~Key Note Speakers~

Laurence Breiner

Laurence Breiner

Laurence Breiner is Professor of English at Boston University and a member of the African American Studies Program there. He has been a Visiting Professor in American Studies at Tokyo University, a Rockefeller Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, an NEH Research Fellow, and an ACLS/SSRC Fellow at UWI, Mona.  He is the author of An Introduction to West Indian Poetry and Black Yeats: Eric Roach and the Politics of Caribbean Poetry as well as numerous articles and reviews on Caribbean poetry and drama.   He is currently completing a book on Jamaican performance poetry.  


Vladimir Lucien

Vladimir Lucien is a writer, actor and critic from St. Lucia. His writing has been published in The Caribbean Review of Books, Wasafiri, Small Axe journal, the PN Review, BIM magazine, Washington Square Review, Caribbean Beat and other journals, as well as an anthology of Caribbean poetry and prose entitled, Beyond Sangre Grande edited by Cyril Dabydeen. He has been awarded the first prize in the poetry category of the Small Axe prize 2013 and is the winner of the 2015 OCM Bocas Prize for his debut collection Sounding Ground, published by Peepal Tree Press in May, 2014.
Of Sounding Ground, celebrated Caribbean poet and thinker Kamau Brathwaite says that “SOUNDING GROUND for me, is the sign of the at last starat of a New Tradition (in the anglopho Caribb) - based, as it shd be - at last - on our oldest - the bwa itself <<..>> .” Sounding Ground was also shortlisted for the Guyana Prize for Caribbean Literature in 2015. 
Some of Lucien’s poems have been translated into Dutch, Italian and Mandarin. He is also the co-editor of the anthology, Sent Lisi: Poems and Art of St. Lucia which was published in November 2014 and the screenwriter of the documentary The Merikins which premiered at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival in 2013. From January to May 2016, Lucien served as writer-in-residence at the University of the West Indies (Mona Campus).
In February 2016, he was hailed, as part of black history month, by CBC books in Canada, as a young black writer to watch. Pamela Mordecai who recommended him highly to CBC books states that “His poems are hefty, accomplished and underived, rooted in the Creole cultures [sic - there are two] of his home island, enjoying its orality and deploying its languages with aplomb. And - eureka! - the poems have none of the determined inaccessibility that discourages the ordinary reader. If one of these days he finds himself, like Yevtushenko, reading poems to arenas filled with thousands, I won't be surprised.”
Lucien has been featured at many regional and international festivals including the Calabash International Literary Festival, the Read My World Festival in Amsterdam, the Jaipur Literature  Festival and Miami Book Fair among others. He is one of the major young voices in Caribbean literature today.


Patricia Saunders

Patricia Saunders

Professor Saunders's research and scholarship focus largely on the relationship between sexual identity and national identity in Caribbean literature and popular culture. Her work has appeared in The Bucknell ReviewCalabashPlantation Society in the AmericasThe Journal of West Indian Literature and Small Axe. Her first book, titled Alien/Nation and Repatri(n)ation: Caribbean Literature and the Task of Translating Identity will be published by Lexington Books in 2007. This book traces the emergence of literary nationalisms in the Anglophone Caribbean region while mapping these transformations through discourses of exile, national and sexual identity, and diaspora race politics in four cultural and political contexts: pre-independence Trinidad, post-independence Britain, the Civil rights era in the United States, and Canada. Other works in progress include an edited collection of essays on Jamaican popular culture and the politics of sexual and national identity. The essays in this collection explore critical aspects of dancehall culture and the points of intersection with global flows of capital, violence and culture.
Current project: Fusion and Con/Fusion: Gender, Sexuality, and Consumerism in Jamaican Dancehall Culture.


~Trinidad and Tobago Awardees: Commonwealth Writers Prize~

Barbara Jenkins

Barbara Jenkins was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. After a lifetime of teaching Geography at secondary schools, she started creative writing in her late sixties. Inspired by the pleasure she derived from that activity, she enrolled in the MFA in Creative Writing programme of The University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago, graduating in 2012.


Her short stories have won several awards:

Commonwealth Short Story Competition Caribbean region 2010 and 2011
Wasafiri New Writing Prize, Life Writing 2010
The Caribbean Writer - The Canute Brodhurst Prize 2010
Small Axe Fiction 2011
The Bloody Scotland-Bocas Lit Fest Crime Writing Prize 2014

She was awarded the inaugural Bocas Lit Fest Hollick-Arvon Prize in 2013 and the inaugural British Council International Writer-in-Residence, Small Wonder Short Story Festival,Charleston House, Sussex, UK2015
In 2015, her debut collection of short stories, Sic Transit Wagon and other stories was awarded the Guyana Prize for Literature Caribbean Award – Fiction
At present she is working on a novel tentatively called De Rightest Place

