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Mervyn Morris Joins Calabash 2014 Line-up

Professor Mervyn Morris

With his latest accolade as Poet Laureate of Jamaica still shiny and bright, Professor Mervyn Morris joins the list of literary heavyweights on the 2014 line-up of the Calabash International Literary Festival as writers from the Caribbean, the US, the UK, Kenya and India get ready to cover the black sands of Jakes in Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth. 

Prof Morris will join a cast of Jamaican voices reading at the Saturday morning opening session (10:00 am), sharing the stage with Velma Pollard and emerging voices Ann-Margaret Lim and Millicent Graham. It will be Morris' first public reading after he is officially invested in the post on Wednesday, May 21, 2013.

It seems only fitting that Prof Morris, who was among the voices at the inaugural staging of the festival, returns to it at yet another high point of his career. Indeed, it will be Prof Morris’ third time reading at Calabash, an extremely rare happening at a festival which has strict rules about repeat performances.  

Justine Henzell, festival producer points remarked that the festival is delighted to have Morris on this year’s roster. 

“With the appointment of Mervyn Morris as Poet Laureate of Jamaica, the world now knows what we have always known,” Henzell said, “that Jamaica has poets of the calibre of poet laureates anywhere in the world.”

Henzell pointed out that Calabash has a long history of including poet laureates in its line-up and has thus far included three poet laureates from the United States: Robert Pinksy, Billy Collins and Natasha Tretheway. Indeed the festival has also boasted by some of the world’s most prestigious writers.

Prof Morris’ has produced an impressive body of poetry and literary criticism. His poetry collections include The Pond, Shadowboxing, Examination Centre, On Holy Week, and I been there, sort of: New and Selected Poems. His latest work, the autobiography of Louise Bennet, joins his non-fiction output which includes the collection Is English We Speaking and Other Essays. 

Calabash 2014 takes place May 30 - June 1, 2014 under the theme Globalishus! The three day event will include Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, Salman Rushdie, Jamaica Kincaid, Paul Mundoon, Karen Lord, Robert Antoni, Roland Watson-Grant, A-dZiko Simba Gegele, Beverly East and Raul Bhattacharya.