Her poems encompass the lives of women old and young; middle-class and sufferers; women whose lives are enclosed, who want liberation from the 'station of motherhood, wifehood and frustration', and women who through their resistance, creativity and assertion of selfhood have made space for themselves. The celebration of such lives stands as a beacon of hope in the depiction of Jamaican society in which rape, poverty and abandonment are too frequently women's lot.
Jean Goulbourne grew up in rural Jamaica. She has worked as a teacher and a publications officer. She was the recipient of a James Michener Fellowship and an honorary fellowship at the Iowa Institute of Writing Programme.