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Pamela Mordecai
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Jamaican-Canadian author Pamela Mordecai writes for children and adults. Her latest books are A Fierce Green Place and de book of Joseph: a performance poem.
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This is a gallery of work specially created for #ThinAir2022. Spend time with writers you love, and discover some new favourites! Ceci est une galerie de travaux spécialement créée pour #ThinAir2022. Passez du temps avec des écrivains que vous aimez et découvrez de nouveaux favoris!

Jamaican-Canadian author, Pamela Mordecai writes for adults and children. Her nine collections of poetry are Journey Poem (1989), de Man: a performance poem (1995), Certifiable (2001), The True Blue of Islands (2005), Subversive Sonnets (2012), de book of Mary: a performance poem (2015), Up Tropic (Serbian/English edition, 2021), de book of Joseph: a performance poem (2022) and A Fierce Green Place: New and Selected poems (2022). Her poetry has been translated into French, Spanish, Serbian and Romanian.

Her debut novel, Red Jacket (2015), was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction award., and her short story collection, Pink Icing, published to rave reviews in 2006, was released in 2020 as an audiobook in ECW’s Bespeak Audio Editions. Mordecai’s poetry is part of the UK’s Poetry by Heart initiative and Canada’s Poetry in Voice. Her children’s poems are widely anthologized and have been used in language arts curricula in the US, UK, Africa, India, the Caribbean and the Far East. She lives in Tkaranto.

Interview / Entrevue

Mi no av no direc answer to dis... My friend Andrea and I did think we were terribly daring and sophisticated when we snuck across the dusty playfield at lunch time with my parents’ wafer-thin-paged copy of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare and sat on a log under hot sun and read “Venus and Adonis...” Perhaps that counts?

I read the book to my late husband five times, end to end, when he was dying, so I guess it has to be, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

My desk was, and is, utterly, completely chaotic. It drove my husband nuts, but, as I forever told him, I could find whatever I wanted... (That is less so now!) A rider, as in qualification: I have always managed the household finances, paid the bills, seen the folks at the bank— he did come with me.


even as there is truth
in inebriation, pervasive
chaos is patterned;
sheaves of fluttering
butterfly wings inscribed
on one side of my desk-
world make hurricanes
of books on the other...

Aaah! A poet must make
metaphor and a writer
can dream...

No worry wakes me up at nights. Every night, I surrender them all, as I surrendered my dying spouse, to She-of-the-Book-of-Sirach...

It is a lunatic ambition, as I am almost eighty and need new knees, but nevertheless I wish to climb Blue Mountain Peak, scatter half of Martin’s ashes there, and see Cuba at dawn...

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