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Poet Laureate of Jamaica launches poetry initiative in time for Emancipendence Celebration

Release Date: 
Monday, August 3, 2015 - 10:45

The Poet Laureate of Jamaica programme under the directorship of the National Library of Jamaica (NLJ), will bring to life for this year’s Emancipendence celebratory period the launch of a weekly poetry feature called: From Our Poetry Books. The feature, which will bring poetry to the fingertips of Jamaicans, showcases one published Jamaican poem to the public through the Sunday Gleaner, as well as through various radio stations. From Our Poetry Books will run in the Arts and Education section of The Sunday Gleaner each week, starting Sunday, August 2, 2015 and will also be aired on the The Arts Page, a production of the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Radio starting Friday, August 7. 

Poet Laureate of Jamaica, Professor Mervyn Morris stated, “At my investiture last year I said I would try to persuade some of our media houses to give more space and time to significant, well-crafted poems; From Our Poetry Books is an attempt to make good on that promise, acknowledging in every instance the book from which the item was selected.”

He continued, “So starting on August 2, Emancipendence Sunday, Jamaicans can look out and listen out each week for a poem I believe they will find accessible and meaningful.”

 The new feature, From Our Poetry Books falls within the ambit of the Poet Laureate of Jamaica programme, which primarily aims to aid in the relighting and rekindling of national pride and love for Jamaican poetry. The poems are selected by the Poet Laureate himself, and will capture the essence of our rich Jamaican literary heritage.

Following its initial launch in the Arts and Education section of the Sunday Gleaner the feature will take permanency with a new poem being published each week.

Additionally, From Our Poetry Books will air every last Friday of the month on various local radio stations as a feature on JIS’s Arts Page. The Arts Page will first launch From Our Poetry Books on Friday, August, 7, 2015, the day after Independence.

The National Library of Jamaica serves as the Secretariat to the Poet Laureate of Jamaica Programme, as well as the home for the publications, recordings and other materials emanating from the programme’s activities. The Poet Laureate of Jamaica Programme is funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund, the CHASE Fund and the NLJ.

 More information about the Poet Laureate of Jamaica Programme and upcoming features can be found at http://www.nlj.gov.jm/poetlaureate/index.htm.