Tag Archives: When a Woman Moans

Playwrights and Screenwriters (the Antigua-Barbuda connection)

I wanted to create a separate page for playwrights and screenwriters. You won’t find these in the listing of Antiguan and Barbudan writers or any of the genre listings, unless they’ve written books. This list refers specifically to contributions as writers for screen and stage. It is a work in progress, so please inform me of any ommissions/oversights. T’anks.

PLAYWRIGHTS

 (Playwright?)           – Rising from the Ashes. Performed by Popular Theatre Movement. (formed 1988)

Antigua Community Players – This group was inaugurated in 1952. Musical dramas written and performed by the players include Priscilla’s Wedding and Celebration in the Marketplace. The group eventually morphed into a choral group well known for its folk music presentations and musical productions.

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Eleston Nambalumbu Nambalala Adams - (play titles?). Performed by Rio Revealers (started 1979).

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Barbara Arrindell – Dreams…Faces…Reality. Performed by the Optimist Club of St. John’s Youth Drama Group. (2001 debut)

Barbara Arrindell speaks with the audience after a performance of the AIDS themed ‘Dreams…Faces…Reality’ performed by the Optimist Club of St. John’s Youth Drama Group

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Edson Buntin - (Play titles?). Scaramouche Theatre. Also plays at the Antigua State College such as Conjugal Bliss.

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Oliver Flax – A Better Way (1976) and The Legend of Prince Klaas (1972). Performed by Bobby Margetson’s Little Theatre.

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Owen Jackson - As writer/director with the National Youth Theatre, Jackson produced several plays including After 9/11 and My Birthright the throughout the 2000s and ongoing.

Owen Jackson taking high school students through a drama warm up exercise.

Youth drama club – tableau in downtown store window …and attracting a small crowd doing it

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George ‘Rick’ James – Various plays including the one man play Oulaudah Equiano and the all-star-cast Our Country in 2007 tracking the life of Antigua from pre-Columbian times to present.

Our Country: an arawak chief Our Country: Slave ship scene

slaves at market

Performed by Theatre Ensemble (which included many prominent persons in Antiguan and Barbudan society). Also an actor in the British theatre

James performing in Sit Quietly on the Baulk

for many years and an award winning costume designer in local mas.

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Colin Jno Finn – playwright and director with the Nazarene Drama Team – On the Block (2008) of a young man’s struggles with the church; Nine to Five (2009) about challenges in the work place; It’s Too Late (2010) of a strained relationship between a father and son; and Power Struggle (2011) of one person’s attempts to boost another from office.

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Edgar O. LakeSome Quiet Mornin’; Matters of Antiguan Conspiracy: 1736; The Stone Circle; The Killing of Arthur Sixteen; more… (dates unknown)

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Iyaba Ibo Mandingo – ‘He is a Poet, Painter, Writer, Sculptor, Actor, Teacher, Mentor, Author and “continued work in progress”, as he puts it…His “Self-Portrait”, a one-man play performed in his studio, speaks of his life through poetry and prose, concurrent to him painting his self-portrait during the show.’ – from this interview with the artiste which also references his chap books (41 Times and Amerikkkan Exile), his company (Iyabarts), his art series (War, Spirit Drawings), in addition to his plays (Self-Portrait which has grown into unFRAMED, his first full length play), and forthcoming work (novel Sins of My Fathers, chap book 30 Days of Ink, ad the off broadway run of unFRAMED). As his biography shows, he is a native Antiguan who migrated to the U.S. as a boy.  These roots as well as his experiences in America infuse unFRAMED as seen in this excerpt.

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Motion – Canadian of Antiguan descent, Motion’s stage productions include  Aneemah’s Spot/The Base, 4our Woman, and Dancing to a White Boy Song -  featured at several renowned venues such as the International Black Playwrights Festival, Cross Currents Festival,  the Rock.Paper.Sistaz Festival, and the Summerworks Theatre Festival.

