Writers Famous Writers from Jamaica

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List of famous writers from Jamaica, listed alphabetically with photos when available. Jamaica is home to many prolific writers, including those who write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, biographies and more. These are some of the best Jamaican writers that have ever lived, so if you're a native of Jamaica and an aspiring writer then use this list as inspiration to achieve your own writing goals.

Examples of writers on this list include Peter Abrahams and John Figueroa.

This list answers the questions, "Who are popular Jamaican writers?" and "Which writers are from Jamaica?"

You can click on the names of these renowned writers of Jamaica in order to get more information about each one. Some of these historic writers may no longer be living in Jamaica, but they're all of Jamaica descent.

1
Nalo Hopkinson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
age 58 Nalo Hopkinson is a Jamaican science fiction and fantasy writer and editor. She currently lives and teaches in Riverside, California. Her novels and short stories such as those in her collection ...more

2
Mutabaruka is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
age 66 Allan Hope, better known as Mutabaruka, is a Jamaican Rastafari dub poet, musician, and actor. His name comes from the Rwandan language and translates as "one who is always ...more

3
Clement Virgo is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
age 52 Clement Virgo is a Canadian filmmaker. His latest feature, the boxing drama Poor Boy's Game, stars Danny Glover and Rossif Sutherland. The film world-premiered at the 2007 Berlin International ...more

4
John Holt is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
age 71 John Holt is a reggae singer.

5
Hugh B. Cave is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
Died at 94 (1910-2004) Hugh Barnett Cave was a prolific writer of pulp fiction who also excelled in other genres.

6
Evan Jones is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
age 91 Evan Jones is a poet, playwright and screenwriter based in Britain. He was educated in Jamaica, the United States and England. Jones taught at schools in the United States before moving to ...more

7
Louis Simpson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
Died at 89 (1923-2012) Louis Aston Marantz Simpson was an American poet born in Jamaica. He won the 1964 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his work At the End of the Open Road.

8
Trevor D. Rhone is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
Died at 69 (1940-2009) Trevor Dave Rhone was a Jamaican writer, playwright and film maker. He co-wrote, with director Perry Henzell, the internationally successful film The Harder They Come.

9
Peter Abrahams is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
age 99 Peter Henry Abrahams Deras is a South African novelist, journalist and political commentator.

10
André Gordon is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
age 39 André Gordon is an actor, voice actor, screenwriter, film producer and director.

11
M. G. Smith is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
Died at 72 (1921-1993) Michael Garfield Smith OM was a Jamaican poet and social anthropologist.

12
Charles Officer is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
Charles Officer is a Jamaican-Canadian writer, actor, director and former professional hockey player in the United Kingdom.

13
Andrew Salkey is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
Died at 67 (1928-1995) Felix Andrew Alexander Salkey is a 1960 Guggenheim Fellow in Humanities.

14
Marcus Garvey is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
Died at 53 (1887-1940) Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr., ONH, was a Jamaican political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator who was a staunch proponent of the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism ...more

15
Paul Wheeler is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
Paul Wheeler age 84 Paul Wheeler is a film writer.

16
Pamela Mordecai is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
age 76 Pamela Claire Mordecai is a scholar, poet, playwright and writer of long and short fiction. She attended high school in Jamaica and Newton College of the Sacred Heart in Newton, MA, where she ...more

17
Rachel Manley is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
age 68 Rachel Manley is a Jamaican writer in verse and prose, born in Cornwall England, raised in Jamaica and currently residing in Canada. She is a daughter of former Jamaican Prime Minister Michael ...more

18
Makeda Silvera is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
age 63 Makeda Silvera is a Caribbean Canadian novelist and short story writer. Silvera emigrated to Canada at the age of 12 with her family, and currently lives in Toronto. She published two volumes of ...more

19
Olive Senior is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
age 77 Olive Marjorie Senior is a Jamaican poet, novelist, short story and non-fiction writer currently living in Toronto, Canada.

20
Lorna Goodison is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
age 71 Lorna Goodison CD is a Jamaican poet, a leading West Indian writer of the generation born after World War II, currently dividing her time between Jamaica and Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she ...more

21
Michael Manley is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
Died at 73 (1924-1997) Michael Norman Manley ON OCC was a Jamaican politician who served as the fourth Prime Minister of Jamaica from 1972 to 1980 and from 1989 to 1992. Coming from a prosperous background, Manley was ...more

22
Alrick Brown is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
Alrick Brown is a film director, film producer, actor, film editor, teacher and screenwriter.

