ST. CROIX — The Caribbean Writer, the international literary journal published by the University of the Virgin Islands, announced several winners of various writing categories in its latest edition.
Volume 36, released last month under the theme: “Disruptions, Disguises and Illuminations,” boasts insightful and exciting poetry, short stories, personal essays, interviews and book reviews by established as well as emerging writers from the Caribbean and its diaspora, the university said in a released statement on Tuesday.
Among the winners, Monique Clendenin Watson of St. Croix walked away with The Daily News Prize for her essay. The longstanding prize, sponsored for over two decades by the Virgin Islands Daily News, awards a $600 prize to an author of fiction writing.
Eliot Richards, a New York City native and UVI student, won The Canute A. Brodhurst Prize for best short fiction for his short story, “The Dying of the Light.” Richards, who was born in New York City but raised on St. Thomas, won the $500 prize named for the late former publisher and owner of The St. Croix Avis.
“This $500 prize is offered on behalf of the founder publisher of the St. Croix Avis. It has been offered for more than three decades by Rena Brodhurst owner and publisher,” the release stated.
Shawna K. Richards, also of St. Croix, was awarded the Marvin E. Williams Literary Prize for her short story, “I Think About Water A Lot.” The prize is sponsored by Dasil Williams, wife of the late Marvin Williams, the late editor of The Caribbean Writer.
Winston Farrell, a theater artist from Barbados, won the Cecile deJongh Literary Prize, which goes to a Caribbean author whose work best expresses the spirit of the Caribbean, for his narrative poem, “A Notion of Cricket.”
“This $500 prize is sponsored by former Governor John P. deJongh on behalf of his wife for her abiding support and interest in the literary life of the Virgin Islands and the region,” the release stated.
Otancia Noel was awarded the Vincent Cooper Literary Prize, named for the longtime UVI professor, and which goes to a Caribbean author for exemplary writing in Caribbean Nation Language — a term used by celebrated post-colonial Caribbean author Kamau Brathwaite to describe vernacular language. Noel, a native of Trinidad, won for her short story, “Muslimean Memory.”
Kimarie Engerman, dean of the university’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences praised the journal, noting she is “proud of The Caribbean Writer which continues to provide a creative space for showcasing varied literary expressions in a high-quality publication that is now known, read and respected around the globe.”
The journal was edited by Alscess Lewis Brown, an award-winning author of young adult books and a member of the University’s adjunct faculty since 1990 and editor of The Caribbean Writer since 2012.
“Again, I am delighted to have the privilege and honor of editing this decades-old, prestigious literary journal,” she said in the prepared statement. “Volume 36 is an imaginative collection of creative expressions from among the best writers within the region and its diaspora. The many permutations of this year’s theme make for a very powerful chorus of Caribbean voices.”
According to the statement, the editorial board is comprised of Berkley Wendell Semple, an award-winning author from Guyana, and UVI professors Valerie Combie, Patricia Harkins-Pierre and Chenelle John-Heard. The journal’s cover was designed by retiree and longtime former Central High School educator Gail Widmer, whose work “After the Storm” is included as a section separator in Volume 36.
The journal is available in stores in Antigua, Jamaica and the Virgin Islands as well as the UVI book store. For a full listing, visit uvi.edu or email email@example.com.
UVI also announced that the Caribbean Writer’s 2023 theme is “Legacy: Reckoning and Repair” and is scheduled for publication in 2024.