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Dorbrene O’Marde –  – synonymous with quality theatre in Antigua and Barbuda in theatre’s heyday (i.e. the 1970s to early 1980s), his Harambee Open Air Theatre is “considered the most important group of recent times” (from The Cambridge Guide to Theatre by Martin Banham). On stage, O’Marde – also a calypso writer, publisher of Calypso Talk magazine, social and political commentarian and activist, and more – wrote and directed Badplay, Homecoming, For Real: A Caribbean Play in Three Acts (1976), Fly on the Wall (1977), The Minister’s Daughter, We Nativity, Tangled Web, and The World Spin One Way; and directed several others (in addition to his other cultural and artistic work)BIOGRAPHY deo 2010 .

       

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Eustace Simon – several plays including Crossroads, The Awakening, Betty’s Hope, and Illusive Dreams. 1990s. Modern Theatre.

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Lester Simon - Obeah Slave. Performed by the Grammarians. 1969.

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Leon Chaku SymisterVoices of Protest, 1976; and Time Bomb, 1977; Tilting Scales, 1980. Third World Theatre.

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Stage One – This youth drama collective led by Kanika Simpson-Davis favours adaptations (which involves some re-scripting) of popular tales like Cinderella , Snow White, and Anansi and Snake. 2004 – present.

Stage One: Anansi and Snake

Stage One: Cinderella Reloaded 2007 Stage One: scene from Cinderella

Stage One: scene from Cinderella

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Various writers – Women of Antigua – playwrights/actresses/directors Linisa George and Zahra Airall shepherd this femalecentric brand of theatrical activism. The original production When A Woman Moans  (see Review here http://www.365antigua.com/cms/content/arts-live-performance-review-when-woman-moans-29-may-2010) was mostly scripted by them with inputs from Dotsie Isaac Gellizeau, Joanne C. Hillhouse, Floree Williams, Greschen Edwards (another WOA founding partner), Melissa Elliott, Marcella Andre, and Carel Hodge. It has become an annual production with new writers and new themes each time. The group debuted with Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues in 2008 and this locally conceived, similarly themed production, which debuted in 2010, is the successor to that. Airall is also founder and director of Zee’s Youth Theatre which produced, among other things, the well-received School Bag.

 

SCREENWRITERS

Zahra Airall – When No One Is Looking (2012, short film, an ABS TV Production in collaboration with the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS) – also co-director. My review/report, here.

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Howard Allen (also producer/director) – (w/Jermilla Kirwan) Diablesse (2005, HAMAfilms); and The Skin (2011, HAMAfilms) – reviewed here.

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Alexis AndrewsVanishing Sail. Not sure if this documentary about the Carriacou sloops and the culture surrounding them is completed and released as yet but here’s the trailer.

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Oteh Thomas Anyandjuh (African born, resident in Antigua) – Love that Bites (2010,  OTA Entertainment and Third Eye Studios) – also director.

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Shashi Balooja (also an actor, director, casting director, and producer on stage and screen) – w/Cecile George and Michael Sandoval, film short Ariana  (2004, ABC Film & Video/Andrisk Inc/Media at Large, USA); w/Roger Sewhcomar, documentary The Altruist (2009, Media at Large/ABC Film & Video, USA); w/Caytha Jentis Exposed (2012, Media at Large, USA) – winner feature film award and genre award at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival; w/Stephen Kelleher, film short Promises of Home (2012, Media at Large/Reverse Momentum Films, USA). UPDATE! Balooja plans to extend Ariana into a feature film.

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Francoise Bowen conceived and wrote Back to Africa which she describes as a “short documentary (depicting) a little piece of my island’s history. Antiguan slaves always thought Africa was nearby. Thanks to my director, photographer and editor Mr. Anderson Edghill for his time but most importantly his patience and thanks to Antiguan Historian Paddy Simon for sharing with me so much info about Antigua’s History. You are a book that need to be publish and used in all schools on the island from Pre-school up to Universities in the Caribbean, pure solid history is a must to be known to all.”

