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!
ABOUT THE DAY-BREAKERS
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.
ABOUT MICHAEL FRASER
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.