Lorna Goodison (Jamaica/USA, IWP '83) is Poet Laureate of Jamaica and among the most celebrated living Caribbean writers. Her 12 books of poetry include the collections I Am Becoming My Mother (1986, Commonwealth Poetry Prize for the Americas) and Oracabessa (2014, OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature). Goodison is the author of three short story collections; From Harvey River: A Memoir of My Mother and Her People received the 2007 British Columbia National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction.
Margarita MATEO PALMER (critic, essayist, novelist; Cuba) has her extensive critical work collected in seven volumes of essays; she is also the author of the novel Desde los blancos manicomios (2008). Her writing on Caribbean literatures has earned her fellowships at Harvard and Tulane, six iterations of Premio Nacional de la Crítica, and many other literary awards. Mateo Palmer is a member of the Cuban Academy of Language. Her participation is made possible by the U.S. Embassy in Havana and the Ludwig Foundation.
Omar PÉREZ (poet, essayist, translator; Cuba) won Cuba’s National Critics’ Prize for the collection of essays La perseverancia de un hombre oscuro (2000), and the 2010 Nicolás Guillén Award for Poetry for Crítica de la razón puta. His other books of poetry include Algo de lo sagrado (1996), ¿Oíste hablar del gato de pelea? (1999), Canciones y letanías (2002) and Lingua Franca (2009), with two of them appearing as bilingual editions (Something of the Sacred and Did You Hear About the Fighting Cat?).
Rogelio SAUNDERS began his career in Cuba as part of “Diáspora(s)”, a group of alternative writers. His first publication was the story “Coronación” [‘Coronation’] in Letras Cubanas (1988). Since then, Saunders has gone on to publish poetry and short stories in Cuba and abroad, holding residencies in Austria, Germany, and Spain. His most recent publications include a volume of short stories, La cinta sin fin (2002) and the poetry collection Fábula de ínsulas no escritas (2006). In 1999 Saunders re-located to Spain.
Marvin VICTOR (fiction writer, filmmaker; Haiti) has worked on a number of documentaries, shorts and feature-length films, including the 2009 adaptation of Kathy Acker's novel Kathy Goes To Haiti, and taught creative writing courses for Fondation Culture Création. In 2011 he has published the novel Corps mêlés (Gallimard, Paris), and his short fiction has been included in the collection Hasdf Haiti Noir; earlier, his articles have appeared in the magazine Conjonction.
Oonya KEMPADOO (fiction writer, nonfiction writer; Grenada) has worked with UNICEF and UNAIDS in Grenada and in Trinidad. Her writing has appeared in the collections Trinidad Noir, Caribbean Dispatches, Stories From Blue Lattitudes, and the literary magazine The Bomb. Her first novel, Buxton Spice (1998), was long-listed for the Orange Prize and translated into six languages. She has just completed a screen adaptation for her second novel, Tide Running (2001).
Beaudelaine PIERRE is the author of three novels, most recently Ratures aux Quotidiens [‘Daily Articles,’ 2004], which she co-wrote with Gaspard Dorélien. Her debut novel Testaman [‘The Will’] won First Prize in the 2002 Best Creole-Language Novel Contest sponsored by the newspaper Bon Nouvel in Port-Au-Prince. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State.