Bookophilia hosted 2017 poet laureate Ms Lorna Goodison on the Sunday afternoon of July 16. It was attended by about 25 people.
Lorna read from her recently published book “Lorna Goodison: Collected poems”. One of the first poems she read was “Guinea Woman” which is dedicated to her Westmoreland born great grandmother who was herself a story teller.
“Nanny” was another well known poem that Lorna wrote. She said she wrote this poem when she worked at the Jamaica Information Service at the time when Maroon warrior Nanny was accorded National Hero status.
“I am becoming my mother” one of Lorna’s most well known poems was also read. Lorna explained that it was a tribute to her mother’s hands always smelt like onions from constantly cooking for her nine children (6 boys, 3 girls).
Another poem that she read “Morant Bay Uprising” referred to another National Hero Paul Bogle. Lorna said that there was a backlash against people with the name Bogle in Stony Gut, where he was from so there are alot of Bogle derived names like Boggis and Bogie.
At the end of Lorna’s reading, there was a question and answer session with the audience. Lorna said that she also has done painting. The cover of her book is her creation. However she said that with the pressures of motherhood and career she doesn’t paint anymore.
In exactly 2 weeks on August 1 is Emancipation Day and Lorna’s birthday. She said she was born on that day in Victoria Jubilee hospital. Its hard to believe that this youthful lady will celebrate a milestone birthday. All of 70 years young!!
Lorna Goodison: Collected poems is not yet available at Bookophilia but can be bought on Amazon.
A memorable afternoon spent with Jamaica’s latest poet laureate.