Charlestown-Nevis–The work of internationally acclaimed Jamaican poet, folklorist, writer, educator the late Louise Bennett – Coverley or “Miss Lou” as familiarly known would be highlighted as Author of the Month of November, 2015, at the Nevis Public Library.
“Miss Lou” who wrote and performed her poems in Jamaican ‘Patois’ or ‘Creole’ was instrumental in having the ‘dialect’ given literary recognition in its own right (nation language).
On a British council scholarship, she studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Although her popularity was international she enjoyed celebratory status in her native Jamaica, Canada and The United Kingdom.
Miss Lou’s work has influenced Caribbean poets including Linton Kwesi Johnson and Paul Keens Douglas.
She married Eric Winston Coverley in 1954 and has one adopted son Fabian Coverley. She died in Toronto, Ontario Canada where she resided the last decade of her life.
Awards include –
2001 – appointed as a member of the Jamaican order of merit for her invaluable and distinguished contribution to the Arts and Culture.
1983 – an honorary Doctorate of letters from the University of the West Indies.
1960 – She was made a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for her work in Jamaican literature and theatre.
Her literary works include
• Jamaican Labrish –
• Selected Poems
Both books are available at the Nevis Public Library and are highly recommended to all with an interest in history and culture and reading in general.