Bookish Things (And a New Poet Laureate)


I know there are a few of us on this blog who love books. Myself included, of course. Kingston has hosted several literature events recently, and a couple more are coming up on Sunday, March 26. There’s some very positive news about poets, too!

Firstly, Latoya West-Blackwood of iPublish Consultancy (a Branson Entrepreneur and Young Leader of the Americas) is organising a very special one-day workshop on Saturday, March 25 at the Multi-Functional Room of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Library from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It’s an Editorial Bootcamp (on non-fiction) and it will include the following: Overview of the publishing process, style and reference guides; Spelling, punctuation, grammar, style, fact checking, queries, author voice, and online tools; Project and time management; Marketing – Social Media and Client Engagement; Business practices: Getting and keeping clients, resumes, sample edits, rates and billing, follow-up options, networking, professionalism, and deadlines. Register here today!

What next? Well, on Sunday March 26 there will be two book launches in Kingston. The first is Ann-Margaret Lim‘s second book of poetry Kingston Buttercup at 11:00 a.m. at NI Lecture Hall (Neville Hall) on the UWI campus. Now, this is truly special.  The book is on the long list for the 2017 OCM Bocas Prize – along with some other Jamaican works, including those of poets Safiya Sinclair (Cannibal) and Ishion Hutchinson (House of Lords and Commons); and two novelists – Kei Miller (Augustown); and Marcia Douglas (The Marvellous Equations of the Dread). Ann-Margaret’s poetic voice is soft and gentle, with a hard core. Buttercup is available at Bookophilia, by the way, and published by Peepal Tree Press.

Jean Small reads from Pamela Mordecai’s “Subversive Sonnets” at a book launch back in 2014. (My photo)

Jean Small is a Guyanese-Jamaican educator, dramatist, puppeteer, writer and poet. She will also be launching a poetry book on Sunday – Send Me No Flowers – at Pages Cafe in Hope Gardens at 4:00 p.m. Jean’s incredibly talented son Seretse will play guitar and M’bala will do all kinds of percussion wonders. It will certainly be a treat!

Now. One more piece of news. We have a new Poet Laureate, and she is Lorna Goodison! She succeeds Professor Mervyn Morris, who was invested in 2014 as Jamaica’s first Poet Laureate since before Independence. Now, three years later Ms. Goodison, O.D. will be installed during a ceremony at King’s House on May 17. She has written twelve books of poetry and three short story collections. She divides her time between Canada and Jamaica, but I hope we will see more of her!

I have been reading as well as writing, and have a couple of book reviews coming up in this space, very soon. Stay tuned…

Our new Poet Laureate, Lorna Goodison.

2 thoughts on “Bookish Things (And a New Poet Laureate)

  1. What wonderful news about our newest poet laureate. Thanks for sharing. This is really good news. Interested in the book launches, especially happy about the increasing numbers of female young writers getting their work out there!!

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    1. Yes – it’s so great isn’t it Judith. Lorna Goodison will be our first female poet laureate. There is a real flourishing of poets and writers in Jamaica, I feel!

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