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.

A Review of In the Castle of my Skin

GEORGE LAMMING has achieved what few in this country would have thought possible. His novel In the Castle of my Skin elevates our common speech to poetry and our common lives to literature, infusing it all with a gentle humour that allows the reader to “laugh off the licks.” It is a bildungsroman in the usual style, the story of a boy becoming a man, but companioned with the story of a people moving from infancy and dependence to maturity and self-determination.

A Review of Noughts & Crosses

THE CULTURAL CRITIC Imran Siddiquee, writing for The Atlantic, once commented, “If the United States were to truly transform into a totalitarian state, or suffer an environmental catastrophe, it's safe to say society’s deepest divisions wouldn't magically disappear overnight.” For the US, race would certainly be among those "deepest divisions." And yet YA dystopian fiction, even of the American variety, often appears to exist in a racial vacuum.

A Review of Anatomy of a Scream

The peculiar dichotomy that is evident in Anatomy of a Scream (Pudding House Press, 30pp, 2007) suggests there is a beauty and redemption in the inevitable sufferings and tribulations that are seemingly our birthright. The work as a whole is modern and edgy, and typifies a pre-apocalyptic view of humanity as it tethers on the brink of sanity.

A Review of Fairfield: The Last Sad Stories of G. Brandon Sisnett

What Robert Edison Sandiford gives us in his latest short story collection, Fairfield, is the apparent restoration and enhancement of stories that were bound and concealed in a stationery box belonging to a deceased Barbadian-born author. Sandiford brings thirteen of these “Last Sad Stories of G. Brandon Sisnett” (the collection’s subtitle) to us in a seemingly random way which propels us to create an order out of seeming disorder.

Photo by Terris Scott, 2016, Bim LitFest, May 2016.  The Stiltman Cometh.
The 2016 IndyList

THE ArtsEtc Independence Reading List is now six years old!

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 authors. Each year, we recommend new, classic and noteworthy titles in fiction and non-fiction, poetry, and children’s literature.