Category Archives: A & B Lit News Plus

News of what’s happening literally in Antigua and Barbuda

Wadadli Pen Alum Publishes Another Book

Just updated – as I do periodically – the listing of books by Antiguans and Barbudans, and the sub-list of books of fiction by Antiguans and Barbudans. Wanted to take a minute to remind you to check them out and to say “big up!” to Rilzy Adams on the publication of her latest ebook. Rilzy, actually Rilys Adams, lawyer by day and former Wadadli Youth Pen Prize Challenge finalist (2005 and 2006), has self-published to this point a spoken word CD and four books, available exclusively in the ebook format. Her books are in the romance genre and the latest Will You Be Mine? is no exception.


Congrats to this Wadadli Pen alum for continuing to be a creative force.





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Antigua and Barbuda Literary Works Reviewed Vll

This picks up where the previous Antigua and Barbuda Literary Works Reviewed pages left off (there was one, two, three, four, five , six – use the search feature to the right to dig them up if the links don’t work).  As with those earlier pages, it features reviews about A & B writings that I come across as I dig through my archives or surf the web. You’re welcome to send any credible/professional reviews that you come across as well. They’re not in any particular order, I just add them as I add them; some will be old, some will be new. It’s all shared in an effort to underscore Antigua and Barbuda’s presence in the Caribbean literary canon.

Lost books“Children will likely relate well to this story of getting lost while daydreaming and to the reassurance that kindly adults will look after strays. The book also gives them a chance to learn more about the work of environmentalists and Caribbean sea life.

An appealing book, all the more so for being based on real life.” – Kirkus Reviews on Joanne C. Hillhouse’s Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure


Re Dorbrene O’Marde’s play This World Spin One Way:

“Dorbrene O’Marde’s best written play, and probably the best play written by an Antiguan….” – Tim Hector

“…really good. Everyone should go. It was a combination of funny and sad. A must see!” – The Daily News (St. Thomas)

“…subtle and well-suited to the universal themes of the ups and downs of love affairs… The two main characters created plentiful tension that kept the audience hanging on to their every word, wondering how it would all turn out. They made sparks fly” – The Dominica Online Review


Time to Talk “You don’t have to be a cricket fan to enjoy Curtly Ambrose’s Time to Talk.” – Joanne C. Hillhouse (exclusive to Wadadli Pen) 


“O’Marde’s first book after a well-established reputation as a playwright, the fictional book Send out you Hand, was weighted and slow by comparison – exposition heavy, the characters too often coming across as mouthpieces for the writer’s intellectual concerns rather than fully drawn people.

In Nobody, O’Marde invests more successfully in the characterization and humanization of his subjects, making them (Short Shirt, Short Shirt’s writers, and, in fact, calypso, more relatable, complex, and interesting) while at the same time tying them all, Short Shirt and calypso especially, in to the larger cultural and societal shift.” – Joanne C. Hillhouse on Dorbrene O’Marde’s Nobody Go Run Me in the Antigua and Barbuda Review of Books


untitledn“I found the last story, the most domestic of the stories, dealing with a mother’s death and its impact on her family, to be, strangely enough, the most interesting of the three. This story, Chasing Horses, love that title, is also included in the new anthology of Antiguan and Barbudan writing, So the Nailhead Bend So the Story End, edited by Althea Prince.  I did wonder, what it might have sounded like from a single perspective like the story of the Governor’s wife kidnapped by the Kalinago and then exiled by her husband or the progressive Bishop trying to build a church community in a socially and racially divided island, instead of shifting from point of view to point of view. I enjoyed and empathized with the other children’s voices, yes. But, as the reader I was particularly interested in how Irene, the oldest daughter whose life was most transformed by her mother’s death, was processing the changes in her life. I felt that sticking with her perspective could have sharpened the thematic focus with respect to what it was like for girls then when it came to the intersection of family obligation and personal ambition.” – Joanne C. Hillhouse on Barbara Arrindell’s The Legend of Bat’s Cave and Other Stories, originally published in the Daily Observer, archived to Wadadli Pen


“This book is also interesting, as noted, for the insight it offers to the immigrant experience.” – Joanne C. Hillhouse’s review of Althea Romeo-Mark’s If the Dust Would Settle, originally published in the Daily Observer, archived to Wadadli Pen





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Sunday Reasoning

The research I did about local media (on a whim, really) and posted to this site came in handy when I was invited to speak on media at a reasoning held by the New Grassroots.

