All Flowers Are Roses: National Library of Jamaica Uses Poetry to Fight Violence Against Young Women

Wow. What a combination! Poetry and martial arts. However, the healing power of poetry and the strength and focus of martial arts do actually compliment each other. It’s a two-pronged approach to dealing with the issue of gender-based violence. As the summer winds down, it’s good to look back at some of the many – and … More All Flowers Are Roses: National Library of Jamaica Uses Poetry to Fight Violence Against Young Women

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 … More Professor Mervyn Morris Will Soon Be Peelin’ Orange

A Few Good (Jamaican) Men of 2015: Saluting You!

  Jamaican men may, from time to time, get a bad rap. Sometimes (as in the case of the God’s-gift-to-women, egotistical Christopher Gayle) it is probably deserved. But – you know something? There are some wonderful Jamaican men out there, doing fantastic work, all over the island. I am mentioning just a few in this … More A Few Good (Jamaican) Men of 2015: Saluting You!

No-Maddz Get Romantic

Here’s a little musical interlude, from a Jamaican band that I am remarkably fond of. They are called No-Maddz and, in my opinion, they are one of the very few genuinely original and interesting bands on this island. They have just released a great little song called simply “Romance,” produced by the famous rhythm duo, Sly … More No-Maddz Get Romantic

Word Flow, Word Play

Jamaicans have an energetic relationship with words. They fling them, they shout them, they play with them, they let them sing. And so it was at a light-hearted, but quietly passionate session of open mic poetry last night at my neighborhood bookstore, Bookophilia. At times we competed with the busy Friday night traffic. But we … More Word Flow, Word Play

The Father of Dub Poetry Gets A Fine Award

He is just as neat and dapper as in his younger days, but his hair is thin and grey. The slim figure with the quietly dignified air is Jamaican-born dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson (LKJ), receiving the Golden PEN Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement from a tousle-headed English lady. He joins a list of mostly white, mainstream … More The Father of Dub Poetry Gets A Fine Award