Trinidad & Tobago Literary Festival

28.04.2011 - 01.05.2011


Trinidad and Tobago


Bocas Lit Fest - the Trinidad & Tobago Literary Festival

The Bocas Lit Fest, based in Trinidad and Tobago, is an annual celebration of books, writing, and writers. Launching in April 2011, the Bocas Lit Fest is an exciting new addition to the Caribbean’s literary calendar. The centrepiece of the festival will be the award ceremony for the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, a major new award for Caribbean writers of poetry, fiction, and literary non-fiction.

Boca is the Spanish word for mouth — the organ of speech and song and storytelling. And the Bocas del Dragón — the Dragon’s Mouths — are the narrow straits off Trinidad’s northwest peninsula, which connect the sheltered Gulf of Paria to the open Caribbean Sea. For centuries, the Bocas were the gateways connecting Trinidad to the Caribbean and the Atlantic. The Bocas Lit Fest invites readers from around the world to enter through the Dragon’s Mouths and celebrate with us the rich literary heritage of Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean.

2011 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature shortlist

A Nobel laureate, a MacArthur “genius” fellow, and a first-time author are finalists for the 2011 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, sponsored by One Caribbean Media.

On 28 March, 2011, the Prize 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.

Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat, who was previously given a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award” in 2009, is the non-fiction category winner for the 2011 OCM Bocas Prize, for her essay collection Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work. The judges describe the book as “thoughtful, interesting, and varied in its insights, often moving, and beautifully written, in a passionate yet restrained style.”

St. Lucian Nobel laureate Derek Walcott is the poetry category winner, for his book White Egrets, which has already won the prestigious T.S. Eliot Prize. The OCM Bocas Prize judges call it “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.”

The fiction category winner is How to Escape a Leper Colony, the debut short fiction collection by Tiphanie Yanique of the US Virgin Islands. “Extremely touching but never sentimental,” say the judges, “this is a wonderfully engaging gathering of stories by a genuinely gifted writer.”

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