Wednesday, 30 March 2011

OCM Bocas Prize: Category winners announced for new Caribbean lit award

PEN WARRIORS: Edwidge Danticat, Derek Walcott, and Tiphanie Yanique

The finalists for the 2011 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature have been named. On Monday, the judges announced the winners of the three genre categories, who are now finalists for the overall Prize, which comes with an award of US$10,000.

NON-FICTION: Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat, who was given a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award” in 2009, is the category winner for her essay collection Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work, which the judges have described as “thoughtful, interesting, and varied in its insights, often moving, and beautifully written, in a passionate yet restrained style.”

POETRY: St. Lucian Nobel laureate Derek Walcott won for his book White Egrets, which has already been bestowed with the prestigious T.S. Eliot Prize. The collection has been hailed as “a superb collection . . . that speaks for all of us who live and love and can’t ever take our eyes off the wonder of the world around us.”

FICTION: How to Escape a Leper Colony, the debut collection of short fiction by Tiphanie Yanique of the US Virgin Islands claimed the prize. According to the judges, the book is “extremely touching but never sentimental. This is a wonderfully engaging gathering of stories by a genuinely gifted writer.”

The overall winner of the prize will be announced on April 30, during the first annual Bocas Lit Fest in Port of Spain, which takes place from April 28 to May 1.

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