Jamaica’s first appointed Poet Laureate since Independence, Professor Mervyn Morris will be the guest speaker at the Jamaica Creative Writing Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, July 22.
The annual awards ceremony will be held at the Knutsford Court Hotel at 6:00 p.m. and will honor and recognize amateur and professional writers who entered their creative works in Poetry, Short Stories, Novels, Essays and Plays in the 2014 Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Jamaica Creative Writing Competition. Winners are awarded cash prizes, certificates of merit, medals, trophies and other prizes.
The competition organized by the JCDC, an agency of the Ministry of Youth and Culture has been one of the best channels of providing novelists, short story writers, essayists, playwrights and poets with the opportunity of recognizing and validating their writing talent, while showcasing and promoting writers and their original work. The award-winning pieces are also taken on an island-wide exhibition tour so that members of the public are given the opportunity to experience these award-winning works.
Several noteworthy Jamaican writers have had connection with and benefitted from the competition including Professor Morris who has had a long association with the JCDC literary competitions. He was a regular entrant in the early years and for several years was an adjudicator of poetry.
Professor Emeritus of Creative Writing and West Indian Literature at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Professor Morris is the author of six books of poetry, including The Pond, I Been There, Sort Of: New and Selected Poems and his most recent book, Miss Lou: Louise Bennett and Jamaican Culture. Earlier this year he was invested as Poet Laureate of Jamaica.