The Gleaner celebrates the fact that three of the six books shortlisted for the inaugural Burt Award for Caribbean Literature are written by Jamaicans. The article stresses that “Jamaica continues to blaze a trail in the region’s literary field.” See excerpts with a link to the full article below [also see previous post Finalists for Inaugural Burt Award for Caribbean Literature]:
Diane Browne’s Island Princess in Brooklyn (Jamaica, Carlong Publishers Caribbean), A-dZiko Simba Gegele’s All Over Again (Jamaica, Blouse & Skirt Books) and Colleen Smith Dennis’ Inner City Girl (Jamaica, LMH Publishing) have been named as nominees for the award. An initiative of the Bocas Literary Festival, held in Trinidad, the Burt Award’s aim is to stimulate growth in the region’s novel writing sphere, especially in the area of young adult novels.
When The Gleaner contacted Gegele, she expressed her gratitude at being considered for the award. While stating that the reaction from the Jamaican audience at the book’s launch back in September was overwhelming, Gegele said the consideration for the award was unexpected.
She went on to highlight the impending benefits this will have for authors and publishers alike. “I am very happy for myself, but I’m especially happy for my publisher. In this business, publishers take a great risk when they decide to support an author, so this doesn’t just validate the quality of the work, but it also validates the publisher’s faith in the work,” she said.
Gegele says that there are three Jamaican nominees is testament to the great work happening within the industry and solicited more support from the Government. “I’m hoping that getting Jamaica on the literary map will encourage the Government to work more closely with persons in the industry because culture is more than just sport and music,” she said.
[. . .] The other Burt Award nominees are Barrel Girl by Glynis Guevara (Trinidad and Tobago), Joanne Hillshouse’s Musical Youth (Antigua and Barbuda), and Abraham’s Treasure by Joanne Skerrett (Dominica, Papilotte Press).
[. . .] The placings will be announced on April 25 at a gala event to be held during the 2014 Bocas Lit Fest in Trinidad and Tobago from April 23-27.
For full article, see http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20140318/ent/ent1.html