Author: Lisa Outar

Announcing PREE – a new online magazine of contemporary Caribbean writing

Announcing the launch of Pree: Caribbean. Writing. which is a unique online platform featuring contemporary writing from the Caribbean ( Twice a year, we will publish original works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, essays, interviews and experimental writing, giving our authors international visibility far beyond the islands. Our range is wide, from literature, art and politics, to gender, technology, race and popular culture. The first issue is being curated under the timely theme “Crossroads” and will go live in April 2018. In Jamaica, we say “pree dis” when we want to call careful attention to something new. So, pree our website and learn more about us.


Derek Walcott (1930-2017)

Derek Walcott (1930-2017) – With the rest of the world and especially the Caribbean literary community, JWIL mourns the extinguishing of the light of Derek Walcott. In the words of Kei Miller, “Walcott is one of only a handful of poets for whom the superlative will always be insufficient. He was, quite simply, the great poet of the Caribbean and then beyond. He once told me that poetry was not a democracy. It was, instead, a kingdom and not everyone could enter it. If that is true, we should fly the flag at half mast, because the king is dead.”

CFP for Anthology on Children’s and Young Adult Literature of the Caribbean and its Diaspora

Call For Papers for Anthology on Children’s and Young Adult Literature of the Caribbean and its Diaspora – This anthology aims to cultivate and create a space for exploring the history and current state of children’s literature and culture in the Caribbean and its diaspora. The editors invite scholars, teachers, creative writers, online journalists, and activists to consider how literature and the creative arts written or produced for young audiences contribute to the identity of the Caribbean and function as an integral part of its history, culture, and educational system.

Please send abstracts of 500 words and a brief biography by June 1, 2017 to Betsy Nies ( and Melissa Garcia Vega ( If accepted, complete rough drafts of 5000 to 7000 words will be due by November 1, 2017.

Full details at

CFP 2017 West Indian Literature Conference – UWI St. Augustine

The 36th Annual Conference on West Indian Literature Call for Papers


Wednesday 4th to Saturday 7th October 2017 UWI, St Augustine

The Caribbean literary project is counterdiscursive both in essence and in practice. It is how we compose and articulate ourselves. With it, we imagine the tasks of nation-building, interrogate traumatic histories, and navigate the myriad rhetorics of identity, politics, and space. A focus on affect enables fruitful enquiry within the field—and well beyond it. In response to literature’s sustained engagement with historical disease and contemporary suffering in broader social contexts, many questions emerge. Among other things, we may consider whether a heightened critical focus on affect and related embodiments of race, gender, and class could yield greater insight and depth of meaning in relation to classical and new fictional texts? Since fictional characters are by definition displaced from embodiment, how effective are the strategies used to capture affective experience within literary texts? Do texts that deviate from realist paradigms capture the depths of shame and emotion with greater effect? How best to probe the affective and aesthetic investments of readers and writers? Does critical sensitivity to intense emotion create a portal for articulation of affective assemblages of identity? In what ways does the affective focus support and / or challenge the insights of Caribbean thinkers, postcolonial, feminist and other critical schools?

The conference invites papers that include, but are not limited to topics such as:

  •  Caribbean poetics of affect, shame and emotion
  •   Trauma, sensation and corporeality
  •   Gendered embodiments, sexualities and eroticism
  •   Distance, proximity, affect and transcultural relations
  •   Transnational politics of empathy and ethical engagement
  •   Aesthetic-affective moods, modes and tones
  •   Affect and connectivity – non-human, impersonal and animal
  •   Performativity and affect
  •   Emotions and new media
  •   Rhetorics of Caribbean Fiction
  •   Literary Praxis
  •   Evolving reading practices
  •   Canonicity literary aesthetics and judgments

Teaching and Learning Centre UWI St Augustine


The Conference will feature a range of unique scholarly and practical presentations (workshops and demonstrations) on any of the topics described in the conference announcement. It will welcome proposals from scholars and practitioners who are involved or interested in research, discussions or activities that reflect these topics.

Presentations may be in any of the several formats listed below.

