The 2021 recipients of the Bocas Henry Swanzy Prize are Jamaicans Edward Baugh and Mervyn Morris – each professors emeritus on the College of the West Indies.
Baugh and Morris are extensively considered pioneers within the research of West Indian literature, with careers that every spanned half a century. Now they’re to be honored by the Bocas Lit Fest with the annual Bocas Henry Swanzy Award for Distinguished Service to Caribbean Letters.
The award, established in 2013, is known as after the late BBC radio producer Henry Swanzy. Irish by beginning, Swanzy labored because the producer of the influential Caribbean Voices radio program – initially based by Jamaican Una Marson – from 1946 to 1954, changing into a key determine within the improvement of contemporary Caribbean literature.
The Bocas Lit Fest based the award to honor and have a good time the contributions of editors, broadcasters, publishers, critics and others who’ve formed the evolution of Caribbean literature behind the scenes.
Edward Baugh and Mervyn Morris, the joint fellows for 2021, are each alumni of what was initially known as the College Faculty of the West Indies and have spent their careers instructing at UWI.
Based mostly in Cave Hill, Barbados, campus from 1965 to 1967, then in Mona, Jamaica, Baugh is finest generally known as a scholar of Caribbean poetry, significantly the poetry of Derek Walcott, having written a number of books dedicated to the work of the Nobel Laureate St Lucian. He additionally edited 2007 Chosen Poems by Walcott. In his ebook West Indian Poetry 1900–1970: A Examine in Cultural Decolonization, and in his many scholarly essays – such because the groundbreaking “In direction of a West Indian Criticism” and “The West Indian Author and his Quarrel with Historical past” – Baugh contributed to form a uniquely Caribbean strategy to criticizing the literature of the area, based mostly on the distinctive historic experiences of the Caribbean.
Mervyn Morris, lecturer at Mona since 1966, championed the traditions of Caribbean oral poetry early in his profession. Her 1964 essay “On Studying Louise Bennett, Severely,” marked a turning level within the consideration of Jamaican literature students Patwa, which Morris prolonged within the Seventies to the rising variety of Jamaican dub poets. A lot of his predominant earlier essays are collected within the ebook Is English We Talking. Morris has additionally mentored a number of generations of Jamaican poets, modifying and anthologizing their work. In 2014, he was named Jamaica’s Poet Laureate – the primary since independence – through which function he has labored to lift the profile of poetry throughout the nation, showcasing the work of younger writers.
5 a long time in the past, the introduction of West Indian literature as a topic of formal educational research on UWI’s Mona campus was seen as a daring and unprecedented improvement. Baugh and Morris,
Together with different colleagues at UWI, by means of their analysis, writing, instructing and beneficiant mentorship, they had been instrumental in establishing a Caribbean Faculty of Literary Analysis that has contributed to the event of latest writing and literary research within the Caribbean.
Baugh and Morris are additionally completed and lauded poets, whose inventive apply has inevitably knowledgeable and enriched their analysis. However it’s their accomplishments as researchers, educators, editors, mentors and advocates that the 2021 Bocas Henry Swanzy Prize acknowledges and honors.
The 2021 winners be a part of an admirable group of predecessors. In earlier years, the award went to publishers John La Rose and Sarah White of New Beacon Books, in 2013; literary critics Kenneth Ramchand and Gordon Rohlehr, in 2014; writer and broadcaster Margaret Busby in 2015; editor Jeremy Poynting of Peepal Tree Press in 2016; the bookseller Joan Dayal of Paper Based mostly Bookshop, in 2017; editor and researcher Anne Walmsley in 2018; writer Ian Randle in 2019; and researcher and editor Kamau Brathwaite in 2020.
The 2021 Bocas Henry Swanzy Prize can be formally introduced to Edward Baugh and Mervyn Morris at a digital occasion on April 24, as a part of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest 2021.
NGC is the principle sponsor of the Bocas Lit Fest pageant occasions, First Residents is the principle sponsor, the CMO is a sponsor of the award, the Ministry of Tourism, Tradition and the Arts, the NLCB, the Massy basis and the UWI are sponsors.