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CFP: Caribbean Science/Speculative Fiction Symposium

November 23, 2018
UWI Cave Hill, Barbados

CFP deadline: June 29, 2018


From the organizers:

The Department of Languages,  Linguistics and Literatures at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill is inviting papers that explore themes related to Caribbean speculative fiction. The last two decades have seen an increase in the publication of SF works by Caribbean writers who bring a Caribbean sensibility to a genre that has been steadily gaining global academic recognition. These works encourage a re-examination of what constitutes Caribbean literature. They also challenge us to examine the nature of Caribbean SF, to ask how it differs from other geo-political/cultural writings in the genre, and whether or not writing in this genre helps us to understand the Caribbean’s presence on the global stage.

Abstracts of 250 words and a brief biographical note should be sent by Friday, 29 June 2018 to:

For more details, see Caribbean Commons post here.

2018 OCM Bocas Prize winner: Jennifer Rahim

The overall 2018 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature was won by Trinidadian Jennifer Rahim’s short-story collection Curfew Chronicles (Peepal Tree, Aug 2017, 208pp). The award was announced on 28 April at the NGC Bocas Lit Fest in Port of Spain.

Also on the shortlist – and winner of the Poetry prize – was Shara McCallum’s collection Madwoman (Peepal Tree, Jan 2017, 72pp).

The judges declined to name a non-fiction winner for 2018.

For more information, see the announcement here.

Caribbean Meridians conference, Australia, February 2019 – CFP


Caribbean Meridians

Female Orphan School, Parramatta South Campus
Western Sydney University, February 7-9, 2019

Confirmed Speakers:
Alexis Wright (University of Melbourne)
Michael Bucknor (University of the West Indies at Mona)

from the organizers:

AACS conferences are interdisciplinary and papers on all topics are considered, including from the natural sciences. Recent conferences have taken the themes of ‘Land and Water’ (Wollongong, 2015) and ‘Interiors’ (Canberra, 2017). For 2019 we are encouraging presenters to think about the ‘meridians’ that connect the peoples, cultures, ecologies, and histories of the Caribbean with those of other places around the globe.

Studies of Caribbean history and culture arguably have always been ‘transnational’, or at least oriented to thinking about the forces beyond the Caribbean that have shaped it. Most often this has been a matter of thinking about the relations between the Caribbean and the countries from whence its inhabitants largely have been drawn – especially Africa and Europe – as well as to the regional hegemon, the USA. The concept of the ‘meridian’ is chosen to encourage presenters to think about the lines of connection that spread from the Caribbean out to the world as whole. These encompass the Atlantic world but they also extend across the Western hemisphere and the Pacific to Asia, Oceania, and beyond. ‘Caribbean meridians’ encourage us to look for unusual, perhaps unexpected lines of connection or relation such as those that have spread south to Australia (‘meridian’ once meant ‘south’), as well as ‘South-South’ relations where ‘South’ refers to the ‘global South’. The idea of the meridian also reflects back on the Caribbean, which is criss-crossed with intra-regional connections that can escape scholarly notice.

Presenters might also like to think about the way in which the term ‘Caribbean’ affects the term ‘meridian’. The latter tends to evoke the straight lines of longitude that have come to govern relations of time and space. How do Caribbean perspectives inflect and alter conceptions of time, space, and/or world? How have the peoples of the Caribbean imagined the world and the kinds of connections and affiliations that bind it? Are there specifically Caribbean meridians?

Abstracts on all subjects and from all disciplines within the field of Caribbean studies are welcome. The primary criterion for selection will be the quality of the abstract, not its relevance to the conference theme. Please send abstracts of no more than 200 words along with a short title and two-line biographical note to by September 14, 2018.

Review of Rachel Manley’s first novel

Rachel Manley’s new novel, The Black Peacock, appeared in December 2017 from Cormorant Books. Ms. Manley has published extensively as a poet and memoirist; this is her first work of fiction. Quill and Quire says of the novel

Manley slowly unfurls a somewhat labyrinthine narrative, revealing the couple’s shared history – and secrets – in jerks and starts…. Otherwise, The Black Peacock tells an engaging story of a love affair in a state of suspended animation. Themes of grief, family, and the writing life course through a novel in which “living is just a long corridor of echoes.”

Read the full review here.

Collection of Mittelholzer’s early writings appears from Peepal Tree

Creole Chips and Other Writings: Short Fiction, Poetry, Drama and Essays by Edgar Mittelholzer, edited by Juanita Cox, February 2018. From the publisher’s website:

This compendium of Edgar Mittelholzer’s mostly uncollected writings brings together his early collection of sketches of Georgetown life, Creole Chips, his speculative novella, The Adding Machine, twenty-four short stories, five plays, his published and unpublished poetry and essays covering travel, literature and his personal beliefs. This is mostly work written before Mittelholzer came to England in search of publishing opportunities. It shows a writer still deeply concerned with the Caribbean, a writer of playful humour who is committed to entertain, not to preach as some of his later work tends to do, and a writer who wrote in a variety of genres (speculative fiction, crime, and the Gothic) that contemporary Caribbean writers are rediscovering.

See the full announcement here.

