Intended to support a Caribbean writer in completing a work in progress, and to expose both the SGU academic community and the Grenadian community to the contemporary Caribbean literary scene, the writer-in-residence programme will run for the first time in 2014, from January to May.
The inaugural writer-in-residence, Lisa Allen-Agostini, was selected by a panel of writers and editors on the basis of her current work in progress and well as her potential to contribute to the SGU community. Allen-Agostini is a writer of both prose and poetry. Her young adult novel The Chalice Project was published in 2009, and she is also co-editor of the Trinidad Noir fiction anthology. She writes a weekly column for the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian, and she is the founder of the Allen Prize for Young Writers, a programme that works to support and reward writers aged 12 to 19 in Trinidad and Tobago. Allen-Agostini was also shortlisted for the 2013 Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize.
During her SGU residency, she will work on completing both a novel and a collection of poems. She will also lead workshops in creative writing, mentor and support local writers, and give public readings of her work.
“I’m honoured to be the inaugural St. George’s University Writer-in-Residence,” says Allen-Agostini. “It’s not often that a writer gets such a generous opportunity, and a four-month stay in a different environment where I can focus completely on writing will no doubt help me complete some work I have been engaged with for some time.”
The selection panel was chaired by scholar Antonia MacDonald, Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences, at SGU. Other members were St. Lucian poet and playwright Kendel Hippolyte; Jamaican writer and scholar Andrea Shaw; and Trinidadian Nicholas Laughlin, editor of The Caribbean Review of Books and programme director of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest. In announcing Allen-Agostini’s selection, the panel noted both the promise of her current work in progress in several genres, and her broad experience in teaching and mentoring emerging writers at various levels.