The UWI Press marks its 24th Anniversary with Authors’ Awards

The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. 18 October 2016.  The University of the West Indies Press (UWI Press) marked its anniversary with a celebration of outstanding Caribbean authors. The Press’ 24th Anniversary and Author Awards Ceremony took place on Saturday 8th October, 2016 at the Marriott Hotel in St. Kitts and Nevis.

UWI Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles both spoke in his official capacity and was honoured as one of this year’s celebrated authors. “The Press was established to give voice and visibility to the finest intellectual and scholarly research on the Caribbean by writers within and beyond the region. The creative imagination and innovative culture of Caribbean people has long given shape and form to literary content  of the highest quality in multiple disciplines. These texts are respected and celebrated in the global academy. The UWI Press, then, established as a centre of excellence within the institution and region has delivered on its mandated in fine style. It holds its own as one of the most celebrated and decorated university presses in the world. The list of awards it has won for the excellence of its writers grows daily. To be associated with promoting the intellectual dynamism of the region, and its most outstanding writers, is an honour and great responsibility” Sir Hilary said in his address.

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The UWI Open Campus and Chair of The UWI Press Board of Directors, Dr Luz Longworth delivered the welcome address; “We are very pleased that for the first time The UWI Press is holding these awards outside the walls of the three physical campuses.  Significantly, on the same day of the Open Campus' graduation ceremony here in St Kitts and Nevis, we celebrate the excellence of our authors and The UWI Press' decades of contribution to scholarly publishing in the region and internationally" she said.

Newly appointed UWI Press General Manager Dr Joseph Powell also brought remarks. He noted that “The authors awarded are examples of both the importance of a solid university press to the campus faculty members, as well as to the wider world of scholars and scholarship. These authors represent the kind of gold-standard content The UWI Press offers the world; the kinds of books that challenge the status quo, open new avenues of research, and change world-views. Moving forward, The UWI Press will focus on delivering superlative content on, and in the Caribbean, through a variety of new forms and media that will always include the traditional “book” form. The UWI Press aims to act globally through international partnerships and interested public and private-sector sponsors that will help us continue our educational mission.”  

The keynote address was delivered by Professor David Dabydeen of the Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies at the University of Warwick.

A significant achievement of the Press  celebrated at the Awards was a collaborative database project with the St. Augustine Campus’ Alma Jordan Library to grant free staff and student access to Caribbean authored e-books.

Following is a full list of awards given at the ceremony:

·         Chancellor’s Personal Award: The Legacy of Eric Williams: Caribbean Scholar and Statesman – Colin A Palmer, Editor.

·         Vice-Chancellor’s Personal Award: Ties That Bind: The Black Family in Post-slavery Jamaica, 1834-1882 – Jenny M. Jemmott

·         Best Selling Scholarly Monograph: Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations for Caribbean Slavery and Native Genocide – Hilary McD Beckles

·         Best Selling Edited Collection: Global Reggae – Carolyn Cooper, Editor

·         Best Selling General Interest Book: Dying to Better Themselves: West Indians and the Building of the Panama Canal – Olive Senior

·         Outstanding Revised Dissertation: Citizenship Under Pressure: the 1970’s in Jamaican Literature and Culture – Rachel L. Mordecai

·         Outstanding Original Fiction: Nothing’s Mat – Erna Brodber

·         Outstanding Fiction Anthology: The Haunted Tropics: Caribbean Ghost Stories – Martin Munro, Editor

·         Outstanding Electronic Innovation:  The Alma Jordan Library, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine

The outstanding contributions of some administrative staff at The UWI Press were also recognized. Mrs Linda Speth who served as General Manager of the Press from 2000-2016 was awarded for her ‘Outstanding Commitment to Scholarly Publishing’. Long service awards went to Jean Honeyghan, Jodie McBean, Donna Muirhead, Karen Smith and Nadine Buckland.



Captioned photos from the event can be accessed at

About The UWI Press

The University of the West Indies Press is a not-for-profit scholarly publisher of books in fourteen academic disciplines. It is particularly well known for its work in Caribbean history, Caribbean cultural studies, Caribbean literature, gender studies, education and political science. Founded in 1992, the Press has over 350 books in print and has 120 of these book available in the Kindle and Kobo stores. Its books are peer-reviewed and approved by an editorial committees composed of local and international scholars. Over the last twenty years the UWI Press has won over eighty international, regional and national book awards for scholarly, editorial and production excellence.

About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in BarbadosJamaicaTrinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. For more information, visit

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)