James Berry Memorial event – British Library – Friday 5th October 2018

There will be a conference and evening event celebrating the life and work of the Jamaican poet and writer, James Berry (1924-2017), at the British Library on Friday 5th October.

The conference will consider Berry’s writing for adults and children, his cultural activism, and his writing through dementia. James Berry grew up in rural Jamaica before coming to Britain in 1948. Initially working as a telecommunications officer, Berry took early retirement in 1977 to concentrate on his literary career. He became one of the best loved and most widely taught poets in Britain, writing lyrical, humourous and politically engaged works in both standard English and Jamaican creole. His poetry is full of vivid and beautiful images, especially in its description of the natural loveliness of the land he was born in. A champion of Caribbean culture, much of his work demonstrates his ability to write in voice, developing new forms of speech to suit the ‘new cross-cultural aesthetic’ of West Indian British poetry. Speakers include John Agard, Raymond Antrobus, Malorie Blackman, Errol Lloyd, Hannah Lowe and Grace Nichols. The evening event will consist of poetry readings and music reflecting on the legacy of the Jamaican poet.

Join John Agard, Grace Nichols, Hannah Lowe, Raymond Antrobus, Denise Saul and Isobel Armstrong as they read Berry’s work and their own. With a musical interlude from Errol Lloyd and archive recordings of James Berry.

Please go to the British Library website to book tickets for both the conference<https://www.bl.uk/events/james-berry-memorial-conference> and the evening event<https://www.bl.uk/events/only-one-of-me-remembering-james-berry>.

If you book tickets for both events together you will receive a £5 discount off the total cost.

Anne M Powers