These two books received special commendation but did not make the longlist.
“Six books by writers from five Caribbean countries have been announced on the longlist for the 2018 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, sponsored by One Caribbean Media.
Considered 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. The writers on the 2018 longlist range from internationally celebrated prizewinners to debut authors.”
But there’s a twist:
‘The 2018 OCM Bocas Prize non-fiction judges have made an unprecedented decision to name no titles to the longlist. “While a few books stood head and shoulders above the rest,” write the judges, “even those had obvious shortcomings, and we believe that this prize ought to be awarded for achievement, not for effort.” None of the eligible books, the judges continue, “could be held to represent the best of regional writing.”’
The books that are counted among the best of the year (in Caribbean fiction) are If I had the Wings by Helen Klonaris, Curfew Chronicles by Jennifer Rahim, and Tell No-One about This by Jacob Ross; and (in Caribbean poetry) Liviticus by Kamau Brathwaite, Infidelities by Sonia Farmer, and Madwoman by Shara McCallum.
From the longlist genre winners are selected and then an overall winner; the overall winner will receive US$10,000 on April 28th 2018 during the Bocas literary festival in Trinidad.
Past winners of the overall prize are Derek Walcott (White Egrets, St. Lucia, 2011), Earl Lovelace (Is Just a Movie, Trinidad and Tobago, 2012), Monique Roffey (Archipelago, Trinidad and Tobago, 2013), Robert Antoni (As Flies to Whatless Boys, Trinidad and Tobago, 2014), Vladimir Lucien (Sounding Ground, St. Lucia, 2015), Olive Senior (The Pain Tree, Jamaica, 2016), and Kei Miller (Augustown, Jamaica, 2017).
The only Antiguan and Barbudan to have made the longlist to date is Dorbrene O’Marde, in 2015 longlisted in the non-fiction category for King Short Shirt: Nobody Go Run Me.
For more on the 2018 Bocas long list, visit here.
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