||Central Bank Of Barbados
The literary arts in Barbados are alive and well. This was evident by the 70 entries submitted to the 22nd Frank Collymore Literary Endowment Competition, a significant increase over the 44 received in last year’s edition of the Central Bank of Barbados sponsored initiative.
Emerging from the field were a trio of entrants, with Sharma Taylor taking the top prize for her “Hollow Calabash.” The prose fiction piece earned the first-time winner a cash prize of $10,000.
Second place went to Claudia Clarke, who was awarded $6,000 for her “CircleSquare.” Anderson Lowe’s “Inside the Blackbelly Sheep” secured him third place and prize money of $4,000. Lowe also received the Prime Minister’s Award. Ingrid Persaud and Sarah Venable received honourable mention for “So it Go” and “The Tropic of Sweet and Sour” respectively.
In his remarks at the ceremony, Central Bank Governor Cleviston Haynes spoke of the importance of Barbados having a strong literary tradition, saying, “seeing your culture reflected and celebrated in print is a powerful and validating experience.”
He added, “Having that national identity and the sense of pride it engenders will be critical as we Barbadians continue to tackle the economic and other challenges our island faces.”
Haynes also explained that his organisation considers its sponsorship of the FCLE to be part of its contribution to Barbados’ national development, saying, “what is promoting and showing tangible support for an activity that imbues a strong sense of national identity in our citizens if it is not a form of nation building?”
Attendees at the event were treated to excerpts from the works of the five finalists as well as a feature address by Vincentian-born writer H. Nigel Thomas.
The Frank Collymore Literary Endowment Awards was started in 1998 to support and develop the literary arts in Barbados. In addition to the annual competition, the programme includes outreach to secondary schools and technical workshops for writers.