Guyanese writers honoured at Guyana Prize Ceremony

Several writers have been honoured by the Culture, Youth and Sport Ministry on Friday evening, during a prize-giving ceremony held at the National Cultural Centre.
The Guyana Prize was established in 1987 by late President Desmond Hoyte to recognise and celebrate outstanding literary works by Guyanese writers across various categories. This year’s ceremony recognised authors in fiction, drama, poetry, and creative non-fiction.
The Best Fiction award saw Michael Jordan copping first place for his piece “The Girl in the Pink Pleated Skirt”, while Somnauth Narine placed second for “Rage from the Blackwater”, and Kennard Ramphal placed third for “Slippery Ochro.”
The Poetry category saw the Best First Book award being captured by Ruth Osman with her “All Made of Longing”, while first place for Best Overall Book of Poetry went to Ian McDonald for “Not Quite Without a Moon”.

Estherine G.H. Adams receiving her award from Prime Minister Mark Phillips

Best book of Non-Fiction was copped by Estherine G.H. Adams for “The Few Among the Many: Women’s Labour in British Guiana”, while second place was awarded to Baytoram Ramharack for “Powerful Indian Voice: Alice Bhagwandai Singh; Reflections on her Work in Guyana.”
There was a tie for third place between Joanne Collins-Gonsalves, who wrote “Iris De Freitas Brazao: Legal Luminary and Trailblazer”, and Nesha Haniff, who wrote “The Pedagogy of Action: Small Axe Fall Big Tree.”
In the Best of Drama category, Harold Bascom took first place with his piece “Unfounded”, while Shaphan Hestick copped second place with “With a Kisa”, and Jamal La Rose took third place for “Requiem for the Living”.
First place for Best Poetry for Girls went to Reneka Anand, while Best Poetry for Boys saw Samir Mohammed taking the top spot.
During the awards, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr, reaffirmed Government’s commitment to protecting and nurturing the talent of literary writers in Guyana.

Minister of Culture, Charles Ramson, presenting the award to Samir Mohammed

He said reintroduction of the Guyana Prize was a deliberate decision made by Government to promote the development of the literary sector.
“It was a deliberate decision that we made, because we knew we wanted to protect that space for everyone who had that love and passion and needed the safety of expression of their craft and an environment to grow and prosper,” Minister Ramson underscored.
Further, Minister Ramson explained that adding the youth category was a means of providing a platform for young writers to develop their skills alongside established writers.
Minister Ramson has said the Ministry remains committed to the drama sector, and would provide funding for plays based on award-winning literary works. Revenue generated from those plays would be given to the directors and performers.
“The MCYS stays committed to implementing initiatives aimed at creating a sustainable and organic environment to develop the literary arts of Guyana. The Ministry extends its heartfelt congratulations to all the awardees for their significant contributions to Guyana’s literary heritage. Their dedication and creativity continue to inspire and enrich the nation’s vibrant cultural landscape,” Minister Ramson has explained.