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HomeNewsArchivesThe Caribbean Writer Contributor, Renowned Jamaican Author Joins UVI Faculty

The Caribbean Writer Contributor, Renowned Jamaican Author Joins UVI Faculty

The University of the Virgin Island has announced the addition of Jamaican author Opal Palmer Adisa to its teaching staff. Dr. Adisa, author of 14 books, describes herself as an accomplished storyteller in the Afro-Caribbean tradition. In addition to joining the UVI faculty as a part-time instructor, sje also has been appointed editor of The Caribbean Writer, UVI’s anthology of Caribbean literature, which she, with her own talents, helped make famous.

The works of this Caribbean poet, educator and author appear in over 200 publications and have been praised as vivid and impassioned, filled with courage and integrity.
Born in Jamaica in 1954 to middle-class parents, Adisa traveled to New York at the age of 16, and enrolled in Hunter College (City University of New York) a few years later. For the next 20 years she pursued higher education, obtaining two masters degrees from San Francisco State University and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1992. By then, she had already published four books.
Her first book, a children’s story called Pina: The Many-Eyed Fruit, was published in 1986, followed by Bake Face and other Guava Stories that same year. A poetry collection entitled Traveling Women was published in 1989, and in 1992, she produced her second book of poetry, Tamarind and Mango Women.
Recognition of Adisa’s works has brought many awards, including three for works published in UVI’s The Caribbean Writer, an annual showcase of the region’s best literary talent. In 1995 the Virgin Islands Daily News awarded her its prize for best poems. The following year she won the Canute A. Brodhurst Prize for Best Story, The Brethren, and repeated that honor in 2004, winning best prize for Conscious Is the Same As Do Right.
In the late 1990s she was appointed to the Caribbean Writer’s advisor editorial board where she served for close to a decade.
In subsequent years, while broadening her academic background, Adisa published 11 more books: poetry collections in Leaf of Life (2000) and Caribbean Passion (2004). There was an essay about the inspiration to write in Eros Muse (2006) and reflections on the lives of Jamaican men in Until Judgment Comes (2007). She published an anthology of poetry and prose in 2008 called I Name Me Name. Most recently she has written Conscious Living, described as a chapbook, and selected poems and essays, Caribbean Erotica, both in 2009.
Her international studies have taken her to Egypt under a Fullbright Institute Bi-National fellowship. She also studied in Brazil at the Sacatar Institute. Before studying abroad, she attended the McColl Center for Visual Arts in North Carolina and the Headlands Center for the Arts in California. Eventually she was named full professor of Creative Writing, Literature and Diversity Studies at the California College of the Arts in Sausalito, Calif.
A career formed with the written word also brought opportunities with the spoken word. Adisa has distinguished herself outside the classroom as a motivational speaker and as a broadcaster on Pacifica Radio station, KPFA-FM in Berkeley, Calif.
In the spring of 2010, Opal Palmer Adisa joins UVI’s Dr. Doug Larche, artistic director and playwright-in-residence of UVI Theatre, to teach the creative use of the written word.
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