Bocas Lit Fest

Latest news: Pleasantview by Celeste Mohammed is the overall winner of the 2022 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature.

books shortlisted for the 2022 ocm bocas prize

The winners in the three genre categories, which formed the previously announced the shortlist for the overall prize, are:

Poetry

Thinking with Trees, by Jason Allen-Paisant (Carcanet Press)

Fiction

Pleasantview, by Celeste Mohammed (Ig Publishing/Jacaranda Books)

Non-fiction

Things I Have Withheld, by Kei Miller (Grove Atlantic/Canongate)

Nine books were previously longlisted for the prize:

Nine books longlisted for the 2022 OCM Bocas Prize

Poetry

Thinking with Trees, by Jason Allen-Paisant (Carcanet Press)

What Noise Against the Cane, by Desiree C. Bailey (Yale University Press)

Zion Roses, by Monica Minott (Peepal Tree Press)


Fiction

What Storm, What Thunder, by Myriam J.A. Chancy (Harper Perennial)

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House, by Cherie Jones (Little, Brown/Tinder Press)

Pleasantview, by Celeste Mohammed (Ig Publishing/Jacaranda Books)


Non-fiction

Cuba: An American History, by Ada Ferrer (Scribner)

Things I Have Withheld, by Kei Miller (Grove Atlantic/Canongate)

The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime and Dreams Deferred, by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein (Bold Type Books)

The 2022 shortlist will be announced on 27 March.

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 between 1 January and 31 October, 2021, was 8 November, 2021. Books published between 31 October and 31 December, 2021, were 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 info@bocaslitfest.com

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:

POETRY
The Dyzgraphxst, by Canisia Lubrin (McClelland & Stewart)

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

NON-FICTION
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

Epiphaneia

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)

Theory

By Dionne Brand

Published By Alfred A. Knopf

2019 Fiction Winner

Madwoman

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)

Cannibal

By Safiya Sinclair

Published By University of Nebraska Press

2017 Poetry Winner

Augustown

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

Wife

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

Oracabessa

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

Archipelago

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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