Government is moving to establish a permanent editorial board for the state-funded Caribbean Press, amid lingering concerns about the way the publishing house is being run.
Responding to questions by Alliance For Change parliamentarian, Trevor Williams, in the House, Culture Minister, Frank Anthony said plans were progressing for the founding of a permanent editorial board, which will be provided with financing under the Culture Ministry’s budget. The board will comprise professional writers from different Caribbean countries who will advise the editor-in -chief on what titles should be published, he was quited by the state-run Government Information Agency (GINA).
“The Ministry will incorporate into its future budget, monies to employ one salaried worker (the administrator/secretary) of the Caribbean Press. This person would oversee the commissioning and publication of titles; liaise with writers, printers and editorial boards, and the government,” the Minister said.
Anthony further informed that over $56.6M has been spent on the Caribbean Press between 2009 and 2012.
Concerns have been raised by among others, award-winning Guyanese author Ruel Johnson, about the apparent mismanagement of Caribbean Press and alleged favourite use of the publishing house.
Of that amount, $7.8M was used specifically for administration of the publishing house, particularly as it relates to the hiring of secretarial assistance for the editors between 2009 and 2012. The editors on the other hand, are volunteering their services. The General Editor, Dr. David Dabydeen has been volunteering his services from 2009 to the present along with a pool of persons.
Minister Anthony was also asked to provide the House with a breakdown of the books that were distributed in Guyana by title, location, and the number of copies as of June 20, 2013. He responded that a compilation of the said information is ongoing and assured that when completed, a copy will be table in the Parliament. He informed however, that publications by the unit were distributed to the National Library, University of Guyana Library Turkeyen, Walter Roth Museum, foreign embassies based in Guyana, Caricom Secretariat, and the Guyana Police Force among other entities.
Additionally, the Caribbean Press is in the process of preparing 12 books to be released. These include:
Egbert Martin: Scriptology
Twenty-Five Caribbean Poems for Children.
- Anthology of Caribbean Stories for Children.
- Six Anthologies of Contemporary Poetry by Guyanese Children (to be edited by Rev. Gideon Cecil).
- Four collections of Children’s short stories by Janet Jagan (Reprints)
- Three collections of the essays of Janet Jagan.
- Six volumes of the National Assembly Speeches of Desmond Hoyte
- Four additional volumes of the National Assembly Speeches of Forbes Burnham.
- Paloma Mohammed’s children’s short story, Marlee the Manatee.
- Two anthologies of Guyanese plays, (ed. A1 Creighton).
- Seven volumes of Kyk-Over-Al (Reprints from 1945 to 1961)
- Three volumes of Mittelholzer Lectures, (ed. Andrew Lindsay),
The Ministry will be making provisions to hire an administrator/secretary. Minister Anthony explained that, such a person will oversee the commissioning and publication of titles; coordinate with writers, printers and Editorial Board, and the government, be responsible for book distribution, for the publicity of the press, identify and organise the visits of writers to Guyana to carry out workshops and readings, manage the Press’s website among other duties.
Thus far, the Caribbean Press has benefited from the services of a number of scholars such as: Sister Noel Menezes, Dr. Janette Bulkan, Ameena Gafoor, Professor Trevor Bumard, Professor James Walvin, Professor Clem Seecharan, Dr. Chris Campbell, Dr. Letizia Gramaglia, Dr. Lynne Macedo, Professor Peter Nazareth, Dr. Mariam Pirbhai, Dr. Dimitar Angelov, Dr. Harold Leusmann, Dr. Brinsley Samaroo, Dr. Amar Wahab, Dr. Gemma Robinson, Dr. Lucy Evans, Dr. Anne- Marie Lee Loy, Dr. Mark Tumbridge and Dr. Michael Niblett.
The following is a list books that were edited, proofed, laid out, designed and printed by Caribbean Press.
