St Lucia: St Lucia’s born poet – Canisia Lubrin, won the 2021 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean literature. She won this prize for her book named-“The Dyzgraphxst”. With this, she earned US$10,000 prize money and became the third St Lucia born poet to win the prize.
The chief judge of this year’s OCM Bocas Prize, winner of the Forward Poetry Prize, and an outstanding poet from Trinidad and Tobago- Vahni Capildeo made the announcement virtually through the Bocas Lit Fest website, Facebook, and YouTube on Saturday.
‘The Dyzgraphxst’ was chosen by the judges from a shortlist of the three books previously selected as category winners, which included Jamaica-born Maisy Card’s debut novel These Ghosts Are Family and Trinidadian Andre Bagoo’s wide-ranging collection of essays The Undiscovered Country.
Maisy Card and Andre Bagoo will receive awards of US$3,000 each.
Vahni Capildeo praised the work of Canisia Lubrin and said, “The Dyzgraphxst book is exciting, experimental, and maintains integrity from beginning to end.”
“These poems take apart our personal pronoun, the ‘I’, said Vahni Capildeo, questioning and finding new ways to feel and think and know what we suppose to be our ‘self’. Some books use language to keep running smoothly.”
“This book shifts what language can be and do. It is thrilling to read it and to enjoy giving up the illusion of mastery of meaning to rejoice in not fully understanding, like swimming beyond the breakers in a sea full of flotsam and jetsam.”
Canisia Lubrin is a writer, editor, teacher and critic. Her work has been translated into Spanish and Italian. She teaches at the University of Toronto.
Lubrin is the author of the awards-nominated poetry collection ‘Voodoo Hypothesis,’ and ‘The Dyzgraphxst’ is her latest book.
In addition to winning the OCM Bocas Prize, Lubrin’s “The Dyzgraphxst” was also recently shortlisted for Canada’s Griffin Poetry Prize, and in March 2021, Lubrin was also named a winner of a 2021 Windham Campbell Prize.