The Carcanet Caribbean Collection showcases of some of the best new and recent work by poets from the Caribbean, including poetry by Jamaica’s first three Poets Laureate, Mervyn Morris, Lorna Goodison, and Olive Senior. 

During the London Book Fair, 5th to 7th of April, all the poetry collections found within this collection will be completely open for users to read from cover to cover. Exact Editions’ Reading Room technology allows publishers to distribute time-limited links to digital book collections. Each link directs users to a purchasing page of the publisher’s choice through the ‘Buy this book’ button.

Poets Featured In The Carcanet Caribbean Collection

Karen McCarthy Woolf

Karen McCarthy Woolf was born in London to an English mother and a Jamaican father. Woolf is currently a writer in residence at the Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA, exploring the relationship between poetry and law. 2021 takes her to Brazil, as an artist in residence at the Sacatar Institute in Bahia, writing new work that explores sugar and its cultural and material legacies.

Her celebrated début An Aviary of Small Birds (2014) was shortlisted for the 2015 Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection and the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, as well as being a Guardian Book of the Year and a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. 

Seasonal Disturbances (2017) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and winner in the inaugural Laurel Prize. 

Kei Miller

Kei Miller FRSL (Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature) is a Jamaican poet, fiction writer, essayist and blogger. Miller currently directs the Centre for Research in Creative Writing at the University of London, Royal Holloway.

The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion (2014) won the Forward Prize for Best Collection.

In Nearby Bushes (2019) was shortlisted for the Derek Walcott Prize 2020 and longlisted for the 2020 Polari Prize, as well a Telegraph Book of the Year.

Jane Duran

Jane Duran was born in Cuba, whilst her father was working as a diplomat in the country, and raised in the USA and Chile. She received a Cholmondeley Award in 2005.

The Clarity of Distant Things (2021) takes readers into other worlds — ‘gridlines’, in which the life and paintings of Agnes Martin are interwoven, and ‘miniatures of al-Andalus’ inspired by the illuminated Cantigas de Santa María and the art and artefacts of Islamic Iberia.

Olive Senior

Olive Senior is the current Poet Laureate of Jamaica. Her many awards include Canada’s Writers Trust Matt Cohen Award for Lifetime Achievement, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, the Commonwealth Writers Prize, an honorary doctorate from the University of the West Indies and the Gold Medal of the Institute of Jamaica

Hurricane Watch: New and Selected Poems (2022) brings together Senior’s first four books of poetry alongside a new collection.

Vahni Capildeo

Vahni Capildeo FRSL (Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature) is a Trinidadian Scottish writer of poetry and non-fiction. They are Writer in Residence and Professor at the University of York, a Visiting Scholar at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and an Honorary Student of Christ Church, Oxford.

Measure of Expatriation (2016) was the winner of the 2016 Forward Prize for Best Collection and a the 2016 Poetry Book Society Recommendation, as well as being shortlisted for the 2016 T.S. Eliot Prize.

Venus as a Bear (2018) was featured in The Guardian’s Best Books of the year, The Poetry Book Society Summer 2018 Choice, The Telegraph’s Poetry Book of the Month April 2018, and shortlisted for The 2018 Forward Prize for Best Collection.

Skin Can Hold (2019) was longlisted for the 2020 BOCAS Prize for Caribbean Literature, as well as a Telegraph Book of the Year.

Like a Tree, Walking (2021) was The Poetry Book Society Winter Choice 2021 and longlisted for the 2022 Jhalak Prize.

Lorna Goodison

Lorna Goodison CD (Order of Distinction (Jamaica)) is a Jamaican poet and leading West Indian writer of the generation. 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.

Oracabessa (2013) is a book of risky journeys, mappings and re-mappings, as the poet navigates place, history and imagination.

Mervyn Morris

Mervyn Eustace Morris OM (Order of Merit (Jamaica)) is a poet and professor emeritus at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. In 2014, he was appointed the first post-independence Poet Laureate of Jamaica.

Peelin Orange (2017) explores the everyday, the erotic, love and the melancholy and comedy of being. Often drawing upon Creole dialect, Morris explores his Jamaican heritage with trademark musicality.

Fred D’ Aguiar

Fred D’Aguiar is a British-Guyanese poet, novelist, and playwright. He is currently Professor of English at UCLA.

The memories from which D’Aguiar translates the poems in Translations from Memory (2018) are cultural and personal, from the anciencies of the Gilgamesh epic to the modern world, from classical philosophy to C.L.R. James and Aimé Césaire, from Asia and Europe to the new world in which their destinies are unpredictably worked out.

The Rose of Toulouse (2013) is a book of geographies tracing the various places the poet has lived, their histories, and his own history as he travels away from who he was.

Jason Allen-Paisant

Jason Allen-Paisant is from a village called Coffee Grove in Manchester, Jamaica. At present, he’s a lecturer in Caribbean Poetry & Decolonial Thought at the University of Leeds, where he’s also the Director of the Institute for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies.

Thinking With Trees (2021) was longlisted for the 2022 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, as well as being an Irish Times Best Poetry Books and a White Review Book of the Year.

Access the Carcanet Caribbean Collection here.

All the books in the Carcanet Caribbean Collection are found inside the Carcanet digital book collection, made up of over 240 titles, available for subscription here.

Publishers will soon be able to set limits on the content available to preview, find out more here.