Carib Lit Plus (Mid to Late March 2022)

A reminder that the process with these Carib Lit Plus Caribbean arts bulletins is to do a front and back half of the month, updating as time allows as new information comes in; so, come back, or, if looking for an earlier installment, use the search window. (in brackets, as much as I can remember, I’ll add a note re how I sourced the information – it is understood that this is the original sourcing and additional research would have been done by me to build the information shared here).

International Books (that caught my eye)

The shafted NFL player and social justice activist has found a number of ways to tell his story, notably in the Ava Duvernay produced and co-directed Colin in Black and White, a must-watch on Netflix. Now, this children’s book – forthcoming in April. (Source – Twitter)


Academy award winning actress Viola Davis has written an autobiography, Finding Me, and recently posted this book tour, much of it virtual, which means there’s a chance folks could dip in from anywhere. (Source – Twitter)


Grammy winning Jamaican reggae artist Jah Cure – who has collaborated with Antiguan and Barbudan artists – will be doing six years in prison in the Netherlands, after stabbing a promoter over a pay dispute. This will be his second stint in prison. He previously served eight years for raping and robbing a woman at gunpoint. (Source – Daily Observer)


The seventh season of Bocas’ BIOS & BOOKMARKS began this March with Trinidad and Tobago’s Andil Gosine, a really tender and bold conversation about sexuality as it emerges in the very particular space of a Catholic Caribbean school, with violence and fear, in ignorance and uncertainty, and how it finds voice across the geographies of home and abroad. Hosted as ever by Shivanee Ramlochan.

I’ve also added it to Reading Room and Gallery 44 which I’ll take as an opportunity to remind you to go see what I’ve gathered there. See also the BIOS & BOOKMARKS YouTube playlist.

(Source – YouTube)


I did a Women’s History Month installment of my CREATIVE SPACE column and wanted to share here as I did about 9 edits of this collage and it includes a number of creative artists. Can you name them?

Here’s the article. (Source – me)


The Playing to Inspire series of classical music fundraising concerts featuring the Kanneh-Mason clan, a musical family, the most famous member of which is in-demand and award winning cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, based in Britain but with Antiguan roots, returns on April 16th 2022.

Time and venue: 7:30 p.m. at the SJPC House of Restoration on Lauchland Benjamin Drive in Upper Gambles. The series was on pause for two years due to the pandemic. The concert will feature, in addition to the musical family, American conductor Jonathan Heyward, Ahok Klouda from the UK, and from Antigua-Barbuda panorama winning pan arranger (and current Culture director) Khan Cordice, along with the Inspire choir. The fundraising concert will be the culmination of a week of activities that will include workshops, smaller performances, and the launch of a book. That book: House of Music – Raising the Kanneh-Masons by Dr. Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason, mother of the talented classical musicians. The concert provides a showcase and raises funds for the Antigua Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra. A bit of synchronicity, my CREATIVE SPACE art and culture column was revived in 2018 when I felt moved to write about Playing to Inspire 2 after attending with my sister and nephews. You can read that experience here. (Source – Daily Observer)


The Marcia Weekes Show will feature a discussion with women across various fields (including local filmmaker Mitzi Allen) as Women’s History Month winds down. The show, taglined ‘Mobilising Africa & the African Diaspora-Exploring Issues that affect People Globally’ airs, per its facebook page, Wednesdays at 1 p.m. AST on Facebook live and Caribvision and Sundays at 5:30 p.m. AST on Caribvision. (Source – Facebook)



The UWI Cave Hill presents Barbados’ poet laureate Esther Phillips in conversation with poet Adrian Green for World Poetry Day. Join via zoom. See flyer for details. (Source – JRLee email)


How great is this?

Teachers at Villa Primary School took on the daunting task of making Math fun while giving a taste of Carnival which Antigua and Barbuda has been without for two years. (Source – Daily Observer newspaper)


The USVI Literary Festival returns April 8 (online) and 9 (in person) under the theme ‘Theme: Disruption, Disguise & Illuminations’. This is the 8th annual iteration of the festival. Registration and tickets are required. Here’s the evite link.

