Current Poet Laureate of Jamaica - National Library of Jamaica

The Poet Laureate of Jamaica Professor Mervyn Morris OM

On April 15, 2014, Professor Emeritus Mervyn Morris, OM, was announced as Jamaica’s third and newest Poet Laureate. He will serve in this honorary position for three years. Poet Laureate Morris will be pinned by the Governor General with the Badge of Office at a King’s House ceremony in May.  See highlights at photo gallery.

The Poet Laureate of Jamaica: Professor Mervyn Morris OM

mervynMERVYN MORRIS was born in Kingston in 1937. He studied at Munro College, the University College of the West Indies and, as a Rhodes Scholar, at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. From 1966 until 2002 he was on the staff of the University of the West Indies, retiring as Professor of Creative Writing and West Indian Literature. He received the Order of Merit in 2009.
His books of poems are The Pond, Shadowboxing, Examination Centre (New Beacon Books, London), Vestiges (a limited edition, Erlangen), On Holy Week (Dangaroo Press, Sydney) and I been there, sort of: New and Selected Poems (Carcanet, Manchester, 2006). In 1976 the Institute of Jamaica awarded him a silver Musgrave Medal for poetry. In 2011 the Poetry Archive, London, produced a CD of Mervyn Morris Reading from his Poems. He has given poetry readings in many countries and has conducted poetry workshops in the Caribbean, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom.

He is the author of ‘Is English We Speaking’ and other essays (1999), Making West Indian Literature (2005) and Miss Lou: Louise Bennett and Jamaican Culture (Ian Randle Publishers, Kingston, 2014).

Books he has edited include Selected Poems by Louise Bennett, It A Come by Michael Smith and After-image by Dennis Scott. He co-edited Jamaica Woman, an anthology of poems by Jamaican women who had not yet published individual collections, and Voiceprint, an anthology of oral and related poetry from the Caribbean.

Poems by Mervyn Morris:


Interview with Poet Laureate, Mervyn Morris on RJR’s ‘Jamaica Morning’

Click to view the Mervyn Morris Bibliography