Jenifer Rahim wins OCM Bocas prize

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A report by Trinidad and Tobago’s Newsday.

TT’s Jennifer Rahim is the winner of the 2018 OCM Bocas prize for Caribbean Literature.

Rahim was announced the winner during a ceremony, one of the highlights of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, last night at the Old Fire Station in Port of Spain. She was also awarded US$10,000.

In a press release, Bocas stated that the judges’ choice was between Rahim’s collection of short stories, Curfew Chronicles (Peepal Tree Press), and Madwoman by Jamaican Shara McCallum. As poetry winner, McCallum received an award of US$3,000.

It said Curfew Chronicles was a series of linked short stories featuring characters from all levels of society, unfolding over a 24 hour period during a fictionalised version of the 2011 state of emergency.

“This must surely rank as one of the most ambitious books ever attempted by a Caribbean writer. The philosophical, moral and religious themes and ideas put forward about community in all its many manifestations are lightly, deftly handled… Readers are rewarded by moments of sheer grace; and numinous revelations at every turn,” said Lorna Goodison, chief judge of the prize.

Rahim is a widely published poet, fiction writer, and literary critic. She published a book of short fiction, Songster and Other Stories in 2007, and a collection of poetry, Approaching Sabbaths, in 2009. Approaching Sabbaths was awarded a 2010 Casa de las Américas Prize.

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