I call it a reasoning because with chairs set out in a circular fashion in a small room at the University of the West Indies Open Campus (Antigua and Barbuda), it was intended, I think, to be just that. Not a lecture but a conversation and that it was. That said they did invite some of us who presumably know a thing or two to open the discussion – so it was me and Kadeem Joseph (media), Leonart Matthias (labour),  and Junior Prosper (environment) with a focus in each case on the history of, challenges within, and transformative force of each. Perhaps the poor turnout (and it was poor…very very poor) is reflective of the hesitance to get caught up in any of the politics talk that too often descends in to partisan talk in Antigua and Barbuda. I can relate and the fact that my initial point of contact is a former member of the Cushion Club (the reading club I have volunteered with for many years) was (I joke but it’s true) the first reason I really considered it; the second was, as a journalist and author, I am at heart a storyteller, and I wanted us to know the story of Antigua and Barbuda media – I had gathered the research and I wanted to share it (all credit to those who did the research before me, of course).

It was an interesting discussion – somewhere there’s video which is good because my note-taking game has fallen off – but discussion includes challenging (with facts and grounded analysis) what you’re presented with, and so while I didn’t agree with everything I heard (some of the historical-social dynamics mostly), I learned some things (especially as relates to our environment), and was stimulated by the conversation – and will definitely research/investigate more to learn or unlearn as needed. And I’m glad I was able to contribute to informing, as well, and to helping to make the connections between our past and our future.

Several times, Grassroots members indicated that some of the information presented was brand new to them; some of it shouldn’t be and this raised the question of the the role of the formal education system in increasing this kind of self-knowledge and self-examination.

I do think there are a lot of gaps to be filled in our reading of our history, some more interrogation and supplementing of sources etc. but kudos to Grassroots for trying to get a conversation going. I hope that they work to be vigilant about being non-partisan, remain focused on the issues, and raise the discourse (raising in the sense of bringing it up, raising in the sense of keeping it high). That the turnout was so poor speaks to the uphill battle but as I suggested to them, they are young people au fait with new media, with individual passions, collective knowledge, curiousity, and a voice; and can use other platforms to engage. We need more of that.

Oh, the additional research I did ahead of the reasoning has prompted me to make some small but substantial insertions to the original media research blog post: check it out.


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These just in!

Lost books

My author copies are here! My author copies are here!

This is my latest book Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure.

So now you know what you’ll be winning if you take the quiz I announced here on the Wadadli Pen blog earlier this week. Here’s the link.

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, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on WordPress and/or Facebook. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Shall We Play A Game? (an ArtsIndependence Quiz)

The fine print: You must be based in Antigua and Barbuda to participate. Oh and I’ll probably take a picture of you with your prize to pass around.

The prize: A copy of one of my books. I can’t say which one for sure but I’m currently due author copies of With Grace and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure so probably one of those. My only request, that after you read it, you post an honest review online, and tag me or share it here.

The Game: Listed below are some of the most searched people on this site, 10 of them, according to site stats. Below that are a jumble of facts. Match the relevant fact to the relevant person, put your answer in the comments – or email to by November 30th, and you could win a new book in time for Christmas. If only one gets it, that’s the obvious winner; if more than one, I’ll do a raffle among the winners. If no one gets all, the one who gets the most will win. Hints: As noted in the header, this is an ArtsIndependence quiz – so all the named people are Antiguan and Barbudan and creative artists, and, given that search landed them here, you can also deduce that they have all been written about on this site.

Share this among eligible participants.

Okay, let’s play.


The Names

King Obstinate
Heather Doram
Sylvanus Barnes
Althea Prince
Marie Elena John
Jamaica Kincaid
Joy Lawrence
Dorbrene O’Marde
Floree Williams
Edison Liburd

The Facts

This person won the Dan David prize for Jewish writers
This person is the founder of Moondancer Books
This person wrote ‘An Interview with hurricane Luis’
This person participated in the Pan Am Games
This person runs an art camp for kids
This person has degrees in physics and chemistry
This person is a UNESCO award winner
This person had a sister named Ethlyn
This person is a 2007 Hurston Wright award nominee
This person wrote How the Starfish got to the Sea

As with all content (words, images, other) on, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Burt Award finalist Musical Youth, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure). Check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about WadadliPen and my books. You can also subscribe to and/or follow the site to keep up with future updates.



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Mailbox – The Legacy of Prince Klaas


King Court/Prince Klaas monument, Independence Drive, Antigua. The sculpture is the art work of Sir Reginald Samuel who also designed the national flag of Antigua and Barbuda.

Prince Klaas (also known as King Court) is one of Antigua and Barbuda’s National Heroes. The African Slavery Memorial Society circulated the information below on October 20th 2017, the anniversary of his execution as a slave rebellion leader.