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Cinque Productions (Chris Hodge and Melissa Gomez, also producer, director) - Deaf Not Dumb (2000, short fiction film), 2 Dolla Picture

Melissa assessing a shot as her camera man looks on.

(2001, animated short), Share and Share Alike (2008, documentary – 2010 winner of Best Documentary Production at the Berlin Black International Cinema Festival), Changing Course (2009, film short), and Silent Music (2012, documentary) silent-music-poster[1] co-writer/producer/editor Jay Prychidny.

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Alvin Glen EdwardsOnce in an Island

on the set of ‘Once in an Island’  Jermilla Kirwan in a scene from Once in an Island

(2009, Wadadli Pictures) – also producer. The film has since been adapted into a book (released 2012).

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Noel Howell – He was the co-writer (with Courtney Boyd), director and producer of Redemption of Paradise (2009, Color Bars Production) – best actress and best Caribbean film at the 2010 Jamaica Reggae Film Festival; as well as a video producer and independent publisher on projects like Once in an Island (co-producer/co-director).

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Roland ‘Mayfield’ Hosier – He didn’t work from a written script but he’s the pioneer behind Antigua and Barbuda’s earliest forays into (largely improvised) film production producing The Fugitive, 1972, and Midtown Robbers, 1978.

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D. Gisele IsaacThe Sweetest Mango (2001, HAMAfilms); and No Seed (2002, HAMAfilms).
Isaac also writes regularly for the stage in the form of the skit included in the annual Programme put on by the Professional Organization of Women in Antigua and Barbuda; usually a political satire.

POWA’s Programme

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Tameka Jarvis-George - Dinner

On the set of Dinner, Tameka with her co-star and husband.

(2010, Cinque Productions w/Chris Hodge directing and Jarvis-George also acting and serving as co-executive producer) – film short versed on her poem of the same name from the collection Thoughts from the Pharcyde. UPDATE Here’s her report on the screening of the film at the Jamaica Film Festival and of her involvement (as a writing contributor) to Shabier Kirchner’s film short, Ugly. ANOTHER UPDATE! The film! courtesy BGR Mag TV:

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Jamaica Kincaid - Life and Debt (a film by Stephanie Mack; written by Jamaica Kincaid). 2001. New Yorker Films. USA.

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Jermilla Kirwan – (w/Howard Allen) Diablesse (2005, Hamafilms) – also actress in this and The Sweetest Mango.

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Dr. James KnightThe Making of the Monarch – independently produced documentary on the Monarch King Short Shirt. 2013.

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Nigel Trellis (born Guyana, resident in Antigua) - Hooked (2009, Tropical Films) Working Girl (2011, Tropical Films)

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Keron ‘K-Wiz’ Wilson – The Date – Short film (2013, Black Roots Records)

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Theatre for a Cause (or three or four…)

I’ve been meaning to share some moments from this year’s Vagina Monologues and When a Woman Moans staging in Antigua, but I left the island soon after and this is the first chance I’ve had to revisit the scene. It was as always (five years in and the final year to boot) a thrilling experience for a worthy cause and I hope that beyond laughter, beyond even the years and murmurs of approval, we become active in our communities in defence of victims of abuse , we realize our worth as women and our right to expect that our partners do the same, we embrace our full leadership potential in all spheres of our community, we realize that men and women are partners on this journey together – and that we need more men to become active, embrace, realize and yes recognize!

Vagina Tales:

Zahra Airall of Women of Antigua was happy to declare this year one of their best with respect to their staging of Eve Ensley’s Vagina Monologues and homegrown When a Woman Moans. While they were still counting the cost, Airall said she was happy with the turnout, if less than happy with the sponsorship or lack thereof.  But her measure of success was … Read More to find out what that measure was in 2012 and then some

Also from 2012 – What Makes a Woman Moan? I wrote a series of articles on this; the one on Birthing and Feeling Fulfilled were found on the publication website; will add the others if I find them.

Here’s the Women of Antigua You Tube channel for fun behind the scenes stuff; and a video flash back.

