Antoni made it on the regional short list of the 2006 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for his book ‘Carnival,’ by Grove Press. His first novel, Divina Trace, was published in 1991 by the Overlook Press in New York, and by Quartet in London. It received the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book, an NEA, James Michener and Orowitz fellowships.
His second novel, Blessed is the Fruit, was published by Henry Holt in 1997, and in London by Faber & Faber as part of their Caribbean Series. Faber & Faber published a new collection, My Grandmother's Erotic Folktales, in June 2000, with a new edition of Divina Trace following in 2001. He is currently a professor of creative writing and Caribbean literature at the University of Miami.
McWatt’s ‘Suspended Sentences,’ published by PeepalTree Press, and James ‘John Crow's Devil,’ made the short list for best first book. McWatt was born in Guyana in 1947. He took his first degree at the University of Toronto, then went to Leeds University to complete a Ph.D.
He is currently Head of the English Department at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus, Barbados. He has published two collections of poetry, Interiors (1989) and The Language of Eldorado (1994) that won the Guyana Prize. He has published widely in journals on aspects of Caribbean literature and is joint editor of the Oxford Book of Caribbean Poetry (2004).
James was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1970. He graduated from the University of the West Indies in 1991 with a degree in Literature. An award-winning artist and writer, ‘John Crow's Devil,’ is his first novel. He still lives in Kingston.
Canada’s Edeet Ravel and Lisa Moore are also in the running for the 2006 Commonwealth Writers' Prize as is Jane Urquhart of Stratford, Ont., and Ajax, Ont., resident Rabindranath Maharaj.
Regional winners will be announced on Feb. 6 and they will go on to compete for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize which will be announced on March 14.
The winner of the prize will receive 10,000 pounds while the winner of the best first book award will be presented with 3,000 pounds.
The Commonwealth Writers' Prize is funded and managed by the Commonwealth Foundation. The Foundation established the Commonwealth Writers' Prize in 1987 to encourage and reward the upsurge of new Commonwealth fiction and ensure that works of merit reach a wider audience outside their country of origin.
The prize celebrates the outstanding literary talent that exists in many parts of the Commonwealth and its contribution to contemporary writing in English, according to the Foundation. – Hardbeatnews.com