2023 Bermuda Literary Awards Winners

February 27, 2024 | 2 Comments

The winners of the 2023 Bermuda Literary Awards have been announced, with seven winners across the same number of categories.

A Government spokesperson said, “Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Senator Owen Darrell announced the 2023 Bermuda Literary Awards winners.

Dr. Angela Barry, Elizabeth J. Jones, Junior Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Kim Swan, Dr. Sajni Tolaram [receiving on behalf of Jonathan Land Evans] and Dr. Paul Maddern:

(L-R) Dr. Angela Barry, Elizabeth J. Jones, Junior Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Kim Swan MP, Dr. Sajni Tolaram (receiving on behalf of Jonathan Land Evans) and Dr. Paul Maddern-bermuda-feb-2024

“The Bermuda Literary Awards were inaugurated by the Government of Bermuda in 1999 to honour literary achievement by Bermuda’s writers and are administered by the Department of Culture once every five years. These are the sixth Bermuda Literary Awards, which recognised the literary accomplishments of Bermudians who published works between 2018 and 2023.

Minister Darrell said, “Beyond words on paper, celebrating literary artistry is recognising the human capacity to intertwine emotions, ideas, and dreams into words that transcend time and culture. It is where we discover the profound power to shape minds, ignite imaginations, and unite hearts, reminding us that literature is not just an art form but a timeless conversation between the author and the soul of the reader.”

Violinist Bella Correia:

Bermuda Literary Awards Bella Correia Violinist-bermuda-feb-2024

The Government spokesperson said, “The winning entries are as follows:

  • Cultural Merit: Bermuda in Painted Representation by Jonathan Land Evans
  • Drama and Screenwriting: Journey of the Shaman by Lucinda Spurling
  • Children’s and Young Adult Fiction: A Dark Iris by Elizabeth J Jones
  • Dr. Eva Hodgson Prize for Non-Fiction: Pauulu’s Diaspora: Black Internationalism and Environmental Justice by Quito Swan
  • Cecile N. Musson Prize for Poetry: The Tipping Line by Paul Maddern. Honorable Mention for Turtlemen by Andra Simons
  • Brian Burland Prize for Fiction: The Drowned Forest by Angela Barry
  • Founder’s Award, which is offered for books or scripts published prior to the establishment of the Bermuda Literary Awards in 1999, has been awarded posthumously for The History of Mary Prince, related by Bermudian National Hero Mary Prince and published in 1831.

Quinceé Kaya Dill, a special reading of an excerpt from The History of Mary Prince:

Quincee Kaya Dill (Speading Reading of The History of Mary Prince)-bermuda-feb-2024

Minister Darrell said, “I would like to particularly thank the judges: Ellen Hollis, Dr. Sajni Tolaram, Dr. Carol Marsh-Lockett, Alan Smith, Dr. Colin Duerden, and Matthew Johnston. Your dedication to evaluating the literary submissions has been invaluable, and so have the insights shared about the strengths of the works represented in the 2023 awards.”

“I also extend gratitude to Quinceé Kaya Dill and Bella Correia, who treated us to a special reading of an excerpt from The History of Mary Prince and beautiful violin melodies.

Matthew Johnston [Judge: Dr. Eva N. Hodgson Prize for Non-Fiction]:

Judge Matthew Johnston (Dr. Eva N. Hodgson Prize for Non-Fiction)-bermuda-feb-2024

“Congratulations again to the winners and those receiving honourable mentions in the 2023 Bermuda Literary Awards. We look forward to the next awards, which will take place in five years. In this time, we anticipate the birth of new masterpieces, the cultivation of fresh talents, and the flourishing of creative expression.”

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Comments (2)

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  1. Nancy Anne Miller says:

    Congratulations Paul! The Tipping Line looks to be a massively important work!

    Here is The Tipping Line’s synopsis from the publisher’s page:

    The Tipping Line is a series of eight epistolary poems written across six years and addressed to a young man training to be an actor. Part auto-biography, part exploration of artistic practice, and part historical record, the poem moves between Donegal, London, Leeds, Bermuda and New York.
    The journey produces unexpected and repeated encounters with all manner of artists: singers, dancers, poets, painters, film directors, and playwrights. But it is the Creature from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein who haunts the poem – particularly as depicted by James Whale in his 1931 film of Shelley’s novel. A survivor of WWI, we can read Whale’s Creature as a metaphorical resurrection of the war’s mutilated dead, and it is this war that occupies Maddern more and more as the poem unfolds.
    Published in the year that marks both the bicentenary of Frankenstein’s publication and the centenary of the WWI Armistice, Maddern’s poem is reminder that these two events continue to influence how we interpret and shape our worlds.
    Nancy Anne Miller

  2. Jonathan Evans says:

    If anyone is interested in buying a copy of my book ‘Bermuda in Painted Representation’, Lulu.com is offering a 10% discount using discount code PLAN10 until the end of Friday. The discount is also applicable to my many other books available in the Lulu.com bookshop (including my recent books ‘Collected Essays on Bermuda’s History’, ‘Collected Stories’, ‘More Tales & Trifles’ and ‘The Lordly Wadson Collection’).

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