Louise (Simone) Bennett Carolyn Cooper - Essay

Carolyn Cooper

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

In a 1968 interview with the Jamaican poet Dennis Scott, Louise Bennett describes how her use of Jamaican Creole as poetic language disqualified her from membership in the Jamaican Poetry League: "… I have been set apart by other creative writers a long time ago because of the language I speak and work in. From the beginning nobody ever recognized me as a writer. 'Well, she is doing dialect'; it wasn't even writing you know. Up to now a lot of people don't even think I write. They say 'Oh, you just stand up and say these things!'" But the very characteristic of Bennett's style that had alienated her from the literati—the vivacious immediacy of her Jamaican Creole rhythms—has been recognized in contemporary...

(The entire section is 1068 words.)