Portia Dreams just published by the Portia Simpson-Miller Foundation and written by Opal Palmer Adisa, is the authorized Biography of Portia Simpson-Miller’s childhood years. It was written to inspire school children, ages 8- 11 years. The 56-page publication is rich in illustrations and motivational stories about the curious, constantly dreaming child who rose from humble, rural beginnings to become the first female Prime Minister of Jamaica in 2006. Portia Simpson-Miller served as Prime Minister for a second time, from 2012-2016. Her career of public service spanned over 40 years.
100+ Voices For Miss Lou just published online by the University of the West Indies (UWI) Press and edited by Opal Palmer Adisa, is a 452-page Anthology of Poetry, Tributes, Interviews and Essays honouring Jamaica’s inimitable cultural icon, the Hon. Louise Bennett-Coverley. The publication compiled in 4 sections, attests to the affection, respect and esteem in which the beloved larger-than-life folklorist is held by over 100 Jamaican and Caribbean literary luminaries and creatives. 100+Voices for Miss Lou was conceived by Adisa as a Legacy project in 2019, to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Miss Lou’s birth.
Miss Lou had the instinctive wisdom to relate language to identity. As a people who have long since lost our identity, we continue to search for it. There is an interrelationship between language – the words we use – and our identity. In that regard, Miss Lou helped us to remember who we are. However, mental slavery is still with us. While we continue to deny our own language, our way of expressing ourselves, there is no escaping the fact that our language is part of our identity as Jamaicans. Although a lot of our unique cultural DNA disappeared during the Middle Passage, Miss Lou had the wisdom and the courage to grasp what remained of that DNA and give voice to the voiceless. She did it with such decisiveness that I have lived to see the day when Patwa, or Jamaican Language as it is properly called, has taken its rightful place as an important part of our identity. That is Miss Lou’s legacy. —Beverly Manley-Duncan
Opal Palmer Adisa is the former University Director, the Institute for Gender and Development Studies, Regional Coordinating Office, UWI, Mona. She is an award-winning poet, writer, cultural activist and gender specialist. She is the author of over 20 books embracing poetry, short story collections and children’s literature. She has been anthologized in over 400 journals worldwide. Adisa is also the Founder/Editor of Interviewing The Caribbean – a creative, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the artistic expressions of the Caribbean — published quarterly online by the UWI Press.