Monday, August 11, 2008

A-Z of Caribbean writers

This blog post inspired me to do an A-Z of Caribbean writers. It will list creative writers- novelists, short story writers, poets, playwrights. I hope it will serve two purposed; a quick reference or directory, an inspiration to aspiring Caribbean writers (a tradition of excellence tends to have that effect).

Disclaimer: This is will be a work in progress for a while; forever, maybe. There will be some blank spaces to be filled in as I learn. Also the Spanish and French speaking writers might probably be somewhat ignored. This is not intended to be a canon, although it might look like it.

Here goes:

Abrahams, Peter


Peter was born in South Africa in 1919. He died in--- in 19--. He worked in London between 1941 and 1954 as a journalist. He was once a corespondent for the New York Herald Tribune as well as The Observer (London). He came to Jamaica in 1955 when he was contracted by the British government to write a book about Jamaica. He stayed.


  • Dark Testament, Allen & Unwin, 1942; Kraus Reprint, 1970.
  • Song of the City, Dorothy Crisp, 1945.
  • Mine Boy, Dorothy Crisp, 1946; Knopf, 1955; Collier Books, 1970.
  • The Path of Thunder, Harper, 1948; Chatham Bookseller, 1975.
  • Wild Conquest, Harper, 1950; Anchor Books, 1970.
  • Return to Goli, Faber & Faber, 1953.
  • Tell Freedom, Knopf, 1954; Knopf, 1969; Macmillan, 1970.
  • A Wreath for Udomo, Knopf, 1956; Collier Books, 1971.
  • A Night of Their Own, Knopf, 1965.
  • This Island Now, Faber, 1966; Knopf, 1967; revised edition, Faber & Faber, 1985.
  • The View from Coyaba, Faber & Faber, 1985.
  • The Black Experience in the Twentieth Century: An Autobiography and Meditation, Indiana University Press, 2000.



Anthony, Michael


Michael was born in Trinidad in 1930. In 1954 he moved to England where worked in factories full time and on the side he wrote pieces for 'Caribbean Voices', a BBC feature. He later moved back to Trinidad where he was closely associated with National Cultural Council. In addition to many novels and short stories, he has several non-fiction publications



  • The Games Were Coming - London, Deutsch, 1963
  • The Year in San Fernando - London, Deutsch, 1965
  • Green Days by the River - London, Deutsch, 1967
  • Streets of Conflict - London, 1976
  • All That Glitters - London, Deutsch, 1981
  • Bright Road to El Dorado - Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, Nelson, 1982
  • The Becket Factor - London, Collins, 1990
  • In the Heat of the Day - Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Heinemann Educational Publishers, 1996
  • High Tide of Intrigue – Heinemann, 2001

Short Stories:

  • Sandra Street and other stories - London, Heinemann Secondary Readers, 1973
  • Cricket in the Road - London, Deutsch, 1973
  • Folk Tales and Fantasies - Port-of-Spain, Columbus, 1976
  • The Chieftain's Carnival and Other Stories - London, Longman, 1993

Awards & Honours:

  • The Arts Council of Great Britain 1967 Fellowship
  • T&T's Hummingbird Gold Medal - 1979
  • Honorary Doctorate - University of the West Indies (2003)

Source: National Library of Trinidad & Tobago

Behar, Ruth


Ruth was born in Cuba of Jewish parents, but moved to New York at age five. In addition to being a writer she is also an anthropologist and film-maker. Between January and May of this year she was a visiting professor at the University of Miami , where she held the Hent king Stafford chair. She is a professor of anthropology at Michigan University. In addition to the publications listed below, she has published numerous essays, poems and short stories


  • The Presence of the Past in a Spanish Village: Santa MarĂ­a del Monte -Princeton, 1986; expanded paperback, 1991
  • Translated Woman: Crossing the Border with Esperanza's Story (Beacon Press, 1993, Tenth Anniversary Edition, 2003)
  • The Vulnerable Observer: Anthropology That Breaks Your Heart (Beacon Press, 1996).


