Olive Senior's "Hurricane Watch" launched by UWI Mona

Deputy Dean for the Faculty of Humanities and Education UWI Mona Dr Nicole Plummer (left) poses with Olive Senior, Poet Laureate of Jamaica.

The eagerly anticipated Hurricane Watch: New and Collected Poems by Olive Senior was virtually launched on Tuesday, May 24.

The event which was hosted by The Department of Literatures in English (DLIE), The University of the West Indies, Mona and the University Bookshop presented the poet reading her work to a small audience. A lively discussion with the poet, featuring Jamaican favourites Owen ‘Blakka’ Ellis and Ann Margeret Lim, was facilitated by Dr. Aisha Spencer, acting Head of Department (DLIE). All-comers to poetry are invited to view the event via The Department of Literatures in English (The UWI Mona) YouTube channel.

Hurricane Watch is a compilation of the complete text of Olive Senior’s four books of poetry plus Eyed, new and uncollected poems.

Since its publication in the UK in February by Carcanet, Hurricane Watch has garnered much favourable attention.

A UK reviewer listing it among six of the “best recent poetry” noted that “Senior, currently poet laureate of Jamaica, has been producing poetry of beauty and historical resonance for nearly four decades. Hurricane Watch shows her continually remaking the story of cultural exile and belonging. That she plunders a range of traditions to do so itself tells that story.”

Students of the Caribbean and elsewhere will find favourite poems in the collection as Senior’s poems have been taught in schools and universities for many years, including the CAPE and International Baccalaureate syllabi. Her poems have been widely translated and anthologized and recordings can be heard in The Poetry Archive in the UK and the newly established Jamaica Poetry Archive. Hurricane Watch: New and Collected Poems (UK: Carcanet) is available at UWI Bookshop in Kingston Jamaica and wherever good books are sold.