  •  Formal presentation using any medium – limited to 20 minutes
  •  Poster session – presentation/display space limited to 1.5m x 1.5m
  •  Panel discussion – two or three papers encompassing a range of perspectives on an issue
  •  Round Tables – informal presentation settings limited to 20 minutes
  • Performance – drama, film, audio recording, etc.
  •  Workshop – practical, interactive sessions limited to 2 hours


    What to submit:

    The proposal should identify the issue and/or topic and presentation type and should include information on resources/facilities that would be required. Submit an abstract of no more than 250 words and a bio of no more than 150 words. Where there are co-presenters, submit a bio for each presenter.

Schedule – Deadlines:
May 19, 2017 Deadline for submission of abstracts/proposals

May 30, 2017 Notification of acceptance

Send submissions to:
Professor Paula Morgan

Dr. Geraldine Skeete

Conference Email:

Unexpected passing of Dr. Giselle Rampaul

We at JWIL extend condolences to the family, friends and students of Dr. Giselle Rampaul, a Lecturer in Literatures in English at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus. Her untimely passing robs the Caribbean community of an influential teacher and scholar. Dr. Rampaul was a leading expert on Caribbean re-readings of Shakespeare. She was also the founder and producer of “The Spaces between Words: Conversations with Writers” podcast series which has released interviews with ninety-seven writers and poets to date.  Jeremy Poynting of Peepal Tree Press writes, “One of Giselle’s lasting contributions to the building of an infrastructure for writing in the Caribbean was as the founder and producer of The Spaces between Words: Conversations with Writers podcast series. This gave writers an endorsement they appreciated, brought their books to the attention of a wider circle of readers and left a valuable archive of sensitive and probing interviews for future generations.”

Condolences pour in after death of UWI lecturer Giselle Rampaul

David Scott Receives Distinguished Editor Prize

JWIL extends hearty congratulations to David Scott of Small Axe who has been recognized by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals as the winner of its Distinguished Editor prize. David will be awarded the prize at the 2017 Modern Language Association convention in Philadelphia.


Poet Claudia Rankine Awarded a 2016 MacArthur Fellowship Grant

Poet Claudia Rankine was awarded a 2016 MacArthur “Genius” grant for her work that engages with contemporary American culture, particularly issues of race.

The MacArthur Foundation describes Rankine as “a poet illuminating the emotional and psychic tensions that mark the experiences of many living in twenty-first-century America. Over the course of five poetry collections, Rankine has adopted different forms of poetic expression that correspond to the trajectory of her concerns from the private to the public….In addition to her poetry, Rankine has become a critical voice in current conversations about racial violence through essays, lectures, and a co-created series of short films entitled Situations. Rankine is crafting critical texts that are proving to be essential for understanding American life while also enriching the craft of poetry with a new sense of agency and urgency.”

Vahni Capildeo’s 2016 Forward Prize

Trinidadian poet Vahni Capildeo has won the 2016 Forward prize for best poetry collection, making it three years in a row that a Caribbean poet has won one of the most prestigious poetry awards in the UK and Ireland.

The Forward Arts Foundation describes Capildeo’s poetry as “characterised by a kind of omnivorous, long-armed reach. Many-tongued and multi-cultural, her shortlisted collection Measures of Expatriation sweeps through long prose poems and short imagistic bursts, through surrealism and gritty realism, acutely seeking the right form for each individual thought.”

Trinidadian poet Vahni Capildeo wins 2016 Forward Prize for Poetry


Tiphanie Yanique’s 2016 Forward Prize

The Forward Prize judges have chosen Tiphanie Yanique’s Wife (Peepal Tree Press) as the winner of the UK’s top poetry prize for new poets – The Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection.

The Forward Arts Foundation notes that “Tiphanie Yanique (b. 1978, Virgin Islands) has long considered herself a writer, indeed, when asked in school for three words to describe herself, she ‘would say, “Caribbean, girl, writer.” Maybe not always in that order.’ Further, she notes how children ‘speak in metaphor, that they hunt down language as poets do, that they use their vocabulary limitations the way poets might use the limitations of poetic form – to find a way to say something anew.’ Wife, her debut collectionwas begun in 2000, but became increasingly focused: the more recently written poems ‘are more clearly about the complexities of heterosexual marriage.’ It has already won the 2016 Bocas Poetry Prize.”

Yanique was taught by Claudia Rankine, winner of the 2015 Forward Prize.