Speaking of flash back, here I am in year one (my how time has flown):

 

Press clipping, Antigua Sun.

Also, just a little something I wrote just before the production and posted to She Writes – Our Va-jay-jays know how to dance.

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, Links We Love, Literary Gallery

Antiguan and Barbudan literary works reviewed

As I come across reviews or dig through archived reviews, I’ll add them – first to last, and not necessarily in the order they were written. Been finding so many, I had to tie off this list and continue here (so read here then go read there, okay?)

Tameka Jarvis-George’s film, Dinner, based on her poem of the same name and directed by Christopher Hodge of Cinque Productions premiered in 2011 at the Reggae Film Festival in Jamaica, where it received the following review:

“Featuring an attractive pair of lovebirds, Dinner is a sweetly poetic and vivid 12-minute verse-to-screen clip from an Antiguan writer/director with an appealing, if slightly provocative, voice. It’s a small film with a big heart that explores intimate love, employing a slyly clever approach – cloaked in the guise of meal preparation. While getting dinner ready a radiant young lady (played by Jervis-George, who also provides a lyrical voice-over) is surprised by the early arrival home of her virile Rastafarian man, and before you can say ‘Come and get it’ a dining of a totally different variety plays out on-screen. Shot in vibrant hues by a surprisingly steady camera, Dinner is romp that ends all too quickly, but it was tastefully delightful while it lasted. B”

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The Devil’s Bridge is an evocative work that will establish itself as another classic of the Caribbean and particularly Antiguan writing. It walks confidently, making its own path somewhere between Jamaica Kincaid and Wilson Harris. Because of its powerful visionary and ego-transcending achievements, this work will be compared to Harris’s Palace of the Peacock and Jamaica Kincaid’s Annie John.”

Professor Paget Henry,
Sociology & Africana Studies
Brown University

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Just came across this mention of my Boy from Willow Bend at Behind the Marog Kingdom listing it alongside Flying with Icarus by Curdella Forbes and the Legend of St. Ann’s Flood by Debbie Jacob as “useful stories for discussion” in getting Caribben boys to deal with their feelings. That’s kinda cool. It’s also listed as recommended books for boys here.

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“The beauty, economy and precision of Kincaid’s prose transports even the most curmudgeonly and aloof reader into the abject state of gushy fandom.” – Saidiya Hartman, professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia university, introducing Jamaica Kincaid for a reading.

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Re Unburnable

“John expertly weaves history and fiction into an integral narrative that takes the reader on a fascinating journey where instincts, magic, intuition and, above all, love are the real protagonists.” – from this blog.

“UNBURNABLE is good, if not great. It is a magnificent attempt on a very large theme: recognizing and releasing the sins of the fathers (in this case, mothers, in a matriarchal society) to embrace one’s own destiny.” – from this blog.

“Marie-Elena John graciously takes you inside the history and lives of the people in Dominica. You will visist the island’s original Carib people, who discovered Columbus when he arrived in 1493. Yes, be careful because you may actually learn something by reading this novel. Don’t worry. Marie-Elena weaves a wonderful tale that will also feed some of your thirst for sex and action, while simultaneously increasing your knowledge of Africa and the Caribbean.” – from this blog.

“The diversity of the African diaspora is often overlooked in modern African American literature, and this page-turner fills in some gaps.” – from Booklist, found here.

“Strong writing and interesting supporting characters should keep readers occupied through the end.” – from Publishers Weekly, found here.

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Re Considering Venus

“An interesting thing about Considering Venus is that Lesley’s sexuality is never defined. It’s just love between two women–with no barriers.

Isaac has written a lovely book, with just the right fusion of prose and poetry make it a joy to read.” – this from Sistahs on the Shelf in 2008.

