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Linton Kwesi Johnson Chairs Bocas Lit Prize 2014

Poet Linton Kwesi Johnson heads up the Panel of Judges for Bocas Lit Prize 2014

Poet Linton Kwesi Johnson has been named Overall Chair of the 2014 OCM Bocas Prize, the major literary prize for Caribbean writing coming out of the Bocas Literary Festival. The 2014 Prize, its fourth installation, opened for entries earlier this week. Johnson heads up an eminent panel which includes Mervyn Morris, Kenneth Ramchand and Zee Edgell.

The Bocas literary prize accepts entries in poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction with a coveted over-all prize of US$10,000 but also awards a winner in each category.

Poet and academic Mervyn Morris (I Been There Sort Of, Is English We Speaking, The Pond) will head up the panel of judges for poetry. The poetry panel is completed by UK author Bernadine Evaristo (Mr. Loverman, Blonde Roots, Soul Tourist) and Trinidadian poet James Christopher Aboud (The Stone Rose).

Author and academic Hazel Simmons-McDonald heads up the literary non-fiction panel. The other two judges for literary non-fiction are Trinidadian author Neil Bissoondath (A Casual Brutality and The Unyielding Clamour of the Night) and his countryman, journalist Sunith Maharaj.

Literary critic Kenneth Ramchand (The West Indian Novel and Its Background) chairs the fiction panel comprising author Zee Edgell (Beka Lamb, In Times Like These) and UK Literary Editor, Boyd Tonkin.

The 2014 Bocas Prize is open to books published with 2013 and written by an author  born in or a citizen of a Caribbean country. Books published between January 1 and October 31, 2013 should be submitted by November 15, 2013. However, books published between November 1 and December 31, 2013 have a January 13, 2014 submission deadline.

The winner of the 2014 prize will be announced in April at the Bocas Literary Festival, Port of Spain, Trinidad.