Opal Palmer Adisa @ Informtainment.com
Adisa’s initial interest in writing can probably be traced back to the stories she was told by her Aunt Zilla, who Adisa would visit during the summer. Since she was frequently around storytelling, Adisa reflects on “always writing, or at least making up stories and poems in [her] head" (Agard 43). When she left for
Hunter College, she was not aspiring to major in English or Creative Writing, but Mathematics. Adisa made the shift to writing after attending a poetry reading by Sonia Sanchez, and reading the novel Cane by Jean Toomer (Leach). Other influences on her writing include Kamau Brathwaite and Mervyn Morris, both of whom she met and came to know personally when she returned to Jamaica in the mid-seventies. In her interview with Kwame Dawes, she says she had "been influenced a lot more so by fiction or prose than by poetry" (188).