McDonald, Ian A. 1933- (Ian Archie McDonald)

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McDonald, Ian A. 1933- (Ian Archie McDonald)


Born April 18, 1933, in Trinidad, West Indies; immigrated to Guyana, 1955; son of John Archie (in business) and Thelma McDonald; married Myrna Camille Foster, December 5, 1959 (divorced); married Mary Angela Callender, 1983; children: (first marriage) Keith Ian; (second marriage) Jamie, Darren. Education: Attended Queens Royal College, Trinidad, 1941-51; Cambridge University, B.A. (honors), 1955, M.A., 1959. Hobbies and other interests: Tennis (captained the Cambridge University team, the Guyana team, and the West Indian Davis Cup team and has played at Wimbledon, 1952-59); watching cricket, reading, "enjoying wife's beautiful garden."


Office—The Sugar Association of the Caribbean, Demerera Sugar Terminal, River View, Ruimveldt, Georgetown, Guyana, South America; fax: 00-592-2266104.


Writer, poet, administrator, and marketing executive. Bookers Group Committee, Georgetown, Guyana, secretary, 1955-59; Bookers Sugar Estates Ltd., Georgetown, company secretary, 1959-64, administrative secretary, 1964-70; director, Guyana Sugar Corp., Georgetown, Guyana, 1976-99; Sugar Association of the Caribbean, CEO, 2000—. Also has served as director of Hand-In-Hand Fire and Life Insurance Group, 1990—, the Institute of Private Enterprise Development, and St. Joseph Mercy Hospital.


Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (London, England), Georgetown Cricket, International Lawn Tennis Club of Great Britain.


Guyana Sportsman of the Year, 1957; Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize of Royal Society of Literature, 1969, for best regional novel, The Humming-Bird Tree; Golden Arrow of Achievement, 1986; Guyana Prize for Literature, 1992 and 2004, for poetry; D.Litt, University of West Indies, 1997.


The Humming-Bird Tree (novel), Heinemann (London, England), 1969.

Poetry Introduction 3, Faber (London, England), 1975.

Selected Poems, Labour Advocate (Georgetown, Guyana), 1983.

(Editor) A.J.S. at 70: A Celebration on his 70th Birthday of the Life, Work, and Art of A.J. Seymour, Autoprint (Georgetown, Guyana), 1984.

Mercy Ward (poetry), Peterloo Poets (Cornwall, England), 1988.

Essequibo (poetry), Peterloo Poets (Cornwall, England), 1992.

(Editor and selector, with Stewart Brown) The Heinemann Book of Caribbean Poetry, Heinemann (Portsmouth, NH), 1992.

Jaffo the Calypsonian (poetry) Peepal Tree Press (Leeds, England), 1994.

(Editor, with J. de Weever) A.J. Seymour, Collected Poems, 1937-1989, Blue Parrot Press (Brooklyn, NY), 2000.

Also author of the play Tramping Man, 1980, and the poetry collection Between Silence and Silence, 2003. Contributor of short stories and poems to periodicals, including Penthouse, Bim, Outposts, Chicago Tribune, and Greenfield Review. Also Kyk-Over-Al (literary magazine), joint editor, 1984-89, editor, 1989—. Editorial consultant for West Indian Commission, 1990-92.


The Humming-Bird Tree was adapted for film and shown by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).


A longtime administrator in the Guyanese sugar industry, Ian A. McDonald is also a novelist, poet, and a contributor to the Caribbean literary scene. In addition to his only novel, The Humming-Bird Tree, McDonald has authored several volumes of poetry. Among his contributions to South American literature is a book about Guyanese poet, essayist, memoirist, and editor A.J. Seymour. He also served as editor and selector of poems with Stewart Brown for the anthology The Heinemann Book of Caribbean Poetry. "This volume can be experienced as dizzying and restful in turn, with poems ranging from the abrasive to the meditative," wrote Jorge Hernandez Martin in Americas. Martin also noted that the "kaleidoscopic impression of the Caribbean as something incomplete and elusive, with a nature that is changing, unstable, heterogeneous, and colorful, if dark in tone, results from the editors' wide-ranging approach" to choosing poems.



Americas, September-October, 1994, Jorge Hernandez Martin, review of The Heinemann Book of Caribbean Poetry, p. 62.

School Librarian, February, 1989, review of Mercy Ward, p. 38.

Times Literary Supplement, August 25, 1989, Sean O'Brien, review of Mercy Ward, p. 916.

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McDonald, Ian A. 1933- (Ian Archie McDonald)

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