Poet Laureate Mervyn Morris, featured for Last Sundays

Professor Mervyn Morris, O.M., Poet Laureate

Professor Mervyn Morris, O.M., Poet Laureate

The National Gallery of Jamaica is pleased to present an exciting and varied Last Sundays programme for May 25. In addition to the opening of the new exhibition Anything with Nothing: Art from the Streets of Urban Jamaica, the programme will feature a poetry reading by Jamaica’s new Poet Laureate, Professor Mervyn Morris, O.M. There will also be musical performances by Pentateuch and Ackee & Saltfish.

The poet and literary scholar Mervyn Morris was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and studied at the University College of the West Indies and as a Rhodes Scholar at St Edmund Hall, Oxford. He has taught at the University of the West Indies since the 1960s and is now Professor Emeritus of Creative Writing & West Indian Literature.

Morris has published several volumes of poetry, including: Examination Centre (1992); On Holy Week (a sequence of poems for radio, 1993); The Pond (revised edition, 1997); Shadowboxing (1979) and I been there, sort of: New and Selected Poems (2006). In 2009, Morris was awarded the Jamaican Order of Merit, and in 2014, he was appointed the Poet Laureate of Jamaica – the first Jamaican poet to be so honoured since independence in 1962. On May 25, Professor Morris will read a selection from his poetry inspired by the street art represented in the Anything with Nothing exhibition.



Pentateuch, which was formed in 2009 at the Edna Manley College, has emerged as a major new voice on the Roots Revival scene and engaging anthems such as Black Face have provided them with an enthusiastic and rapidly growing following. The name Pentateuch represents the first five chapters of the Bible and was also chosen to symbolize its five members, Kevor “Vor” Williams on lead vocals, Brady “Jah Bradez” Robinson on drums, Andrew “Worm” Ayre on bass, Andrade “Dradi” Bowen on keyboards and Garth “Duckie” Forester on guitar.

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JAPAN: Kingdom of Characters – “Hello Kitty” comes to the National Gallery of Jamaica!


In recent years, interest in Japanese pop culture, particularly anime and manga has dramatically grown all over the world. Jamaica is no exception, with a strong following among young Jamaicans, and this is a significant part of the active cultural exchanges between Japan and Jamaica. The National Gallery of Jamaica is therefore pleased to present the exhibition JAPAN: Kingdom of Characters, which showcases popular anime and manga characters and which is scheduled to open to the public on Sunday, May 11, from 11 am to 4 pm.

JAPAN: Kingdom of Characters showcases anime and manga characters that have been particularly popular in Japan. Under the theme “Characters and the Japanese”, the exhibition asks various questions: What exactly are “characters”? Why do characters appear and become popular? What kind of social reality do they reflect? The purpose of the exhibition is to introduce the world of characters in a broader sense and examine their impact on Japanese society. Exhibition highlights include life-sized models of some of Japan’s most popular characters and a replica Hello Kitty room.

Organized by the Embassy of Japan in conjunction with the National Gallery of Jamaica and the Japan Foundation, the exhibition commemorates the 50th anniversary of Japan-Jamaica diplomatic relations and is also part of the National Gallery of Jamaica’s Fortieth anniversary program. It will be opened by H.E. Mr. Yasuo Takase, Ambassador of Japan to Jamaica. The opening function will feature a costumed performance by JA Cosplayaz. Light refreshments will be served.

The exhibition continues until Sunday, June 14, 2014.