Los Angeles 2021 Poet Laureate Has SVG Roots
On Wednesday 24th February 2021, the Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, announced that Lynne Thompson is the 2021 Poet Laureate of Los Angeles.
Born and raised in Los Angeles of Vincentian parentage, some of her poems like “Song for Two Immigrants” feature imagery from St Vincent & the Grenadines.
In his announcement, Mayor Garcetti described Thompson as an “acclaimed writer, an outspoken force who uses words to tell stories and unite communities and open us up to perspectives, ” a release stated.
“A native of South L.A., in so much of her work, our city, its character, its dynamism, its challenges and its resilience, they play a leading role,” the Mayor said.
Thompson received an artist fellowship from the city in 2015, and her published poetry collections include “Smart With A Small Guitar” and “Beg No Pardon,” according to the Poetry Foundation.
Garcetti said Thompson’s poem “Hammer and Pick” is about her father making it through the Great Depression.
“As we march forward towards recovery [from the coronavirus pandemic], I know that her poetry will help us set our sights on a brighter and better future, and Los Angeles, that future is within reach,” he added.
Lynne is the daughter of the late Brennan Irwin “Tom” Thompson from Georgetown (related to the Wiseman family of Lowmans Leeward), and the late Cecily Thompson, née Hazell of Bequia. She is the granddaughter of Nurse Cleopatra Hazell of Bequia, and niece of the late Irma Norris of Bequia and New Montrose; first cousin to Lynette Norris-Glasgow, Josette Norris, Cecily Norris, the late Audrie Simmons and the late Perry Norris Sr.