It has become commonplace to acknowledge that alongside the development of a powerful labor movement and the nation's first political party, Jamaica's literature came into its own during the 1930s and 1940s. This article explores how the different kind of work carried out in two of the publications from this period associated with the Manley family, the newspaper Public Opinion and the literary journal Focus, speaks to the alliance but also the cleavages between the political and the literary. It looks at Public Opinion's publication history from its founding in 1937 through the publication of the first issue of Focus in 1943 to see how the place of literature in Public Opinion's pages changes over time. The article finds that Public Opinion during these years goes through three stages in terms of its relationship to literary publication: an uneven beginning from its founding in 1937 up to the formation of the PNP in 1938, a sort of golden age for literature in the newspaper from 1939 to 1942, and then a period beginning in 1942 where literature drops out of the newspaper's pages almost entirely while Focus is founded as an alternative space for the literary.

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