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Alma Norman - Jamaican Poet

by Janice

Why is there so little information online about the great Jamaican Poet Alma Norman?
As far as I can remember, she wrote a collection of beautiful poems but a google search yields only 1, Ballad of 65.

Please advise where I source a copy of her book ‘Ballads of Jamaica'

RESPONSE: by Deon Clarke

Good day,

Thank you for your questions.

Obviously you have a love for great Jamaican writing which is quite commendable. So, to answer your first question about why there is so little information online about Alma Norman, your guess is as good as mine when it comes to the absence of online information about Alma Norman and her great works.

If you ask most adults and younger children now about Alma Norman, they probably never heard of her!
Some however, may distinctly remember a part or most of one of her great works, The Ballad of 65.

One could speculate that during the time or era that her writings were done, the internet was not a major source of communication and marketing or even almost non- existent and perhaps not much effort has been made since then to publicize her work through this online marketing avenue.

You could also argue that Jamaican authors especially in those times were not really credited for their work and were often made to feel that the quality was of a lesser value than their European and other counterparts.

Sure, you would find some of these recited in schools, especially for concerts or competitions but that seems to be where it ends mostly.

So, I guess it boils down to inadequate online marketing and possibly relevance.
However, I would say that for those who are ignorant of her and her works are simply cheated of great literature.

For the benefit of those who do not know, here is a list of some of her great poetic and literary works:

  1. The Ballad of 65
  2. Ballads of Jamaica
  3. The People Who Came
  4. Jamaica is our name
  5. Jamaica Wanderers
  6. The Revolt of Chief Tacky

You also asked where you could get a copy of her book Ballads of Jamaica to purchase. I will provide you with a list of possible website options, so here goes:

You might just get lucky as well by checking out some of our local book stores here in Jamaica, such as:

  • Sangster’s Book Store
  • Kingston Book Shop
  • Henderson Book Store

Let’s hope that avid readers such as yourself will continue to spread the word and work of this great lady so that it does not become a buried treasure but something to build, motivate and inspire.

I hope the information provided was helpful wish you success in getting a copy of the Ballads of Jamaica as you desire!

See also: Other poems by Alma Norman



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