Five emerging writers from Trinidad and Tobago are among the ten finalists for the much-coveted 2015 Prize, now in its third and final year.
Writers from three other Caribbean countries are in the running - Jamaica, Bahamas and Puerto Rico, said a media release from the Bocas Lit Fest.
The prize, co-founded and administered by The Bocas Lit Fest and worth over US$15,000, will give the winning Caribbean-based writer time to advance a poetry collection.
In previous years the prize was open to writers of fiction and non-fiction. It includes a year’s mentoring by an established author and travel to the United Kingdom to attend a one-week intensive creative writing course of their choice at Arvon.
The winning writer will also receive a cash award of US $4,500, have three days in London to network with literary professionals, hosted by the UK’s leading creative writing organisation, Arvon, in association with Free Word Centre and agents Rogers, Coleridge & White who have first option of agenting the winning writer.
A total of 53 writers from 12 Caribbean countries submitted entries for the prize – Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Dominica, British Virgin Islands and Bermuda, the release said.
A statement from the judges says, “The longlist for the 2015 Hollick Arvon Prize can boast of poets who shuttle an ability to manipulate language to create poetry that is narratively fluent and thematically current and engaging,” the release said.
It was a blind competition between 16 men and 37 women.
The media release stated: “The judges did not know who they were judging, female or male, but we commend the sensitive and subtle handling of subject matters which range from submerged family histories through domestic abuse to sexual self-discovery and the loss of memory”, says Funso Aiyejina, chair of the international judging panel of five that comprises Caroline Hollick - sponsors of the award, Prof Edward Baugh, Jamaican Ruth Borthwick of Arvon, and London literary agent, Jennifer Hewson.
The winner will be announced at the 2015 NGC Bocas Lit Fest, which runs from April 29 to 3 May in Port- of- Spain at the National Library, Abercromby Street.
NGC is the title sponsor of the annual literary festival. First Citizens is the lead sponsor, OCM and the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Planning are main sponsors. See www.bocaslitfest.com for more information.