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Encouraging review (September 2011) of unFRAMED, a play by Antiguan born, American based Iyaba Ibo Mandingo:

“Artist and performer Iyaba Ibo Mandingo is undeniably talented. Though he describes himself “as a painter and
a poet,” in unFRAMED, Mandingo also demonstrates his abilities as a singer, dancer, performance artist, standup
comedian and storyteller…Visually, unFRAMED is a treat. Mandingo’s painting is colorful and expressive, and lighting designer Nicholas Houfek does an excellent job enhancing the various emotions that Mandingo conveys throughout his story. UnFRAMED is also very funny at times, especially in a sequence in which Mandingo makes light of his own name. Best of all, unFRAMED is worthwhile because it shares a different perspective on America, one that stands in stark contrast to most people’s naïve notion of a land of equality and opportunity.”

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Life as Josephine comments on Dancing Nude in the Moonlight:

“There is no way an Antiguan or an individual who lives on the island cannot relate to this story. The island is too small and the story too concise to be shortsighted. As a returning national, I found it answered many questions as to the cultural dynamics of present day Antigua.”

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Amos Morrill’s children’s book Augusta and Elliott received some positive feedback from readers and reviewers, such as:

“…there is much on the page to delight the eye, both in color and in content. The
text is simple but the message to children (and their parents) is clear: help
save our oceans.” – Charlotte Vale-Allen @ Amazon.com

“This simple storybook is filled with colorful drawings to tell the tale. Without harping on negativity, the fish throw a party to drum up support and start implementing change…This would be a great gift for anyone with kids. Amos would love to know that future generations will be more conscious of the fragile nature of our ecosystems and our need to minimize human impact.” – Kimberley Jordan-Allen

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“…it’s often thought that there  was next to no literature produced in the Caribbean until the mid-20th century.  It makes Frieda Cassin one of the region’s first recorded woman writers, and it makes her novel the first such book to be published in Antigua. But much more interesting than these historical details is the novel itself,  a distinctly dark and disturbing look at West Indian society…

There is much that is bad about this book. The dialogue is at times excruciating,  and the familiar clichés of Caribbean life rather trying. But, as an insight into some of the phobias surrounding small-island society a century  or so ago, it is fascinating. And what makes it all the more bizarre is that  this dark indictment of a racist and neurotic world was written by a respectable  lady who was probably a pillar of that very society.” – Caribbean Beat review, in its November-December 2003 issue, of Freida Cassin’s With Silent Thread.

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A mixed review of Althea Prince’s Loving this Man from January magazine begins:

“Toronto author Althea Prince writes with such sensuality and grace that it creates a heady spell, drawing the reader into the center of the story. If only this were all a novelist needed to do, Loving This Man would have been a triumph. The fact that the novel does not come together as a satisfying read is connected to technical things like structure and voice, and even deeper underpinnings such as intent.”

Do you agree? Read the book, read the rest of the revew here and decide for yourself.

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From my own review in Volume 3 Number 1 Summer 2010 edition of The Antigua and Barbuda Review of Books, of Althea Prince’s body of work:

“By writing not only plentiful but plenty-plenty of who we are beyond skin and bones and the condition that landed us here, by rebelling with polite but persistent resolve against the hegemony that would box us in, by writing with heart and hardiness, with poetry and compassion, by nudging writers like myself to trust what we intuit, Prince continues to be an example to Antiguan writers yet becoming.”

Full review Althea Prince Writing What She Intuits by Joanne C. Hillhouse.

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Just found this fleeting but delightful reference by Jamaican Helen Williams to Ashley Bryan’s Beautiful Blackbird, referencing a reading of the book to a grade four class:

“This delightful story, with its rhythmic prose and adequate repetition, is adapted from a tale from ‘The Ila-speaking peoples from Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia)’ by Edwin Smith and Andrew Dale, (1920). The bold illustrations could be seen by the children at the back of the class. (Thanks to Pam Witte for sending me this book.) Several children asked me to read the story again…”

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Referencing the writings of Althea Romeo-Mark:

