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Merle Hodge and Funso Aiyejina win the 2022 Bocas Henry Swanzy Award

Merle Hodge and Funso Aiyejina have won the 2022 Bocas Henry Swanzy Award for Distinguished Service to Caribbean Letters. Both winners will receive their awards virtually at the NGC Bocas Lit Fest.

"We salute their work over more than two decades as creative writing teachers and mentors, in particular through the influential Cropper Foundation Residential Workshop for Caribbean Writers," says the NGC Bocas Lit Fest.

The prize is named for the late BBC World Service radio producer (1915–2004) who created a landmark platform for Caribbean writing in the 1940s and 50s through the Caribbean Voices programme, which broadcast fiction and poems by West Indian writers across the region. Caribbean Voices lives on in spirit through our podcast, New Caribbean Voices.

The Bocas Lit Fest founded the award to honour and celebrate the contributions of the editors, broadcasters, publishers, critics, and others who have shaped the evolution of Caribbean literature behind the scenes. Recipients are chosen by the NGC Bocas Lit Fest organising committee.

In previous years, the award was presented to publishers John La Rose and Sarah White of New Beacon Books (2013); literary critics Kenneth Ramchand and Gordon Rohlehr (2014); editor and broadcaster Margaret Busby (2015); publisher Jeremy Poynting of Peepal Tree Press (2016); bookseller Joan Dayal of Paper Based Bookshop (2017); editor and scholar Anne Walmsley (2018); publisher Ian Randle (2019); scholar and editor Kamau Brathwaite (2020); and literary critics Edward Baugh and Mervyn Morris (2021).

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