CFP: 37th Annual West Indian Literature Conference

37th Annual West Indian Literature Conference
Hosted by: Hemispheric Caribbean Studies (HCS), University of Miami
October 3-6, 2018
Global Caribbean Studies: “Scapes”

abstract deadline: May 1st, 2018

from the organizers:

This year’s conference recognizes the vast routes/roots that link the Caribbean to the hemisphere and the globe. As many writers and literary scholars have noted, the immense bodies of water that appear to isolate belie the currents that intimately connect, and at times, destroy shelter, lands, and peoples. Deploying Arjun Appadurai’s concept of “scapes” that work to enable the exchange of ideas and information, we hope to engage a breadth of issues relevant to Caribbeanists in the region and its diasporas. Throughout the conference our aim will be to explore the intersections between disciplinary approaches to problems that are borne out of the shifting tides of globalization and cultural expression. Undoubtedly researchers in literary studies, anthropology, history, philosophy, medicine, sociology and environmental studies, are all concerned with issues of global migration, environmental sustainability, human rights, state power, education and other global issues that have particularly devastating impacts in the circum-Caribbean region. Our conference will examine some of the innovative approaches to addressing these issues across national, cultural and disciplinary boundaries, and particularly encourage inter, multi, and transdisciplinary conversations and panels.
● Tidealectics/Archipelagos/ Repeating Islands
● Interdictions/Bodies at Sea
● Resident Time Lapse/Laps
● Coastal and Cultural Erosion, Resilience & Sustainability
● Creole Identities in Hemispheric Port Cities
● “Wet Foot/Dry Foot” and the Refugee Crisis
● Sand/Swamps/Mangroves
● The Carceral Continuum
● Crimmigration
● Racializing Space
● Religiosities/Amplifying Islam in the Caribbean Region
● Boom Sounds/Songs in Babylon
● Sonic Disturbances in Social Justice Movements
● Tidal Waves/Sound Waves/Immigration Waves
● Documenting in the Digital Diaspora
● Embodied Imbalances in Social Media Movements
● Rooting/Routing Identities in the Page
● The Fantastic/Magical Realism/Le Réalisme Merveilleux
● Decoloniality/Racialization/Pluriversality
● Queerscapes/Erotoscapes
● Generational Roots and International Routes
● Resettling Routes/Roots after Disaster
● Sovereignties/Non-Sovereignties
● Caribbean Queer Here and There
● Opacity/Maroonage/Assemblages
● Archives of Memory and Mourning
● “Wake Work”
● Weaponizing Race and Sexuality
● Anthropocene, Chthulucene and Plantationocene

Please send abstracts by May 1st 2018 to
Conference Website will be up on April 15, 2018. In the meantime, for more information go to: (Available after April 15, 2018)

Winners of the 2017 Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature

The winners of the 2017 CODE Burt Award for Young Adult Literature (announced at the Bocas Lit Fest) were:

1st place: The Art of White Roses by Viviana Prado-Núñez (Puerto Rico/USA)

2nd place: The Beast of Kukuyo by Kevin Jared Hosein (Trinidad & Tobago)

3rd place: Home Home by Lisa Allen-Agostini (Trinidad & Tobago)

The Art of White Roses and Home Home will appear from Papillote Press in May 2018; The Beast of Kukuyo is as yet unpublished.

The Burt Award website describes the prize thus:

Now in its fifth year, CODE’s annual Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature recognizes up to three English-language literary works for young adults (aged 12 through 18) written by Caribbean authors….

Publishers of winning titles will be awarded a guaranteed purchase of up to 2,500 copies, which will be donated to schools, libraries, and literacy organizations throughout the region. To date, more than 15,000 copies of winning books have made their way into the hands of Caribbean youth.

More on the Burt Award here.

Jamaican writer Garfield Ellis dies

On March 16, 2018, the family of Jamaican writer Garfield Ellis posted the following to his Facebook page:

The family of Garfield Ellis advise that he passed away peacefully this morning at the Scarborough General Hospital in Canada.

We know that to many of you he was a friend and a mentor and we want to take the opportunity to thank you for allowing him to be a part of your lives.

Ellis was the author of six published titles. The latest, The Angel’s Share, appeared from Akashic Books in 2016; the Globe and Mail reviewed the novel here. The other five titles are Flaming Hearts and Other Stories (1996), Wake Rasta and Other Stories (2001), Such as I Have (2003), For Nothing At All (2005), and Till I’m Laid to Rest (2010).

The author biography from Till I’m Laid to Rest reads:

Garfield Ellis grew up in Jamaica, the eldest of nine children. He studied marine engineering, management and public relations in Jamaica and he completed his Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Miami, as a James Michener Fellow…. He is a two-time winner of the Una Marson prize for adult literature; has twice won the Canute A. Brodhurst prize for fiction and the 1990 Heinemann/Lifestyle short story competition.

Ellis’s reflection on his journey toward writing appears on his website, here.

Emma Lewis has posted a remembrance of Ellis (and of Jamaican ceramicist Gene Pearson, who passed away on March 15) which collates many of the expressions of grief from members of the Caribbean literary community.

Three new “essay-stories” by Kei Miller on race in Jamaica

Kei Miller introduces three “essay-stories” posted on his blog, Under the Saltire Flag, as follows:

So in my continued exploration of race, and how it works in Jamaica and the Caribbean, I ended up writing 3 connected essays – Mr Brown, Mrs White & Ms Black. Though in truth they turned out more like stories, or maybe they are story-essays, or essay-stories.

The pieces can be found, in order

here (Mr Brown)

here (Mrs White), and

here (Ms Black).