Poet Laureate 2017-2020 - The National Library of Jamaica

The Poet Laureate of Jamaica 2017-2020

Lorna Goodison CD

Poet Laureate of Jamaica, Lorna Goodison addresses the gathering in the King’s House Ballroom at the Investiture Ceremony held May 17, 2017

Lorna Goodison was born in Jamaica, and has won numerous awards for her writing in both poetry and prose.  The most recent edition of the Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Poetry is dedicated to her in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Commonwealth and World Literatures, and her Collected Poems has just been published by Carcanet Press.  Over the past thirty five years her work has garmered wide international attention and awards, and recently she became the first non-British writer to be made Poet Laureate of the Durham Book festival in England. Two of her poems are on display on London’s Poems on the Underground; and a translation of one of her short stories recently appeared on the front of the arts section of Le Monde.

Goodison’s many other awards include the Commonwealth Poetry Prize for the Americas, the Musgrave Gold Medal from Jamaica, the Henry Russel Award and the Shirley Verrett awards for Exceptional Creative Work from the University of Michigan, and one of Canada’s largest literary prizes, the British Columbia National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction for From Harvey River: A Memoir of My Mother and Her People  (2007). Her work has been included in the major anthologies and collections of contemporary poetry such as the Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, the HarperCollins World Reader, the Vintage Book of Contemporary World Poetry, the Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces, and the Longman Masters of British Literature.

Lorna Goodison, Poet Laureate

Lorna Goodison CD
Poet Laureate 2017-2020

Goodison has published twelve internationally acclaimed collections of poetry, including Tamarind Season, I Am Becoming My Mother, Heartease, To Us All Flowers Are Roses, Turn Thanks, Travelling Merices, Controlling the Silver and Supplying Salt and Light. She is the author of two prize-winning collections of short stories, her work has been translated into many languages, and she is a central figure at literary festivals throughout the world. A graduate of St. Hugh’s High School, she studied at the Jamaica School of Art and the School of the Art Students League in New York, and her paintings appear on the covers of several of her books. Lorna Goodison has taught at the University of Toronto, the University of Miami, and is Professor Emerita at the University of Michigan, where she was the Lemuel A. Johnson Professor of English and African and Afroamerican Studies.


Listen to an interview with Lorna Goodison on RJR’s ‘Sunny Side Up’