August 21, 2019

Award Winning Poet, Malachi Smith, Heads to Chiapas, Mexico

Internationally acclaimed dub poet Malachi Smith, is set to represent Jamaica at the VII International Festival of Contemporary Poetry, which will be held from August 28--31, 2019, in the city of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. The prestigious festival will feature poets from all over the world and will be in tribute to Mexican poet Jaime Mario Labastida Ochoa. Readings will take place in educational institutions and cultural spaces including Native People, the UNACH, among others.

The founding member of the internationally acclaimed group of performance poets, Poets in Unity, Smith has been representing Jamaica at international poetry festivals since the 1990s. He has appeared in South Africa (twice), Taiwan, Columbia, Nicaragua, Honduras, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Canada, where he was the headliner performer at the international dub poetry festival there.  He also appeared at the La Guagua Poetry Festival in Lowell, Massachusetts,  in  2019.

As a James Michener Fellow at the University of Miami, Malachi studied poetry under Lorna Goodison, and playwriting under Fred D’Aguiar. The 2011 Life Time Achievement Award winner (Independent Voyces), has won many awards for his writings including the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s (JCDC) 2009 Most Outstanding Writer award, JCDC Best Adult Poet 2014 and 2017 and JCDC’s 4th place Choice Writer for 2018 for a gold medal for poetry and a bronze for short story. Malachi won the 2016 Akamedia Award for his poem “How Yuh Mek Her Massa God.” He was also a nominee for the International Reggae & World Music Award (IRAWMA) for 2019.

Malachi has two published collections of poems, Black Boy Blue and The Gathering and seven CD collections, Throw Two Punch, The Blacker The Berry….De Sweeter de Cherry, Middle Passage, Hail to Jamaica, Luv Dub Fever, SCREAM and his latest offering, Wiseman. In addition, he has had his poems published in prestigious journals and publications such as Poui, Cave Hill Journal of International Writing, the West Indian Journal of Literature, Carrier Pidgin Journal, The Caribbean Writer, and the University of the Virgin Island, Peepal Tree Press and Write in Our Midst Miami Book Fair International. His poems have been translated in both Spanish and Mondrian.

Smith is the founder and organizer of the highly successful Jamaica Poets All-island High School and College Tour, which takes place annually in Jamaica. He is a board member of the Louise Bennett-Coverley Heritage Council, Caribbean Education Foundation and the Jamaica Ex-Police Association of South Florida. 

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