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2016 OCM Bocas Prize category winners announced

Peepal Tree is happy to announce that two of the three Bocas Prize winners are Peepal Tree-published authors! The OCM Bocas judges announced the winners of the three categories last week. Here are the winners:


The Poetry Prize went to Wife by Tiphanie Yanique (Peepal Tree Press)


The Fiction Prize went to The Pain Tree by Olive Senior (Cormorant Books)


The Non-Fiction Prize went to The Gymnast and Other Positions by Jacqueline Bishop (Peepal Tree Press)


Wife by Tiphanie Yanique

Tiphanie's writing previously won the 2011 Bocas award for Caribbean fiction, so she is no stranger to these awards! Listed as one of BookPage's fourteen women to watch in 2014, Yanique has gone from success to success since her prize-winning first novel, Land of Love and Drowning.

Wife is Tiphanie's first collection of poetry.  With a title both ironic and serious, Wife is a selection of witty, spare poems that focus intensely on the male body and its space. They explore gender inequality, celebrate the joys of physical intimacy and highlight the potential pitfalls and prisons of marriage. Yanique functions credibly across a range of voices, from the isolated and lonely to the arrogant and omnipotent, in various physical spaces from her Virgin Islands past and Black American present through the unknown potentialities of the future.

Originally from the Virgin Islands, Tiphanie Yanique is now based in Brooklyn with her photographer husband Moses Djeli and two children. 


The Pain Tree by Olive Senior

Olive Senior is a prize-winning author across the realms of fiction, poetry and non-fiction. Born in Jamaica, she now spends most of her time between Jamaica and Toronto. Olive won the inaugural 1987 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book for her short story collection, Summer Lightning, and has continued to be lauded since, winning the Bocas Non-Fiction prize last year for Dying to Better Themselves: West Indians and the building of the Panama Canal before her 2016 win.

The Pain Tree is a collection of stories with a broad scope, in terms of time, theme, locale and voice. Ranging over vast swathes of time from the World War Two era through to the present, the stories are nonetheless realist. Set in Jamaica, the universally approachable voices express wit, wisdom, humour and reverence. Within a realist theme, Senior employs traditional storytelling motifs, from revenge tales to magic realist interpretations of African spiritual beliefs to her characteristic Bildungsroman-style expressions of the awakening (self-)awareness of children.


The Gymnast and Other Positions by Jacqueline Bishop

Jacqueline Bishop, a respected writer-photographer-painter, and founder of Calabash: A Journal of Caribbean Art & Letters, was raised in Kingston, Jamaica. She now lives and works in New York City, teaching Writing at NYU. Having won two Fulbright Fellowships (one of which took her to Morocco for a year), she exhibits widely across North America, Europe and North Africa. 

With no story more than a few pages long, The Gymnast and Other Positions is an exposition of Bishop's hybrid talents. Alongside the erotic title story the reader swims through essays, short stories and interviews which all become correlations and inter-relations which in turn express family histories,mythologies and Bishop's approach to art and creativity as part and parcel of being. 

Jacqueline's parents separated early in her life, leading her to a range of childhood memories stretched across Jamaica but also resonating in Nonsuch, the Portland mountains home of her (maternal) great grandparents. Bishop studied in New York, Paris and Miami whilst developing her her various creative talents, and went on to pursue a second Master's degree from NYU in fiction writing, which she completed in 2000. Alongside her many other talents, Jacqueline writes for the Huffington Post and the Observer Arts Magazine.


These three books now provide a shortlist for the overall Bocas prize, worth US$10,000 it will be awarded during the NGC Bocas Lit Fest on Saturday 30th April  in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Good luck to all three of these talented authors!

Read more at the Bocas Lit fest website



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