Caribbean poetry

Caribbean poetry (often used synonymously for West Indian poetry) comprises any form whatsoever poem, rhyme, or lyric that derives from the Caribbean region and writers of the Caribbean diaspora. Particularly after the mid-1970s and 1980s, Caribbean poetry gained increasing visibility with the publication in Britain and North America of several anthologies;[1] over the years the canon has shifted and expanded, drawing both on oral and literary traditions,[2][3] and with different styles evolving in response to the changing social and political scene.[4]

Caribbean poets include Derek Walcott, winner of the 1992 Nobel Prize for Literature, Kamau Brathwaite, International Winner of the Sixth Annual Griffin Poetry Prize in 2006, and Jamaican-born Linton Kwesi Johnson, who in 2002 became only the second living poet to be published in the Penguin Modern Classics series.[5]

Anthony Kellman, from Barbados, is the originator of the Caribbean poetic form Tuk Verse, which incorporates melodical and rhythmical elements of Barbadian indigenous folk music called Tuk. His 2008 book Limestone: An Epic Poem of Barbados is the first published epic poem of Barbados.[6]

Some notable Caribbean poetsEdit

Grouped by territory of birth or upbringing.




Dominican RepublicEdit






Puerto RicoEdit

St LuciaEdit

St MartinEdit

The BahamasEdit

Trinidad & TobagoEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Breiner, Laurence A. An Introduction to West Indian Poetry, Cambridge University Press, 1998.
  • Brown, Lloyd. West Indian Poetry. Boston: Twayne, 1978.
  • Bryan, Beverley. Teaching Caribbean Poetry. London: Routledge, 2014.
  • Jenkins, Lee Margaret. The Language of Caribbean Poetry. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2004.
  • Müller, Timo (2016). "Forms of Exile: Experimental Self-Positioning in Postcolonial Caribbean Poetry". Atlantic Studies. 13 (4): 457–471. doi:10.1080/14788810.2016.1220790.

Selected anthologiesEdit

  • James Berry, Bluefoot Traveller, London: Limestone Publications, 1976.
  • Stewart Brown, Caribbean Poetry Now, 1984.
  • Paula Burnett, The Penguin Book of Caribbean Verse in English, 1986.
  • Stewart Brown, Mervyn Morris, Gordon Rohlehr (eds), Voiceprint: An Anthology of Oral and Related Poetry from the Caribbean, 1989.
  • E. A. Markham, Hinterland: Caribbean Poetry from the West Indies and Britain, Newcastle upon Tyne: Bloodaxe, 1989.
  • Stewart Brown and Ian McDonald (eds), The Heinemann Book of Caribbean Poetry, 1992.
  • Anthony Kellman (ed.), Crossing Water: Contemporary Poetry from the English-Speaking Caribbean, NY: Greenfield Review Press, 1992.
  • Stewart Brown, Mark McWatt (eds), The Oxford Book of Caribbean Verse, 2005.
  • Lasana M. Sekou (ed.), Where I See The Sun – Contemporary Poetry in St. Martin, 2013.
  • Lasana M. Sekou (ed.), Where I See The Sun – Contemporary Poetry in Anguilla. St. Martin: House of Nehesi Publishers, 2015.[7]
  • Lasana M. Sekou (ed.), Where I See the Sun – Contemporary Poetry in The Virgin Islands (Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, Jost Van Dyke). St. Martin: House of Nehesi Publishers, 2016.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Edward Baugh, "A History of Poetry", in Albert James Arnold, Julio Rodríguez-Luis, J. Michael Dash (eds), A History of Literature in the Caribbean, Vol 2: English- and Dutch-speaking countries, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 1994, pp. 227-282.
  2. ^ Emilio Jorge Rodríguez, "Oral Tradition and New Literary Canon in Caribbean Poetry", in Albert James Arnold, Julio Rodríguez-Luis, J. Michael Dash (eds), A History of Literature in the Caribbean, Volume 3: Cross-Cultural Studies, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Co., 1994, pp. 177-185.
  3. ^ Arturo Cattaneo, "Caribbean Verse: History of Literature As History in Literature".
  4. ^ Christian Andrew Campbell, Romancing "the Folk": Rereading the Nation in Caribbean Poetics, Duke University dissertation, 2007.
  5. ^ Maya Jaggi, "Profile: Linton Kwesi Johnson - Poet on the front line", The Guardian, 4 May 2002.
  6. ^ "Anthony Kellman" Archived 2016-03-08 at the Wayback Machine, Authors, Peepal Tree Press.
  7. ^ "Welcome to House of Nehesi Publishers".
  8. ^

External linksEdit