The Nicolas Guillen Philosophical Literature Prize are awarded at the international annual meetings of the Caribbean Philosophical Association. The prize is to be awarded to an author whose contribution to Caribbean thought is through the medium of the novel, poetry, theater, or cinema.

The Caribbean Philosophical Association is pleased to announce the 2016 recipients of the association’s awards for contributions to Caribbean thought and philosophical literature. The awards will be conferred in a special session of the 13th annual conference of the Caribbean Philosophical Association, which will take place at UCONN in Storrs, Connecticut, USA. For more information on the conference, click here.



The Nicolás Guillén Lifetime Achievement Award
for Philosophical Literature:

Jamaica Kincaid

The theme of this year’s international meeting of the Caribbean Philosophical Association is inspired by this great exemplar of Caribbean letters.   States President Jane Anna Gordon: “It is our honor to celebrate the tremendous contributions of Jamaica Kincaid, a Queen of Caribbean Letters.  Not only did she pen some of the most majestic sentences of the 20th century, their beauty was a distinctly Caribbean beauty, one of biting honesty and fiercely illuminating truth. She exemplifies this year’s conference theme [Theorizing from Small Places] of what it is to theorize from small places with implications for the globe.” A native of Antigua-Barbuda, Jamaica Kincaid’s novels, essays, and short stories are required readings not only for students of Caribbean literature but also anyone interested in the human condition from the perspective of those often overlooked.   Her social and political commitments have taken her across the globe while she has over the past decade been active, along with her countryman Paget Henry, with the co-founding and continued growth of The Antigua-Barbuda Review of Books. The subject of many literary studies, she also teaches literature and writing as Professor of African American and African Studies at Harvard University. For more information on Professor Kincaid, please consult:


The Nicolás Guillén 
for Philosophical Literature:

Arturo Dávila-Sánchez


Professor Arturo Dávila-Sánchez is Poet Laureate in Mexico and Spain where he won the following prizes for his books: La ciudad dormida (Premio “Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz,” México, 1995), Catulinarias (Premio “Antonio Machado,” Spain, 1998), and Poemas para ser leídos en el metro (Premio “Juan Ramón Jiménez,” Spain, 2003). He has published a book of scholarly essays, Alfonso Reyes entre nosotros (UANL, 2010) and many scholarly and journalistic articles and chronicles. At present he writes for Nexos, a leading cultural journal in Mexico City. He is also doing research on pre-Hispanic Codices and is compiling an anthology of Latin American poets living in United Sates. He teaches at Laney College, where he is chairperson of the Department of Modern Languages and Professor of Spanish and Mexican-Latin American Studies at Laney College in Oakland, California.

President Jane Anna Gordon adds: “Arturo Dávila-Sánchez has shared his ‘satires against power’ with the Caribbean Philosophical Association from the organization’s beginning.  Reminding us of key dimensions of our transdisciplinary mission, his work has contributed to the ‘chanting of our species,’ through poetry that continues the human effort to make ‘words say as much as possible.’”

For more information on Arturo Dávila-Sánchez, with a select list of his works, please consult:


The Nicolás Guillén Award for
Outstanding Book in Philosophical Literature  


Being Apart: Theoretical and Existential Resistance in Africana Literature
By LaRose Parris

LaRose Parris, Being Apart: Theoretical and Existential Resistance in Africana Literature. Charlotte, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2015: 

Born in St. Thomas, Jamaica and raised in New York, LaRose Parris’s teaching and scholarship are defined by a singular imperative: to elucidate the struggles, triumphs, and gifts of our African ancestors. A specialist in critical race theory, Marxist theory, Africana existentialism, existential and feminist theory, and critical race studies in philosophy, Parris is Associate Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York. 

In the words of one referee: “If it were, this book would be a strong candidate for the Frantz Fanon Prize. What makes this book such a strong candidate for the Guillén Award is the equally impressive manner in which it links the philosophical analyses of its first part to literary/poetic analyses of the last chapter… along two distinct lines that make it a wonderful work of philosophical poetics – the discursive practice for which the Guillen Prize is awarded.” Jane Anna Gordon adds: “Being Apart vivifies, or brings fully to life, the rich intellectual wing of the Africana tradition of resistance to the elaborate, insistent, and unerring antiblack racism of Euro-American philosophy. With boldness and breadth, precision and insight, Parris refuses to reduce the figures, texts, and ideas that are her focus to narrow disciplinary formations the purpose of which was never to facilitate projects of liberation.   In so doing, she demonstrates the indispensability of an existential method to engaging seriously and productively with transformative black radical thought.

Past recipients of the Guillén Award include Supriya Nair, Wilson Harris, Ramabai Espinet, Edwidge Danticat, Gabriel García Márquez, Junot Díaz, The Mighty Chalkdust / Hollis Liverpool, Prafulla Kar, Gordon Rohlehr, and Ana Lydia Vega.  



Recipients 2015

Life-time Achievement:

Samuel R. Delany

George Lamming

Philosophical Literature:

Víctor Fowler Calzada

Outstanding Book in Philosophical Literature:

Creole Renegades: Rhetoric of Betrayal and Guilt in the Caribbean Diaspora
By Bénédicte Boisseron

Recipients 2014

Life-time Achievement:

Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Philosophical Literature:

Frieda Ekotto

Outstanding Book in Philosophical Literature:

Pathologies of Paradise: Caribbean Detours
By Supriya Nair

Recipients 2013

Life-time Achievement:

Ana Lydia Vega

Philosophical Literature:

Jose Buscaglia

Recipients 2012

Life-time Achievement: 

The Mighty Chalkdust / Hollis Urban Lester Liverpool

Prafulla Kar

Philosophical Literature:

Gordon Rohlehr

Recipient 2011

Junot Díaz 

Recipient: 2010 

Gabriel García Márquez

Recipient: 2009

Edwidge Danticat 

Recipients: 2008

Ramabai Espinet

Wilson Harris



Nicholas Guillén

Click here for  biographical information on Nicholas Guillén