Reading Room and Gallery 41

Things I read that you might like too. Things will be added – up to about 20 or so – before this installment in the Reading Room and Gallery series is archived. For previous and future installments in this series, use the search feature to the right. Possible warning for adult language and themes.


“It’s not gory for the sake of it; I mean, it has to be set in reality.” – Sara Bennett, VFX supervisor, The Old Guard


“Baobab trees are hollow which is why you cannot measure their rings to access their age. You must look at their breadth and at 20 feet this one is estimated to be 300 years old. I film at a distance, then close up, and then walk around it and then from in it. In it, there is an opening to see the hollow. big enough to go inside but I would never dare enter. It feel empty. I left there feeling a tightness around my throat which my friend told me is what happens when spirits attach themselves to you. Later that night he sent me a song by Miles Davis to listen to and I cried. I felt so much grief and it didn’t feel wholly mine.” – La Vaughn Pelle, USVI, blog 1, Catapult Stay at Home Residency


“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?” – Poem 133: The Summer Day by Mary Oliver


“The stories my mother told were always too frightening for us…” – Legends by Edwidge Dandicat


“The impact of negativity is magnified when we talk about it, no matter what we say. We breathe life into poor decisions, bad ideas, and evil people by discussing them over and over again.” – Joseph Brodsky explains Perfectly how to deal with Critics and Detractors in Your Life by James Clear


“Contemporary artist Sheena Rose was born in 1985 in Bridgetown, Barbados, where she also currently lives and works. A Fulbright Scholar who holds a BFA from Barbados Community College and MFA from the University of North Carolina, Rose’s work is equally rooted in her Caribbean heritage as it is in her efforts to challenge any preconceived notions and definitions of said heritage.” – Sheena Rose: Dramatically Removing the Landscape by Heike Dempster in Whitewall


“This discovery was further evidence that Latham was ‘no angel’.” – from OBF Inc by Bernice McFadden, one of three stories read in this August 2021 edition of Selected Shorts


“As they continue searching, notice that they look like miners with rubber gloves and torches attached to the bands on their heads – all they are missing are pickaxes. When the doctor eventually comes in, don’t be surprised that she is one of the most beautiful women you’ve ever laid eyes on. If you are overweight and have lost your vagina in your hairy under-legs, the white doctor chosen to examine you will look like a human Barbie. That is simply the luck you are born with.” – How to find Your Vagina (An Instruction Manual) by Maham Javid (story was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize)


“Cecile rarely smiled, or made conversation, but when you’re watching her scale and bone fish there is no need to say a word. You just stand in awe, and watch a master at work. Cecile is the person who thought to charge people extra for scaling and boning in the early days, back when things used to change in Chattel Lane.” – A Hurricane and the Price of Fish by Shakirah Bourne in Adda


“It was quiet like Sunday afternoon, that storm.” – ‘Rain’ by Maria Govan, the Bahamas (Catapult Stay at Home Residency recipient)


“On the day my dead brother came home I awoke to the smell of salty broth, mushrooms swelled with water and heat, the tang of sugared limes. My mother entered my bedroom, pulled me from sleep with cool fingers. He’s home, she said. Who? Your brother. When she said his name, I pushed away the thought of the boy I had once known, glasses round and thick, framing eyes whose lashes I never stopped envying, a checkered shirt or perhaps his Manchester United polo, a missing canine that had never grown in. Instead, I rolled over and said, My brother is dead. Let me sleep. Patiently, my mother peeled back the covers, waited for the February air to work its way under my pajama shirt. He’s in the living room, she said. He needs a change of clothes. Give him something of yours.” – Fish Stories by Janika Oza, 2020 Kenyon Review Short Contest Winner


“The next book is always the one that I’m writing about, the thing that I’m writing next.” – Joanne C. Hillhouse in conversation with Diaspora Kids Lit, which gave a five star goodreads review to her 2021 children’s book release The Jungle Outside


“What I wish and what I’m trying to find is the space and time to finish…something.” – Joanne C. Hillhouse on the Badass Black Girl vlog


“I’ll be honest with you: I’m still figuring that out. I think that the story finds its medium in a lot of ways. And some of it is beyond my control, although some of the choices are intentional, but when I’m writing, I’m not thinking “it’s going to be this genre or that sub-genre.” I’m just trying to get the story out. I’m trying to commune with the characters and hope that they will trust me to tell their stories. And then, as the story is taking shape, then I get a sense of what it is trying to become, whether it’s trying to be a short story (because I love writing short stories as well); a novel, and if I’m willing to make that commitment to the long form; or a children’s book.” – Joanne C Hillhouse being interviewed for ACalabash


“Yes, I’m competitive, but it’s for myself. I want to make sure I’m always reaching for greatness. I haven’t gotten there yet, but I’m never going to stop reaching for it.” – Black Women’s Stories Are the Hardest to Get Made: The Gina Prince-Bythewood Interview, Indie Wire


“Each of the characters’ stories were written on their own, before I spliced them together and rewrote the whole story.” – Ingrid Persaud and Jacob Ross in conversation


“Democracy is both fragile and also enduring.”


“When I was finding my voice as a writer, Alice Walker meant so much to me because I learned courage from her. She was a feminist when Black women wanted to kill her because she was a feminist. She was writing about spousal abuse when we had no word for that. She was called a man hater. When the book Colour Purple came out, she wrote about how she almost had a nervous breakdown, the hate was so extreme. Then she had the nerve to write about female genital mutilation. So, she really means a lot to me because of her courage. She just wouldn’t stop.” – Marita Golden


“It’s been really amazing, for example this year, especially during the summer, during the protest, to see people reconsider Haiti’s role in fighting white supremacy at its very beginning, the revolution and all those issues coming up in terms of what’s happening in the contemporary…Haiti suffered punishments for this revolution.”

V is for Voices in conversation, in 2020, with Haitian writer Edwidge Dandicat on Instagram.

As with all content on, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, The Jungle Outside, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on AmazonWordPress, 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.

1 Comment

Filed under Caribbean Plus Lit News, Links We Love, Literary Gallery

One response to “Reading Room and Gallery 41

  1. Reblogged this on jhohadli and commented:
    The salon over on my other blog, if you’re looking for somewhere to sit and sip (your beverage of choice) and consume some curated art (stories, films, conversation etc.) for a while.

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