“The gusting, twisting, reaching complexity of Romeo-Mark’s poetry and narrative matches the twisting, gusting complexity of her thought. And yet, the poems and narratives are not insistently complex. The rhythm and the ideas are both simple and matter of fact. Romeo-Mark’s wit is neatly carried by a direct cadence and where enjambment occurs; she states her case plausibly, clearly developing a seamless organization without falling into monotony.” – Review of If Only the Dust would Settle, P. 341 – 342, The Caribbean Writer Volume 25, 2011

“The voice of African-American writing” –  Poetry@Suite101, 2011

“This book is also interesting…for the insight it offers to the immigrant experience.” – Daily Observer, 2010

“Romeo-Mark’s knack for connecting the inner and outer world, shifting easily between moods, and making connections across time and space, coupled with vivid imagery, make this a thoroughly engaging read.” – customer review, Amazon.com, 2010

and this review of her earlier work:

“The relationship between Romeo-Mark and the persona in her poems is complex. The poet seems to maintain a psychic distance from her persona. The voice in her poetry describes the ironies of the human experience in the Caribbean, North America, and West Africa.” – Vincent O. Cooper, JSTOR, 1994

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Cris on Facebook on Considering Venus:

“If D. Gisele Isaac wrote “jiggy poo poo” on a piece of paper, I’d want to read it. She
has one of those writing styles that just draws you in and wraps you up in the
flow of her words. I felt like the characters in the book were real people that I could actually
bump into if I went down to the road in the supermarket. Now lemme tell you
bout the book: Considering Venus explores the lives of a heterosexual widow, who finds herself
falling in love, and teetering into a relationship with an old school friend
who just happens to be a lesbian female. The pair undergo the typical battles of a new “same sex” relationship
as the story unfolds. Now I have two BIG problems with this book. Number one: the book actually had
an ending, I wanted to stay in Cass and Lesley’ lives forever (no homo lol) and
number two: WHEY THE SEQUEL SO LANG WOMAN!”

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Cris also said about Floree Williams’ Through the Window, also on Facebook:

“I really enjoyed this book. What I loved most about it was the author’sability to get you to ‘see’ the characters, and the places the
characters in the book went.”

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Finally, her reader-review of my book Dancing Nude in the Moonlight (yep, on Facebook) said, among other things:

“What stood out to me the most was that Joanne managed to “flesh out” such real characters and spin such a realistic story line into such a small book.”  Thanks, Cris.

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See a short write-up on Tameka Jarvis-George’s Unexpected at 365Antigua.com. Excerpt:

“‘Unexpected’ is a poignant, true-to-life tale that reflects a Caribbean-inspired ‘voice’ but is easily transferable and relatable to other cultures.”

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Came across this old(ish) write up of young writer (and Wadadli Pen alumna) Rilys Adams’ first spoken word CD, Laid Bare. Excerpt:

“Her poetry is timely and captures the urgency to preserve the culture that is  left, to uplift the nation, and savour memories with loved ones.”

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Search Antigua has been making its pick of essential Summer reads. On its non fiction list, you’ll find Keithlyn Smith’s To Shoot Hard Labour (“a book every Antiguan should read”) and Symbol of Courage, and Monica Matthews’ Journeycakes. On its fiction list, you’ll find Marie Elena John’s Unburnable (“a suspense novel with many twists, turns and secrets”), my (i.e. Joanne C. Hillhouse’s) Dancing Nude in the Moonlight (“a nice, light, summer read for the romantics”), and Tameka Jarvis-George’s Unexpected (which “will have you curled up on the couch for a while”). Teen picks include my Boy from Willow Bend, Akilah Jardine’s Living Life the Way I Love It and Marisha’s Drama, Marcel Marshall’s All that Glitters, and Floree Williams’ Through the Window (“a great read for older teens and young adults”); while on the kids’ list are A Day at the Beach (“beautiful illustrations and the charming story of two children’s day at the
beach”) by writer Calesia Thibou and illustrator Gail M. Nelson, Floree Williams’ Pink Teacups and Blue Dresses, and Rachel Collis’ Emerald Isle of Adventure.

