JIS News

A month-long series of activities, aimed at promoting Caribbean literature in the United Kingdom (UK), got underway yesterday (Feb. 26) with a book exhibition at the London Metropolitan University.
The promotion, dubbed ‘An explosion of Caribbean Books,’ is being organised by the Kingston-based Ian Randle Publishers.
Mr. Randle, speaking to JIS News at the exhibition, said that the goal was to provide a sustained marketing and promotion programme aimed at sensitising UK audiences to the range of Jamaican and Caribbean books available.
“We want to sensitise the reading public, in particular the Jamaican Diaspora, the Caribbean Diaspora and the British population, about the range of books that we produce. Our list now has in excess of 350 titles and many of these are appropriate for use in (learning) institutions and public and community libraries,” he informed.
He said that public libraries would be targeted in the bid to reach audiences. “We want to connect as directly as we can with readers and the vehicle that we are using are the community libraries. In the past, we had no mechanism for getting that information to these groups,” he said.
Four major libraries will be hosting exhibitions of a wide range of Jamaican and Caribbean books and the British Library will stage a session for librarians to discuss acquisition, expansion, and improvement of Caribbean collections in community and research libraries.
Other events include a symposium on Caribbean Studies and Publishing hosted by the Institute for the Study of the Americas at the University of London, where Mr. Randle and Professor Verene Shepherd of the University of the West Indies, will be the main presenters.
A number of guest authors from the Caribbean will be participating in these events including Trinidadian novelist, Michael Anthony and Fred Kennedy, author of the acclaimed book on the life of National Hero, Sam Sharpe entitled Daddy Sharpe.
Support for Professor Shepherd and Michael Anthony’s participation has been made possible through a grant from the Commonwealth Foundation.
Mr. Randle told JIS News that there were plans to host a similar series of events in other UK cities including Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol, and to also take the promotion to Canada.

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