Sic Transit Wagon and other stories, Peepal Tree Press, Leeds, 2013
Stories in collections:
Moving Right Along ed. Aiyejina, Lexicon Trinidad Ltd, Caroni, Trinidad, 2010 Pepperpot, Peekash Press, New York and Leeds, 2014
Trinidad Noir – The Classics – Akashic Noir 2017
Her prize-winning stories are published in print in the relevant journals – Wasafiri, The Caribbean Writer and Small Axe


Kevin Jared Hosein

"Kevin Jared Hosein only first took interest in literature because of his love of Japanese role-playing games. After taking an interest in game design and coding, his first life goal was to design the plot for a videogame. He read everything he could to help him build his knowledge and vocabulary, from demonic folktales to Lord of the Rings to Japanese manga and comics to books about space travel and ancient civilizations.

He is the author of two books, The Repenters and Littletown Secrets. His manuscript, The Beast of Kukuyo, was a recipient of the Burt Award for Caribbean Literature and is to be published in 2018.

He is the winner of and has been shortlisted for several regional and international accolades, such as the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, the OCM Bocas Prize for Literature, and the Small Axe Prize for Prose; as well as being featured in numerous publications, such as two Peekash Press anthologies, sci-fi magazine Lightspeed and Commonwealth Writers’ Adda magazine."


Sharon Millar

sharon millarSharon Millar was born and lives in Trinidad.
She is the co-winner of the 2013 Commonwealth Short Story Prize and the 2012 Small Axe Short Fiction Award. 
Her first collection The Whale House and other stories (Peepal Tree Press 2015) was long-listed for the 2016 OCM Bocas Prize. 
Her work has been anthologized in Pepperpot: Best New Stories from the Caribbean (Akashic Books and Peepal Tree Press 2014), Trinidad Noir. The Classics (Akashic Books 2017) and WomanSpeak, A Journal of Writing and Art by Caribbean Women (Volume 8, 2016, edited by Lynn Sweeting).
She is currently at work on her second collection of short stories.


Ingrid Persaud

ingrid persaudIngrid Persaud is a writer and visual artist. Her creative work has been widely exhibited, including at the Venice Biennale and her writing featured in magazines including Prospect, Runner’s World, Caribbean Beat and Maco. You can follow her blog Notes From A Small Rock. Her first novel, If I Never Went Home, was published in 2014 to critical acclaim. She is the 2017 winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.










Alake Pilgrim

alake pilgrimAlake Pilgrim was the 2016/17 Booker Prize Foundation Scholar at the University of East Anglia’s MA Creative Writing programme. Her stories have twice been awarded the regional prize in the Commonwealth Short Story Competition. They have been published by The Center for Fiction in New York, the Small Axe Journal, and in The Haunted Tropics anthology by UWI Press (ed. Prof. Martin Munro). She has been part of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, Callaloo Journal’s Creative Writing Workshop, and the Cropper Foundation Writers Workshop. Alake is at work on her first novel.



~Other distinguished writers~


Jean Antoine-Dunne

jean antoine-dunneJean Antoine-Dunne is a critic, modernist, painter, disability activist, filmmaker and retired UWI academic. She is a Walcott specialist and her monograph Derek Walcott’s Love Affair with Film is to be published by Peepal Tree Press in September 2017. She is co editor of The Montage Principle: Eisenstein in New Cultural and Critical Contexts and editor of the Journal of West Indian Literature 2010 volume, Where is Here. Remapping the Caribbean. Her edited collection: Interlocking Basins of a Globe: Essays on Derek Walcott was published by Peepal Tree Press in 2013 and Visions and Revisions:
(g) the Caribbean by Caribbean Quarterly in 2015. She co-designed the BA in Film at UWI St Augustine, the first such degree programme in the Anglophone Caribbean, and was its first co-ordinator.  Her documentary Walcott as Poet and Seer premiered at the Bocas Lit festival in 2015.


Barbara Lalla

Barbara LallaBarbara Lalla has produced four novels. Uncle Brother (2015) and Cascade (2010) are published by UWI Press, and Arch of Fire (1998) by Kingston Publishers (then 2006 by LMH). Lalla’s current work, Grounds for Tenure, is a 2017 publication by UWI Press. She has read from her fiction at conferences, launches and festivals, including the BOCAS Literary Festival and the Miami Book Fair.

Now Professor Emeritus (Language and Literature), she taught and published at The University of the West Indies, St Augustine, in Literature and Linguistics, in Caribbean language history and literary discourse, in traditional British literature and in Caribbean re-rereading of other canons.

Awards include a BIAJ National Book Award for UWI Press, 2014; a Jamcopy Award, Best Adult Creative Writing, Prose, 2014; and The University of the West Indies Press Inaugural Fiction Award, 2010 - all for Cascade; as well as a 2008 University of the West Indies Press Award for Outstanding Publishing Proposal (Caribbean Perspectives on the British Canon. Postcolonialisms: Caribbean Re-reading of Medieval English Discourse, 2005) and the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence, 1999.

