This year, the tour will have an official launch. This is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, November 5, 2019, at 6 p.m. at the Edna Manley College in Kingston. Guest speaker will be Ms. Andrea Chung, cofounder of Kingston Creative. Chung is also a shareholder in Bookophilia and founder of Go Global Art, an online art gallery that offers original art for sale. Dignitaries and representatives from Jamaica Copyright Society (Jam Copy), the National Library of Jamaica, and the Poetry Society of Jamaica, will bring brief greetings. The evening will conclude with readings by the poets who are participating on the tour.
Another big innovation for the 2019 tour is the hosting of a free poetry workshop at UWI, Mona, on Thursday, November 7, beginning at 2 p.m., in the Old Arts Building, Room # 3. The main workshop presenter is Professor Opal Palmer Adisa, a distinguished Caribbean writer and scholar, currently a faculty member at UWI, Mona. Jamaican writer, lecturer and Minister of Religion, Michael Reckord will do a session on What Critics Look For, and Canadian based Jamaican dub poet Klyde Brooks will do a presentation on dub poetry. A reading by some members of the tour and UWI students will follow at 6 p.m. in the multipurpose room at the UWI Library.
The workshop is being held in partnership with the Department of Literature in English at Mona, Jam Copy and the Poetry Society of Jamaica. It is being coordinated by Mbala of the Poetry Society and Antoinette Jackson of the Department of Literature in English, Mona.
The twenty two poets who will be touring the island, will range from internationally known poets to those who are up and coming. It is headlined by the founder of the tour Malachi Smith. The other poets are, 2019 IRAWMA winner Chery Natural, Tomlin Ellis, Ann Margaret-Lim, Judith Falloon-Reid, Fabian Thomas, Klyde Brooks, Richie Innocent, Wise Wurdz, Antonia Valaire, Howard Hendricks, Ras Jaja, Marcus Harrison, Garfield G.G. Gouldbourne, Anord Sichinsambwe, Amaziyah The Great, Alan Parish, Dawitt St. Aubyn, Dusty, Charlie Bobus, and the youngest of all, 8 year old Courtney Greaves, AKA Mini Miss Lou, a multi- gold medalist winner in the annual J.C.D.C competitions.
Last year the poet’s tour made stops at UWI, Mico University College, Kingston Technical High School, Campion College, Edna Manley College, Mount Alvernia High School, Munroe College, St. Elizabeth Technical High School, the YWCA School in Spanish Town, Bookophilia and one public reading in Montego Bay.
The tour was launched in 2017 to provide opportunities for Jamaican poets to read and share with students, while showing the positive role of poetry and its role as a tool of empowerment. It aims to also empower, while showing them how poetry can be used in conflict resolutions and their personal growth.
Among the stops for 2019 are UWI, Mico University College, Campion College, KTHS, JYTC Auditorium, YWCA – Spanish Town, Ocean Village – Ocho Rios, Cornwall College, Mt. Alvernia, Montego Bay High, STETHS, Glenmuir and Bookophilia.
The tour is part sponsored by Jam Copy and Reggae Threads.