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Esther Phillips on her NIFCA and GG's Awards

by Esther Phillips

Every year in Barbados, the National Foundation for Creative Arts (NIFCA) runs a competition inviting entries from Barbadians across the Arts: culinary, performing, visual and literary. In each section, there is a professional category. The Governor General's Award for Excellence (official title) is given only in the professional category. The award comprises a plaque as well as BDS7,500.

This was the first time I entered the competition and I feel honoured to have won a Gold Award as well as the GG's award. Leaving Atlantis is very much a Barbadian book centering, as it does, on George Lamming, an iconic Barbadian citizen and renowned writer. I felt that particularly during B'dos' 50th year of Independence, my entering the book in the competition was a good way to introduce it to Barbadians.

I'm working on a fourth collection of poems. I'm also continuing to produce a radio show called What's That You're Reading? So, it's words, words, words. Incidentally, I'd like Peepal Tree writers to know that if they're ever passing through Barbados, I'd love to interview them about their work. During May, we interviewed Mervyn Morris, Cecil Foster, Olive Senior and Yewande Omotoso. Next week, Anthony Bogues will interview me mainly on the politics in/of Leaving Atlantis.

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