Carib Lit Plus (Mid to Late August 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 – credit and link back if you use).

Activities

Andre Bagoo debuts (or depending on when you read this debuted) his first short story collection Dreaming, published by Peepal Tree Press, on August 27th’s Evening of Tea and Readings at Paper Based Bookshop in Trinidad and Tobago. Bagoo is a former winner of the Bocas non-fiction prize and the book is highly anticipated. (Source – Paper Based Bookshop on Twitter)

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The Caribbean and Caribbean Diaspora Film Festival runs from August 26th – 28th 2022. It’s an online film festival inclusive of masterclasses, panels, filmmaker chats, and special screenings. Details here. (Source – Karukerament email)

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Join me in celebrating Cassilda Thomas Brookes on her first published book. If you’re in Anguilla, take note and support if you can.

(Source – Author DM)

Accolades

In the early part of this year (February), playwright, novelist, and Bocas long-listed non-fiction writer Dorbrene O’Marde was formally received his instrument of Appointment as Ambassador-at-large with responsibility for Antigua and Barbuda Reparatory Justice Programme. He had already been serving for years as Chairman for the Antigua and Barbuda Reparation Support Commission and Vice-Chair of the CARICOM Reparations Commission. At the time of the appointment, the Office of the Prime Minister said on Facebook, “Ambassador O’Marde’s appointment seeks to facilitate the effective and efficient implementation of the CARICOM Reparatory Justice Programme and to signal in a very serious way Antigua and Barbuda’s commitment to have diplomatic representation at the leadership level.” In April, ahead of the royal visit here, the Commission issued a letter calling for “an apology for the role Britain played in the transatlantic slave trade.” (Source – Facebook)

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Barbadian Cherie Jones is one of the writers from all over the world selected for the Iowa International Writing Program 2022 Fall Residency. She was a finalist for UK’s 2021 Women’s Prize in Fiction for her first novel How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House, now published in the UK, US, and in French and German translations. Her first story collection, The Burning Bush Women & Other Stories, appeared in 2004; other short fiction came out in Feminist Wire and elsewhere, and was broadcast on BBC. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Exeter. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State has provided the grant for her participation. (Source – International Writing Program)

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That the BCLF short story prize has become so popular in such a short time (roughly three years) speaks to the dearth of and hunger for opportunities among writers in the Caribbean. The latest three writers to be named finalists for the annual prize are Alexia Tolas, Callie Browning, and Portia Subran. Alexia is Bahamian. She was the regional winner of the 2019 Commonwealth short story prize and was shortlisted for the 2020 Sunday Times Audible Short Story award. Her previous accomplishments notwithstanding, she was giddy with excitement at this latest accolade. “Somebody come slap me!!! So excited to move on to the final list with these amazing writers. Thank you Brooklyn Caribbean Lit for this honor!” the writer exclaimed on twitter. Callie Browning, meanwhile, is a Barbadian novelist. Her popular The Vanishing Girls and especially The Girl with the Hazel Eyes have picked up acclaim from regional (Gleaner, Rebel Women Lit) and extra-regional (Yahoo, Oprah) cultural tastemakers. These accomplishments aside, her excitement – “I’m a finalist, wunna!!!” (via Twitter) – was palpable. Portia Subran is of Trinidad and Tobago. I admit I am less familiar with her writing and profile but per her bio on Peepal Tree Press, she has been published in Jewels of the Caribbean for a piece that previously won the Potbake Productions Caribbean short story competition. She, per her Bocas profile, was presented with the UWI Literatures in English prize for Creative Writing for the 2009-2010 period and she was the 2016 Small Axe fiction winner; and she has also been published in New Worlds, Old Ways: Speculative Tales from the Caribbean. Congratulations to them all. (Source – Alexia and Callie on Twitter)

Opportunities

A reminder that there are always new opportunities and opportunities too, for opportunities with pending deadlines, to be accessed here on Wadadli Pen. Now, some more.

As mentioned in my last CREATIVE SPACE of August 2022, What Artists Want, Kingston Creative in Jamaica has created a database for artists, artisans, and artrepreneurs through which the plan is for them (us) to access opprtunities worldwide.

You can access and sign up for the Caribbean Creative network here. (Source – Kingston Creative co-founder Andrea Dempster Chung on Twitter)

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Tropical Literature Creatives is a forthcoming podcast which will allow Caribbean authors to get their work promoted for free.

(Source – via email)

Reading Material

This Alake Pilgrim rec list on Bad Form, books magazine focussed on writers of colour, is a definite rec! A teaser, it includes The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Dandicat, The Swinging Bridge by Ramabai Espinet, and Tigers are Better Looking by Jean Rhys. Read the rest here. (Source – N/A)

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Speak OUT! is a collection curated by guest editors Brenda Lee-Browne (a former Wadadli Pen judge), Beatrice Lamwaka, Rifat Munim and Peter Sipeli, from a call for submissions related to Freedom of Expression and its wider subthemes of gender, LGBTQIA+, race/ethnicity, and politics among others. The collection is comprised of four issues, each featuring an introduction by one editor and 7-8 works of fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction, selected and edited by all editors. Read it in full here. (Source – Commonwealth Writers email)

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Claudia Ruth Francis’ latest Six Steps: An African-Barbudan-Caribbean Story is, as of July 2022, available in Antigua and Barbuda at the Best of Books bookstore, after previously being available online. Interested readers can also source it through Samari Georges 734 5997. The book tells the story of Charity, a Black girl born in the city of Leicester in England in 1950. She is an orphan. She lives in a number of foster homes. At the age of ten, she receives a scholarship to a prestigious boarding school and hopes that her loneliness will lessen in her new environment. It is during this period that she discovers her ability to commune with her ancestors (beginning with a five times removed grandmother kidnapped in 1813 from Africa), and begins to learn of her history. The book is also the story of Barbuda which, in 2022, is at risk from climate change, home grown gold diggers, foreign designs, and re-colonization. It is a story written especially for young adults and the wider public. (Source – the author via email)

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, Oh Gad!Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and The Jungle Outside). All Rights Reserved. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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