BIM (magazine)

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BIM (magazine) was a distinguished "little magazine" first published in Barbados in 1942, being one of two pioneering Caribbean literary journals to have been established in the 1940s, the other being A. J. Seymour's Kyk-Over-Al in British Guiana in 1945. According to the Barbados National Register, on the submission of 16 volumes of BIM magazine together with the associated Frank Collymore Collection of correspondence in 2008:

"The importance of the magazine is that it provides a miniature history of primary sources in West Indian literature. In the mid twentieth century the magazine fostered the idea, new in the region at that time, that the profession of writing is an honorable one. The magazine was the chief meeting place for Anglophone literary ideas thus enabling the writers to overcome their isolation. Bim provided also an opportunity for new writers to appear in print alongside more established Caribbean writers who had published abroad. The magazine was thus a major force for regional dialogue, championing regionalism by its actions. Almost every important West Indian writer contributed first poems and short stories to Bim. It was here that they obtained their first encouragement and it was from here that links were established with the BBC programme Caribbean Voices and its producer Henry Swanzy who championed the development of Caribbean writing abroad."[1]

The founding editor of BIM was Frank Collymore. Subsequent editors have included A. N. Forde, Edward Kamau Brathwaite, John Wickham and E. L. Cozier. The current editors are Esther Phillips[2] and Curwen Best.


The first issue of BIM appeared in December 1942,[3] after which it continued regular publication (originally four times a year) until 1996. Many of the Caribbean writers who later received international recognition in the 1950s and '60s published work in BIM in its early years. Notable contributors included Michael Anthony, Ian McDonald and George Lamming. Lamming wrote (in an introduction to the issue of June 1955): "There are not many West Indian writers today who did not use Bim as a kind of platform, the surest, if not the only avenue, by which they might reach a literate and sensitive reading public, and almost all of the West Indians who are now writers in a more professional sense and whose work has compelled the attention of readers and writers in other countries, were introduced, so to speak, by Bim."[4]

After a decade of silence, BIM was relaunched in 2007.[5] The magazine frequently produces special themed issues, for instance, one on Haiti in 2010.[6]

Now subtitled "Arts for the 21st Century", BIM is published twice a year (in May and November) by the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination, the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Bridgetown, Barbados, in collaboration with the Office of the Prime Minister, Government of Barbados.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Memory of the World - Barbados", Barbados National Register.
  2. ^ Esther Phillips, "BIM: A literary heritage",, 15 December 2013.
  3. ^ "Bim - Kyk-Over-Al, Bim, Savacou",
  4. ^ Albert James Arnold, Julio Rodríguez-Luis, J. Michael Dash, Language Arts & Disciplines, 1994.
  5. ^ Kim Ramsay-Moore, "BIM Magazine Relaunched", BGIS Media, website of the Barbados Government Information Service, 9 September 2009.
  6. ^ Rickey Singh, "Our Caribbean: Fitting Haiti tribute in BIM Magazine",, 18 June 2010.

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