Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - The National Library of Jamaica
What does the Poet Laureate do?

The Poet Laureate is charged with stimulating a greater appreciation for Jamaican poetry, while trying to develop mass appeal for poetry as an art and medium for developing and disseminating our cultural heritage. He/she will also be charged with creating an avenue for public involvement in the spoken arts by stimulating the writing of poetry/ improving youth appreciation for poetry. The Poet Laureate is also expected to help to strengthen the resources of the National Library of Jamaica by creating a publication related to Jamaica poetry.

The Poet Laureate will be expected to:

  1. Present public poetry related seminars/readings/promotions within the island, and possibly overseas.
  2. Promote reading and Jamaica literature, with an emphasis on poetry.
  3. Undertake Poet Laureate Duties such as writing poetry for national events.
  4. Participate in a minimum of two national events in each calendar year.
  5. Create a publication related to Jamaican poetry.
How is the Poet Laureate selected?

Nominees who meet the eligibility and selection criteria listed on the nomination form and who confirm to the selection committee that he/she will be willing to serve based on the terms of reference of the Poet Laureate; will have his/her nomination form processed by the Poet Laureate nomination committee.

Who selects the Poet Laureate?

The Poet Laureate is selected by a committee of nine (9) persons, which include:

  1. The Chair of the Board of Management of the National Library of Jamaica (NLJ)
  2. The National Librarian/CEO of the NLJ
  3. A Representative of the Department of Literatures in English of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona
  4. A Representative of the Poetry Society of Jamaica
  5. The Executive Director of the Institute Of Jamaica (IOJ)
  6. A Representative of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC)
  7. A Representative of the Entertainment Advisory Board
  8. A Representative of the Book Industry Association of Jamaica
  9. A Representative of the Creative Industries Commission
What is the term of the appointment?

The Poet Laureate will serve a term of three years.

What is the Poet Laureate’s compensation?

Approved expenses related to the Poet Laureate duties are funded by a grant.

Who administers the Poet Laureate programme?

The Poet Laureate of Jamaica programme is administered by the National Library of Jamaica.