Famous Jamaican Writers

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 1 
Claude McKay
(Writer)
Claude McKay
3
Birthdate: September 15, 1889
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Clarendon Parish
Died: May 22, 1948

Claude McKay was a poet who played an influential role in the Harlem Renaissance. Remembered for his work If We Must Die, a poem written in response to mob attacks on African-American communities by white Americans, McKay was named the national poet of Jamaica in 1977. For his contribution to literature, he was posthumously honored with the Order of Jamaica.

 2 
Bilal Philips
(teacher, writer)
Bilal Philips
3
Birthdate: January 7, 1947
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kingston

Bilal Philips is a Canadian author, Islamic teacher, and speaker. He is best known for founding the International Open University where he is currently serving as the chancellor. Bilal Philips has written and commented on many Islamic books and has also appeared on numerous satellite and national television channels, such as Saudi TV, Peace TV, and Sharjah TV.

 3 
Marlon James
(novelist, writer)
Marlon James
3
Birthdate: 1970 AD
Birthplace: Kingston

Marlon James is a Jamaican writer best known for his 2014 novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, which earned him the Man Booker Prize in 2015. He is also a recipient of other prestigious awards such as the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and Minnesota Book Award. James was featured in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People list in 2019.

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Linton Kwesi Johnson
3
Birthdate: August 24, 1952
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chapelton, Jamaica

Linton Kwesi Johnson is a Jamaican-born British-based activist and dub poet. He is best known for his poetry that deals with the experiences of an African-Caribbean in Britain. Linton Kwesi Johnson was honored with the PEN Pinter Prize in July 2020.  

 5 
Louise Bennett-Coverley
(Jamaican Poet, Folklorist, Writer, and Educator)
Louise Bennett-Coverley
3
Birthdate: September 7, 1919
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
Died: July 26, 2006
Louise Bennett-Coverley was a Jamaican poet, writer, folklorist, and educator. She is best remembered for her work to preserve the practice of presenting stories, folk songs, and poetry in the national language, patois. Louise Bennett-Coverley wrote and performed her poems in Creole, and established the validity of a local language like Jamaican Patois for literary expression. 
 6 
Nalo Hopkinson
(Speculative fiction writer and editor)
Nalo Hopkinson
0
Birthdate: December 20, 1960
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica

Nalo Hopkinson is a Jamaican-born Canadian writer and editor. She is best known for her 1998 novel Brown Girl in the Ring, which earned her the Locus Award for Best First Novel. Hopkinson's works have also earned other prestigious awards, including the World Fantasy Award. In 1999, Hopkinson was honored with the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

 7 
Victor Stafford Reid
2
Birthdate: May 1, 1913
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
Died: August 25, 1987

Victor Stafford Reid was a Jamaican writer remembered for presenting his works in the local Creole language to familiarize young Jamaicans with Jamaican history and to instil pride in their culture and language. Reid wrote with the intention of inspiring and influencing the younger generation. He was honored with many awards including the Norman Manley Award for Excellence in Literature.

 8 
Louis Simpson
1
Birthdate: March 27, 1923
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
Died: September 14, 2012

Louis Simpson was an American poet best remembered for winning the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for At the End of the Open Road in 1964. Simpson was also a recipient of the Rome Prize and Harold Morton Landon Translation Award. Apart from writing poems, Louis Simpson also worked as a teacher at popular institutions like the University of California-Berkeley.

 9 
Trevor Rhone
(Writer)
Trevor Rhone
1
Birthdate: March 24, 1940
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
Died: September 15, 2009

Trevor Rhone was a Jamaican writer, filmmaker, and playwright. He is best remembered for his contribution as a co-writer of the internationally successful 1972 Jamaican crime film The Harder They Come. In 1999, Trevor Rhone was honored by the Institute of Jamaica with the prestigious Musgrave Gold Medal for his contributions to Jamaican literature, theatre, and film.

 10 
Lindsay Barrett
(Poet, Novelist,Journalist)
Lindsay Barrett
0
Birthdate: September 15, 1941
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lucea, Jamaica

Lindsay Barrett is a Jamaican-born Nigerian poet, essayist, novelist, journalist, playwright, and photographer. He achieved popularity during the 1960s and 1970s for his progressive and experimental style. Over the course of his career, Lindsay Barrett has received several prestigious awards such as the Conrad Kent Rivers Memorial Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award.

 11 
Andrew Salkey
(Jamaican Novelist, Poet, Children’s Books Writer and Journalist)
Andrew Salkey
1
Birthdate: January 30, 1928
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Colón, Panama
Died: April 28, 1995

Andrew Salkey was a Jamaican poet, novelist, journalist, and children's book writer. He is credited with co-founding the Caribbean Artists Movement (CAM) in the 1960s. Apart from writing over 30 books, Andrew Salkey also worked as a teacher; he started in the 1970s and continued teaching until his death in 1995.

 12 
Mary Anne Barker
1
Birthdate: January 29, 1831
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Spanish Town, Jamaica
Died: March 6, 1911

Mary Anne Barker was an English author best remembered for her work that narrates life in New Zealand. Born in Jamaica, Mary Anne married Frederick Napier Broome, after the death of her first husband, and spent a lot of time in New Zealand where she was most prolific as a writer. 

 13 
John Figueroa
(Jamaican Poet)
John Figueroa
1
Birthdate: August 4, 1920
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
Died: March 5, 1999

John Figueroa was a Jamaican educator and poet. He is best remembered for playing a major role in the development of Caribbean literature both as an anthologist and a poet. John Figueroa is also credited with teaching in several prestigious institutions in places like the United States, Britain, Puerto Rico, Nigeria, and Jamaica.