A past President of The Society for Caribbean Linguistics, Barbara Lalla also served the St Augustine campus as Public Orator for many years. Born in Jamaica, educated at the University of the West Indies, Mona, and, then, a resident of Trinidad and Tobago, she has spent her life in the Caribbean. She is married and has two sons.


Jannine T. Horsford

Jannine HorsfordMy name is Jannine T. Horsford. I have been writing poetry for 25 years. I am a Cropper Foundation Caribbean Writers’ Workshop 2014 fellow and have also had my poems published in Volume 27 of The Caribbean Writer. I have had poems published in Moko Issue 6, Junoesq Issue 5, Moko’s special issue, “Firing the Canon” and in Issue 15 of The Manchester Review.  Additionally, I am a fellow of the Caribbean Callaloo Writers’ Workshop 2016 and was also shortlisted for the 2016 Small Axe Literary Competition (Poetry). Most recently, in May of this year, one of my poems was published in the Cordite Poetry Review’s New Caribbean issue. My poems have also been published in Paper Swans Press’ Great Britain anthology and are forthcoming in Callaloo.


Amilcar Sanatan

amilcar sanatanAmílcar Sanatan, interdisciplinary artist and writer, is a Research Assistant at the Institute for Gender and Development Studies and coordinator of the UWI Socialist Student Conference at The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus. Reach him on Twitter @amilcarsanatan.







Nicholas Laughlin

nicholas laughlinNicholas Laughlin is editor of The Caribbean Review of Books and the arts and travel magazineCaribbean Beat, and programme director of the Bocas Lit Fest, Trinidad and Tobago's annual literature festival. He is also co-director of the contemporary art space Alice Yard. His book of poems The Strange Years of My Life was published in 2015. He has edited a book of essays by C.L.R. James, Letters from London (2003), a revised and expanded edition of V.S. Naipaul's family correspondence, Letters Between a Father and Son (2009), and most recently So Many Islands: Stories from the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and Pacific (2017).


Shivanee Ramlochan

shivanee ramlochanShivanee Ramlochan is a Trinidadian poet, arts reporter and book blogger. She is the Book Reviews Editor for Caribbean Beat Magazine. Shivanee also writes about books for the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, the Anglophone Caribbean's largest literary festival, as well as Paper Based Bookshop, Trinidad and Tobago's oldest independent Caribbean specialty bookseller. She is the deputy editor of The Caribbean Review of Books. She was the runner-up in the 2014 Small Axe Literary Competiton for Poetry, and was shortlisted for the 2015 Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers' Prize. Her first book of poems, Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting, will be published by Peepal Tree Press on October 1st, 2017.


Muli Amaye

muli amaye

Muli Amaye is a novelist and short story writer and sometime poet. She gained an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University and her PhD in creative writing at Lancaster University. She has more than ten years experience working in the community. She was co-editor of The Suitcase Book of Love Poems and the anthology Migration Stories. Her PhD Novel, A House with No Angels, is being published shortly. Muli is the Coordinator for the MFA Creative Writing programme at UWI, St Augustine.




Lisa Allen-Agostini

Lisa Allen-AgostiniAn award-winning journalist, Lisa Allen-Agostini is an editor and reporter best known for her weekly column published in the Trinidad & Tobago Guardian from 2006-2010 and 2012-2015. She edits the Sunday Arts Section for the T&T Guardian. Lisa is the author of the teen action-adventure novel The Chalice Project (Macmillan Caribbean, 2008) and co-edited the crime anthology Trinidad Noir (Akashic Books, 2008). Her book of poems Swallowing the Sky was published by Cane Arrow Press in 2015. In 2017 her YA manuscript Waiting for the Bus won a CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Literature. She was shortlisted for the Hollick Arvon Prize for emerging Caribbean fiction writers at the NGC Bocas Lit Fest in Trinidad in 2013 and was the inaugural Dame Hilda Bynoe writer-in-residence at St George’s University, Grenada, from January-May 2014. In August 2014 she was one of two Caribbean writers selected to participate in Trading Tales, a historical fiction writing residency hosted by the British Council and Glasgow Life, in Glasgow, Scotland.


Merle Hodge

merle hodge

Merle Hodge (MPhil. London University; PhD. University of the West Indies) is a retired Senior Lecturer of the University of the West Indies, where she taught academic writing; creative writing; West Indian literature and African-American women writers. She is a cultural and social activist (co-founder of Women Working for Social Progress); and a writer. She has published two novels: Crick Crack, Monkey and For the Life of Laetitia; short stories; academic papers; articles in Caribbean and international journals; and a textbook, The Knots in English: A Manual for Caribbean Users.


