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Longlist announced for 2018 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature

The longlist for the 2018 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature has been announced.

Considered ‘the leading literary award for Caribbean writers’, the prize recognises books by Caribbean authors published in the previous year in the categories of poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction.

The longlisted titles are:


  • Liviticus (Kamau Brathwaite, House of Nehesi)
  • Infidelities (Sonia Farmer, Poinciana Paper Press)
  • Madwoman (Shara McCallum, Alice James Books)


  • If I Had the Wings (Helen Klonaris, Peepal Tree Press)
  • Curfew Chronicles (Jennifer Rahim, Peepal Tree Press)
  • Tell No-One About This (Jacob Ross, Peepal Tree Press)

To be eligible for the prize, a book ‘must have been published in the past calendar year, and written by an author born in the Caribbean or holding Caribbean citizenship’. Books must also have been originally written in English.

The 2018 OCM Bocas Prize nonfiction judges, chaired by Trinidadian writer and editor Judy Raymond, made an unprecedented decision to name no titles to the longlist. ‘While a few books stood head and shoulders above the rest, even those had obvious shortcomings … we believe that this prize ought to be awarded for achievement, not for effort,’ said the judging panel, which also included Barbadian writer and editor Robert Edison Sandiford and UK-born, Trinidad-based writer and editor Jeremy Taylor.

The winners in the poetry and fiction categories will be announced on 2 April, and will comprise the shortlist from which the overall winner is selected. The overall winner will be announced on 28 April during the Bocas Lit Fest in Port-of-Spain and will receive a cash prize of US$10,000 (A$12,960) with the other category winner to receive US$3000 (A$3890).

For more information, visit the Bocas Lit Fest website.


Category: International news