Jamaica Gleaner


- Kwame Dawes Con­trib­u­tor http://www.po­et­r­yarchive.org/poet). Arts · Literature · Poetry · Youtube · United Kingdom · Jean Smith · Linton Kwesi Johnson · Linton · Lillian Allen

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 (

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