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What did the late critic Tim Hector think of Dorbrene O’Marde?… Just came across this review of the latter’s last play (to date) This World Spin One Way…and it’s full of high praise indeed:

“Dobrene O’Marde is a valuable asset in a community with few valuable
assets. That is why this article was extended beyond the limits of a mere
review, proving that without the artistic integrity of the likes of Dobrene
O’Marde all dialogue is silenced, and we have only the tiresome monologue of
rulers.”

“…Let me say at once, that “This World Spins One Way” is Dobrene’s best written play, and probably the best play written by an Antiguan.”

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A great resource for reviews of Antiguan and Barbudan books is The Antigua and Barbuda Review of Books edited by Brown University Professor Dr. Paget Henry. The 2011 issue includes reviews of the late Dr. Charles Ephraim’s The Pathology of Eurocentrism (“a major work of Africana existensial philosophy andBlack existentialism” – Lewis R. Gordon); Emily Spencer Knight’s Growing up in All Saints Village, Antigua: The 1940s – the late 1960s (“history written in a personal style” – Bernadette Farquhar); Leon H. Matthias’ The Boy from Popeshead, Theodore Archibald’s The Winding Path to America, Hewlester A. Samuel Sr.’s The Birth of the Village of Liberta, Antigua, and Joy Lawrence’s Bethesda and Christian Hill: Our History and Culture (collectively described as “…a goldmine for those who want to learn about the culture and cultural practices of each period” – Susan Lowes); and Paget Henry’s Shouldering Antigua and Barbuda: The Life of V. C. Bird (“an enlightening narrative of the leadership style and philosophy of Bird…” – George K. Danns). I’m delighted that it also includes a review of my own Boy from Willow Bend by the esteemed Columbia University Assistant Professor and daughter of the Antiguan and Barbudan soil, Natasha Lightfoot:

“For its thoughtful rendering of complex issues such as
gender, class, migration and death, for the swiftness of Hillhouse’s prose, and
especially for the captivating personality with which she endows the title
character, readers will be instantly drawn to this narrative.

“Hillhouse has crafted a story that adult and young readers
alike can enjoy, that truly captures the spirit of Antigua’s recent past.”

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Online review of  Dancing Nude in the Moonlight (“an honest depiction of attitudes toward cultural mixing and interracial dating”)…love the name of this blog, btw: lifeasjosephine.

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U.S. (specifically Rawsistaz’s) review of The Boy from Willow Bend reposted by 365Antigua.com: three out of five stars, the reviewer had some struggles with the language but liked the descriptions (“I could picture myself walking down the dirt roads looking at the willow trees or listening to the street musicians as I walked down the street”).

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Jamaican children’s author Diane Brown’s review of Antiguan S. E. James’ Tragedy on Emerald Island

“The descriptions of the eruptions beginning, the ash, the fright of not knowing
at first what it is, what was actually happening, and then once reality dawned,
the fear of what would happen next, grabbed me. I was sitting ‘scrunched up’ in
my bed (which is where I read) with fright.”

and other books for older readers.

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Reader comments on Floree Williams’ Through the Window can be found at the book’s Facebook page including:

“beautiful novel ” (Eric Jerome Dickey, author)

“The storyline was good, albeit one that …is not uncommon, however the characters and the way they unfolded during the telling of the story was indeed interesting.” (Marcella Andre, media personality)

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Unburnable, Marie Elena John’s book attracted wide acclaim and a Hurston Wright nomination. Follow this link and this to see what other critics have to say about the Antiguan authors debut novel. Here’s a teaser:

“wondrously intelligent” (Chimamanda Adichie)

“electrifying” (Essence)

“compelling” (Booklist)

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“Vibrant and powerful” are two of the words that have been used to describe Women of Antigua’s When a Woman Moans first staged in 2010 as a successor to its stagings of Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues. It was co-scripted and directed by Zahra Airall and Linisa George of August Rush Productions w/input from Marcella Andre, Carel Hodge, Floree Williams, Greschen Edwards, Melissa Elliott, and me (your Wadadli Pen blogger/coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse) in 2010 with the addition in 2011 of pieces by Tameka Jarvis-George, Salma Crump, Brenda Lee Browne, and Elaine Spires. Here’s what they had to say about the 2010 production over at 365 Antigua and see what audience members said at the When A Woman Moans group page on Facebook.

