Carib Lit Plus (Early to Mid May 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).


Remember to check the Opportunities Too page for even more opportunities.

Keir Alekseii of Trinidad and Tobago is an associate literary agent with the Azantian Literary Agency and is open for queries. She is seeking YA & Adult SFF and YA contemporary. She is ONLY open to receiving queries from writers who identify as belonging to a marginalized or underrepresented group such as (but not limited to) BIPOC, LGBTQ+, immigrants, ND, folks who speak English as a second language, and DIS people. (Source – Culture246 Literary Arts emails)


The 2022 Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival Short Fiction Story Contest has been announced. There is no theme. A US$1750 cash prize is attached, plus a bespoke trophy from Safa Iman woodworks, a recording on the BCLF Cocoa Pod podcast, books courtesy of Akashic Books, circulation of story in several partner literary magazines and publications, press opportunities, and BCLF merch. The contest has two streams with Katia D. Ulysses and Ifeona Fulani juding the prize for Caribbean-American Writer’s and Tanya Batson-Savage and Ayesha Gibson judging the prize for Writers in the Caribbean. Submit by July 1st 2022. Details here. & read about other opportunities for writers and other artists here on Wadadli Pen. (Source – BCLF instagram)


These are some images from the third installment of Stamp 268, May 14th 2022. It is “a buy local family-friendly event” – according to a facebook post by the Antigua and Barbuda Department of Culture. I chose these two images as a reminder that food is culture. Each one of the named items (raspberry jam, tamarind stew, guava cheese, and especially ashum, i.e. parched corn crushed to dust) were treats, along with tamarind balls, fudge, sugar cake (made of burnt grated coconut), suckabubby – more popular than imported American treats – for children of my generation (i.e. those of us who came of age in the 70s and 80s). The tray women, found around schools and along sidewalks in St. John’s city, would have one or all of these – plus children raided any trees loaded with guava, tamarind, raspberry etc used to make them. How could we ever go hungry? (Source – Khan Cordice, culture director, on Facebook)


Professor Alison Donnell delivered the 15th Edward Baugh Lecture on May 9th 2022 at University of the West Indies (Mona). Her focus: The Missing Mid Century West Indian Woman Writer and Another Quarrel with History. Donnell is head of the school for literature, drama, and creative writing at East Anglia. She referenced specifically Jamaica’s Ada Quayle – nee Kathleen Woods (The Mistress), Guyana’s Edwina Melville (his is the Rupununi: A Simple Story Book of the Savannah Lands of the Rupununi District, British Guiana & various short stories), and Grenada-born and Barbados-raised Monica Skeete (Time Out) among the forgotten writers of the period under study. (Source – YouTube)


The Antigua Sailing Week committee has reported that “the fans came out in their numbers to dance and sing along under the stars in historic dockyard” for the return after a long absence (due to COVID-19 protocols) of Reggae in the Park.

Reported local bookings for the event were Ibis the Livest, Exorcist International Sound System, The Strays, Anu Collective, Kenne Blessin and Arlen Seaton, and the headliner was Romain Virgo out of Jamaica. Yes, we reported in a previous Carib Lit Plus update that local singer Tian Winter, best known for soca but adept at other genres, would headline but that quickly unraveled thereafter. Both sides (ASW and Tian Winter’s camp) have publicly acknowledged communication misfires resulting in Winter seemingly withdrawing from the event. That (in particular concerns about the treatment of local v. imported talent) and the venue (also changed from the previous announcement from Shirley’s Heights Lookout to Nelson’s Dockyard proper) stirred online chatter. But, per the ASW release, all’s well that ends well and ASW itself was set to wrap (at this writing) with the last of the week’s race’s on May 6th 2022. The curtain comes down, May 7th, Dockyard Day. (Source – ASW press release)


The Media Institute of the Caribbean and the Association of Caribbean Media Workers have teamed up for the Caribbean Media Summit Inaugural Launch. Date: May 5th 2022 in commemoration of World Press Freedom Day 2022. Theme: Journalism Under Digital Siege. If you’re here before the event, register here. If not, and you’re still interested, here’s the MIC webpage and facebook page. (Source – email)


Tangle is the first poetry collection by Rochelle Ward (Faizah Tabasamu). It was released late in 2021 by House of Nehesi Publishers in St. Martin. Ward’s poetry has previously appeared in Where I See the Sun – Contemporary Poetry in St. Martin. (Source – N/A)


The latest edition of My CREATIVE SPACE art and culture column, which runs every other Wednesday in the Daily Observer newspaper (extended edition with Extras on my Jhohadli blog), spotlighted visual artist and award winning commercial director Lawson Lewis.

