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Leon Pryce, a poet on a mission

Published:Friday | January 22, 2016 | 6:52 AMOkoye Henry
Leon Pryce

Having doors repeatedly shut on him when he pitched the idea of sharing his life with the world through poetry did little to dim the deep-rooted passion of Leon Pryce.

The poet became an inspiration to readers, and other authors alike, after he finally self-published his first book, Broken Wings. The 2012 publication, which contained more than 28 of his poems, only sold a mere three dozen hard copies, but for Pryce, who hails from the Second City of Montego Bay, St James, it's a great feat for an emerging author.

"I was quite impressed that for a new author, I sold that number of books because I was told that 'nobody nuh read poetry or buy poetry book'," said the 35-year-old Pryce, who has also made the book available for download online. "... when I went to different people and asked for help to publish it, they would ask, 'how do I know it will sell'. they wanted evidence to say that it would sell."

Despite the lack of financing, Pryce decided to persevere with

his 'book dream,' saving up as much money as he could to invest in its publication. At first, he printed a single copy for himself. then his friends who saw it requested copies for themselves.

Pryce's book got some much needed additional attention when a local newspaper carried a feature article on his struggles to get the book published and on the quality of the publication.


"From there, the popularity of the book grew even more," said Pryce. "Up to today, people are still contacting me, trying to get a copy of the book, which is a source of both motivation and inspiration."

In fact, buoyed by his newfound sense of accomplishment, Pryce has commenced working on a second book, which he hopes will be out on the shelves of book stores in short order. The book, which he has already titled Immortalised Through Poetry, will feature a collection of 40 poems.

"People can get samples of the poems on my Facebook page as well as on my blog," said Pryce, who is determined to build a solid fan base among poetry lovers globally.

According to Pryce, he was not always a writer but was coached to be one by an English teacher, who saw his potential and encouraged him.

"The teacher saw the potential in me because I was suffering from depression. He would ask me about how I feel and what I think about certain issues and it started me off with the writing," recalled the budding poet. "He would send my pieces to The Gleaner, and one day, I was really surprised when he showed me a piece that I wrote in the Gleaner."

Seeing his poem in The Gleaner was an extra source of motivation for Pryce, who is now seeking to establish himself firmly in the world of poetry.