SSoP Podcast Episode 47 — Jamaica: Let's Get Together and Feel All Right

SSoP Podcast Episode 47 — Jamaica: Let's Get Together and Feel All Right

Monday, 6 March, 2023

The mountains of Jamaica rise up out of the turquoise-blue Caribbean. From those jaggy peaks, rolling hills — covered in lush green rainforests — taper down to soft-sand beaches along the coast.

It makes perfect sense that the first Jamaican inhabitants — the Taíno from South America — gave the island a name that means ‘Land of Wood and Water.’ It’s all as if paradise is beckoning you to come, sit, relax.

Music floats on the air in both the rhythmic lilt of reggae music and Jamaican patois, a creole language that combines elements of English, Spanish, and African languages.

Yes, there are pirates in Jamaica’s past, along with Spanish conquistadors, British interlopers, and a history of slavery. But Jamaica is now a cultural superpower, sharing its feel-good music (with a message), colorful cuisine, star athletes, and multicultural gifts with the world.

In this episode, we explore the so-literal-they’re-poetic names of some Jamaican towns, sing along to our favorite Bob Marley tunes, dig into the history of jerk chicken, and spy on Ian Fleming’s Jamaican estate. Then we recommend five great books that to us to Jamaica on the page, including two delicious cookbooks, a YA adventure with a side of social justice, a sweet family saga, a short story collection that will punch you in the feelings, and a painfully beautiful novel about an (extra)ordinary Jamaican woman named Adamine.


Read the full transcript of Jamaica: Let’s Get Together and Feel All Right.

Black Cake

buy | read review

If I Survive You

buy | read review

Black Heart of Jamaica

buy | read review


buy | read review

West Winds

buy | read review

The Last Warner Woman

buy | read review

The Last Warner Woman

buy | read review

other books we mentioned


other cool stuff we talked about

jamaica 101

ackee fruit with red skin and large black shiny seeds

two truths and a lie

  • Charmaine Wilkerson is the author of Black Cake. Here’s her website.
  • Kei Miller is the author of The Last Warner Woman and a slew of other gorgeous novels, essays, and poems. Here’s his page on The Poetry Archive.

a bunch of music

  • Peter Tosh and Mick Jagger both throw some classic moves in this video
  • We borrowed a pirate song from ‘Peter Pan.’
  • This was the tune that we used as an example for mento. It’s from the Jolly Boys. They are also known for covering pop songs in their style. Please to enjoy…
  • Amy Winehouse’s ‘Rehab’
  • ‘I Fought the Law’
  • and Lou Reeds’ ‘Perfect Day’ (which Dave might prefer to the original?)
  • and we’ll let Bob play us out.



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By conjuring images of a mermaid — a beautiful, graceful, free mermaid — this prose poem by Jamaican writer Kei Miller speaks eloquently of the damage caused by imperial rule to colonized people, lands, and seas.
Take a virtual trip to Jamaica with a YA adventure, delicious cookbooks, a sweet family saga, a short story collection that'll punch you in the feelings, and a novel about an (extra)ordinary woman named Adamine.

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