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The Poet Laureate of Jamaica Programme

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The Poet Laureate of Jamaica programme is directed by the National Library of Jamaica (NLJ) in partnership with the Ministry of Culture Gender Entertainment and Sport (MCGES) and King’s House. Jamaica has had five poets laureate, the current being author and poet Olive Senior.

Responsibilities of the Poet Laureate

The duties of the Poet Laureate of Jamaica throughout the three-year tenure include:

  • Presenting public poetry-related seminars/readings/promotions within the island, and possibly overseas
  • Enhancing reading and Jamaican literature, especially in poetry
  • Undertaking commitments such as writing poetry for national events
  • Participating in at least two national events in each calendar year
  • Creating a publication promoting Jamaican poetry

The Nomination Process

A new Poet Laureate of Jamaica is scheduled to be selected in 2024.

To qualify for selection, nominees must:

  • Be Jamaican, defined as either born in Jamaica or of Jamaican parentage or a naturalised citizen
  • Be available for a minimum of four official appearances in each calendar year
  • Have a minimum of three publications of poetry, anthologies not included

For additional information, contact:

National Library of Jamaica
12 East Street
Telephone: 876-967-2494
General Queries: nlj@nlj.gov.jm
Reference Queries: nljresearch@cwjamaica.com
Website: https://nlj.gov.jm/
Instagram & Twitter: @natlibja
Facebook: nationallibraryja



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