Mother Muse by Lorna Goodison: Carcanet Book Launch

  • DATE

    1 September 2021

  • TIME

    7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

  • AGES

    All ages welcome



Please join us to celebrate the launch of Mother Muse, the new collection by Lorna Goodison. Hosting the reading will be Professor of English, Lee Jenkins. The event will feature readings and discussion, and audience members will have the opportunity to ask their own questions. We will show the text during readings so you can read along.

‘Lorna Goodison has come to be recognised as a hugely significant and influential contemporary author both at home and internationally,’ Simon Armitage declared, when she was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2019. ‘Through poems rooted in her Caribbean heritage and upbringing she has created a body of enchanting, intelligent and socially aware poetry in the authentic registers of her own tongue.’

Her poems have always found voices for the voiceless and shown another side of history. Her new book zones in on two great under-regarded figures to whom Jamaican music owes a substantial debt: Sister Mary Ignatius and Anita ‘Margarita’ Mahfood. Sister Iggy, as the boys called her, ran the Alpha Boys School for wayward boys. There she mentored many of Jamaica’s most gifted musicians, including the brilliant trombonist Don Drummond. Anita ‘Margarita’ Mahfood (Mahfouz) was a strikingly beautiful dancer of Lebanese descent, who became Don Drummond’s lover. The poems in Mother Muse move boldy and range widely; here are praise songs alongside laments; notable women such as Mahalia Jackson share pages with the less well noted – women like Sandra Bland, Windrush victims and two of the last enslaved women to be set free.

Registration for this online event will cost £2, later redeemable against the cost of the book. All attendees will receive the discount code and how to purchase the book during and after event.

About the speakers:

Caribbean poet Lorna Goodison was born in Kingston, Jamaica. She was appointed Poet Laureate of Jamaica in 2017. In 2018, she received a Windham-Campbell Literature Prize, and in 2019 she was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry.

Lee M. Jenkins is Professor of English at University College Cork. Her books include The Language of Caribbean Poetry and The American Lawrence. She is the co-editor with Melanie Otto of Irish Caribbean Connections, a special double issue of the journal Caribbean Quarterly (2018). With Alex Davis, she is editor of three Cambridge University Press collections, Locations of Literary Modernism, The Cambridge Companion to Modernist Poetry, and A History of Modernist Poetry. She is writing a book on modernism and transtextuality for Bloomsbury.