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Tanya Shirley Launches The Merchant of Feathers

Tanya Shirley

Acclaimed poet Tanya Shirley is set to launch her sophomore collection The Merchant of Feathers (Peepal Tree Press, 2014). The collection has been a long time coming, with Shirley’s debut, best-selling collection, She Who Sleeps With Bones, having been released in 2009. The launch, hosted by the Department of Literatures in English, will take place on Thursday, January 8, 2015. 

The Merchant of Feathers has been described as thematically diverse and a look at “contemporary Jamaica in all its exuberance and brokeness.”

Fellow poet Kei Miller, winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection (2014) will be the evening’s guest speaker. Miller has authored the collections The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion, There is an Anger that Moves among others.

Shirley, who currently lectures at the UWI, has been far from quiet between her two collections. She has been extensively anthologized with poetry appearing in New Caribbean Poetry: An Anthology, So Much Things to Say: 100 Calabash Poets, Small Axe and The Caribbean Writer

Additionally, over the years, Shirley has been in great demand and has read at several local and international festivals, conferences and institutions. In 2014, she read at The Poet Laureate Reading Series, Portland (Jamaica), the Stanza Literary Festival, St. Andrews (Scotland), the University of Glasgow (Scotland), and the Bocas Literary Festival South, San Fernando (Trinidad).  In 2013, her appearances included readings at the April Rabbit, Newfoundland (Canada), the Yardstick Poetry Festival, Bristol (UK), the Kingston Book Festival (Jamaica), the ACLALS 16th Triennial Conference (St. Lucia).

The launch of The Merchant of Featheres will take place at 6:00 pm in Lecture Theatre 3 (Faculty of Medical Sciences), University of the West Indies, Mona.