• Culture

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.
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  • 1

    BirthplaceKingston, Jamaica

    NationalityJamaica

    WorksThe 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,  ...more
  • 2
    Age: 68

    BirthplaceKingston, Jamaica

    NationalityJamaica

    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  ...more
  • 3

    BirthplaceMontego Bay, Jamaica

    NationalityCanada, Jamaica

    WorksThe 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  ...more
  • 4
    Age: 74

    BirthplaceKingston, Jamaica

    NationalityJamaica

    WorksRiver 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  ...more
  • 5
    Dec. at 93 (1910-2004)

    BirthplaceChester, England

    NationalityUnited Kingdom, Jamaica

    WorksBottled 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  ...more
  • 6
    Age: 94

    BirthplacePortland Parish, Jamaica

    NationalityJamaica

    WorksFuneral 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  ...more
  • 7
    Dec. at 89 (1923-2012)

    BirthplaceKingston, Jamaica

    NationalityUnited States of America, Jamaica

    WorksShips Going into the Blue, Three on the Tower, People live here, Searching for the ox, Collected Poems

    Louis Aston Marantz Simpson (March 27, 1923 – September 14, 2012) 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.  ...more
  • 8
    Dec. at 69 (1940-2009)

    BirthplaceKingston, Jamaica

    NationalityJamaica

    WorksThe Harder They Come, One Love, Milk And Honey, Old story time ; and, Smile orange

    Trevor Dave Rhone (24 March 1940 – 15 September 2009) was a Jamaican writer, playwright and film maker. He co-wrote, with director Perry Henzell, the internationally successful film The Harder They  ...more
  • 9

    BirthplaceSouth Africa

    NationalityJamaica, South Africa

    WorksMine boy, Jamaica, The path of thunder, Return to Goli, Wild conquest

    Peter Henry Abrahams Deras (3 March 1919 – 18 January 2017), commonly known as Peter Abrahams, was a South African-born novelist, journalist and political commentator who in 1956 settled in Jamaica,  ...more
  • 10

    BirthplaceSaint Andrew Parish, Jamaica

    NationalityJamaica

    WorksWedding Day

    André Gordon is an actor, voice actor, screenwriter, film producer and director.  ...more
  • 11
    Dec. at 72 (1921-1993)

    BirthplaceJamaica

    NationalityJamaica

    WorksGovernment in Kano, 1350-1950, Laplace transform theory, The economy of Hausa communities of Zaria, A framework for Caribbean studies

    Michael Garfield Smith OM (18 August 1921 - 5 January 1993) was a Jamaican social anthropologist and poet of international repute.  ...more
  • 12
    Charles Officer is a Jamaican-Canadian writer, actor, director and former professional hockey player.  ...more
  • 13
    Dec. at 67 (1928-1995)

    BirthplaceColón, Panama

    NationalityJamaica

    WorksThe one: the story of how the people of Guyana avenge the murder of their Pasero with help from Brother Anancy and Sister Buxton, Quality of Violence/Escape to an Autumn Pavement, Come home, Malcom Heartland, Georgetown journal

    Andrew Salkey (30 January 1928 – 28 April 1995) was a novelist, poet, children's books writer and journalist of Jamaican and Panamanian origin. He was born in Panama but raised in Jamaica, moving to  ...more
  • 14
    Dec. at 52 (1887-1940)

    BirthplaceSaint Ann Parish, Jamaica

    NationalityJamaica

    WorksSpeech delivered at Royal Albert Hall, London, England, The tragedy of white injustice, More philosophy and opinions of Marcus Garvey

    Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr. ONH (17 August 1887 – 10 June 1940) was a Jamaican political activist, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator. He was the founder and first President-General of the  ...more
  • 15

    Paul Wheeler

    Age: 87

    BirthplaceKingston, Jamaica

    NationalityJamaica

    WorksThe Medallion, Swashbuckler, A Breed Apart, Caravan to Vaccarès

    Paul Wheeler is a film writer.
  • 16

    BirthplaceKingston, Jamaica

    NationalityCanada, Jamaica

    WorksCulture and Customs of Jamaica, Pink Icing and Other Stories, Certifiable, Journey poem, The True Blue of Islands

    Pamela Claire Mordecai (born 1942) is a Jamaican-born poet, novelist, short story writer, scholar and anthologist who lives in Canada.  ...more
  • 17

    BirthplaceCornwall, United Kingdom

    NationalityCanada, United Kingdom, Jamaica

    WorksSlipstream, Drumblair, In My Father's Shade, A light left on

    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

    BirthplaceKingston, Jamaica

    NationalityCanada, Jamaica

    WorksThe Heart Does Not Bend, Her head a village, Piece of My Heart, Sapodilla Sister Vision Book of Lesbian, Remembering G and Other Stories

    Makeda Silvera (born 1955 in Kingston, Jamaica) 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,  ...more
  • 19

    BirthplaceTrelawny Parish, Jamaica

    NationalityCanada, Jamaica

    WorksQuartet of Stories, Over the Roofs of the World, Arrival of the Snake-Woman and Other Stories, Summer lightning and other stories, Gardening in the tropics

    Olive Marjorie Senior (born 23 December 1941) is a Jamaican poet, novelist, short story and non-fiction writer based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She was awarded the Musgrave Gold Medal in 2005 by  ...more
  • 20

    BirthplaceKingston, Jamaica

    NationalityJamaica

    WorksQuartet of Poems, Quartet of Stories, Selected poems, To us, all flowers are roses

    Lorna Goodison CD (born 1 August 1947) 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,  ...more
  • 21
    Dec. at 72 (1924-1997)

    BirthplaceSaint Andrew Parish, Jamaica

    NationalityJamaica

    WorksJamaica, The policy of the People's National Party, A voice at the workplace, The Case of the Missing Ghost, A History of West Indian Cricket

    Michael Norman Manley ON OCC (10 December 1924 – 6 March 1997) 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  ...more
  • 22
    Alrick Brown is a film director, film producer, actor, film editor, teacher and screenwriter.  ...more
  • 23

    BirthplaceKingston, Jamaica

    NationalityJamaica

    WorksIs English We Speaking, The Pond, Examination Centre, I Been There, Sort Of

    Mervyn Eustace Morris OM (Jamaica) (born 21 February 1937) is a poet and professor emeritus at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. According to educator Ralph Thompson, "In addition to  ...more
  • 24
    Dec. at 78 (1920-1999)

    BirthplaceKingston, Jamaica

    NationalityJamaica

    WorksStaffing and examinations in British Caribbean secondary schools, Love leaps here, Caribbean voices, Ignoring hurts, Society

    John Joseph Maria Figueroa (4 August 1920 – 5 March 1999) was a Jamaican poet and educator. He played a significant role in the development of Anglophone Caribbean literature both as a poet and an  ...more
  • 25
    Dec. at 58 (1889-1948)

    BirthplaceClarendon Parish, Jamaica

    NationalityUnited States of America, Jamaica

    WorksBanjo, a story without a plot, Complete poems, Banana Bottom, passion of Claude McKay

    Festus Claudius "Claude" McKay (September 15, 1889 – May 22, 1948) was a Jamaican writer and poet, who was a seminal figure in the Harlem Renaissance. He wrote four novels: Home to Harlem (1928), a  ...more