St. Lucian writer wins 2015 Small Axe Literary Prize

St. Lucian writer wins 2015 Small Axe Literary Prize

Saint Lucian, Damien Femi Rene, has won the 2015 Small Axe Literary Prize Poetry Competition.

Rene submitted a total of 8 poems at this year’s competition.

His brother, Vladimir Lucien, had won the Poetry prize in 2013. Rene won the Small Axe Short Fiction Literary Competition in 2014.

The Small Axe Literary Competition encourages the production and publication of Caribbean fiction and poetry, focusing on emerging writers whose work centers on regional and diasporic Caribbean themes and concerns.

Damian Femi Rene is a theatre arts and English teacher at Ciceron Secondary School.

Below is one of the poem submitted by Rene:

Turtle Watch
We had walked through Debarras, Onward through the farmlands, emerging finally
at the beach where we were greeted by The curled tongue of  waves
The stench of rotting seaweed,Growing like a corrupt beard on the shoreline
The horizon, in the distance, like a fishing line grown taut
with the pull of some behemoth within its depths
the rocky outcrop like a gaping bowl
the trees stooped like ancient women mounting the mountain’s stony side
the sluggish river lugging its way  through the mangrove
snaking its way across the beach to brood in the seas
the constant easterlies fluttering through the greenery
of mangrove trees that balance like stilt-walkers above the brackish mire.
The evening comes slowly, like the death of a grandmother
whom you loved, slowly, inevitably, reality easing painfully into your heart.
The sun burns itself out splendorously over the mountains
the surf murmers still through the night
the hairy bats flit about through the fumbling dark
and a shuffle of feet is heard in the undergrowth.
The plangent hymn of cicadas and tree frogs echoes through the night
and you are waiting, eagerly, hoping that one of these ancients of the sea
a leatherback- broad-backed- streamlined, its flippers that so expertly
plunge its girth through the depths- on land- laboriously, clumsily, lug it on the sand.
It digs expertly, a hole in the wet Marquis sand and then the wonder of it- she lays a batch of eggs
Like a cache of pearls into the wet womb of the sand.

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  1. Wait a minute!!! Are you telling me three awards in three years between two brothers? That's remarkable. That is truly amazing.


  2. Congratulations young man. We need more like you making st.lucia proud again. Hats off to you. Continue the good work.


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