At a ceremony to mark the opening of the poetry workshop, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Mrs. Ionie Liburd Willet said that the activity is timely and relevant as the Ministry aims to increase performance in the poetry profile of CXC English. She also explained why the teaching of poetry is essential;
“The focus to the teaching of poetry in schools is important essentially because it engages student’s thinking and it keeps language alive,” she stated. “One will agree that the value of teaching poetry cannot be over emphasised since it has tremendous long term benefits and can positively impact the teaching learning process.”
During the two day workshop, expert facilitators will expose secondary school teachers from St Kitts and lecturers from the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College along with colleagues from Anguilla, Montserrat and Nevis to the fundamental principles and techniques of the teaching and learning of poetry. Additionally, they will share how Caribbean culture has shaped and is shaping Caribbean poetry.
Events which emerged from the workshop include activities such as The Teaching Caribbean Poetry Workshop, which began today and an evening of reading, which took place last evening, organised by the UWI Open Campus in collaboration with Island Expressions.
Coming out of the past Caribbean Poetry Workshops will be the first publication of “Teaching Caribbean Poetry.” It is expected to be published by Routledge later this year. It is based on the course jointly devised between the universities of Cambridge and the West Indies and will be edited by Professor Beverley Bryan and Professor Morag Styles.
The regional organizing committee revealed that future publications will include collaboration with Peepal Free Press on an exciting new collection of Caribbean poetry for young adults, and a collection of Caribbean poetry for 11-15 year olds to be published by the Commonwealth.