A Review of Collected Poems 1975-2015 (John Robert Lee)

COLLECTED POEMS 1975-2015 by John Robert Lee represents one man’s spiritual journey meandering through thorny labyrinths of faith, “from inner city provinces to southern islands of Amerika” (“Challenger”). This journey began long before 1975: when a young Lee witnessed his father, Alleyne, relishing a dessert of fresh ripe mangoes on a Sunday afternoon and began to contemplate seriously his romance with the written word.

A Review of Shouts from the Outfield: The ArtsEtc Cricket Anthology

ADMISSION BY THE EDITORS of Shouts from the Outfield: The ArtsEtc Cricket Anthology—that they are “two cricket-know nothings”—might tempt some people not to buy and/or read their book. But either option would be a mistake. For although Linda Deane and Robert Sandiford grew up outside the West Indies, in Britain and Canada, respectively, they had Barbadian (Bajan) parents, through whom, somehow, they seem to have imbibed an abiding love of West Indian cricket.

A Review of In Time of Need

IT IS SO CAPTIVATING when a writer lifts off the stereotypical veneer of a tourist-dependent society as “paradise” and excavates the real lived experiences of the people. Shakirah Bourne does just that in her collection of short stories, In Time of Need. For those who reside in Barbados or those who have a good knowledge of Barbadian heritage, the opening words to the national anthem immediately come to mind when they hear Bourne’s title. “In plenty and in time of need when this fair land was young” is the beginning of an anthem that describes the struggle of a nation.

A Review of Brown Girl, Brownstones

Reading Paule Marshall's novel Brown Girl, Brownstones threw up a number of exciting firsts for me. It was the first time I was reading a work by an esteemed author with her roots firmly planted in Barbados. And it was the first book I’d read for the first-ever book club I'd attended. 

The 2017 ArtsEtc Independence Reading List, The 2017 IndyList
The 2017 IndyList

THE ArtsEtc Independence Reading List turns seven this year!

The IndyList, as we like to call it, is a selection of 12 Barbadian books to make friends with over the coming year.

The list, which first appeared in 2011, is part of the Editors' ongoing "Mapping Our Literature" mission, which promotes awareness of and celebrates Barbadian books and their authors. Each year, we recommend new, classic, and noteworthy titles in fiction and non-fiction, poetry, and children’s literature.

Winning Words shows diversity of Bajan Lit

Terry Connolly’s cover photo, Soon Ripe, suggests the many branches of Bajan Lit.  It won gold at NIFCA.

ArtsEtc Editor Linda M. Deane with top 2016 Frank Collymore Literary Award winner Kerry Belgrave.  Between them is then Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados DeLisle Worrell, January 2017.
Kerry Belgrave 2016 Frank Collymore Literary Award Winner

ArtsEtc Editor and 2nd-place Colly winner Linda M. Deane with top awardee Kerry Belgrave. Between them is then Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados DeLisle Worrell. Photo Copyright © 2017 The Barbados Advocate.


THERE WERE some repeat performances for the 2016 Frank Collymore Literary Awards.

The three winners had all taken first place in previous years, but this time Kerry Belgrave came out on top with his poetry collection culture?.

He took home the coveted prize—and $10,000—for his latest effort.

Derek Walcott (1930-2017) against the Pitons in St Lucia.

Derek Walcott, riding the waves.  Photo Copyright © 2016.


Martin Boyce in Japan.
"Occasional Writer" Wins 2016 Carolle Bourne Award


MARTIN M. BOYCE, a self-styled occasional writer, is the winner of The Carolle Bourne Award for Literary Innovation for 2016.

Boyce won with “Thin Line Between,” a piece that meshes (or mashes) poetry and prose, Standard English with Nation Language, Barbadian culture seemingly with every culture—challenging them all along the way.   

A Review of Island Wings: A Memoir

During the 50s and 60s—after the Second World War, before independence—hundreds of Barbadians left their island home for countries like England, the United States, Canada. They left in search of a better life they felt they could not or would not achieve if they stayed in Barbados.

Some of these expatriates succeeded brilliantly in their quests, distinguishing their country of birth (Barbados broke away peacefully from Britain in 1966) as much as themselves. Others were less fortunate. All faced hardships: racism, joblessness, the cold comforts of an alien environment.