Bocas Long List Announced (Now with update re the Short List)

The Bocas Short List has been Announced and (you know where you are; we at Wadadli Pen still wish to see more Antiguans and Barbudans – as far as Bocas is concerned we’ve had only one make the long list ever – and more smaller islanders – there’ve been a few – but…) Yay! Wadadli Pen fam Danielle Boodoo Fortune has made the cut. Boodoo Fortune, a Trinidad and Tobago writer and artist, you may remember was a Wadadli Pen judge in 2014 – 2015, and has contributed some of her art products as prizes as well; you’ve also seen me hype her up around here since we were on a women writers panel together in 2008, and talk about her through the years sharing interviews and her poetry and art in our Reading Room and Gallery series (as I write this I literally remember a participant in one of my Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project saying “wow” in that full of wonder way on reading one of her poems which I had brought to the session), and most recently celebrate her as illustrator of my book Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure. She’s one of the illustrators I recommended to my publisher specifically because I thought her aesthetic was right for the project. Bottom line, I’m a Dani fan and like I said, she’s Wadadli Pen fam so we’re rooting for her debut collection Doe Songs to take the win. She’s dope; we’ve been knowing it and saying it. On the subject of Doe Songs, the Santa Barbara Independent recently complimented “the fanciful shape of her concrete poems …(and) her deft use of imagery and metaphor”. If you’ve read any of her poetry or seen her art for that matter, even if you haven’t read Doe Songs, you know what they mean. Danielle for the win! (Yes, we’re showing our hand). That said, shout out Dionne Brand and Kevin Adonis Browne, also short listed for Theory and High Mas respectively. All three writers are from Trinidad and Tobago. Bocas, administered out of Trinidad, is the only book prize of its type specific to the region (and a substantial monetary prize as well). Congrats to them on another successful year and to the judges (we know this isn’t easy work), but especially congrats to all the long and short listed writers for all the good writing and reading and for continuing to raise the bar. Here’s the full report:

Wadadli Pen

Doe SongsRicantations

Nine books by writers from four Caribbean countries have been announced on the longlist for the 2019 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, sponsored by One Caribbean Media.

Widely recognised as the leading literary award for Caribbean writers, the Prize recognises books in three genre categories — poetry, fiction, and literary non-fiction — published by Caribbean authors in the preceding year.

In the poetry category, the longlist brings together three writers considered part of a new wave of talent pushing Caribbean poetry in fresh directions. Doe Songs, the debut book by Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné of Trinidad and Tobago, “investigates the personal and the political, deploying a stunning range of imagery and themes,” write the judges. “Mothers and daughters, hunters and the hunted, metal and fire meet in this dazzling constellation of archetypes that moves us to a new understanding of the Caribbean landscape.” Loretta Collins Klobah of Puerto Rico is…

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