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Prof Mervyn Morris Enters the Drawing Room: Poet Laureate to Lead Writing Retreat

Prof Mervyn Morris to Lead DRP Retreat 2015

Poet Laureate of Jamaica, Professor Mervyn Morris will be leading the second Annual Drawing Room Project Writers’ Retreat, slated for the Liberty Hill Great House and Spa in Lime Hall, St. Ann, Jamaica. The purpose of the workshop, which will take place from June 5 - 7, 2015, will be to explore the creation of meaning from common human experiences.

Organizers of the Drawing Room Project are hoping that the writers will be able to find ample inspiration from the lush St. Ann hills as well as the historic site. Liberty Hill is a former 18th century pimento plantation seated seated 1,200 feet above sea level with views all the way out to the Caribbean Sea. St. Ann also boasts being the birthplace of both Marcus Garvey and Bob Marley, has the island’s oldest Spanish settlement and one of the oldest Taino site.

The retreat will allow participants to interact with the local culture as well as feature visiting experts who will give talks on Tainos as well as cultural forms including Mento and Jonkunnu. 

While the surroundings are expected to leave the writers with inspired to create poetry, Prof. Morris will help them to shape and craft their work.  

Christine Craig and writers from the inaugural DRP RetreatMervyn Morris, OM. was appointed as Poet Laureate to Jamaica in April 2014. He is  Professor Emeritus of Creative Writing and West Indian Literature at the University of the West Indies and Poet Laureate of Jamaica, a former Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and a Fulbright Scholar. Prof Morris has authored five collections of poetry: I been there, sort of, The Pond, On Holy Week, Shaddowboxing and Examination Centre.

The Poetry Archive describes Prof Morris as “one of the most resourceful and technically brilliant of Caribbean poets…A supreme poet of the everyday.” His poetry explores the daily struggles of the human condition, often with restrained dry humor and a sense of the irony of life.

Registration for the retreat is currently open and the organizers are offering various packages, including two low residency packages to encourage writers from St. Ann to participate. Interested writies should submit register and submit a sample of their work by April 30, 2015. The retreat will culminate with a public reading on Sunday, June 7, 2015.

The inaugural Drawing Room Project retreat was led by poet Christine Craig and held in Highgate, St. Mary and featured writers from Canada, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the United States.