Trinidad and Tobago's beloved literary festival, Bocas, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary, has released its book list by writers with roots in seven Caribbean territories for the 2020 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature.
The prize recognises nine books in poetry, fiction, and literary non-fiction, all published by Caribbean authors in the preceding year. The winner of the prize, worth US$10,000 will be announced in May. The festival itself was meant to take place from May 1-3, but given the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, it will is postponed to Sept. 18-20.
The 2020 long list includes seven women writers and a wide range of titles.
According to the judging panel, chaired this year by author Earl Lovelace, Trinidad-born, United States-based writer Lauren K. Alleyne's “Honeyfish” contains poems of legacy, inheritance, and survival.
“Skin Can Hold,” by acclaimed Trinidadian-Scottish poet, Vahni Capildeo, creates a “compelling, dazzling” world in which speakers react to writers and thinkers ranging from Martin Carter to Shakespeare.
From the British Virgin Islands comes poet Richard Georges’ “Epiphaneia,” set in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. In fiction, women writers own this category, and perhaps the best known of these is Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat. Her collection of eight short stories, “Everything Inside,” masterfully captures the broader repercussions of her characters’ situations and how their choices personally affect them — subtle and spellbinding at the same time.
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