Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date on all of our latest events, projects and news.
20 June 2023
7:00 pm to 8:45 pm
Manchester Poetry Library
In 1930, Marson published her first collection of poems, entitled Tropic Reveries, that dealt with love and nature with elements of feminism. It won the Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica. Marson moved to London in 1932. The racism and sexism she met there “transformed both her life and her poetry”; the voice in her poetry became more focused on the identity of black women in England.
In 1935, Una served temporarily as personal secretary to Marcus Garvey (who was resident in the UK at the time) and wrote occasional pieces for his Black Man newspaper. She worked as a secretary for the Ethiopian Legation. In 1936, she travelled with Emperor Haile Selassie to Geneva, where he made his historic address to the League of Nations.
Una championed Jamaican literature and provided a platform for budding young writers who went on to form the Caribbean literary canon. She was the first black woman to be employed by the BBC during World War II. In 1942, she became producer of the programme Calling the West Indies, turning it into Caribbean Voices, which became an important forum for Caribbean literary work. More than two hundred authors appeared on Caribbean Voices, including V.S. Naipaul, Samuel Selvon, George Lamming and Derek Walcott. It was described by Kamau Brathwaite as “the single most important literary catalyst for Caribbean creative writing in English”.
“She did not frame her work around a single cause but, instead, she was mindful of the multiple intersections of oppression. In the end, through her advocacy and pioneering work, Marson achieved a voice for the oppressed”. UWI Press.
Join us for an evening honouring and celebrating Una Marson, with conversations, readings and Q&As.
View our accessibility information on our website – https://www.mmu.ac.uk/poetry-library/visit-us
Manchester City of Literature is committed to inclusion and accessibility for everyone.
Every person who uses our website deserves an inclusive online experience with options allowing you to choose how best to navigate and consume information to suit your needs.
The Recite Me assistive technology toolbar allows for adjustments to all elements of the page including text, graphics, language, and navigation.