The Collected Poems of Jamaica’s Poet Laureate (2017-2020). Lorna Goodison is a poet alive to places, from the loved and lived-in world of Jamaica where she began and started a family, to the United States and Canada where she has made her teaching career, but always re-connecting with her Caribbean roots. She travels with an ear alert to histories and voices. How differently English sounds in the tropics and in colder lands, at seaside in sunlight and on prairies, mountains and in cities. The same words say quite different things, depending on who speaks them and who’s listening, obeying or resisting. She covers a wide range of subjects and themes, too. Her instinct is to celebrate being alive in a world that is rich but in peril. ‘And what is the rare quality that has gone out of poetry that these marvellous poems restore?’ asks Derek Walcott. ‘Joy.’ The ‘mango of poetry’, eaten straight from the tree, Goodison somehow finds growing in Wordsworth country and in Sligo, in Russia and Norway, in Spain and Portugal which spilled their empires into the Caribbean, in Cape Town and Far Rockaway.
Lorna Goodison is the author of eight books of poetry, including Travelling Mercies, Controlling the Silver, and Goldengrove: New and Selected Poems, two collections of short stories, and an acclaimed memoir, From Harvey River: A Memoir of My Mother and Her People which was a finalist for the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction and the Trillium Award, and won the B.C. Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. Goodison has received much international recognition for her fiction and poetry, including the Musgrave Gold Medal. Born in Jamaica, Goodison has taught at the University of Toronto and now teaches at the University of Michigan. She divides her time between Ann Arbor and Toronto.