Culture 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 59
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 67
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 53
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 72
John Holt is a reggae singer.
5
Hugh B. Cave is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
Dec. 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 92
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
Dec. 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
Dec. 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 100
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 40
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
Dec. 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
Dec. 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
Dec. 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 85
Paul Wheeler is a film writer.
16
Pamela Mordecai is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Writers from Jamaica
age 77
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 64
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 78
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 72
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
Dec. 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 82
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
Dec. 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
Dec. 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