The OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature

The judges have announced the shortlist for the 2019 Prize

OCM Bocas Prize 2019 shortlist covers

The judges for the 2019 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, sponsored by One Caribbean Media, have announced the winners of the three genre categories, which go on to form the shortlist for the overall prize.

POETRY

Doe Songs, by Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné (Peepal Tree Press)

FICTION

Theory, by Dionne Brand (Penguin Random House Canada)

NON-FICTION

High Mas: Carnival and the Poetics of Caribbean Culture, by Kevin Adonis Browne (University Press of Mississippi)

The overall winner of the 2019 OCM Bocas Prize will be announced on Saturday 4 May, 2019, at the NGC Bocas Lit Fest in Port of Spain.


 

The 2019 longlist, previously announced in March, included nine books by writers from four countries:

POETRY

Doe Songs, by Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné (Peepal Tree Press)
Ricantations, by Loretta Collins Klobah (Peepal Tree Press)
Giant, by Richard Georges (Platypus Press)

FICTION

Cut Guavas, by Robert Antoni (Peepal Tree Press)
Theory, by Dionne Brand (Penguin Random House Canada)
Kitch, by Anthony Joseph (Peepal Tree Press)

NON-FICTION

High Mas: Carnival and the Poetics of Caribbean Culture, by Kevin Adonis Browne (University Press of Mississippi)
The Slave Master of Trinidad: William Hardin Burnley and the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World, by Selwyn R. Cudjoe (University of Massachusetts Press)
A Response to Enslavement: Playing Their Way to Virtue, by Peter A. Roberts (University of the West Indies Press)

Read more about the longlisted books here.

A total of 72 books were entered for this year’s prize across the three genre categories, by writers from 14 different Caribbean territories.


 

The judges for the 2019 Prize are:

OVERALL CHAIR

Marina Warner (UK)

POETRY

Geoffrey Philp, Chair (Jamaica/US)
Andre Bagoo (T&T)
Nicole Sealey (USVI/US)

FICTION

Jane Bryce, Chair (Tanzania/Barbados)
Marcia Douglas (Jamaica/US)
Schuyler Esprit (Dominica)

NON-FICTION

Gary Younge, Chair (UK)
Ivette Romero (Puerto Rico/US)
Brinsley Samaroo (T&T)


 

About the OCM Bocas Prize

This is a major award for literary books by Caribbean writers. Books are judged in three categories: poetry; fiction — both novels and collections of short stories; and literary non-fiction — including books of essays, biography and autobiography, history, current affairs, travel, and other genres, which demonstrate literary qualities and use literary techniques, regardless of subject matter. (Note: textbooks, technical books, coffee-table books, specialist publications and reference works are not eligible.)

There is a panel of three judges for each category, who determine category shortlists and winners. The three category winners are then judged by a panel of four judges — consisting of the chairs of the category panels and the prize chair — who will determine the overall winner.

The author of the book judged overall winner will receive an award of US$10,000. The other category winners will receive cash awards of US$3,00

Poetry winner: Madwoman, by Shara McCallum (Peepal Tree Press/Alice James Books)
Fiction winner: Curfew Chronicles, by Jennifer Rahim (Peepal Tree Press)
There is no non-fiction winner for 2018, as the judges did not believe any of the eligible books “could be held to represent the best of regional writing.”

2017 ocm shortlist covers

POETRY: Cannibal, by Safiya Sinclair (University of Nebraska Press) FICTION & OVERALL WINNER: Augustown, by Kei Miller (Weidenfeld and Nicolson) NON-FICTION: Virtual Glimpses into the Past/A Walk Back in Time: Snapshots of the History of Trinidad and Tobago, by Angelo Bissessarsingh (Queen Bishop Publishing)

2016 OCM Bocas Prize winners

Books shortlisted for the 2016 OCM Bocas Prize

POETRY: Tiphanie Yanique: Wife (Peepal Tree Press) FICTION and OVERALL PRIZE: Olive Senior: The Pain Tree (Cormorant Books) NON-FICTION: Jacqueline Bishop: The Gymnast and Other Positions (Peepal Tree Press)

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 (Peepal Tree Press) FICTION and OVERALL PRIZE: Archipelago, by Monique Roffey (Simon and Schuster) NON-FICTION: The Sky’s Wild Noise: Selected Essays, by Rupert Roopnaraine (Peepal Tree Press)

 2012 OCM Bocas Prize winners

earl-lovelace-is-just-a-movie

POETRY: The Twelve-Foot Neon Woman, by Loretta Collins Klobah (Peepal Tree Press) FICTION and OVERALL PRIZE: Is Just a Movie, by Earl Lovelace (Faber) NON-FICTION: George Price: A Life Revealed, by Godfrey P. Smith (Ian Randle Publishers)

2011 OCM Bocas Prize winners

white-egrets

POETRY and OVERALL PRIZE: White Egrets, by Derek Walcott (Faber/Farrar, Straus and Giroux) FICTION: How to Escape from a Leper Colony, by Tiphanie Yanique (Graywolf) NON-FICTION: Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work, by Edwidge Danticat (Princeton)