The University of the West Indies (UWI), in collaboration with Cambridge University, UK is running a project on Teaching Caribbean Poetry (TCP). The project is mainly funded by The Cambridge Centre for Commonwealth Education (CCE) with financial support from the Commonwealth Education Trust (CET). The project is chaired by Professor Morag Styles, Cambridge University, Faculty of Education and Professor Beverley Bryan, UWI, Mona, Jamaica School of Education. The ultimate aim of the project is to better enable teachers of English to help students develop a greater appreciation for poetry and engage the poetic texts offered in the CSEC syllabus.

The School of Education, UWI, Cave Hill, with cooperation and financial support from the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC), has made available to teachers of English at the secondary level, the short course on The Teaching of Caribbean Poetry. The TCP course took the form of a two day workshop. Over two hundred teachers of English from the lower and upper forms, along with curriculum officers in the Teaching of English in five territories (St Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia and Grenada) attended the workshops. Teachers came from approximately one hundred (100) secondary schools across the five territories where the workshops took place. The workshops began in April in St Vincent and the Grenadines and ended in July in Grenada. Participants in the workshop were engaged in discussions, strategies and activities aimed at developing their knowledge, understanding and skill in the teaching of Caribbean poetry.

The workshops were fully supported by the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) - who funded Professor McWatt for four of the workshops - St Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados and St Lucia; the Ministries of Education in each country – who helped to mobilized teachers and provided on the ground support; the UWI, Open Campus sites in each territory – the Open Campus hosted the Evening of Readings which preceded/supported the workshops. The Caribbean Project Team includes:

CXC Representative

Mrs Suzan Bodoo - Murray


Professor Emeritus Mark McWatt
Mr Samuel Soyer and Dr Phillip Nanton

Research Assistant
Graduate Student in the School of Education

Ms Karen Thomas

Coordinator, Caribbean Poetry Project, Cave Hill

Dr Sandra Robinson

This first Phase of the project ended in a conference at Cambridge University in September, 2012, attended by Caribbean Poets and teachers of Poetry along with the project team. A report of the Cave Hill end of the project was presented by Dr Robinson and two papers – One by Dr Robinson regarding research conduct during the workshops and one by Mr. Samuel Soyer on the Teaching of Caribbean Poetry were also presented. Both Professor McWatt and Dr Nanton gave performances of their poetry. Persons from fourteen countries attended the conference. A handbook on the Teaching of Caribbean poetry which would also include research in the teaching of Caribbean Poetry will also be published from the project.

Future Plans for the Project

Plans for the future include, beginning a phase two of the project to include workshops in:
St Kitts and Nevis

Working along with CXC to monitor the teachers exposed to the workshop
TCP workshops, UWI, St Augustine 2012/2013
TCP course, semester 2, UWI, Cave Hill
(January 2014)

The workshops received media coverage in the different islands. Please see links.