As they gear up for the next Frank Collymore Literary Endowment Competition, its organizers say that the literary arts in Barbados “are alive and well, with several established and ‘up and coming’ local writers contributing quality work for the literary contest. Committee Chairman Antonio Boo Rudder says that “the quality of work judged by his group had been consistently high, which in turn was good news for the future of the literary arts.” He points out that apart from established authors, many new writers are also entering the competition. Rudder stresses that “When you look across the range of works that have been submitted, then I believe that it augurs well for Barbados . . . we need to hear our own voice and our own stories. I believe that is critical within the development of the Barbadian cultural landscape.”
The Frank Collymore Literary Endowment was established to assist in promoting the literary arts in Barbados. Earlier this year, the awards were announced; the first prize went to Dr. Karen Lord for her scientific manuscript entitled The Best of All Possible Worlds; second place went to Glenville Lovell for his play, Sodom; and Heather Barker received the third-place award for a collection of short stories—The Millipede Eats the Mongoose. Dr. Lance Bannister was selected for the coveted Prime Minister’s Award, which recognizes originality of a local work representative of Barbadian heritage. His book, The Talking Tree, focuses on the life of the Bannister family and the changes in Barbados from the early 1900s to the present. [Also see Four rewarded for literary work in Barbados.] Minister of Community Development and Culture Steve Blackett officially presented the awards last Friday in St Michael, Barbados.
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Photo of Collymore (on the right, with daughter Martine and writer George Lamming) from http://www.meppublishers.com/online/caribbean-beat/archive/index.php?pid=6001&id=cb65-1-76&print=1