From Jamaica to Johannesburg: Lorna Goodison speaks at African Women Writers Symposium - The National Library of Jamaica

From Jamaica to Johannesburg: Lorna Goodison speaks at African Women Writers Symposium

 

On September 15, 2017, the Poet Laureate of Jamaica, Lorna Goodison, delivered the Nadine Gordimer Memorial Lecture at the 5th African Women International Writer’s Symposium in Johannesburg, South Africa.

During the symposium, Goodison also gave poetry readings, participated in panel discussions, and facilitated a masterclass writing workshop.

In her lecture, Goodison spoke of her own encounters with South African artists, writers, and  freedom fighters – including Nelson and Winnie Mandela during their visit to Jamaica. She discussed the impact of the works of African women writers on her own writing.

I needed to find the women writers of Africa…Women writers who would look and sound more like me, whose stories would perhaps help to connect me to a place and a time and a history and to traditions lost in the great watery graveyard of the Atlantic.  

 

Nadine Gordimer (1923-2014) was a Nobel-prize winning South African novelist whose work took on issues of freedom and justice in South Africa under apartheid. The lecture is held in her memory in honour of her life’s work of striving for freedom and justice.

You can read the full text of Goodison’s lecture at The Carcanet Blog. You can also see photo highlights from the events on the African Women Writers Network Facebook page.