Bocas Lit Fest

The OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature is an annual award for literary books by Caribbean writers, first presented in 2011. 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.

There is a panel of three judges for each genre 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 determine the overall winner. 

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

Deadline for books published before 31 October, 2021, is 8 November, 2021. Books published between 31 October and 31 December, 2021, are accepted for entry by the second deadline, 7 January, 2022.  

For any queries about eligibility requirements or the submission process, please contact the prize administrators at

2022 OCM Bocas Prize Entry Form

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The 2021 Prize Winners

2021 OCM Bocas Prize shortlist book covers

In April 2021, the judges for the 2021 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature  announced that The Dyzgraphxst by Canisia Lubrin was the overall winner. The shortlist for the 2021 prize was made up of the winners in the three genre categories:

The Dyzgraphxst, by Canisia Lubrin (McClelland & Stewart)

These Ghosts Are Family, by Maisy Card (Simon & Schuster)

The Undiscovered Country
, by Andre Bagoo (Peepal Tree Press)

Past Winners

The Dyzgraphxst

By Canisia Lubrin

Published By McClelland & Stewart

2021 Overall Winner (Poetry)

The Undiscovered Country

By Andre Bagoo

Published By Peepal Tree Press

2021 Non-fiction Winner

These Ghosts Are Family

By Maisy Card

Published By Simon & Schuster

2021 Fiction Winner


By Richard Georges

Published By Out Spoken Press

2020 Overall Winner (Poetry)

Shame on Me: An Anatomy of Race and Belonging

By Tessa McWatt

Published By Scribe Publications

2020 Non-Fiction Winner

Everything Inside

By Edwidge Danticat

Published By Alfred A. Knopf

2020 Fiction Winner

Doe Songs

By Danielle Boodoo-Fortune

Published By Peepal Tree Press

2019 Poetry Winner

High Mas: Carnival and the Poetics of Caribbean Culture

By Kevin Adonis Browne

Published By University Press of Mississippi

2019 Overall Winner (Non-Fiction)


By Dionne Brand

Published By Alfred A. Knopf

2019 Fiction Winner


By Shara McCallum

Published By Peepal Tree Press

2018 Poetry Winner

Curfew Chronicles

By Jennifer Rahim

Published By Peepal Tree Press

2018 Overall Winner (Fiction)


By Safiya Sinclair

Published By University of Nebraska Press

2017 Poetry Winner


By Kei Miller

Published By Weidenfeld & Nicolson

2017 Overall Winner (Fiction)

A Walk Back in Time: Snapshots of the History of Trinidad and Tobago

By Angelo Bissessarsingh

Published By Queen Bishop Publishing

2017 Non-Fiction Winner


By Tiphanie Yanique

Published By Peepal Tree Press

2016 Poetry Winner

The Pain Tree

By Olive Senior

Published By Cormorant Books

2016 Overall Winner (Fiction)

The Gymnast and Other Positions

By Jacqueline Bishop

Published By Peepal Tree Press

2016 Non-Fiction Winner

Sounding Ground

By Vladimir Lucien

Published By Peepal Tree Press

2015 Overall Winner (Poetry)

Dying to Better Themselves: West Indians and the Building of the Panama Canal

By Olive Senior

Published By UWI Press

2015 Non-Fiction Winner

A Brief History of Seven Killings

By Marlon James

Published By Riverhead Books

2015 Fiction Winner


By Lorna Goodison

Published By Carcanet Press

2014 Poetry Winner

As Flies to Whatless Boys

By Robert Antoni

Published By Peepal Tree Press

2014 Overall Winner (Fiction)

Writing Down the Vision: Essays and Prophecies

By Kei Miller

Published By Peepal Tree Press

2014 Non-Fiction Winner

Fault Lines

By Kendel Hippolyte

Published By Peepal Tree Press

2013 Poetry Winner


By Monique Roffey

Published By Simon & Schuster

2013 Overall Winner (Fiction)

The Sky’s Wild Noise: Selected Essays

By Rupert Roopnaraine

Published By Peepal Tree Press

2013 Non-Fiction Winner

The Twelve-Foot Neon Woman

Published By Peepal Tree Press

2012 Poetry Winner

Is Just a Movie

By Earl Lovelace

Published By Faber & Faber

2012 Overall Winner (Fiction)

George Price: A Life Revealed

By Godfrey P. Smith

Published By Ian Randle Publishers

2012 Non-Fiction Winner

White Egrets

By Derek Walcott

Published By Farrar, Straus and Giroux

2011 Overall Winner (Poetry)

Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work

By Edwidge Danticat

Published By Vintage Books

2011 Non-Fiction Winner

How to Escape from a Leper Colony: A Novella and Stories

By Tiphanie Yanique

Published By Graywolf Press

2011 Fiction Winner

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