Barbados’ First Poet Laureate Esther Phillips — Three Worlds One Vision

Minister of Culture appoints Poet Esther Phillips as Barbados’ first Poet Laureate – February 2018 Photo Credit: Barbados Government Information Services My Poetry Corner January 2019 features the poem “Unwritten Poem” from the poetry collection, The Stone Gatherer, by Esther Phillips, a poet and educator born in Barbados, where she still resides. In February […]

Continue reading this article via “Unwritten Poem” – Poem by Barbados’ First Poet Laureate Esther Phillips — Three Worlds One Vision


Cultural Giants

Barbados of course has it writers poets singers directors playwrights and story-tellers, as well as her own musicians, inc. Calypsonians who embody the host of these skills, and actors.  I think of them as cultural giants or, more modernity, influencers.

Among the more celebrated are people like Alfred Pragnell, Tom Clarke, Elton Elombe Mottley, Janet Layne-Clarke, Gladstone Holder,  and Clyde and Patrick Gollop, to name a few who were my Influencers. There are many more who though not celebrated nationally are the bedrock of their community’s life and identity.

I grew up enraptured and trilling to these lyrical people who could put just about anything, good or sad, into poems and songs and tales that mostly made you smile even if with sombre reflection.

Yet until now we didn’t have a Poet Laureate.  History has been made!

Talent? Check!

Maybe some of our CropOver Calypso Monararchs could in some ways be accredited the accolade, but it is more fitting and appropriate that a ‘real’ Poet has been granted this high acclaim.

We have talent and skill.  Yes we do.  In abundance.  By making this appointment the Government may be seeking to underscore this.

Next time you are in my homeland, ask about what is going on and what is being done to revive our Theatres etc.  You could do no worse moreover by checking out one of the small shows hosted regularly by the Barbadod Museum and Historical Society, and Esther’s own Bim Magazine might be worth researching.  Treasure trove…. Talent?  Check!

Designated Poet Laureate

Designated Poet Laueate, Miss Esther Phillip’s is a graduate of life and notable universities, yet like any true Barbadian she is still human.

What do you think about “Unwritten Poem”.   Is it strange? 🙂

And does Barbados really merit or need a Poet Laureate?

Let us know your thoughts.

Esther Phillips

Here is a link to Esther’s poem “And Yet Again”  in the Scottish Poetry Library, as rendered for the BBC on the occasion of the  2012 London Olympics Poetry Parnassus Festival.


Esther reads one of her poems

Photo:Peepal Tree Press



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