Read the extended edition with Extras of CREATIVE SPACE: CRAFTING WINNING COMMERCIAL ART and catch up on previous installments of the series while you’re there. (Source – Me)


Research Librarian at the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda Myra Piper receives a copy of The Colour Box from Dan Waite,  written by his mother Barbara Waite. The book is  fictional  with historical facts, surrounding the lives of Anne and Elizabeth Hart in Antigua. It has been added to the Antiguan and Barbudan Writings and Antiguan and Barbudan Fiction databases. (Source – Facebook)

New Music

Antigua and Barbuda’s Asher Otto released a new EP (Before It’s Too Late) earlier this year. It has six tracks. Preview here.


New music is forthcoming from Canadian pannist of Antiguan-Barbudan descent Joy Lapps.

‘Sharifa The Great’ is the first single from Joy’s forthcoming Album: Girl In The Yard set to drop on July 8th, 2022. Joy, a tenor steel pan player, composed all the songs on the album which is funded in part by the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts and The Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings. “Sharifa is my big sister’s middle name and she’s slender and she’s small but she’s like a force to be reckoned with,” said Joy, explaining the inspiration for the pre-release track. (Source – YouTube)


Bocas’ storytime children’s channel (referenced below) also features How to be a Calypsonian by Antigua-based writer Desryn Collins. This reading by children of Trinidad and Tobago. (Source – YouTube)


New podcast – Know Your Caribbean. This first episode focussed on Gangsta Stories or stories of rebellion, including the 1736 revolt planned by King Court/Prince Klaas. (Source – KYC on Instagram)


Bocas Lit Fest has been running April 28th to May 1st (if you missed it, you can go to the Bocas channel on YouTube to catch up). But this update is about the Bocas Storytime children’s channel launched during the same period. It includes content for and by children including this video of a guided art session with illustrator of my book The Jungle Outside Danielle Boodoo Fortune of Trinidad and Tobago, home of Bocas.

Remember to like the video and subscribe to the channel. ETA: Antiguan and Barbudan writer Barbara A. Arrindell was one of among several writers from across the reason selected to present excerpts from written works – published or unpublished. She presented an excerpt from an unpublished work entitled ‘Scholarship Child’.

(Source – Bocas Lit Fest)


The Virgin Islands has mourned the passing of Eugene ‘Doc’ Peterson, described as a cultural icon. A veterinarian by trade, he also was reported to be, among other things, a vocalist and musician, author, and radio talk show host. (Source – writer Apple Gidley’s email and blog)


Katie McConnachie, a Los Angeles native who moved to Antigua in 1985, after a career that involved painting special effects for Hanna Barbera Productions in Hollywood (her dad John Stephenson was the original voice actor of the Mr. Slate character on Flinstones got her an initial interview in 1978 and she would go on to work on popular shows like Scooby-doo and The Smurfs). She was known for wildlife, and especially marine, art – including prints and paintings, book illustrations (Shadow on the Moon and other books), and the Wyland marine mural on the island of Grenada. She was a member of the Ocean Artists Society. Through her Seahorse Studios, she provided for years graphic design services for businesses and the yachting community of which she was a part. She died of cancer in April. (Source – Daily Observer newspaper)


I debated where to put this – opportunities, accolades, or maybe misc. – but went with accolades to celebrate the 300 recipients of the 2022 Catapult Caribbean Arts Grant. The awardees are currently being rolled out by the Catapult Arts page on instagram. I’ve written about my participation – as a grantee – in the mixer where recipients got to learn more about each other and, as importantly, each others’ arts. Andrea Dempster, co-founder of Kingston Creative, one of the administrators of the grant, explained, in this article, “The CATAPULT Covid-19 Relief Arts Grant, is now in its second year and since late 2020 it has delivered over half a million US dollars ($81 million JMD) to 1,535 artists from the Caribbean, in the form of cash grants or capacity-building support. …This year, by offering relief grants to 300 creatives of $500 USD each, CATAPULT helped a community of artists from 23 Caribbean islands to further their practice by completing stalled arts projects or purchasing equipment.” She noted the particular vulnerablity of Caribbean artists. “We operate in a region where many countries have neither a dedicated national Arts Fund nor the resources to provide adequate support for the arts community, especially in the event of a pandemic. Some of these Covid-19 relief grants were necessary to just cover living expenses, food and rent for talented artists who were in dire straits due to the impact of two years of lockdown and loss of income.” But it wasn’t just a hand out, it was a lift up for artists who often feel devalued and unseen. “Some artists expressed that the grant not only helped them financially, but also served as a symbol of validation for their artistic practice.” ETA: May 13th 2022 is #CATAPULTday, so be sure to search for it across your social media. (Source – Me)


