Bahamian Poet Making Literary Mark
This week features Christian Campbell, a young writer of Bahamian and Trinidadian heritage, an Oxford Rhodes Scholar and member of the teaching Faculty of the Department of English at the University of Toronto. His poetry and essays have been published widely in journals and anthologies such as Callaloo, Indiana
Review, New Caribbean Poetry, New Poetries IV, PN Review, Poetry London, Small Axe, The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, The Routledge Companion to Anglophone Caribbean Literature, Wasafiri and West Branch. His work has been translated into Spanish in the anthology Poetas del Caribe Ingles.
Campbell has been making literary headlines for the last few months for his first book of poetry, Running the Dusk, published by London based Peepal Tree Press, a publishing house that specializes in Caribbean and Black British writers. Running the Dusk was named a finalist for the Cave Canem Prize by African-American poet Sonia Sanchez, and was shortlisted for the prestigious 2010 Forward Poetry Prize for the Best First Book in the UK.
The Forward Poetry prizes were created in 1991 to bring contemporary poetry to a wider audience. Often referred to as the ‘Bardic Booker’, this is the UK’s most valuable annual poetry competition as well as the only major awards that honour both established and up-and-coming poets. Campbell is the second Caribbean poet to be shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. The first was Kwame Dawes, who went on to win the prize in 1994.
Just last week, it was announced that Running the Dusk had also made the shortlist of six (from a record 95 entries) for the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, another influential and established poetry prize in the UK.arts