In introductions our first day, another student in my UWI creative writing programme shared his goal–write a book that gets on the CXC syllabus. For a Caribbean writer, is there any greater ambition? Who else reads Caribbean literature? A promotional flyer for a Duke University Press Caribbean anthology I'm in, released that same year, listed shipping rates for the US, Canada and Europe; not the Caribbean.
Who is reading Caribbean books? A survey by the Caribbean Literature Action Group (a two-year-old initiative among writers, publishers, literary festivals and academic literature programmes) is asking. You can complete it at: www.cariblit.org/survey.html, and learn about the state of Caribbean writing and publishing browsing the CaribLit blog.
Who is reading at all? One of the smartest homegrown NGOs I've encountered is Alta, the 22-year-old Adult Literacy Tutors Association. With branches at the Arima PTSC mall and St Paul's Anglican cathedral on Harris Promenade, Alta's headquarters is part of a growing nonprofit community in Belmont.
Its mission to strengthen national literacy and core programme year-round classes for those 16+, Alta combines a strong volunteer component, visionary leadership, public�private partnerships, and a commitment to accountability and assessment.