Poet laureate visits Lucea

July 18, 2017
Lorna Goodison

Jamaica's first female poet laureate, Lorna Goodison, made her first official stop in Hanover at the parish library in Lucea, where she did a poetry reading from some of her literary works.

The highly acclaimed Goodison, whose parents were from Hanover, presented poetic works such as 'The Guinea Woman', 'I am becoming my mother', 'My Will', 'To us all flowers are roses', among others.

She also read several of her short stories, including 'How my mother got her name', much to the delight of the audience.

The attendees were spellbound for about an hour by her presentations, which were interspersed with two Quadrille dances by students of the Maryland All-Age School and a musical item by saxophonist Sheldon Gibson.

Director of special programmes at the National Library of Jamaica Abigail Henry told the gathering that the poet laureate programme, which is being administered by her organisation, was re-established in 2014 after being dormant for 61 years.

"The poet laureate is charged with stimulating a greater appreciation for Jamaican poetry, while aiming to develop mass appeal for poetry as an art and medium for developing and disseminating our cultural heritage," she said.

"He or she is charged with creating an avenue for public involvement in the spoken arts by stimulating the writing of poetry and improving youth appreciation for poetry," she added.




Goodison was officially invested as poet laureate by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen in May and will hold the position until May 2020.

Poet laureate is a national honour that recognises a distinguished Jamaican poet for his or her significant contribution to literature.

In her role, Goodison is responsible for stimulating a greater appreciation for Jamaican poetry by presenting poetry readings and seminars across the island and overseas.

She is also mandated to, among other duties, promote reading and Jamaican literature with an emphasis on poetry, participate in and compose poetry for national events and observances, and create a publication related to Jamaican poetry.

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