Come January 26, 2014, Jamaica will once again have a Poet Laureate, an honorary title that has not been awarded in over 50 years. But unlike Jamaica’s two previous Poets Laureate: Tom Redcam and J.E. Clare McFarlane, who were named by the Poetry League of Jamaica; the current Poet Laureate of Jamaica programme is a joint initiative of the National Library of Jamaica and the Entertainment Advisory Board. The Poet Laureate will be expected to celebrate and propel Jamaican poetry to new heights, and will be nominated by his/her fellow countrymen through a nomination form available on the National Library of Jamaica’s website.
The Poet Laureate in addition to being recognized for his/her outstanding accomplishments as a Jamaican poet, will also undertake public poetry events to stimulate a greater appreciation for Jamaican poetry, promote poetry as an art and medium for entertainment and for recording and disseminating cultural heritage. The Poet Laureate is not mandated to reside in Jamaica but must be available for a minimum of four public events annually.
Nominees for Poet Laureate of Jamaica must have at least three (3) published works of poetry, not including anthologies; and must be a Jamaican; defined as a Jamaican citizen, naturalized citizen or of Jamaican parentage.
The Poet Laureate will be selected by a committee from public nominations and will serve for three years. The nomination form is available at http://www.nlj.gov.jm/poetlaureate/index.htm. Completed forms can be emailed to [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]> or mailed to the National Library of Jamaica at 12 East Street, Kingston. Nominations for the 2014/2017 Poet Laureate closes at midnight on Friday, December 13, 2013, and Jamaica’s first Poet Laureate in over 50 years will be announced on January 26, 2014.
For further information on the Poet Laureate programme, including the composition of the selection committee, see the website at http://www.nlj.gov.jm/poetlaureate/index.htm