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Junot Diaz, Anthony Winkler and Kendel Hippolyte Make Bocas Longlist

Bocas longlist book covers

The OCM Bocas Literary Festival has announced its longlist for the Bocas 2013 prize. The longlist features ten writers from six Caribbean countries across the competition’s three genre’s poetry, fiction and literary non-fiction. The overall winner of the prize, who will be announced on April 27, during the festival’s 3rd annual staging, receives an award of US$10,000.00.

Pulitzer prize winner Junot Diaz’s This Is How You Lose Her is among those longlisted in the fiction category which features three novels and a collection of linked short stories.  Diaz is the author of Drown and The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao which earned the National Book Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize. The Dominican-born writer is also currently vying for the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award which has a US$45,000 prize, the largest award for a short story competition.

Diaz goes up against God Carlos by Anthony Winkler (The Lunatic, The Annihilation of Fish and Other Stories, The Duppy and Coming Home to Teach);  Archipelago by Monique Roffey (Sun Dog and The White Woman on the Green Bicycle); and Light Falling on Bamboo by Lawrence Scott (Night Calypso, Ballad for the New World, and Witchbroom).

The three books of poetry which made the longlist are Dark and Unaccustomed Words by Vahni Capildeo (No Traveller Returns, Person Animal Figure and Undraining Sea); Fault Lines by Kendel Hippolyte (Island in the Sun, Side Two, The Labyrinth and Night Vision) and South Eastern Stages by Anthony Kellman (Watercourse, In Depths of Burning Lights, and The Broken Sun).

The Predicament of Blackness: Postcolonial Ghana and the Politics of Race by Jemima Pierre, The Sky’s Wild Noise by Rupert Roopnaraine and Andrea Stuart’s Sugar in the Blood: A Family’s Story of Slavery and Empire make up the literary non-fiction long list.

The panel of judges also made special mentions in the poetry and literary non-fiction categories. In the poetry category Ann-Margaret Lim’s The Festival of the Wild Orchid received a nod while in the literary non-fiction category special mention was made of Abolition and Plantation Management in Jamaica, 1807-1838 by Dave St. Aubyn Gosse and Roydon Salick’s Ismith Khan: The Man and His Work.

Olive Senior is the overall chair of the 2013 prize. The fiction category is chaired by Michael Bucknor, poetry is chaired by Marion Bethel while the non-fiction panel is chaired by Richard Drayton. Genre Prize Winners will be announced on March 17, 2013.

The OCM Bocas Literary Festival takes place in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, April 25 to 28, 2013.