The Caribbean Writer has announced the prize winners for its Volume 33 edition. Winners in the various categories are as follows:
The Daily News Prize to an author of fiction or an essay from the British Virgin Islands or the U.S. Virgin Islands goes to Winston “Bobby” Nugent for his essay “The Rim.” Nugent was born in Spanish Town, Jamaica, and grew up on St. Croix. He is a writer with the U.S. Virgin Islands Legislature.
The Canute A. Brodhurst Prize for best short fiction goes to Cyril Dabydeen for “How Far Do We Go?” Dabydeen’s recent books include “My Undiscovered Country” (Mosaic Press), “God’s Spider”/poetry (Peepal Tree Press, U.K.), “My Multi-Ethnic Friends and Other Stories” (Guernica Editions, Toronto). Previous books include: “Jogging in Havana” (1992), “Black Jesus and Other Stories” (1996), “Berbice Crossing” (1997), “My Brahmin Days” (2000), “North of the Equator” (2001), “Play a Song Somebody: New and Selected Short Stories” (2003), “Imaginary Origins: New and Selected Poems” (2005) and the novel “Drums of My Flesh” (2007). He has been published in over 60 literary magazines and anthologies, e.g., The Critical Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Canadian Literature and in the Oxford, Penguin and Heienmann Books of Caribbean Poetry and Short Stories. He edited “Beyond Sangre Grande: Caribbean Writing Today” (Tsar/Mawenzi House, Toronto). He has taught creative writing at the University of Ottawa for many years.
The Marvin E. Williams Literary Prize for a new or emerging writer goes to Sylene Joseph for her poem “Force Ripe.” Joseph is a West Indian poet, born and raised on Antigua, with ties to Dominica. She relocated to the U.S. Virgin Islands in her late teens and later studied in Trinidad for four years. Joseph has a poetry blog, “From SylJoe with Love,” and is currently working on several poetry manuscripts.
The Cecile de Jongh Literary Prize to a Caribbean author whose work best expresses the spirit of the Caribbean goes to Portia Subran for her short story “Twice the World.” Subran is a Trinidadian artist and writer. In 2013, she won Potbake Productions’ 2011-2013 Caribbean Short Story Competition with her work “Unclipped Wings,” published in the short story anthology “Jewels of the Caribbean.” Her short story, “A New Life in a New Time,” was published in the 2016 speculative anthology “New Worlds, Old Ways: Speculative Tales from the Caribbean.” She won the Small Axe Short Story Competition in 2016 for her piece “Mango Feast,” published in Small Axe Volume 53. Her entry “They Sleep in the Swamp,” was longlisted for the 2019 Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writer’s Prize (JAACWP) for prose fiction.
The Vincent Cooper Literary Prize to a Caribbean author for exemplary writing in Caribbean Nation Language (Kamau Brathwaite) goes to Isabelle Baafi for her poem “Blouse and Skirt.” Baafi is a British writer and filmmaker of South African descent. Her work has been published in Allegro, Moko Magazine, Litro, Kalahari Review and elsewhere. She is currently working on her debut poetry collection.
The Boyce Literary Prize to an author whose work best expresses the changing social dynamics of the Caribbean goes to Kerlyne Hilaire for “Zilde.” Hilaire is a Haitian American writer, mother and advocate for self-love. She has a master’s in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor’s in English literature from the University of Central Florida. She is CEO of Lit Nest LLC and founder of Nesta Publishing House – an organization dedicated to the publishing of rebellious art. Her published works can be found in the Caribbean American Passport and VIBE Magazine.
The Caribbean Writer appreciates the tremendous support of its prize sponsors. It is evident that their generosity is carving new inroads and casting new futures in literacy and literature within the Virgin Islands, the broader Caribbean and regions beyond.
For more information on The Caribbean Writer, visit www.thecaribbeanwriter.org.