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Five Poets Make 2015 Hollick Arvon Prize Shortlist

Hollick Arvon Prize 2015 Shortlist

Five poets hailing from Trinidad and Tobago, The Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands have been shortlisted for the 2015 Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize. Introduced in 2013, the prize awards emerging writers alternately in fiction, non-fiction and, now in its third year, and potentially final year, poetry

The three Trinidadians in contention for the highly respected prize for emerging writers are Elliot Bastien, Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné and Shivanee Ramlochan. Bahamian Nicolette Bethel and British Virgin Islander Richard Georges complete the list.

The five writers will be vying for US$4,500 (£3,000) in cash along with opportunities to network among literary professionals in London and a chance at being considered by literary agents Rogers, Coleridge & White, mentorship and attendance at an Arvon course of their choice. However, with the three year term of sponsorship, with the Hollick Family Trust and Arvon Foundation, currently coming to an end, the prize is itself staring into the fate from which it attempts to rescue writers. 

Chief judge for the 2015 Hollick Arvon Prize, Dr. Funso Ayejina had high praise for all shortlisted entrants, as cited in a release from the organizers. 

“Any one of the five shortlisted poets is good enough to walk away with the prize!” Dr. Ayejina said. “These poets are confident explorers of the human condition. They possess the requisite individual styles for an effortless articulation of their visions, and are as much children of the great poetic tradition of the Caribbean as they are purveyors of new vistas and metaphors.”

The Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize is aimed providing a Caribbean writer, resident in the region, with space and time to complete a work. In the case of this year’s competition, it is to complete a collection of poetry.

Trinidadian fiction writer Barbara Jenkins was the winner of the inaugural prize (2013) while Jamaica’s Diana McCaulay captured the prize for non-fiction in 2014. 

This year’s winner of the Hollick Arvon Prize will be announced during the 2015 NGC Bocas Lit Fest, April 29  May 3 in Port of Spain.