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Women of Antigua 2012

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Highlights of the latest August Rush Newsletter

There’s so much goodness in the April 23rd edition of the dynamic duo (August Rush)’s newsletter, I just had to share some of it.

…Expressions: Poetry In The Pub continues Tuesday 24th April at our Heavenly Java 2 Go home at the boardwalk at the Redcliffe Quay. The night get’s going at 8pm. To sign-up in advance to perform, email us at augustrush.antigua@gmail.com or call 783-4120 or 779-6634.

…It’s that time of the year again, when Women of Antigua (WOA) has everyone moaning. This year the organisation celebrates their 5th year of existence with a bang as they will be staging two different productions; The Vagina Monologues on Saturday 26th May and When A Woman Moans on Saturday 27th May. Both productions will begin at 8:05 pm. Tickets are $40 per night, and $70 for both nights ($10 discount). Stay tuned for the early bird special when you can pay $60 for both nights…After this year’s performance, WOA will be taking a hiatus from the shows in order to focus and produce other activities in an effort to empower people and end violence in Antigua and Barbuda, one of which will be the One Billion Rising campaign…on 14th February, 2013… ‘Like’ The WOA page ‘When A Woman Moans 2011’, and stay tuned into all the organisation’s activities including Campaign Moan, which is designed to raise awareness and also promote the show. WOA is asking the public to answer a simple question: “Why do women moan?”.  Answers are to be written on a manila or sheet of paper, held up in front of the individual and a photograph taken and emailed to campaignmoan.anu@gmail.com. Photos will be posted on the When A Woman Moans Facebook page, where the public can vote for their favourite answer. The winner will receive tickets to this year’s productions…Another promotion this year, is the production of WOA TV, which grants the public a behind-the-scenes pass to rehearsals and cast members. Videos can be seen on the Facebook group page as well. For further information or to get involved you can visit the Facebook page ; email woa.vday@gmail.com or call 779-6634, 723-6934, 772-7913 or 780-7754.

…The Just Write Retreat is the first of its kind in Antigua and Barbuda – a weekend for established and new writers looking for space to write, get ideas and insights into their craft. An island as small as ours means that fund raising is limited to the same corporations that fund cultural, sporting and educational events – this money will assist 12 writers and three tutors as allow for two of the tutors to share the experience with inmates in the island’s, small, yet over crowded prison. As much as most of the sessions will be voluntary – it is not sustainable as writing time costs money. A donation of U$25 will buy writing equipment such as journals; US$50 will pay for a day of the three day writers retreat. A donation of US$100 will cover two days at the retreat. Your money will help make writing accessible, it will help to build a sustainable writing project that is annual. Donate today by clicking here.

 

They also included a little big up re my launch but I clipped it. You can see launch coverage here, and purchase the book here. And you know you have my sincerest thanks; right?

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What’s Eating Me?

I thought I’d posted this already. Guess not. Here’s a pic of Heather Doram and Elaine Spires at Spires’ book launch not long after the duo shared the stage to uproarious hilarity at the 2011 staging of When a Woman Moans. The excerpts read from the book at the launch at Best of Books, promise even more humour with some levity as it tracks a woman’s struggle with weight and other things. I haven’t read it yet; but it’s on the list.

UPDATE!! They’re coming fast and furious, Spires has released another book and this one – Singles' Holiday Singles’ Holiday - sounds even more exciting. It sounds like one of those lay out on the beach page turners.

On a related note, given Spires’ involvement in When a Woman Moans, came across this poetic review of our efforts with the When a Woman Moans production this year.

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When a Woman Moans 2011

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Filed under A & B Lit News Plus