Famous Writers from Jamaica

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.
Ranked by
    • Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
    • Nationality: Jamaica
    • Works: The Salt Roads, Whispers from the Cotton Tree Root, Brown Girl in the Ring, Midnight Robber, Skin Folk
    Nalo Hopkinson (born 20 December 1960) is a Jamaican-born Canadian speculative fiction writer and editor. She currently lives and teaches in Riverside, California. Her novels (Brown Girl in the Ring, Midnight Robber, The Salt Roads, The New Moon's Arms) and short stories such as those in her collection Skin Folk often draw on Caribbean history and language, and its traditions of oral and written storytelling. Hopkinson has edited two fiction anthologies (Whispers From the Cotton Tree Root: Caribbean Fabulist Fiction and Mojo: Conjure Stories). She was the co-editor with Uppinder Mehan for the anthology So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Visions of the Future, and with Geoff Ryman for Tesseracts 9. Hopkinson defended George Elliott Clarke's novel Whylah Falls on the CBC's Canada Reads 2002. She was the curator of Six Impossible Things, an audio series of Canadian fantastical fiction on CBC Radio One.
  • Mutabaruka
    Age: 70
    • Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
    • Nationality: Jamaica
    Allan Hope, better known as Mutabaruka, is a Jamaican Rastafari dub poet, musician, actor, educator, and talk-show host, who developed two of Jamaica's most popular radio programs, The Cutting Edge and Steppin' Razor. His name comes from the Rwandan language and translates as "one who is always victorious". His themes include politics, culture, Black liberation, social oppression, discrimination, poverty, racism, sexism, and religion.
    • Birthplace: Montego Bay, Jamaica
    • Nationality: Canada, Jamaica
    • Works: The Planet of Junior Brown, Lie with Me, Love Come Down, Rude
    Clement Virgo (born June 1, 1966) is a Canadian film and television writer, producer and director who runs the production company, Conquering Lion Pictures, with producer Damon D'Oliveira. Virgo is best known for co-writing and directing an adaptation of the novel by Canadian writer Lawrence Hill, The Book of Negroes (2015), a six-part miniseries that aired on CBC Television in Canada and BET in the United States.
  • John Holt
    Age: 76
    • Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
    • Nationality: Jamaica
    • Works: River Journal , What Do I Do Monday? , Escape from Childhood , The Kammersee Affair , No holiday camps
    John Kenneth Holt CD (11 July 1947 – 19 October 2014), better known as John Holt, was a reggae singer and songwriter from Jamaica who first found fame as a member of The Paragons, before establishing himself as a solo artist.
  • Hugh B. Cave
    Dec. at 93 (1910-2004)
    • Birthplace: Chester, England
    • Nationality: United Kingdom, Jamaica
    • Works: Bottled in Blonde, Long Were The Nights, Death Stalks the Night, The Door Below, Murgunstrumm and Others
    Hugh Barnett Cave (11 July 1910 – 27 June 2004) was an American writer of various genres, perhaps best remembered for his works of horror, weird menace and science fiction. Cave was one of the most prolific contributors to pulp magazines of the 1920s and '30s, selling an estimated 800 stories not only in the aforementioned genres but also in western, fantasy, adventure, crime, romance and non-fiction. He used a variety of pen names, notably Justin Case under which name he created the antihero The Eel. A war correspondent during World War II, Cave afterwards settled in Jamaica where he owned and managed a coffee plantation and continued his writing career, now specializing in novels as well as fiction and non-fiction sales to mainstream magazines. Starting in the 1970s Cave enjoyed a resurgence in popularity when Karl Edward Wagner's Carcosa Press published Murgunstrumm and Others, the first hardcover collection of Cave's pulp stories. Cave relocated to Florida and regularly published original material until about the year 2000, and won a World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement in 1999.
  • Evan Jones
    Age: 96
    • Birthplace: Portland Parish, Jamaica
    • Nationality: Jamaica
    • Works: Funeral in Berlin, Wake in Fright, Modesty Blaise, Night Watch, The Damned
    Evan Jones (29 December 1927–21 July 2012) was 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 England in 1956 and beginning a career as a writer. He wrote the scripts for the feature films King & Country, Modesty Blaise, Funeral in Berlin, Wake in Fright and several television plays.