Place of birth
United Kingdom
Place of residence
National identity
United Kingdom

Rachel Manley

Short biography
Rachel Manley was born in Cornwall, England in 1955, daughter of an English mother and Jamaican father, the future Prime Minister, Michael Manley (in 1972-1980, and from 1989 until his retirement due to ill-health). At the age of two she came back to Jamaica and was thereafter brought up by her grandparents, Norman Manley, PNP leader, Chief Minister of pre-independence self-governing Jamaica, and Edna Manley, outstanding Caribbean scultor and patron of the arts and literature in Jamaica. Rachel Manley has written a most moving memoir of these years in her Drumblair: Memories of a Jamaican Childhood (1996), which won a gold medal in the Canadian Governor-General's Literary Awards.

"Rachel Manley attended schools in Jamaica and took a BA at UWI, Mona. From this period on, writing poetry was her major preoccupation, first publishing Prisms in 1972, an artistically designed pamphlet printed in Jamaica, with illustrations and printed in green. This was followed by Poems 2, printed in Barbados in 1978. Her poems were also published in Focus and The Greenfield Review. She was the editor of Edna Manley: The Diaries (1989).

Her first full length collection of poems, A Light Left On was published by Peepal Tree in 1992, to considerable praise. At the heart of the collection are a series of poems which mourn the death of the grandmother who had raised her, who died in 1987, and to her grandfather, who had died in 1969.

Rachel Manley is the mother of two children. She has lived in Toronto for some years."