Dr. Pollard’s research interests include Creole languages of the Anglophone Caribbean, the language of Caribbean literature and Caribbean women’s writing. In these areas she has often found sources of inspiration for her poetry, and has also been especially strongly affected by her visits to the British Virgin Island, Virgin Gorda, and Caret Bay in St. Thomas U.S. Virgin Islands – for which she admits feeling an ‘obsession’. Forms of utterance, in fact, are as central a subject for her as nature – and taken together they form a body of work which reverences things in their place, while advertising their connection with the wider world. It is this paradox that makes her one of the most important Jamaican poets of her generation.
Pollard’s readings for the Poetry Archive demonstrate the diversity of her work, spanning themes such as family, religion, ethnicity and nature. At its most characteristic, her writing assumes a distinctly philosophical tone and shows a strong moral consciousness. The melodious and expressive way in which she delivers her poetry allows us to gain a greater understanding of these things: just as her imagination is simultaneously sensual and nervous, so is her reading rich and stringent.
Dr. Pollard is currently a retired senior lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica. She has published five collections of poetry and her work has appeared in several journals and anthologies. She has also published a novel and three collections of short fiction.
The recording was made for The Poetry Archive on September 26th, 2012 at The Soundhouse Studios, London and was produced by Richard Carrington.