BWSI Faculty

Marion Bethel was born and lives in Nassau, The Bahamas.  She read law at Cambridge University, Cambridge, England and has worked as an attorney since 1986. 

Her writing includes poetry, short stories and essays.  Her work has appeared in Junction, an anthology of Bahamian prose and poetry, Lignum Vitae, a journal of the Bahamas Writers’ Association, From The Shallow Seas, an anthology of Bahamian prose and poetry published by Casa de Las Americas, Habana, Cuba (1993), The Massachusetts Review, Autumn-Winter (1994), The Caribbean Writer, Volume 8 (1994) and Moving Beyond Boundaries, Volume 1, Pluto Press (1995).  Her work has been accepted for publication in the following literary journals: Callaloo, River City, Poui, MaComere, The Hampden Sidney Poetry Review, Thamyris.  She edited a special section of The Caribbean Writer Vol. 13, 1999 called Poetry from the Bahamas.   This section was nominated for the Puschcart Prize. 

Ms. Bethel has been a guest writer at several international events including the Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars Conference, Florida International University, Miami, Fla. in April 1996, the Miami International Book Fair in November 1997, the Caribbean Women Writers Series at Duke University, North Carolina in February 2002 and the XVI International Poetry Festival of Medellin in June 2006 in Medellin, Colombia.  In June 2005 she began a three-part poetry workshop at Cave Canem, a Retreat for African American poets, held at the University of Pittsburgh.  House of Nehesi Publishers invited Ms. Bethel to its 5th Annual St. Martin BookFair in May 2007 as a guest poet and workshop presenter.  She was a guest poet and presenter at The IV International Poetry Festival of Granada invited her to Nicaragua to present her work in February 2008. 

Ms Bethel was awarded a James Michener Fellowship by the Caribbean Writers Summer Institute in the Department of English of the University of Miami, Florida in July 1991 and the Casa de las Americas Prize for a volume of poetry called Guanahani, My Love which was published in a bilingual edition (Spanish/English) in 1995.  From September 1997 to August 1998 she was the Alice Proskauer Poetry Fellow at the Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College, Harvard University. In October and December 2006 she was a guest writer at the International Writers Workshop at the Hong Kong Baptist University in Hong Kong. 

Ms. Bethel’s book, Guanahani, My Love, was re-published in March 2009 by House of Nehesi Publishers St.Martin, Caribbean.  Her new poetry collection, Bougainvillea Ringplay, will be published in August 2009 by Peepal Tree Press, Leeds, England.  She is now working on a third manuscript of poetry and a novel.


Toni Francis, PhD



Helen Klonaris is a Greek-Bahamian writer living and working between Oakland, California and Nassau, Bahamas. She graduated from Wesleyan University with a BA in Religious Studies, was awarded a grant to study for a year at the Women’s Theological Center in Boston, Massachusetts, was a Michener Fellow at the University of Miami’s Caribbean Writers Summer Institute, and received her MFA in Writing and Consciousness from the New College of California.

A long-time activist and culture worker in her home country, Klonaris co-founded several organizations, including WomanSpeak, the first and only Bahamian journal for women’s literary expression, the Rainbow Alliance of the Bahamas, a Bahamian GLBT advocacy organization, and most rececntly, the Bahamas Writers Summer Institute.

She has been published in numerous journals, including WomanSpeak, Yinna, Tongues of the Ocean, The Caribbean Writer, Poui, Small Axe Salon, HLFQ, So to Speak andCalyx, and has been anthologized in several collections, including Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writings from the Antilles, Caribbean Erotic and A Sudden and Violent Change. Klonaris also co-curated The Walls Project: Stories from the Crevices, along with Amir Rabiyah, in San Francisco, California. She currently teaches at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California and the Bahamas Writers Summer Institute, Nassau, Bahamas.


