About the Book
This enlightening, entertaining, profoundly political and poetic gathering of essays by the
Poet Laureate of Jamaica covers a wealth of subjects, from the odd dissociation of a colonial
education to the reality of life in the wider world, the singing of hymns in school and the way
their words stay with us, to the many influences—music, art, storytelling, theatre, cinema, travel,
religion, family life and politics—that nurture our imaginations and her own writing voice.
Taking her title from Kingston's oldest market and downtown meeting place that was almost
destroyed by fire last year, Lorna Goodison introduces us to an extraordinary cast of characters
and range of influences—from finding a black hairdresser in Paris and crying at a movie in
Jamaica to having a life-changing epiphany in New York’s Bottom Line Club or drinking tea with
an old friend and new strangers in London’s Marylebone High Street.
About the Book
In her first-ever collection of essays, poet and novelist Lorna Goodison interweaves the personal and political to explore themes that have occupied her working life: her love of poetry and the arts, colonialism and its legacy, racism and social justice, authenticity, and the enduring power of friendship.
Lorna Goodison is the author of nine collections of poetry, threecollections of short stories and an award-winning memoir, From Harvey River: A Memoir of My Mother and Her People. She was appointed Poet Laureate of Jamaica in 2017 and will serve until 2020. She has won numerous awards for her work, including the Commonwealth Poetry Prize, the Musgrave Gold Medal, the Henry Russel Award for Exceptional Creative Work, and the British Columbia National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. Her poetry has been included in major anthologies and collections of contemporary poetry over the past twenty-five years. Her work has been translated into many languages, and she has been a central figure at literary festivals throughout the world. Born in Jamaica, Lorna Goodison now divides her time between Canada and the US where she teaches at the University of Michigan.