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Lorna Goodison is Writer-in-Residence in the Department of Literatures in English, UWI

The University of the West Indies, Mona has appointed Professor Lorna Goodison as Writer-in-Residence for Semester 1 of the 2019/2020 academic year. Professor Goodison is currently the Poet Laureate of Jamaica and is also the recipient of an honorary degree from The UWI. As Writer-in-Residence, Professor Goodison will mentor aspiring writers at The UWI, conduct creative writing workshops and lecture in a variety of classes offered in the Department of Literatures in English. Professor Goodison’s first public engagement as Writer-in-Residence will take place on Sunday September 15 at 11:00am at the Neville Hall Lecture Theatre, Faculty of Humanities and Education, UWI, Mona. She will give a reading and talk about her work and the creative process in conversation with Dr Anthea Morrison.
Professor Goodison has published 14 volumes of poetry, three short story collections, a memoir and a collection of essays. Her publications include Tamarind Season (1980), I am Becoming My Mother (1986), Heartease (1988), Poems: Lorna Goodison (1989), To Us, All Flowers Are Roses (1995) and Turn Thanks (1999).
More recently she has published By Love Possessed: New and Selected Short Stories (2011), Oracabessa: New and Selected Poems (2013), Collected Poems (2017), and Redemption Ground: Essays and Adventures (2018). Professor Goodison has been described as one of the finest Caribbean poets of her generation, with Kwame Dawes stating: "Superlatives glint all over commentary on Lorna Goodison's work... she is now one of the greatest!" Critic Ayme Almendarez writes that her poetry is both deeply engaging and affecting, “containing much purpose, strength and hope within the lines and in the silence surrounding them”. This critic further notes that “many of Goodison’s poems express a deep connection to Jamaica with all of its open wounds and beauty scars”.
A prolific writer, Goodison is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards. She won the much sought after Windham-Campbell Literature Prize for Poetry in 2018 and the prestigious Commonwealth Poetry Prize (Americas Region) in 1986. The University of Michigan, where Professor Goodison served as Lemuel A. Johnson Collegiate Professor of English and Afroamerican and African Studies, College of Literature, Science and Arts, gave her the Henry Russel Award for exceptional creative work, research and teaching in 2004 and later, the Shirley Verrett Award, Women of Color in the Academy Project, in 2014. Professor Goodison’s celebrated memoir, From Harvey River: A Memoir of My Mother and Her People won British Columbia’s National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction and was listed as one of the One Hundred Best Books for 2007 by the Globe and Mail, and one of the Washington Post Best Books of 2008. This book was also shortlisted for the 2008 Trillium Book Award and the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction.
Professor Goodison’s brilliance as a writer is also celebrated at home and she has received many local national honours and awards, beginning with the Centenary Medal from the Institute of Jamaica in 1981, the Gold Musgrave Medal, also from the Institute of Jamaica, in 1999, the Prime Minister of Jamaica’s Medal for Services to Literature in 2007, the CPTC Jamaican Cultural Medal of Honour for Services to Jamaican Literature in 2012 and the Commander of the Order of Distinction in 2013.
The Department of Literatures in English is delighted to host Professor Goodison as Writer-in-Residence and looks forward to a fruitful and productive semester with her.

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