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Trinidadian Writers Dominate Small Axe Prize 2016

Small Axe 2016  Literary Competition Winners Announced

The winners of the 2016 Small Axe Literary competition have been announced. The top places have been claimed by ‘Mango Feast’ by Portia Subran for fiction while ‘Learning to Swim’ by Soyini Ayanna Forde earned first prize for poetry. Both writers hail from Trinidad and Tobago.

According to the release posted by SX this year’s competition received a record-breaking number of entries highlighting the increased interest in the competition.

Another Trinidadian, Ayanna Gillian Lloyd earned the second place prize for fiction with her short story ‘Public Notice’. Jamaican Chenee Daley copped second place in the poetry category with ‘Extra Lessons’.

In addition to the winners, five additional writers were shortlisted for the fiction prize, while the poetry shortlisted swelled with seven additional poets. This year’s competition was adjudicated by Diana McCaulay, Monique Roffey, and Sasenarine Persaud in the short fiction category while James Christopher Aboud, Honor Ford-Smith, and Tanya Shirley adjudicated poetry.

The Shortlist:


“The Mango Tree” by Lisa J. Latouche, Dominica

“African Burial Ground” by Heather Barker, Barbados

“Ma Diablesse” by Brandon Mc Ivor, Trinidad

“Purgatorium” by Rae-ann Smith, Trinidad and Tobago

“The Seascape” by Hazel McShine, Trinidad and Tobago


“Lajablesse in Oakland” by Rosamond S. King, USA

“Message from Nur Al-Masri” by Sharif El Gammal-Ortiz, Puerto Rico

“Darkening/Freeport” by Richard Georges, British Virgin Islands

“Afterbirth” by Summer Edward, Trinidad

“The Best Medicine” by Juleus Ghunta, Jamaica

“The Dog Breeders House” by Ioney Smallhorne, England

“Eureka!” by Jannine T. Horsford, Trinidad and Tobago