Trinidad’s fourth annual NGC Bocas Lit Fest is over, but no need to cry! Luckily, thanks to the great Festival Radio team, it lives on online. All sessions were recorded and are available as podcasts for streaming and downloading through our SoundCloud page. There you can find a fantastic range of discussions and readings by some of the Caribbean’s most celebrated and promising writers.
Today I want to celebrate the 2014 winners of the OCM Bocas Prize:
Robert Antoni: Fiction and Overall Winner for his novel As Flies to Whatless Boys
Kei Miller: Non-Fiction winner for his book Writing Down the Vision: Essays and Prophesies
Lorna Goodison: Poetry winner for her collection Oracabessa
Click here to hear them read from their work.
Jamaican writer Kei Miller talks about writing “Fiction”:
If you ask me why I write stories, or novels, or poems, I would tell you it is because things that are real in my country, things that are factual, things that have happened and that continue to happen, have always had for me the quality of the unreal –the texture of fiction. This is what happens when you live in a country that is not the centre of the world; you become blessed with a kind of double vision. You see your life from the inside, and also from the outside — both locally and globally. You are conscious always of the reality of what you are living, and also the strange narrative of it. You become conscious of how this might be observed — sometimes unlovingly and without empathy –if you do not find a way to tell it right. In a way, this is how every writer the world over lives –this quality of being inside and outside at the same time — of living a life while floating above it, observing, taking notes. Often times I find there is not need to invent or to create. There is only the need to see, and then to tell.
Extract from The Texture of Fiction, by Kei Miller. Published in Writing Down the Vision: Essays and Prophesies. 2013.