General presentation

John Robert Lee was born in Santa Lucia in 1948. He trained as a Librarian and is currently responsible for information management at the Folk Research Centre. A graduate of the University of the West Indies, he has also taught English and literature.  He was very much involved with the theatre for several years, as an actor and director, and has worked in radio and television as presenter and producer. Regarded as one of the younger contemporaries of Nobel Prize-Winner Derek Walcott, he has published several collections of poetry, and has also written short stories and other poems that have appeared in such international anthologies as The Penguin Book of Caribbean Verse (1986), The Faber Book of Contemporary Caribbean Short Stories (1990) and The Heinemann Book of Caribbean Poetry (1992). In 2003, he compiled and published Roseau Valley and other poems for Brother George Odlum, an anthology presenting 50 years of Santa-Lucian poetry. His articles appear regularly in local newspapers. In 2006, he collaborated with Kendel Hippolyte in the publication of Saint Lucian Literature and Theatre: an Anthology of Reviews, a work acknowledged as making a significant contribution to documentation of the history of Santa-Lucian writing and theatre. John Robert Lee is a committed Christian very much involved in religious life – Derek Walcott has described him as a scrupulous and noble Christian poet. His latest collection, Elemental: New and Selected Poems (2008), continues to take an autobiographical approach, with the author sharing his concerns with regard to the Caribbean way of life, art and faith, and giving due place to the Creole language. In 2012, his daughter Davina Lee adapted two of his short stories to the screen (as a 35-minute film entitled The Coming of Org).

Select bibliography

  • Elemental: New and Selected Poems. Peepal Tree Press, 2008.
  • Canticles. Mahanaim Publishing, 2007.
  • Artefacts. Mayers Printing Company, 2000.
  • Clearing Ground. New Life Fellowship 1991.
  • Saint Lucian. Phelps Publishing Company, 1988.
  • Possessions. 1984.
  • Dread season. Lithographic Press 1978.
  • Vocation. U.W.I. Extra Mural Department, 1975.

Prizes and distinctions

Santa Lucia National Medal of Merit, for his contribution to development of the Arts and culture.

@La Médiathèque Caraïbe

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