Professor Mervyn Morris Will Soon Be Peelin’ Orange

Although we will soon have a new Poet Laureate (Lorna Goodison, who I am sure will be wonderful, too) I will certainly miss Professor Mervyn Morris when he “demits office,” or whatever it is that Poet Laureates do. I will miss his deep, resonant voice and the wry smile that belies his dignified demeanour. But the definitive collection of his poetry is to be launched next week! This is the National Library of Jamaica’s press release. Do go along to the launch on Thursday, April 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Undercroft, University of the West Indies Mona campus.

April 13, 2017


Mervyn Morris: In his ole clothes, Peelin’ Orange

KINGSTON, Jamaica: Poet Laureate of Jamaica, Professor Mervyn Morris, will launch his collected poems, titled Peelin’ Orange, on Thursday, April 20, 2017, 6:30 p.m. at the Undercroft, UWI Mona Campus. The launch is hosted by the Department of Literatures in English, in association with the National Library of Jamaica. Noted Jamaican poet and literary scholar, Professor Edward Baugh, will deliver the launch talk on this remarkable volume.

Peelin’ Orange reflects Morris’ outstanding literary life as a poet and critic. Morris taught at the University of the West Indies for many years before retiring from his post as Professor of Creative Writing and West Indian Literature in 2002. He received the Order of Merit in 2009 and currently serves as Jamaica’s Poet Laureate – the first in 61 years.

Morris has nurtured the talents of countless Jamaican writers and is acknowledged as having been among the first to recognize the legitimacy of the dub poetry genre. His influential 1963 essay On Reading Louise Bennett, Seriously was the first to take critical consideration of the work of Louise Bennett as a poet rather than as simply a ‘humorist’.

Morris’ own poetry is technically brilliant and is widely studied at both secondary and tertiary levels. “Morris’ powers of poetic compression, his combination of verbal economy and stylistic complexity… his poetry achieves a resonance that is both full an elegant.” (Wasafiri Journal)

The launch of Peelin’ Orange is a ‘can’t-miss’ event for aspiring writers, students and lovers of literature alike.

All are invited to attend.

Peelin’ Orange is published by Carcanet Press. Copies will be available for sale at the launch. For more information on Professor Mervyn Morris, Poet Laureate of Jamaica, visit The National Library of Jamaica’s website,

Professor Mervyn Morris. (Photo: National Library of Jamaica)

 Contact: Stefan Morris, Public Relations and Marketing Officer

National Library of Jamaica, 12 East Street, Kingston Jamaica

(876) 967- 2494 Ext. 256 .jm

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