Mervyn Morris (1937 - ) - The National Library of Jamaica

Mervyn Morris (1937 - )

Mervyn Morris, poet and critic, was born in 1937.  He was educated at MunroCollege , the University of the West Indies and St. Edmund Hall, Oxfordwhere he was a Rhodes Scholar.  He won an Institute of Race Relations Essay Competitionin 1963 with a notable piece entitled, ‘Feeling, Affection, Respect’, and had essays and poems broadcast by the BBC before returning to Jamaica .

His work continued to appear widely in Caribbean , Commonwealth and British publications and since the late 1960s he has built a solid reputation as a literary critic and essayist as well as one of Jamaica’s leading poets.  He is widely known throughout the region and much respected as a perceptive contributor to cultural debate and activity as well as a poet with a wide audience and a reputation for moving and original verse.  Among his recurrent concerns are sexuality, the delicacy of relationships and the nature of independent thought and feeling, although his range of subjects is wide.

Mervyn has produced four collections of poems, The Pond, On Holy Week, Shadowboxing and Examination Centre.  In 1964 he was awarded first prize for his, On Reading Louise Bennett Seriously, in the Jamaica Festival Literary Competition.  In 1968 his essay ‘Power and Us’ again claimed the first prize for him.

He has taught at Munro Collegeand has worked for the University of the West Indies as an assistant Registrar and as Warden of Taylor Hall.