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.

WELCOME to the latest edition of The ArtsEtc NIFCA Winning Words Anthology, covering the years 2015 & 2016 of the Goddard Enterprises NIFCA Literary Competition.  This is the third and biggest anthology ArtsEtc has produced for the National Cultural Foundation’s Foundation Publishing.  It includes work by recipients of the Carolle Bourne Award and the George Lamming Award, and for the first time excerpts from Governor General awardees. Clearly, our writers continue to be busy!

To our knowledge, no other publisher in the region is doing what Foundation Publishing has been doing, which is taking the literary pulse of its people in this way, on an annual or semi-annual basis.  These are the practices of an Oxford, a Norton and Macmillan, or of a Heinemann or Longman back in the day.  And even then.  The NCF’s Literary Arts Desk, its former literary arts officers and very much its current one, Ayesha Gibson-Gill, deserve immeasurable praise and thanks for their belief in the importance of nurturing Barbadian Literature in this way.

Curated and edited as the anthologies have been by ArtsEtc over the last six years, their stories, poems, essays, and other works have been worthy of such care and consideration.  The ArtsEtc NIFCA Winning Words Anthology 2015/2016 acts as a fine and timely compass pointing where Barbadian storytelling is at: this book is a satisfying and engaging read, genre bending, regionally diverse, classic, multifaceted, current, speculative, playful, and unselfconscious—often its very own contemporary creation.

This is who we are, our writers seem to be announcing.  This is some of the best writing we have to give—some of the best stories we have to share.  At times as uneasy a place to inhabit as the country it reflects, they ask us to appreciate their offering, daring us to find ourselves within these pages.

This anthology, as well as those immediately preceding it, deserves to be read, reviewed, discussed, challenged…by everyone, especially Barbadians.  As audience or writers, can we really claim to know our literature as ourselves if we aren’t reading it? 

Dive right in! 
- Magnifying Glass by Ashlee Griffith (Poetry)
- To The Audubon Society by Trina Headley (Poetry)
- Peezoff is Dead by Edison T. Williams (Prose)
- Tameisha’s Lesson by Zoanne Evans (Prose)