Headlining the festival this year is Pulitzer Prize winning author Nikole Hannah-Jones of the 1619 Project. Among the international and regional authors who will present their most recent publications are: Alecia McKenzie a Jamaican author based in France with her latest novel, A Million Aunties (2021); From El Salvador and based at the University of Toronto, Professor and global scholar Dr. Clelia Rodriguez with her book: Decolonizing Academia (2020) facilitated by Chenelle John-Heard; Philosopher and Scholar Lewis Gordon with his new book: Fear of Black Consciousness (2022) facilitated Pagett Henry; and Marva Maclean author of From the Middle Passage to Black Lives Matter: Ancestral Writing as a Pedagogy of Hope (2019). Other authors scheduled include Antiguan and Barbudan historian Natasha Lightfoot (Troubling Freedom), Trinidadian and Tobagonian poet Andre Bagoo (The Undiscovered Country), British Virgin Islands poet laureate and Bocas Prize winner Richard Georges (Epiphaneia), US VI sci fi author Cadwell Turnbull (The Lesson), Grenadian New York Times bestselling fantasy and sci fi author Tobias S. Buckell (Halo: The Cole Protocol), US VI author and poet Tiphanie Yanique (Monster in the Middle), and Antiguan and Barbudan author (and Wadadli Pen’s own) Joanne C. Hillhouse (Oh Gad!). That’s just a sample of the packed programme of panels, readings, workshops, and more. (Source – email)


Here’s the short list for at the moment the Caribbean’s most in-demand literary prize, Bocas. Congrats to the finalists – Jamaicas’s Kei Miller (non-fiction) and Jason Allen-Paisant (poetry), Trinidad and Tobago’s Celeste Mohammed (fiction). Can’t link you the books but I can link you Wadadli Pen’s Reading Room and Gallery 44 where you’ll find a link to one of Jason’s poems from the latest issue of Moko: Caribbean Arts and Letters, and CREATIVE SPACE 3 OF 2022 about the Rebel Women Lit’s readers choice awards in which I caught up with Celeste about her win. And love for Kei’s writing is spread across both blogs – just search.


This blog reported last December that Guyana-born, Britain-based poet Grace Nichols was to receive the Queen’s gold medal for poetry. Well, here it is.

She collected it at Windsor castle this week (I’m writing this update on March 18th 2022).

Read more about Grace and hear some of her poetry here. This is the one (not found in the link) that introduced me to her voice, though I don’t remember where or why or anything other than that I was very young and completely bowled over as much by the poem as by the idea of it not having been exposed to much Caribbean poetry or writing to that point. It remains a favourite and because of it I remember being a little star struck when Grace guested at the Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival. If I had had presence of mind, I would have requested she read it.

Unforgiving as the course of justice

Inerasable as my scars and fate.

i am here

a woman…with all my lives

strung out like beads

before me

It isn’t privilege or pity

that I seek

It isn’t reverence or safety

quick happiness or purity


the power to be what I am/   a woman

charting my own futures/      a woman

holding my beads in my hand

(Source – The Poetry Society on Twitter)


Antiguan and Barbudan artist (daughter of award winning artist-commercial videographer Lawson Lewis, proving that the mango doesn’t fall far from the tree) Mene Tovi Lewis created this winning piece for the I am Grenada website’s Caribbean artist competition.

It was visitor voted and Lewis receives US$500 for her efforts. (Source – Daily Observer newspaper)


The Anthony N. Sabga Awards 2022 laureates have been announced. They are Jamaican writer Marlon James, Arts and Letters, Guyanese businessman Shyam Nokta, Entrepreneurship, Barbadian ophthamologist Dr. Kim Jebodhsingh, Civic and Contributions, shared with Suriname entrepreneur Anuskha Sonai, and Trinidad and Tobago’s Professor Christine Carrington, Science and Technology. The Anthony N. Sabga Awards is the first recognition programme of its kind for the Caribbean. It is privately funded, free of political and other influence, and offers tangible, significant benefit to the Laureates. Laureates receive TT$500,000 – to support their work and professional development. The goal of the ANSA Caribbean Awards for Excellence is to recognize significant Caribbean achievement, and to encourage and to support the pursuit of excellence by Caribbean persons, for the benefit of the region. (Source – via google)


Speaking of the Anthony N. Sabga Awards, there’s still a small window of time for submission for the next round of laureate consideration. See Opportunities Too for details and remember you can self-nominate. Don’t wait for someone to pick you, pick yourself. It’s for mid-career people in various disciplines and can give you the resources to do more of the good work you’re already doing.


Bocas in Trinidad continues to draw on regional talent and roll out workshops to help build the literary arts in the region. Scheduled for their last session of March 2022 is one of Antigua and Barbuda’s own, romance writer Rilzy Adams (check our current banner for some of her titles).

For more on this and other opportunities, visit Opportunities Too here on the blog. (Source – Bocas email)

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. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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