You’ll remember that I tried to host a people’s choice for Antiguan and Barbudan book of the year at the end of 2017 that was dead on arrival (didn’t get close to the minimum number of votes needed to declare a winner). It was one of the most viewed posts of the year on the site but, for whatever reason, votes were very few. I was disappointed because I thought it was a fun way for fans to give a favourite book a boost – a boost for local literary arts overall. But, dey e dey.
That initiative was inspired by the Trinidad and Tobago People’s Choice book awards which was much better organized, resourced, and successful. They did it right and had quite the response, and a writer who might otherwise have flown under the radar (i.e. a writer who had not been in conversation vis-à-vis other awards coming out of TnT, like Bocas) gets some dap.
That writer is…
The overall winner, as chosen by the voting public, is Soulspection: A Collection of Poetry, by Michelle Borel.
The other books in the final voting round were (in alphabetical order by title):
21 Powerful P’s to Success, by Nichola Harvey
Don’t Go Mango Picking, by D.H. Gibbs
Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting, by Shivanee Ramlochan (also a Forward Prize Best First Collection 2018 nominee)
Men and Misfits, by Lyndon Baptiste
The Repenters, by Kevin Jared Hosein (also long listed for the 2017 Bocas prize)
Congratulations to all the finalists!
An initiative of the Bocas Lit Fest in partnership with Newsday and NALIS, the prize was intended to promote reading and buying of local books, and to get people talking about them. Judy Raymond, editor-in-chief of the Trinidad & Tobago Newsday, shared this sentiment, saying “Obviously as a news organization we want more people to read — and write — and this prize is a brilliant way to encourage people to do both! As the people’s paper we’re especially glad to be associated with a prize that’s awarded to a local writer by local readers.”
A total of 39 books were entered for judging, and Borel’s book earned the most votes from a finalists’ list of 6.
As with all content (words, images, other) on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure). All Rights Reserved. You can also subscribe to and/or follow the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks. And remember while linking and sharing the links, referencing and excerpting, with credit, are okay, lifting whole content (articles, images, other) from the site without asking is not cool. Respect copyright.