THE DAY-BREAKERS longlisted for the 2023 OCM BOCAS PRIZE!

We’re excited to share that The Day-Breakers by Michael Fraser (April 4, 2022) has been longlisted for the 2023 OCM Bocas Prize!

The judges describe The Day-Breakers by Grenada-born, Canada-based Michael Fraser as “breathtakingly assured. […] Fraser’s poems unearth a new and untold world of Black experience from a very familiar arc of history with a rich linguistic curiosity…. The poet’s use of language illumines this collection in a way that conjoins Fraser to that broad stem of the diaspora represented by the finest Caribbean Canadian poets.”

The OCM Bocas Prize is considered the most coveted award dedicated to Caribbean writing. It recognises books in three genre categories—poetry, fiction, and literary non-fiction—published by authors of Caribbean birth or citizenship in the preceding year.

In the next stage of judging for the 2023 OCM Bocas Prize, the judges will announce the winners in the three genre categories on Sunday 2 April. These will go on to compete for the overall Prize of US$10,000, to be announced on Saturday 29 April, during the 13th annual NGC Bocas Lit Fest.

Congratulations to Michael from all of us!

Grab your copy of The Day-Breakers here!


Longlisted for the 2023 OCM Bocas Prize • A CBC Best Poetry Book of 2022

Saturated with locutions lifted from the late 19th century, The Day-Breakers deeply conceives of what African Canadian soldiers experienced before, during, and in the immediate aftermath of the American Civil War.

“It is not wise to waste the life / Against a stubborn will. / Yet would we die as some have done. / Beating a way for the rising sun wrote Arna Bontemps. In The Day-Breakers, poet Michael Fraser imagines the selflessness of Black soldiers who fought for the Union during the American Civil War, of whom hundreds were African-Canadian, fighting for the freedom of their brethren and the dawning of a new day. Brilliantly capturing the rhythms of their voices and the era in which they lived and fought, Fraser’s The Day-Breakers is an homage to their sacrifice and an unforgettable act of reclamation: the restoration of a language, and a powerful new perspective on Black history and experience.


Michael Fraser is published in various national and international journals and anthologies. He is published in Best Canadian Poetry in English 2013 and 2018. He has won numerous awards, including Freefall Magazine’s 2014 and 2015 poetry contests, the 2016 CBC Poetry Prize, and the 2018 Gwendolyn Macewen Poetry Competition. The Day-Breakers is his third book of poems.


Book cover for Rinaldo Walcott's On Property. Features the author's name and title at the top with "Field Notes" written on the side vertically. Overlapping the title is a security camera.We’re excited to announce that Rinaldo Walcott’s On Property has been nominated for the 2021 Toronto Book Awards! The longlist was announced yesterday on June 29, 2021. Rinaldo Walcott is one of 10 authors on the longlist. The shortlist will be announced in August 2021.

Established by Toronto City Council in 1974, the Toronto Book Awards honour books of literary merit that are inspired by the city. The annual awards offer $15,000 in prize money with shortlisted authors receiving $1,000 each and the winner taking home $10,000.

There are no separate categories: novels, short story collections, books of poetry, books on history, politics and social issues, biographies, books about sports, children’s and young adult books, graphic novels and photographic collections are judged together.

Jurors for the 2021 Toronto Book Awards narrowed the field from a record-setting 93 submissions to just 10 books. The 2021 Book Awards Jury was made up of Geoffrey E. Taylor, Christine Miskonoodinkwe Smith, Andy Stanleigh, Angela Wright, and Sanchari Sur.

The other books on the 2021 longlist are Missing From the Village by Justin Ling (Penguin/Random House), Saga Boy: My Life of Blackness and Becoming by Antonio Michael Downing (Penguin/Random House), Crosshairs by Catherine Hernandez (Simon & Schuster), Æther: An Out-of-Body Lyric by Catherine Graham (Wolsak & Wynn), Swimmers in Winter by Faye Guenther (Invisible Publishing), Speak, Silence by Kim Echlin (Penguin/Random House), Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin (Harper Collins Canada), The Good Fight by Ted Staunton, & illustrated by Josh Rosen (Scholastic Canada), and Unravel by Sharon Jennings (Red Deer Press). Last year’s winner was The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power by Desmond Cole (Doubleday Canada).



Photo Credit: Abdi Osman

From plantation rebellion to prison labour’s super-exploitation, Walcott examines the relationship between policing and property.

That a man can lose his life for passing a fake $20 bill when we know our economies are flush with fake money says something damning about the way we’ve organized society. Yet the intensity of the calls to abolish the police after George Floyd’s death surprised almost everyone. What, exactly, does abolition mean? How did we get here? And what does property have to do with it? In On Property, Rinaldo Walcott explores the long shadow cast by slavery’s afterlife and shows how present-day abolitionists continue the work of their forebears in service of an imaginative, creative philosophy that ensures freedom and equality for all. Thoughtful, wide-ranging, compassionate, and profound, On Property makes an urgent plea for a new ethics of care.



Rinaldo Walcott is a Professor in the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. His research is in the area of Black Diaspora Cultural Studies, gender and sexuality.


Get your copy of On Property from Biblioasis here!