Lorna Goodison is the new Poet Laureate of Jamaica. The celebrated poetess and university professor, whose numerous accolades include the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Gold Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica, will hold the post for the next three years. She succeeds Prof. Mervyn Morris, who was appointed in 2014. The ceremony to officially install Goodison is set for May 17 at King’s House. In October of last year, Goodison (the author such books as the memoir From Harvey River and poetry anthologies I Am Becoming My Mother and Tamarind Season) was conferred with an honorary doctorate from the University of the West Indies, Mona.
> Queen Ifrica ‘climbs’ to top of Billboard chart
By all appearances, Queen Ifrica’s new album, Climb, is living up to its title. The 17-track effort, released earlier this month by VP Records, has debuted in the #1 spot on the Billboard Reggae Chart. According to the record label, the album (led by the Damian Marley-assisted first single “Trueversation”), got a major boost from sales during a recent in-store acoustic performance given by Queen Ifrica at their Florida office, coupled with strong digital album downloads. Climb is the provocative singer-songwriter’s follow-up to Fyah Mumma and Montego Bay. Naturally, Queen Ifrica is grateful for the fan support. “I just want to thank everyone who supported me from day one,” she says. “You are always in my heart. Please continue to support good music. You are my inspiration.”
> Hit UK comedy opening in Kingston in June
“Thought-provoking”, “humorous”, “uplifting”. Critics and theatergoers have drawn on these and numerous superlatives to describe Love, Sax and All That Jazz, the hit gospel comedy that’s coming to Jamaica, straight from the UK in June, thanks to a collaboration between the English-based Focus Arts Promotions and New Kingston’s Phoenix Theatre. Penned by poet and playwright Alan Charles, Love, Sax and All That Jazz shares the experiences of five female friends grappling with issues surrounding marriage, infidelity, abuse and other relationship drama. Set for only four performances, the production opens on Saturday, June 10 (7pm) and plays through Monday, June 12, at the Phoenix Theatre, 8 Haining Road.