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Kendel Hippolyte, Monique Roffey and Rupert Roopnaraine Vie for Bocas Prize 2013

OCM Bocas Shortlist Titles

Kendel Hippolyte’s Fault Lines, Monique Roffey’s Archipelago and Rupert Roopnaraine’s The Sky’s Wild Noise have been announced as the 2013 shortlist for the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. Hippolyte cops the prize for poetry, while Roffey’s Archipelago takes the novel genre prize and Roopnaraine has won the literary non-fiction prize.
The three were selected from a longlist of ten titles, which comprised four novels, three poetry collections and three non-fiction works. Hippolyte is a St. Lucian poet and dramatist. Roffey, a Trinidadian novelist and Roopnariane an academic and politician hailing from Guyana. The winner of the prize will be announced at this year’s Bocas Literary Festival and will receive a cash award of US$10,000.
According to a release put forward on the OCM Bocas website, the poetry panel chaired by Marion Bethel, described Fault Lines as a “singular achievement” and applauded the book as being lyrical, prophetic, spiritually searching and filled with social critique. “[The collection] demonstrates Hippolyte’s excellent, all-round craftsmanship as a poet. His voice and cadence are unique and distinctive,” the judging panel said.
The Michael Bucknor led novel panel had equally high praise for Roffey’s Archipelago, celebrating its use of language narrative perspective and form and described the novel as “leaping beyond the boundaries of historical representation.”
The non-fiction panel, chaired by Richard Dayton praised The Sky’s Wild Noise, a collection of essays, for its depth and analysis as well as style. “[I]n the corpus of non-fiction prose in the Caribbean intellectual tradition, only José Martí and George Lamming rival the range of Roopnaraine’s capacities of response, depth of analysis, and subtle and mordant style,” the panel said.
Fault Lines, The Sky’s Wild Noise and Archipelago, having won their genre prizes will vie for the overall prize, which will be adjudicated by a panel led by Olive Senior. The Bocas Literary Festival (and the attendant Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature) is now in its third year, and takes place April 25 - 28, 2013. The previous prizes were won by Derek Walcott (White Egrets, 2012) and Earl Lovelace (It’s Just a Movie, 2012).