OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature 2022 longlist

The longlist for the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature 2022, with nine writers with roots in five different Caribbean countries, was announced on February 27, 2022.

The OCM (One Caribbean Media) Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature is an annual award for literary books by Caribbean writers, first handed out in 2011, based in Trinidad and Tobago. Books are judged in three categories: poetry; fiction — both novels and collections of short stories; and literary non-fiction — including books of essays, biography and autobiography, history, current affairs, travel, and other genres, which demonstrate literary qualities and use literary techniques, regardless of subject matter. Some of the previous overall winners of the prize have been Derek Walcott, Monique Roffey, Kei Miller, and Canisia Lubrin.

The judging panels for the chaired overall by Trinidadian-British writer Roger Robinson, winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize 2019 brings together Caribbean and international writers, critics, and literary organisers. Here are the longlisted writers with the judging panels in their respective categories announced on Sunday;

Poetry

Judges: Mayra Santos-Febres, Puerto Rican poet, academic, and executive director of Puerto Rico’s Festival de la Palabra (chair), Chloe Garner, artistic director of the UK’s Ledbury Poetry Festival, and Jamaican poet and critic Ishion Hutchinson.

  • Thinking with Trees, Jason Allen-Paisant  
  • What Noise Against the Cane, Desiree C. Bailey
  • Zion Roses, Monica Minott

Fiction

Judges: British academic and broadcaster Shahidha Bari (chair), T&T-born, US-based writer Anton Nimblett, and Canada-based scholar Christina Sharpe.

  • What Storm, What Thunder, Myriam J.A. Chancy
  • How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House, Cherie Jones
  • Pleasantview, Celeste Mohammed

Nonfiction

Judges: Belizean jurist, biographer, and himself a former winner of the OCM Bocas Prize for Non-Fiction Godfrey Smith (chair) Canada-based Jamaican writer Rachel Manley, and Guyanese-British writer Anita Sethi.

  • Cuba: An American History, Ada Ferrer
  • Things I Have Withheld, Kei Miller
  • The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime and Dreams Deferred, Chanda Prescod-Weinstein.

In the next stage the judges will announce the winners in the three genre categories on March 27. Each category winner will receive US$3,000. These will go on to compete for the overall Prize of US$10,000, to be announced on Saturday, April 30, during the twelfth annual NGC Bocas Lit Fest.