1. Joseph Beaumont – The New Slavery
2. Barrington Brown – Canoe and camp Life
3. Trevor Bumard – Hearing Slaves Speak.
4. N.E. Cameron – Guianese Poetry, 1831 -1931
5. Jan Carew – Black Midas
6. Jan Carew – Wild Coast
7. Martin Carter – Selected Poetry
8. Cecil Clementi – The Chinese in British Guiana.
9. Cyril Dabydeen – Short Stories
10. David Dabydeen – The Intended
11. Fred D’Aguiar – Mama Dot
12. Robert Grieve – The Asylum Journal Volume 1
13. Robert Grieve – The asylum Journal Volume 2
14. Maggie Harris – Selected Poems
15. Wilson Harris – Eye of the Scarecrow
16. Wilson Harris – Heartland.
17. Roy Heath – The Shadow Bride
18. William Hillhouse – Indian Notices
19. Edward Jenkins – The Collie, His Rights and Wrongs
20. Edward Jenkins – Lutchmee and Dilloo
21. Egbert Martin – Selected Poetry
22. Ian McDonald – Mercy Ward
23. Mark Mc Watt – Interiors
24. Noel Menezes – The Portuguese of Guyana.
25. Noel Menezes – British Policy towards Amerindians in British Guiana.
26. Paloma Mohamed – Duenne (at the printers)
27. Edgar Mittelholzer – Corentyne Thunder
28. Edgar Mittelholzer – A Morning at the Office.
29. Edgar Mittelholzer – The Life and Death of Sylvia
30. Edgar Mittelholzer – Shadows Move among them
31. Elly Niland – Selected Poems
32. Sasenarine Persaud – Undisclosed Entrances
33. Walter Raleigh – Discoverie of Guiana.
34. Theophilus Richmond – The First Crossing
35. Walter E. Roth – Animism and Folklore of the Guiana Indians.
36. Denis Williams – Other Leopards
37. Denis Williams – The Third Temptation
38. Denis Williams – Giglioli in Guyana 1922 -1972
National Assembly Speeches:
1. L. F. S Burnham – Volume 1
2. L. F. S Burnham – Volume 2 (at the printers)
3. L. F. S Burnham – Volume 3 (at the printers)
4. Cheddi Jagan – Volume 1
5. Cheddi Jagan – Volume 2
6. Cheddi Jagan – Volume 3
7. Cheddi Jagan – Volume 4
8. Cheddi Jagan – Volume 5
9. Cheddi Jagan – Volume 6
10. Cheddi Jagan -National Assembly Speeches Volume 7
11. Janet Jagan – Volume 1 (at the printers)
12. Janet Jagan – Volume 2 (at the printers)
Other Books include:
1. Ashley Anthony – The Mysterious Association and the Virtu Gems.
2. Churaumanie Bissundyal – The Dumb and the Brave
3. A. J. Mc.R.Cameron – The Berbice Uprising 1763.
4. Cedric Castello – Rasta Lyrics.
5. Lynette Dolphin (ed) – One Hundred Folk Songs of Guyana.
6. Odeen Ishmael – The Guyana Story Volume 1: From the Earliest Inhabitants to British Colonisation (at the printers)
7. Odeen Ishmael- The Guyana story Volume 2: From the Workers’ struggle
to the Quest for Independence (at the printers)
8. Ian McDonald – A Cloud of Witnesses
9. Ian McDonald – A Love of Poetry
10. Petamber Persaud (ed) – Guyanese Short Stories, (awaiting writers approval)
11. Petamber Persaud (ed.) – Anthology of Guyanese Contemporary verse, (awaiting writers approval)
12. Alan Zheng (Translator) – Clementi – The Chinese in British Guiana (abridged ed.
Translation into Mandarin)
13. John Bennett – An Arawak – English Dictionary.
14. Wapishana Language Project – Scholar’s Dictionary and Grammar of the Wapishana
15. Janet Jagan (ed.) – The Lure of the Mermaid and other children’s stories