Guyana Prize awards ceremony for September 1

Winners of the 2010 Guyana Prize for Literature will be announced at an awards ceremony to be held on September 1.

According to the Guyana Prize for Literature Management Committee, the ceremony will also see the first award of a regional prize—the Guyana Prize for Literature Caribbean Award.

“The winners of the awards have been judged from fifty-three entries in the Guyana Prize and forty-one entries in the Caribbean Award,” the Committee said in a statement. It noted that the Caribbean Award attracted entries from Guyana, Trinidad, Barbados, Haiti, St. Lucia, Jamaica and St. Maarten.

The Caribbean Award is a new development in the Guyana Prize, the Committee said, while adding that it will be presented for the first time this year in the same categories of Best First Book of Fiction, Best First Book of Poetry, Best Book of Fiction, Best Book of Poetry, and Best Drama as the Guyana Prize for Literature.

It further noted that the creation of the regional award helps the Guyana Prize to further fulfil one of its objectives: “to provide encouragement for the development of good creative writing among Guyanese in particular and Caribbean writers in general.”

It added that like the Guyana Prize, the regional award will be held every two years. It will, however, be adjudicated by a separate jury from the local prize.

The jury for the Guyana prize comprises: Dr. Victor Ramraj (Chair), Professor in the Department of English, at the University of Calgary; Juanita Cox; Elfrieda Bissember, Curator of the National Art Gallery, Castellani House; Brendan de Caires, writer, critic and researcher; and Louis Regis, lecturer in the Department of Liberal Arts, at the University of the West Indies’ St Augustine Campus.

The jury for the regional award comprises: Dr Funso Aiyejina (Chair), Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education, at the University of the West Indies’ St Augustine Campus; Dr Stewart Brown, of the Centre of West African Studies, at the University of Birmingham; and Rawle Gibbons, lecturer in the Department of Creative and Festival Art, at the University of the West Indies’ St Augustine Campus. Dr Aiyejina is a writer and has won the Commonwealth Literary Prize, while Dr Brown is a poet and artist, and Gibbons is a dramatist.

At the ceremony, the judges would present their reports and the prize-winning authors will read selections from their work. In addition, there will be a special display of the prize-winning entries for previous prizes, along with short-listed books for 2010.

The ceremony would be held at the Savannah Suite of the Pegasus Hotel and it would be open to the public. The proceedings will begin at 7pm.

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