  • The MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (1988)
  • John Guggenheim Award (1995)
  • Fullbright Award (2007)


Bennett, Louise


"Miss Lou" was born in Jamaica in 1919, she died in Canada in 2006. Between that she lived in different countries including Britain and the United States. Hers is a household name in Jamaica. Many of her words are immortal; used in everyday conversation by young and old, academian and unschooled.

Braithewaite, Edward Kamua
Brodber, Erna
Carrington, Rosalyn
Cesaire, Aime
Channer, Collin
Collins, Merle
Collymore, Frank
Conde, Maryse
Danticat Edwidge

Dawes Kwame

Here's my review of She's Gone.

Ferre, Rosario

Goodison, Lorna

Please see this post about Lorna.

Guillen, Nicolas
Guy, Rosa Cuthbert
Harris, Wilson
Hemans, Donna
Hearne, John
Harrison, Hubert
Hodge, Merle
Hopkinson, Nalo
James, C.L.R
Kincaid, Jamaica
Kwamdela, Odimumba
Lamming, George
Lovelace, Earl
Mais, Roger
Makeda, Silvera

McKay, Claude

I've written these three posts on him: one, two, three. And this was a spin off to one of those posts.

McDonald, Ian
Meeks, Brian
Miller, Kei
Naipaul, Shiva
Naipaul, V.S
Persaud, Lakshmi
Phelps, Geoffery
Phillips, Caryl
Reid, Vic
Rhone, Trevor
Ross, Leone
Salkey, Andrew
Scott, Dennis
Thomas, Macdermot

Walcott, Derek


Noble Laureate and Boston University professor Derek Walcott was born in 1930, in St. Lucia, the West Indies. His published his first poem at the age of 14, and by 19 had already published two volumes of his work (25 Poems [1948] and Epitaph for the Young: XII Cantos [1949]). He was educated at St. Mary’s College in St. Lucia and the University of the West Indies.


  • 25 Poems, Port-of-Spain: Guardian Commercial Printery, 1948
  • Epitaph for the Young, Xll Cantos, Bridgetown: Barbados Advocate, 1949
  • Poems, Kingston, Jamaica, City Printery, 1951
  • In a Green Night, Poems 1948 - 60, London: Cape, 1962
  • Selected Poems, New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1964
  • The Castaway and Other Poems, London: Cape, 1965
  • The Gulf and Other Poems, London: Cape, 1969
  • Another Life, New York: Farrar Straus Giroux: London: Cape, 1973
  • Sea Grapes, London: Cape; New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1976
  • The Star-Apple Kingdom, New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1979
  • Selected Poetry, Ed. by Wayne Brown. London: Heinemann, 1981
  • The Fortunate Traveller, New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1981
  • Midsummer, New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1984
  • Collected Poems 1948-1984, New York, Farrar Straus Giroux, 1986
  • The Arkansas Testament, New York, Farrar Straus Giroux, 1987
  • Omeros, New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1990

In 1957, Derek Walcott was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship to study the American theater. Since that time he has written a number of plays, including: The Odyssey: A Stage Version (1992); The Isle is Full of Noises (1982); Remembrance and Pantomime (1980); The Joker of Seville and O Babylon! (1978); Dream on Monkey Mountain and Other Plays (1970); Three Plays: The Last Carnival; Beef, No Chicken; and A Branch of the Blue Nile (1969). His plays have been produced throughout the United States.

Over the course of his career, Professor Walcott has received a MacArthur Foundation “genius” award, a Royal Society of Literature Award, the Queen’s Medal for Poetry and, in 1992, the Nobel Prize in Literature. He is also an honorary member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

Derek Walcott has been a professor in the English department at Boston University since 1981.

Walrond, Eric Derwent
Winter, Sylvia

Wrinkler, Anthony

1 comment:

Sandra Sealy said...


When it comes to BARBADOS, please feel free to pick my brain...for starters
VOICES: Barbados Writers' Collective

Best regards,