Bocas Lit Fest

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

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

2023 OCM Bocas Prize Entry Form

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Past winners of the OCM Bocas Prize

Overall and fiction winner: Pleasantview, by Celeste Mohammed
Poetry winner: Talking With Trees, by Jason Allen-Paisant
Non-fiction winner: Things I Have Withheld, by Kei Miller

Overall and poetry winner: The Dyzgraphxst, by Canisia Lubrin
Fiction winner: These Ghosts Are Family, by Maisy Card
Non-fiction winner: The Undiscovered Country, by Andre Bagoo

Overall and poetry winner: Epiphaneia, by Richard Georges
Fiction winner: Everything Inside, by Edwidge Danticat
Non-fiction winner: Shame on Me: An Anatomy of Race and Belonging, by Tessa McWatt

Overall and non-fiction winner: High Mas: Carnival and the Poetics of Caribbean Culture, by Kevin Adonis Browne
Poetry winner: Doe Songs, by Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné
Fiction winner: Theory, by Dionne Brand

Overall and fiction winner: Curfew Chronicles, by Jennifer Rahim
Poetry winner: Madwoman, by Shara McCallum
There was 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”

Overall and fiction winner: Augustown, by Kei Miller
Poetry winner: Cannibal, by Safiya Sinclair
Non-fiction winner: Virtual Glimpses into the Past/A Walk Back in Time: Snapshots of the History of Trinidad and Tobago, by Angelo Bissessarsingh

Overall and fiction winner: The Pain Tree, by Olive Senior
Poetry winner: Wife, by Tiphanie Yanique
Non-fiction winner: The Gymnast and Other Positions, by Jacqueline Bishop

Overall and poetry winner: Sounding Ground, by Vladimir Lucien
Fiction winner: A Brief History of Seven Killings, by Marlon James
Non-fiction winner: Dying to Better Themselves: West Indians and the Building of the Panama Canal, by Olive Senior

Overall and fiction winner: As Flies to Whatless Boys, by Robert Antoni
Poetry winner: Oracabessa, by Lorna Goodison
Non-fiction winner: Writing Down the Vision: Essays and Prophecies, by Kei Miller

Overall and fiction winner: Archipelago, by Monique Roffey
Poetry winner: Fault Lines, by Kendel Hippolyte
Non-fiction winner: The Sky’s Wild Noise: Selected Essays, by Rupert Roopnaraine

Overall and fiction winner: Is Just a Movie, by Earl Lovelace
Poetry winner: The Twelve-Foot Neon Woman, by Loretta Collins Klobah
Non-fiction winner: George Price: A Life Revealed, by Godfrey P. Smith

Overall and poetry winner: White Egrets, by Derek Walcott
Fiction winner: How to Escape from a Leper Colony, by Tiphanie Yanique
Non-fiction winner: Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work, by Edwidge Danticat

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