James Berry Memorial Conference

James Berry photographed by Fay Godwin

For more information

  • This event has taken place
  • Tel: +44 (0)1937 546546
  • Email: boxoffice@bl.uk
  • Full Price: £23.00 Member: £23.00 Under 18: £17.00 Other concessions available

Celebrate the life and work of the Jamaican poet and writer James Berry

This conference explores the life and work of the Jamaican poet and writer James Berry (1924 – 2017), considering his writing for adults and children, his cultural activism, and his writing through dementia. 

James Berry grew up in rural Jamaica before coming to Britain in 1948. Initially working as a telecommunications officer, Berry took early retirement in 1977 to concentrate on his literary career. He became one of the best loved and most widely taught poets in Britain, writing lyrical, humourous and politically engaged works in both standard English and Jamaican creole. His poetry is full of vivid and beautiful images, especially in its description of the natural loveliness of the land he was born in. A champion of Caribbean culture, much of his work demonstrates his ability to write in voice, developing new forms of speech to suit the ’new cross-cultural aesthetic’ of West Indian British poetry. 

Speakers include John Agard, Raymond Antrobus, Malorie Blackman, Errol Lloyd, Hannah Lowe and Grace Nichols. 

View the full programme here (PDF)
The conference ticket includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day.

Book for both the conference and Only One Of Me: Remembering James Berry, taking place at 19.00, and save £5

Sponsored by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library

Image: James Berry by Fay Godwin © British Library


Name: James Berry Memorial Conference
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: Full Price: £23.00
Member: £23.00
Senior 60+: £20.00
Student: £17.00
Registered Unemployed: £17.00
Under 18: £17.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546