Born in Trinidad in 1960, Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming resides in Nassau, Bahamas where she is a practicing Mechanical/Building Services Engineer. A poet, fiction writer and essayist, her poetry, stories and artwork have appeared in numerous publications in The Bahamas, the Caribbean, Nicaragua, USA and Europe. She has won poetry, essay and art awards in The Bahamas. Internationally, she has won the David Hough Literary Prize from The Caribbean Writer (2001); the Canute A. Brodhurst Prize for Short Fiction from The Caribbean Writer (2009); and the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA) 2001 Short Story Competition. She was short-listed for the Inaugural Proverse Literary Prize (2009). Her first book of poetry, Curry Flavour, was published in 2000 by Peepal Tree Press, Leeds, England.  


Dr. Angelique Nixon







Obediah Michael Smith was born on New Providence, in the Bahamas, in 1954 and has published 13 books of poetry in English: Bicentennial Blues, 43 Poems, Ice Cubes, Acts, Fruits from Africa, Once Upon A Blank Page, As If Creation were His Crime, Christmas Lights, Poems To Sit On To Shell Peas, On The Hinges Of This Town, Seventy Poems, Open Testament and In A China Shop & Other Poems. Soul of These Soils Sail of These Seas, released in 1996, is a cassette recording of 155 of his early poems. At University of Miami and University of the West Indies, Cavehill, Barbados, he participated in writers workshops facilitated by Lorna Goodison, Earl Lovelace, Grace Nichols, Merle Collins, and Mervyn Morris. He attended Memphis State University, 1973 to 1976 and majored in Speech & Drama and Biology. He has a Bachelor of Arts Degree, in Dramatics and Speech, from Fisk University. He has lived and has studied French, in Paris, France. Obediah was the Poetry Workshop facilitator for the Bahamas Writers Summers Institute in 2009 and again in 2011. His poems, in English, are included in literary journals and anthologies throughout the Caribbean, in the USA and in England and his poems, translated into Spanish, are included in anthologies in Colombia, in Mexico, in Peru, in Venezuela and in Spain. His fourteenth book, El amplio Mar de los Sargazos y Otros Poemas, was published in Costa Rica, in 2011. His fifteenth book, a bilingual collection, Wide Sargasso Sea & 62 Other Poems, was published by in 2011 also and is available online. 



Ian Gregory Strachan is Associate Professor of English at The College of The Bahamas.  He received a BA in English from Morehouse College (1990) and an MA (1993) and PhD (1995) in English from the University of Pennsylvania.  He is a former Research Fellow at the Carter G. Woodson Institute at the University of Virginia (1998-1999) and a former Assistant Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (1999-2001).  He served as Chair of the School of English Studies at COB from 2004-2007.   His book, Paradise and Plantation: Tourism and Culture in the Anglophone Caribbean, was published in 2002 and discusses the politics of tourism in the region.  He is a poet, playwright, novelist and filmmaker. His first novel, God’s Angry Babies was published in 1997.  He has written and directed a number of plays that have been performed nationally and internationally, including No Seeds in Babylon(1991), which appears in the anthology Contemporary Drama for the Caribbean(2001) and Diary of Souls (1999).  In 1996 he founded the Track Road Theatre Foundation and served as its Director until 2006. In 2007 his poetry was included in the anthology New Caribbean Poetry (Carcanet  2007).  He wrote and directed his first film, Show Me Your Motion: The Ringplay Games of The Bahamas in 2006.  In 2007 this documentary was featured in the UNESCO Caribbean Traveling Film Showcase. He is the author of the popular newspaper column “East Street Blues” which has appeared each week in The Nassau Guardiansince 2006 and was the host of the daily public affairs talk show, “The Nation Today” in 2009.  He is also a founder and member of the civil society advocacy group, the 1962 Foundation.



Krista Walkes has been a Lecturer in English at the College of the Bahamas from 2005 to the present.   Her academic and research interests include Bahamian Oral Literature and Popular Culture, Ethnicity and Race in Caribbean Literature, and Representations of Race in Classic Hollywood Cinema. Her most recent research involves an in-depth study of Adoption in the Anglophone Caribbean Novel, which is the focus of her doctoral dissertation.


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