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Archipelago by Monique Roffey Cops Bocas Prize 2013

Archipelago by Monique Roffey

Archipelago, a novel by Trinidadian writer Monique Roffey, sailed away with the 2013 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. The other contender’s for this year’s prize were Kendel Hippolyte’s Fault Lines and The Sky’s Wild Noise: Selected Essays by Rupert Roopnarraine.

The announcement was made during the third annual Bocas Literary Festival, in Port of Spain, on Saturday, April 28, 2013. Archipelago had earned the prize for fiction, while Fault Lines was awarded for poetry and The Sky’s Wild Noise for literary non-fiction. The OCM Bocas prize carries an award of US$10,000 to the overall winner.

The 2013 longlist featured 10 books in the three categories. The fiction category featured This Is How You Lose Her (Junot Diaz), Light Falling on Bamboo (Lawrence Scott), God Carlos (Anthony C. Winkler) and Archipelago. The titles which vied for the poetry prize were Dark and Unaccustomed Words (Vahni Capildeo), Fault Lines and South Eastern Stages (Anthony Kellman).  Three non-fiction titles were longlisted: The Predicament of Blackness: Postcolonial Ghana and the Politics of Race (Jemima Pierre), The Sky’s Wild Noise and Sugar in the Blood: A Family’s Story of Slavery and Empire (Andrea Stuart).

The 2013 panel of judges for the overall prize was chaired by poet, novelist and non-fiction writer Olive Senior and comprised Marjorie Thorpe (Vice Chair), Marion Bethel, Michael Bucknor and Richard Drayton.

The inaugural prize was won by Derek Walcott’s White Egrets (2011) while It’s Just a Movie, by Earl Lovelace copped the prize in 2012.