General Presentation:

Born in 1953, Marion Bethel is Bahamian and lives in Nassau. She studied Law at the University of Cambridge and has worked as a lawyer since 1986, but she also writes poems, novels and essays. Her writings feature in a great many magazines and anthologies such as Callaloo, The Massachusetts Review, BIM, MaComère, The Caribbean Writer, Moving Beyond Boundaries … or Junction and Lignum Vitae (anthology and magazine of Bahamian writers respectively). Marion has been a guest writer at several international events including the Conference of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars in Florida, the Miami International Book Fair, Duke University’s Caribbean Women Writers Series (North Carolina) and the International Poetry Festival of Medellin (Colombia). In 2005, she attended the Cave Canem workshop “A Retreat for African American poets” organised at Pittsburgh University; in 2006, she was the guest of honour at the International Writers Workshop of Hong Kong Baptist University; in 2007, she was invited to the Saint-Martin Book Fair by House of Nehesi Publishers and in 2008, Granada’s 4th International Poetry Festival (Nicaragua) invited her to present her oeuvre. Marion Bethel has been rewarded many times for her work – these awards include a James Michener fellowship from the Caribbean Writers Summer Institute at the University of Miami. She is without a doubt the representative for poetry from the Bahamas. Her latest collection, Bougainvillea Ringplay (2009), which demonstrates an exceptional grasp of syntax, fully embodies the sensuality offered by the characteristics of her homeland. Moreover, Marion is the director of a documentary on the movement of Bahamian women for the right to vote between 1948 and 1962. Today, she is working on publishing a third collection of poetry and a novel.

Select bibliography:

  • Bougainvillea Ringplay. Peepal Tree Press, 2009.
  • Guanahani, My Love. House of Nehesi Publishers, 2009 (new edition).

Prizes and distinctions:

1997: Winner of the Alice Naumburg Proskauer Fellow from Harvard University

1991: Casa de Las Americas Prize for her poetry collection Guanahani, My Love

@La Médiathèque Caraïbe

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