Thursday, October 23, 2008

Funding for literature in/from the Caribbean

Nikolai over at Antilles

To the best of my knowledge--and I'd be thrilled to be informed otherwise--no Commonwealth Caribbean country can boast an agency, whether state-funded or private, that gives regular, consistent, and substantial financial support to our small, struggling publishing industry. Occasionally a ministry of culture or a large corporation will give an ad hoc grant to a specific book project. The government of Guyana funds the admirable Guyana Prizes for Literature, but that benefits publishers only indirectly, if the sales of a prize-winning book increase. The government of Barbados has funded the revival of the journal Bim--I'll post more about that one of these days--and the Central Bank of Barbados funds the annual Frank Collymore Literary Awards. But there is simply no equivalent in this part of the world to the kind of basic support that the Canada Council for the Arts gives to Canadian publishers--or that the Arts Council of England gives to many small British publishers, or that various national and regional arts bodies give to small American publishers.

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