No, this isn’t a sports site (though it’s hardly the first time we’ve shared sports news – sports can be artful) but in this case, I’m sharing because I looked at this picture and thought, LEGENDS. You don’t have to be a cricket buff, to know the man on the left, Sir Vivian Richards, who was named one of the top 5 cricketers of the 20th century. He was the second Antiguan called up to the West Indies Cricket Team and would go on to be a fierce batsman and, as leader, the only captain never to have lost a test series. He was for a long time Antigua and Barbuda’s only living national hero and the national stadium is named for him. To the right, is another man who needs no introduction, the first Antiguan to be called up to the WINDIES team and a deadly fast bowler, Sir Andy Roberts. Want to know more about these men, read books like Hilary McD. Beckles’ A Spirit of Dominance: Cricket and Nationalism in the West Indies and watch documentaries like director Stevan Riley’s Fire in Babylon about the 70s and 80s period when WINDIES dominated international game. Since those days, there’ve been dashed hopes and frustrations both in terms of the team’s performance and in terms of the ascendance (or the unfair non-ascendance) of Antiguans and Barbudans to the team. The man in the middle, Rahkeem Cornwall, is an example, in the eyes of Antiguans and Barbudans of frustrated opportunity as he fought to jump through and over hoops and hurdles to earn a spot – his weight (or what describes as his “uncommon” bulk) was the official reason (per the same ESPN profile, he needed a dietician and extra attention before he could be considered for the senior WINDIES side). But he has performed since being called up to the team in 2019 (being named Domestic Cricketer of the Year by Cricket West Indies that same month) and, per the local T-20 tournament from which this photo is taken, continues his winning ways. (Source – Daily Observer newspaper)


Cuban born academic Ada Ferrer has been awarded a 2022 Pulitzer Prize in history for Cuba: An American History. Her third book, it is previously the recipient of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in History.

(Source – Twitter)


Winners at the Island Innovation Awards ceremony were announced and among them several individuals and projects from the Caribbean. Some we think will be of interest to our readership. Such as winner of the Future Island Leader Award, Life in Leggings founder Ronelle King of Barbados – “In 2016, i founded a movement…a cyber feminist campaign…a space for Caribbean women to speak about their experiences of sexual violence and raise awareness about the pervasive rape culture in the region…the hashtag then evolved in to a grassroots organization…I invite you to learn more about our work by visiting our website.” Such as master ceramist at Wine to Water, creator (15-years ago) of the ceramic water filter, which filters out water bourne diseases while saving money and positively impacting the environment, Redhames Carela of the Dominican Republic, winner of the Island Innovator Award. Scaling Smart, Solar, Energy Access Microgrids in Haiti won Sustainable Energy Initiative of the Year, Cayman’s Gina Ebanks-Petrie director of the department of environment there won the Women #SDG Leadership Award, Island Green Living of St. John in the US Virgin Islands was named Sustainable Company of the Year, Reach Within: Getting to the Root of Childhood Trauma of Grenada won the COVID-19 Response Award, and the Barbados-based CARICOM Development Fund won the Green Finance and Investment Award. Barbudan GO in Antigua’s sister island was a finalist for the Resilient Island Award. You can watch the full awards announcement below.

(Source – Island Innovation email)


The UK-based Society of Author Awards has announced the shortlists for its various prizes and there are a couple of Caribbean writers in the mix. Jamaican Roland Watson-Grant is short listed for the Tom-Gallon Trust award given for a single published short story, ‘The Disappearance of Mumma Dell‘, which you’ll remember was regional winner of the 2021 Commonwealth short story prize. Trinidad and Tobago’s Celeste Mohammed continues to have a breakout year – after winning both the Rebel Women Lit’s readers’ award and the Bocas prize – with her short listing for the McKitterick Prize given to a first time novelist over 40. Her novel Pleasantview is published by Jacaranda, itself a prize winner back in 2020 for small press of the year at the British Book Awards. (Source – Commonwealth Writers twitter post)


Celeste Mohammed, lawyer turned writer of Trinidad and Tobago, has collected the coveted Bocas Prize, essentially the Caribbean book of the year prize for her novel Pleasantview.

She had previously been shortlisted as the fiction winner alongside non-fiction winner Kei Miller (Things I have Withheld) and Jason Allen-Paisant (Thinking with Trees), both of Jamaica. Her win was announced Saturday 30th April 2022 during the Bocas Literary Festival, every second of which can be viewed online. This past February, I reported in CREATIVE SPACE that she had been voted as the readers choice winner in the Rebel Women Lit awards – that’s right, this means that her debut book is both a popular win and a criticial win/awards darling, which is the writer’s (any writer’s) dream. (Source – Twitter)

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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