Paulette Ramsay

Paulette Ramsay is a Jamaican poet, translator, journalist, novelist, and academic who studies race relations in the Caribbean.

Career and writingEdit

She received her PhD from the University of the West Indies; was promoted to professor in the university's Department of Modern Languages & Literatures in 2017; and specializes in the field of Afro-Hispanic Studies, with a particular interest in the Afro-Mexican diaspora.[1][2]

In 2003 Ramsay published a novella, Aunt Jen, a coming-of-age story told as a series of letters from a girl, Sunshine, to her absent mother.[3] It explores themes of growing up in Jamaica in the 1970s, during the early years of the country's independence.[4] In a review, Maureen Warner-Lewis notes Ramsay's "charmingly revelatory" narrative, and notes her use of code-switching in her literary style.[5]

Ramsay has published three collections of free verse poems. Reviewer Barbara Collash describes the first volume, Under Basil Leaves (2010), as displaying a "decidedly female perspective, female sensibility," and says they "constitute a fresh poetic retelling of the black tragic."[6]

She has also published or contributed to numerous textbooks, preparatory texts for the CAPE and CSEC exams, and academic texts.


In 2014, Ramsay received the National Order of Merit from the government of France, in the rank of Chevalier.[7]

In 2018 she received the Farquharson Institute of Public Affairs (FIPA) Award of the Century for Outstanding Scholarship in Literary and Language Studies and Creative Writing.[8]

Selected worksEdit

  • Aunt Jen (2003; novella)
  • Under Basil Leaves (2010)[6]
  • October Afternoon (2012)
  • Star Apple Blue and Avocado Green (2016)
  • Chevere! (2008; in Spanish; with Anne-Maria Bankay, Ingrid Kemchand, and Elaine Watson-Grant)
  • Blooming With The Pouis: Critical Thinking, Reading And Writing Across The Curriculum (2009)
  • Afro-Mexican Constructions of Diaspora, Gender, Identity and Nation (2016)[2]
  • The Afro-Hispanic Readers and Anthology (2018; editor)


  1. ^ "Dr. Paulette Ramsay promoted to Professor". University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica. 17 March 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  2. ^ a b Liu, Jackson (21 April 2017). "Paulette Ramsay wants to highlight the importance of the Afro-Mexican diaspora". The Daily Tar Heel. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  3. ^ Forbes, Curdella (June 2004). "Book reviews". Caribbean Quarterly. 50 (2): 81–84. doi:10.1080/00086495.2004.11672234. JSTOR 40654454.
  4. ^ Gray, Paige (2015). "'A Different Sunshine': Writing Jamaican National Identity through a Girl's Coming-of-Age Story in Paulette Ramsay's 'Aunt Jen'". Bookbird: A Journal of International Children's Literature. 53 (2): 12–20. doi:10.1353/bkb.2015.0042.
  5. ^ Warner-Lewis, Maureen (November 2002). "Book review". Journal of West Indian Literature. 11 (2): 80–85. JSTOR 23019828.
  6. ^ a b Collash, Barbara (12 June 2011). "Ramsay Explores Life 'Under Basil Leaves'". The Gleaner. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  7. ^ "Corporate Sightings". The Gleaner. 22 December 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  8. ^ "Professor Paulette Ramsay Receives FIPA International Centennial Writing Award". University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica. 29 March 2018. Retrieved 20 April 2020.

Further readingEdit

  • Ramsay, Paulette; Walker, Carrie J. (November 2014). "Out Of Many, One Voice: An Interview with Paulette Ramsay". Journal of West Indian Literature. 22 (2): 42–58. JSTOR 24615459.