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Louise Bennett, folklorist, poet, songwriter and performer, was born on 7 September 1919 in Kingston, Jamaica. She studied social work in Jamaica before going to England in 1945 to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She returned to Jamaica in 1947 but in 1950 returned to England where she worked on the BBC. In 1953 she moved to New York City where she performed on radio and on the stage. It was there in 1954 that she married a fellow Jamaican, Eric Coverely. He had been born in 1911 and worked as a draftsman for the Jamaican Government Railway Corporation, as a calligrapher, and also as a theatre performer. In 1955 they returned to Jamaica where she wrote columns for the Gleaner and broadcast her “Miss Lou's views” on the radio using her affectionate nickname. She has published several books of poems and stories and recorded many songs. She was a both a Member of the British Empire and a Member of the Order of Jamaica, and was awarded many honours during her life. She received an honorary degree from York University in 1998; she and her husband had moved to Canada late in life. She died in 2006 and is buried in Jamaica.
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