Stephenjohn Holgate

Stephenjohn Holgate was born in Port Antonio, Jamaica and has lived in Florida, London and Birmingham. He read English at Oxford University and has an MA in Classical Acting from the Central School of Speech and Drama.

A member of Writing West Midlands Room 204 writer development programme, he was one of the Bridport Prize’s inaugural Black Writers in Residence and is one of the winners of the PEN/ Robert J. Dau Prize 2023. He was longlisted for 4th Estate’s 2023 4th Write Short Story Prize.

West Midlands

‘Delroy and the Boys’, Best Debut Short Stories 2023: The PEN America Dau Prize

Books, Online writing, Short story

When I reach round to the ballroom where everything taking place I see Tony and Earl lean up against one of the pillars looking into the main area and Tony smiling big big. So I lean up my bicycle by the coconut tree and go over to them. When I look in is a troupe of dancers doing something that I think is supposed to be kumina. Black, gold and green costumes, woman with their hair tie up and hands holding up their skirt. But they look bored. Really bored. And I can see why. The musician them just going through the paces, no liveliness on the drums at all at all. Like the drums themselves drink a white rum and done for the night. When I look over on the musicians I see Bongo there betwixt everybody, looking foolish.