23
Mervyn Morris is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
age 81 Mervyn Eustace Morris OM is a poet and professor emeritus at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. According to educator Ralph Thompson, "In addition to his poetry, which has ...more

24
John Figueroa is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
Died at 79 (1920-1999) John Joseph Maria Figueroa was a Jamaican poet and educator. He played a significant role in the development of Anglophone Caribbean literature both as a poet and an anthologist. He contributed ...more

25
Claude McKay is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
Died at 59 (1889-1948) Festus Claudius "Claude" McKay was a Jamaican-American writer and poet, who was a seminal figure in the Harlem Renaissance. He wrote four novels: Home to Harlem, a best-seller that won ...more

26
Joel Augustus Rogers is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
Died at 86 (1880-1966) Joel Augustus Rogers was a Jamaican-American author, journalist, and historian who contributed to the history of Africa and the African diaspora, especially the history of African Americans in ...more

27
Kei Miller is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
age 40 Kei Miller is an award-winning Jamaican poet, fiction writer, essayist and blogger.

28
Cedella Marley-Booker is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
Died at 82 (1926-2008) Cedella Malcolm Marley Booker was the mother of Jamaican reggae musician Bob Marley and a singer and writer.

29
Colin Channer is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
age 55 Colin Channer is a Jamaican writer, often referred to as "Bob Marley with a pen," due to the spiritual, sensual, social themes presented from a literary Jamaican perspective. Indeed, ...more

30
Paul Young is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
age 50 Paul Young is a retired Jamaican soccer forward who played two seasons in Major League Soccer and several in the USISL and USL A-League. He also coached Portmore United, Waterhouse F.C. and ...more

31
Glen Johnson is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
age 49 Glengoffe Donovan Johnson is a professional boxer. Nicknamed Gentleman and The Road Warrior, Johnson is the former IBF & The Ring light heavyweight champion. He is well known for his KO ...more

32
Roger Mais is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
Roger Mais was a Jamaican journalist, novelist, poet, and playwright. He was born to a middle-class family in Kingston, Jamaica. By 1951, he had won ten first prizes in West Indian literary ...more

33
Sylvia Wynter is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
age 90 Sylvia Wynter, OJ, is a Jamaican novelist, dramatist critic and essayist.

34
Oku Onuora is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
age 66 Oku Nagba Ozala Onuora, known as the "father of Jamaican dub poetry" is a Jamaican dub poet and performer.

35
Geoffrey Philp is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
Geoffrey Philp age 60 Geoffrey Philp is a Jamaican poet, novelist, and playwright. He is the author of the novel Benjamin, My Son, and five poetry collections: Exodus and Other Poems, Hurricane Center, Florida Bound, ...more

36
Kellie Magnus is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
age 48 Kellie Magnus is a Caribbean author and journalist.

37
Barry Reckord is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
Barry Reckord Died at 85 (1926-2011) Barry Reckord was a Jamaican playwright, one of the earliest Caribbean writers to make a contribution to theatre in Britain.

38
John Cameron is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
Died at 86 (1914-2000) John Hemsley Cameron was a cricketer who played in two Tests for the West Indian cricket team in 1939. But though Jamaican by birth, Cameron played only once for Jamaica, the bulk of his ...more

39
Neville Garrick is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
Neville Garrick Neville Garrick is a Jamaican-born Los Angeles-based graphic artist, and photographer. He is a graduate of UCLA. Garrick attended UCLA where he played for the football team, reaching the ...more

40
John Edgar Colwell Hearne is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
Died at 68 (1926-1994) John Edgar Colwell Hearne was a white Jamaican novelist, journalist, and teacher.

41
Brian Meeks is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
age 65 Brian Meeks is a Caribbean poet and academic.

42
Robert Wedderburn is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
Born in Jamaica to an African-born house-slave and a plantation owner, Robert Wedderburn was a Unitarian, ultra-radical leader, and anti-slavery advocate in early nineteenth-century London.

43
Una Marson is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
Died at 60 (1905-1965) Una Maud Victoria Marson was a Jamaican feminist, activist and writer, producing poems, plays and programmes for the BBC. Marson traveled to London in 1932 and worked for the BBC during World

44
Carolyn Cooper is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
age 65 Carolyn Cooper CD is a West Indian author and literary scholar. Born in Jamaica, Dr. Cooper is a professor of Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. ...more

45
Kim Robinson-Walcott is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
Kimberly-Ann Robinson-Walcott is a Jamaican poet and editor of the Jamaica Journal. Robinson-Walcott is author of a study of the white Jamaican novelist Anthony Winkler.

46
Honor Ford-Smith is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
age 67 Honor Maria Ford-Smith is a Jamaican actress, playwright, scholar, and poet. The daughter of a brown Jamaican mother and an English father, Ford-Smith is sometimes described as "Jamaica ...more

47
Mary Anne Barker is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
Mary Anne Barker Died at 80 (1831-1911) Mary Anne Barker, Lady Barker, later Mary Anne Broome, Lady Broome, was an author.