Earlier this week the Caribbean Writers Series opened with fanfare. Rachel Manley was the first writer in this year’s series to appear, and she was in distinguished company: the consul general of Jamaica attended the event partly in honour of the 40th anniversary of Jamaican Independence.
Here is an account of the occasion, written by Atkinson Master Diana Cooper-Clark:
“The distinguished writer, Rachel Manley, gave a reading for the Atkinson Master’s Caribbean Women’s Writers Series in the Harry Crowe Room. Manley was awarded with the 1997 Governor General”s Award for Literature (Canada) and the Jamaican Centennial Medal for Poetry. She has also acted as a Freelance Editor for Heinemann Publishing Ltd. (Caribbean), Ian Rundle Publishing of Jamaica, and she attends numerous international functions as both a guest writer and lecturer.
“Manley’s dynamic interpretation of both Drumblair and Slipstream brought other meaning to the words on the page. These two memoirs about her eminent family, grandparents Edna and Norman Washington Manley, and her father, former Prime Minister of Jamaica Michael Manley, was both humorous and poignant.
“Atkinson was honoured to have as an attendee, Consul General of Jamaica Vivia Betton. The Jamaican food provided by the Jamaican Consulate, along with the other refreshments further enlivened the session. In a lucky coincidence, the event celebrated the 40th anniversaries of the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies (formerly Atkinson College), and Jamaican Independence.