Opal Palmer Adisa

Fiction Writer, Poet

Oakland, CA
California US

Author's Bio

Diverse, innovative and multi-genre, Opal Palmer Adisa is an exceptional talent, nurtured on cane-sap and the oceanic breeze of Jamaica. Charismatic and informed, Adisa’s concerns span the gamut from the environment to children, and as such there is hardly any topic that she has not written about either in poetry, prose or essay. A highly sought-after motivational speaker, Opal Palmer Adisa has lectured and read her work throughout the United States, Europe, South Africa, South American, and the Caribbean. An award-winning poet and prose writer Dr. Adisa has twelve titles to her credit, including the novel, It Begins With Tears (1997), proclaimed by Rick Ayers as one of the most motivational works for young adults.

Publications & Prizes


Black Scholar
Blues & Rhythms
Caribbean Writer
In the Basement
, ,


Caribbean Passion (Peepal Tree Press, 2004)
Leaf of Life (Jukebox Press, 2000)
It Begins with Tears (Heinemann Books, 1997)
Tamarind & Mango Women (Sister Vision Press, 1992)
Bake-Face & Other Guava Stories (Kelsey Street Press, 1986)
Traveling Woman (Jukebox Press, 1979)
Prizes won: 

Writer in Resident, Sacatar Institute, Itaparica, Brazil, December 2005-February 2006.
Canute A. Brodhurst Prize for best story, "Conscience is the Same as Do Right," in The Caribbean Writer, University of the Virgin Islands, St Croix, 2004.
PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award for poetry collection, Tamarind and Mango Women, 1992.
Pushcart Prize for short story, "Duppy Get Her," 1987.

More Information

Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Jamaican American
Prefers to work with: 
At Risk Youth
Born in: 
Raised in: 
Caymans Estate
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last update: Apr 10, 2009