The OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature 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$3,000.
To be eligible for entry for the 2019 prize, a book must:
Submissions must be accompanied by a completed entry form and entry fee.
Curfew Chronicles, a collection of linked short stories by writer Jennifer Rahim of Trinidad and Tobago, has been named the winner of the 2018 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature.
For further details of the shortlisted books, see the full announcement.
For further details of the longlisted books and honourable mentions, see the full announcement.
Lorna Goodison, Chief judge Author, Jamaica; based in Canada
Vahni Capildeo, Chair Author, Trinidad and Tobago; based in United Kingdom
Loretta Collins Klobah Author and scholar, Puerto Rico
Danielle Legros Georges Author, Haiti; based in United States
Evelyn O’Callaghan, Chair Scholar, Jamaica; based in Barbados
Maya Jaggi Author and critic, United Kingdom
Kei Miller Author, Jamaica; based in United Kingdom
Judy Raymond, Chair Author and editor, Trinidad and Tobago
Robert Edison Sandiford Author and editor, Barbados
Jeremy Taylor Author and editor, United Kingdom; based in Trinidad and Tobago
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.”
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)