Rhoda Bharath

Rhoda Bharath

Rhoda Bharath is a Caribbean new media pioneer who teaches writing for a living at the UWI and writes fiction when Trinbagonian reality permits.






Funso Aiyejina

 Funso Aiyejina

Funso Aiyejina is a poet, playwright and short story writer and a literary and cultural critic. He won the Association of Nigerian Authors’ Poetry Prize with A Letter to Lynda and Other Poems (1988) and the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa) with The Legend of the Rockhills and Other Stories (1999). His second collection of poems, I, The Supreme and Other Poems. (2004) was shortlisted for the Association of Nigerian Authors’ Poetry Prize and his play, The Character who walked out on his Author has been performed in Trinidad and Tobago, Nigeria and Jamaica.
He is the editor of A Place in the World: Essays and Tributes in Honour of Earl Lovelace @ 70 (2008) and Earl Lovelace: Growing in the Dark (Selected Essays) (2003). He also edited Moving Right Along: Caribbean Stories in Honour of John Cropper (2010) and Self-Portraits: Interviews with Ten West Indian Writers and Two Critics (2003) and co-edited Caribbean Literature in a Global Context (2006). He is the director and producer of the docu-commentary Earl Lovelace: A Writer in His Place (2014). His latest publication is Earl Lovelace (2017) in the Caribbean Biography Series from the University of the West Indies Press.
Funso Aiyejina is a Founding Co-Facilitator of the Cropper Foundation Residential Writers Retreat and a director on the board of The Bocas Lit Fest: The Trinidad and Tobago Literary Festival. He is Emeritus Professor of Literatures in English, the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.


~Graduate Mentors~


Patricia Mohammed

patricia mohammed Patricia Mohammed is currently Professor of Gender and Cultural Studies,  and  currently Campus Coordinator, School for Graduate Studies and Research, University of the West Indies, St Augustine, a post that she held between 2007 and 2012 and from 2015 to the present. She is a pioneer in the development of gender studies at Tertiary level and has served regional governments widely in the development of national gender policies. A recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research and University Service, she has headed at various times the Institute for Gender and Development Studies at UWI, St. Augustine and Mona Campus and was visiting Professor at SUNY Albany in 2007 and Warwick University in 2012.  Her publications include Gender in Caribbean Development, (1988), Rethinking Caribbean Difference, Feminist Review, 1998, Gender Negotiations among Indians in Trinidad, 1917 – 1947, Palgrave, 2001, Gendered Realities: Essays in Caribbean Feminist Thought, (ed)  UWI Press, 2002,  and Imaging the Caribbean: Culture and Visual Translation, Macmillan UK, 2009. She moved into filmmaking from 2003 and has made 13 documentary films so far, including two award winning films Coolie Pink and Green (2009)  and City on the Hill (2015).


Raphael Dalleo

raphael dalleo Raphael Dalleo is Associate Professor of English at Bucknell University. His most recent book, American Imperialism’s Undead: The Occupation of Haiti and the Rise of Caribbean Anticolonialism, won the Caribbean Studies Association’s 2017 Gordon K. and Sibyl Lewis Award for best book about the Caribbean. He is author of Caribbean Literature and the Public Sphere, editor of Bourdieu and Postcolonial Studies, coeditor of Haiti and the Americas, and coauthor of The Latino/a Canon and the Emergence of Post-Sixties Literature.He serves on the editorial advisory board of the Journal of West Indian Literature.


Gylne Griffith

glyne griffithGlyne Griffith is Professor and Chair of the Department of English at the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY). He is the author of Deconstruction, Imperialism and the West Indian Novel (UWI Press), and The BBC and the Development of Anglophone Caribbean Literature, 1943-1958 (Palgrave Macmillan). He serves on the editorial collective of the Journal of West Indian Literature (JWIL).





Leah Rosenberg

leah rosenberg

Leah Rosenberg is associate professor of English at the University of Florida(UF); she is the author of Nationalism and the Formation of Caribbean Literature (Palgrave October 2007) and co-editor with J. Dillon Brown of Beyond Windrush: Rethinking Postwar West Indian Literature (University of Mississippi Press, 2105). She serves as co-chair of the scholarly advisory board of the Digital Library of the Caribbean (www.dloc.com) and as coordinator of the graduate programs in the English department at UF.



Laurence Breiner

Laurence Breiner

Laurence Breiner is Professor of English at Boston University and a member of the African American Studies Program there. He has been a Visiting Professor in American Studies at Tokyo University, a Rockefeller Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, an NEH Research Fellow, and an ACLS/SSRC Fellow at UWI, Mona.  He is the author of An Introduction to West Indian Poetry and Black Yeats: Eric Roach and the Politics of Caribbean Poetry as well as numerous articles and reviews on Caribbean poetry and drama.   He is currently completing a book on Jamaican performance poetry.