is a graduate of the 2010 Cropper Foundation Residential Workshop for Caribbean Writers and was shortlisted for the 2012 Small Axe Literary Competition.
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Giselle Rampaul

Literary scholar
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Giselle Rampaul is a Trinidadian literary scholar, currently based at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. She is the founder and producer of The Spaces Between Words podcast.
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Carol Redhead

Fiction writer
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Carol Redhead is AssistantProfessor in Language andLiterature at the Universityof Trinidad and Tobago. Herfirst work of fiction, Rupturesinto Silence, was publishedin 2009. Her children’s bookMother Mooney Puppy Tales isin press.
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Ian Robertson

Professor of Psychology
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Ian Robertson is Professor of Psychology at Trinity College, Dublin, where he was founding director of the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience. He has more than two hundred published books and articles in this field. His most recent work is The Winner Effect: How Power Affects Your Brain.
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Roger Robinson

Poet and musician
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Roger Robinson is a Trinidadian writer and musician based in the UK. His books include the poetry collections Suitcase and Suckle, winner of the People’s Book Prize. In 2006 he released a solo album, Illclectica, and he is lead vocalist for King Midas Sound, whose critically acclaimed debut album Waiting for You was released on Hyperdub Records.
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Heather Rodney Diaz

Novelist
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Heather Rodney Diaz is a Trinidadian author of romance fiction. Her debut novel Island Pursuits (2012) is published by Crimson Romance.
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Monique Roffey

Novelist - winner of the 2013 OCM Prize for Fiction
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Monique Roffey is a Trinidadian writer based in London. Her third novel, Archipelago, is the winner of the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize for fiction.
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Rupert Roopnaraine

Essayist - winner of the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize for non-fiction
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Rupert Roopnaraine is a Guyanese writer, art critic, filmmaker, former cricketer, and political leader of the WPA. His essay collection The Sky’s Wild Noise is the winner of the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize for Non-Fiction.
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Beverley-Ann Scott

Novelist
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Beverly-Ann Scott was born and raised in Trinidad. She has a BSc in Information Systems and Management, and is a doctor of medicine. She is also a budding author, who recently published her second novel, Is America She Gone? Her debut novel, The Stolen Cascadura, was chosen by the National Library and Information System Authority (NALIS) for its One Book, One Community programme in 2012.
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Lawrence Scott

Novelist
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Lawrence Scott is a Trinidadian novelist and short story writer, winner of the 1998 Commonwealth Writers Prize. His most recent novel is Light Falling on Bamboo.
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Olive Senior

Chair of the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize
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Olive Senior is a Jamaican writer, currently based in Canada. She has published several prize-winning books, including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize-winning collection of stories, Summer Lightning, three other books of fiction, and four collections of poems. She is the overall chair of the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize.

Olive Senior interviewed by Honor Ford Smith. http://youtu.be/cs1i_GcNGU0
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Nicha Selvon- Ramkissoon

Literary scholar
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Nicha Selvon-Ramkissoon is a Trinidadian literary scholar, currently based at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine.
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Andrea Stuart

Historian and biographer
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Andrea Stuart, born in Barbados, has published three books, most recently Sugar in the Blood. She is Writer in Residence at Kingston University and teaches at the Faber Academy.
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Marjorie Thorpe

Vice-chair of the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize
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Marjorie Thorpe was Regional Chair of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Canada and the Caribbean), 2003 to 2005. A former University Dean of the Faculty of Arts and General Studies, UWI, she was subsequently appointed Trinidad and Tobago’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Deputy Director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean. She is the overall vice-chair of the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize.
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Jessie-May Ventour

Media professional
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Jessie-May Ventour is well known from her time as co-host of CNMG’s morning talk-show 'First Up'. A professional broadcaster, Jessie-May has over 20 years media experience. She has worked with various government ministries and agencies, and the United Nations, in the corporate communications field. She is currently Senior Communications Officer at the Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs.
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Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw

Short story writer
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Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw is author of the short story collection Four Taxis Facing North (2009), and a senior lecturer in francophone Caribbean literature at UWI, St. Augustine. Her first novel is forthcoming.
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Marina Warner

Writer of fiction, criticism and history
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Marina Warner, CBE, is a British writer of fiction, criticism, and history. Her work includes studies of the Virgin Mary and Joan of Arc, and more recently the Arabian Nights in Stranger Magic: Charmed states & the Arabian Nights, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. She is currently Professor in the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex.
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Irvine Welsh

Novelist
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Irvine Welsh is a Scottish novelist who has published seven novels and four collections of short stories, most recently Skagboys. He shot to fame in 1993 with his bestselling debut novel Trainspotting, later made into a film.
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Sarah White

Publisher
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Sarah White is co-founder and Managing Director of New Beacon Books in the UK. She is a founder member of the International Book Fair of Radical Black and Third World Books and of the George Padmore Institute.
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Kerry Young

Novelist
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Kerry Young, born in Jamaica to a Chinese father and mother of mixed Chinese-African heritage, is the author of two novels: Pao and Gloria.