Jade Leatham wins Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival awards 2023

Jade Leatham, Ethan Knowles win Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival awards 2023

Jade Leatham and Ethan Knowles were named winners of the Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival Awards 2023 on Saturday, September 2, 2023.

The Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival (BCLF) is a celebration of culture as expressed through the pen of the storyteller and the voice of the poet founded in 2019. It is designed to facilitate vibrant conversations about Caribbean identity via a series of readings of classic and contemporary stories, podcasts, and conversations.

One of the festival’s most popular features is the writing competitions geared towards unearthing and encouraging the distinctive voice and story of the Caribbean-descended writer and expanding the creative writing landscape of Caribbean literature. The two are the BCLF Caribbean-American Writers’ Prize and BCLF Elizabeth Nunez Award for Writers in the Caribbean. Patrice Grell Yursik and Akhim Alexis won the awards in 2021 while Yveka Pierre and Alexia Tolas took the honours last year.

The longlists for the awards were announced on Monday, July 31, the shortlists were named on Monday, August 14, and the finalists on August 23. The winners for the 2023 awards are;

BCLF Caribbean-American Writer’s Prize

Judges: Merle Collins, Vanessa Riley and Fabienne Josaphat

  • Jungle Siren, Jade Jilisa Leatham (Dominica)

Jade Leatham is an American-born Dominica-raised former CXC history and literature teacher turned career creative. Her African and Kalinago roots are central to her ideology and identity and her passion for her culture and heritage is reflected in her work, whether as a recording artist/producer, content creator, or writer. She is on track to publish her first novel, Warlike, in March 2024 and plans to pursue opportunities to create and collaborate on projects that centre Caribbean stories on screen.

BCLF Elizabeth Nunez Award for Writers in the Caribbean

Judges: Cherie Jones and Sharma Taylor

  • Sponger Money, Ethan Knowles (Bahamas)

Ethan Knowles is a Bahamian writer. He was selected to participate in the 2019 Fresh Milk Writing Residency in Barbados and was the 2022 resident writer for Caribbean Linked VI in Aruba. He currently works as a speechwriter and researcher at the Office of the Prime Minister of The Bahamas. His writing has been featured in publications across Europe, North America, and the Caribbean.

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