"Occasional Writer" Wins 2016 Carolle Bourne Award

Martin Boyce in Japan.


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.   

His father, Ralph, accepted the award, including a cheque for $500.00, on Boyce's behalf at the National Cultural Foundation's West Terrace office on December 7.  Boyce was out of the island in Panama and unable to attend the presentation.  

The Carolle Bourne Award recognizes a work of prose, poetry, or a play that best demonstrates artistic innovation, be it technical, thematic, interdisciplinary, or other.  The award is sponsored by ArtsEtc and US-based Barbadian author Ronald A. Williams, and administered by the National Cultural Foundation in Bourne's memory.

Originally from St Vincent, Carolle Bourne (1937-2012) moved to Trinidad as a young woman and enjoyed a career composing advertizing copy before going on to journalism in the United States, where she divided her time between caring for her two sons and writing fashion promotions for Lit’s of Philadelphia and Gimbels of New York.  After returning to the Caribbean in 1974, she settled in Barbados, and concentrated on short fiction, poetry, and art reviews for the local press.  A keen supporter of culture, and well-known and respected across the visual arts and literary arts communities in Barbados, she was always on the sharp lookout for things new and different, trying to see who was putting an unusual or fresh spin on creativity—no matter the genre.  

She was the author of Saraband (The Incomplete Works of Caroline Ravenspeare) (2003), which was shortlisted for the Frank Collymore Award in 2001 and won The Kamau Brathwaite Award for Poetry in 2002.

Boyce took home a NIFCA Incentive Award for Most Promising Poetry in 2012, when he won a gold medal for "The Bottle."  His biosketch in The 2011/2012 ArtsEtc NIFCA Winning Words Anthology, in which the poem appears, reads in part: "...called 'The Red Ram' when his shadow stretches from under him, [he] can hurl a cricket bat at small moving objects with deadly accuracy, and drinks his mauby without sugar.  Occasionally writes."     

This is the third year The Carolle Bourne Award has been given.  Past winners include Kwame Slusher (2015), whose story "How to Draw Her" will appear in the forthcoming The ArtsEtc Winning Words Anthology: NIFCA 2015-2016, and Adrienne Callender (2014) for her poem “Transhood,” which was published alongside other excellent work in The ArtsEtc Winning Words Anthology: NIFCA 2013/2014.