Thu | May 23, 2019

Grange credits Morris's work as Poet Laureate

Published:Friday | May 19, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, minister of culture, gender affairs, entertainment and sport

At last Thursday's launch of In This Breadfruit Kingdom, Minister of Culture, Entertainment, Gender and Sport Olivia Grange said that as the first Poet Laureate of Jamaica in over 60 years, Morris blazed a trail that will not be easily replicated.

"Through the initiative, we have seen the appreciation and celebration of our Jamaican poetry that has grown leaps and bounds. We see how enriched and excited our children and our youth are about poetry and particularly their own passion for colour and fluidity that defines our vernacular," Grange said.

She said that at events in parish libraries and town centres across the island and workshops in primary and secondary schools, Morris engaged "a wide cross-section of Jamaicans of various ages and interests". This opened up "spaces for discussions, creative expressions and the nurturing of tomorrow's literary talent".

Grange concluded that "... this anthology of poems is a representation of yet another excellent example of the literary brilliance that resides in Jamaicans that we unapologetically tek to de world".

Paulette Mitchell, project manager of the CHASE Fund, which funded the publication of In This Breadfruit Kingdom, noted that the Poet Laureate programme's main objectives were in sync with the fund's mandate. Those objectives are "to increase public appreciation for written and spoken poetry, to develop a wide appeal for poetry as an art and a medium for disseminating cultural heritage, and to engender an introspective and reflective spirit among more Jamaicans".

Thanks were repeatedly expressed to The Sunday Gleaner for assisting the Poet Laureate programme for more than a year by publishing Morris's selected poems weekly.