POETRY BOOKS BY J’CAN AUTHORS
AFTER MY survey of Jamaican poetry appeared last week, I received many calls from people about how to get hold of some of the key titles by Jamaican poets. Of course, many of the works of these poets are long out of print, but there is a rich range and body of poetry that is still in print and that would reward the time and resources spent to acquire them. Needless to say, this list is an edited list – meaning it is selective and somewhat, though guardedly, subjective. It is, in other words, hardly comprehensive in the same way that the survey was not. It will reflect embarrassing omissions, and for those I apologise in advance.
There are a number of anthologies that feature Jamaican poetry that will offer an even broader range of work to supplement what I have listed here. And for those who are interested in watching some of the poets in action, I strongly encourage you to search out names on YouTube, where most of these poets do appear performing their work. Of special interest in that regard would be anything by Mikey Smith, Jean Binta Breeze, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Owen Blakka Ellis, Lillian Allen, Michael St George, and Staceyann Chin, to name just a few. Finally, a great resource would be The Poetry Archive in the UK, where some of our major poets are featured (