An Educational Digital Presentation

by Edith Oladele,

TOSTEM Project Coordinator

Today, October 20th 2017, marks the 281st anniversary of the execution of Prince Klaas – King Court or Tackey as he was also known, for conspiring to execute a rebellion in which all of the English officials and planters and their wives were to be killed and the island of Antigua made an independent African nation ruled by African leaders. Had it happened as planned it would have made Antigua the first African ruled independent nation outside Africa and before Haiti which gained its freedom in 1804.

The plan, which was quietly in the making for over a period of 8 years since 1728, was betrayed and Prince Klass and 87 valued slaves who held important and responsible positions on over 70 plantations across the island, were horribly tortured and executed by being torn to pieces on the wheel, hung by the neck and when that proved too quick, were burnt slowly at the stake. Prince Klaas, the leader and the first to be executed was torn on the wheel on Market Street.

This terrifying historic event in the lives of the slave society carried on until Christmas of 1736 when a respite was taken and killings began again on January 1, 1737 until  March 8th of that year. The entire population, black, white and mulatto and all the sugar plantations on the island were thrown into disarray. Fear gripped everyone; the economy plummeted and lives on the plantations and Antigua were changed forever.

The African Slavery Memorial Society and the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda are collaborating to present this story with an exhibition titled “MASTERS OF THEIR OWN ISLAND” The Prince Klaas 88 Legacy. The exhibition chronicles the story of Prince Klaas and the 88 men from Africa to the plantations and their vision which led them to plan the resistance and how their vision and Ashanti culture has impacted Antiguan ‘Africanity’ up to the present. This particular exhibition forms a part of the Resistances, Theme 5 of the up-coming African Slavery Museum and is a ‘must-see’ of what the museum will offer. A date when the exhibition will be open for viewing by students at the Museum on Long Street, will be announced shortly.

The Digital Exhibition will be held at the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda on Thursday October 26th from 7pm to 9.30pm. There will be a book-table pertaining to slavery on Antigua and you may apply to become a member of the ASMS.

Donations towards the Slavery museum would be welcomed.

Of additional and vital interest to all Antigua African slave descendants; on that evening there will be the opportunity to apply to do your DNA test to know your African ancestral origins. With, the society is engaging in a special bulk application and a ‘never-to-be-forgotten’ “Reveal” evening is planned in February 2018 to announce the origins of the applicants and their families. The applications and the payments for the DNA kits must be made before December 5th. You can learn how to get it done and know your African origins..

Please contact Ms. Joy Lawrence at 774-2550 or Ms. Clara Newton at 775-5160 of the ASMS or Edith Oladele 773 1959 or email: for further information. Other days and venues will be announced where persons may make their applications during the coming weeks. Don’t miss out on this very exciting and historic development in the lives of the Africans and their descendants on Antigua & Barbuda.

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Mailbox – Just Write

This just in, Just Write is on. Details below.


Press release, St. John’s, Antigua – October 23, 2017: Writers age 16 and over will have an opportunity to create new work during a one day ‘In Celebration of Ourselves, Our Journey and Stories to be Told’ workshop, to be held on Saturday, November 4th at the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda.

This event will be hosted by Just Write – Antigua and the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, the workshop leader, Brenda Lee Browne explains how this workshop came about: “Over the past five years, Just Write has hosted weekend retreats, one day workshops that have looked at the craft of writing, whether short stories, novels or poetry. This will be the first time that the workshop will focus on local history and using it as a basis for creating new stories, there are so many untold stories out there that we can use as the basis of our creative works.”

There will be four sessions as well as time to just write: Browne adds that: “I am very excited to be working with writers Barbara Arrindell and Floree Whyte as well as producer and journalist Mitzi Allen. Arrindell is passionate about history, especially local history and she will be presenting a session on three local,  historical, yet over looked figures. This session will be the basis for the afternoon’s writing project.

In between there will be a session led by Whyte on ‘Publishing – the lessons Learnt and what Publishers Want’ and by Allen ‘On the Joy of Reading and Book Clubs’. The fourth session, led by Browne will be  exercises to get the writers ready to just write.

The one day workshop starts at 9:00 am and will end at 5:00 pm and costs $75ECD, scholarships are available for young writers from Antigua and Barbuda. Interested persons can  email: or check the Just Write – Brenda Lee Browne Face Book page.

Past Just Write Writers’ Retreat facilitators include: Tanya Evanson, Joanne C. Hillhouse, Marie Elena John, Chadd Cumberbatch and Mark Brown.


We also received some FACILITATOR BIOS which we’ll share below.

Barbara Arrindell wants to be a writer when she grows up and has always enjoyed doing historical research.  She combines these two interests to create short stories that can be classified as historic fiction. Barbara thinks of herself as bringing life to lifeless dates and intrigue to sterile bits of historic information.

Floree Whyte is an author and founder of Moondancer Books. Her two previous publications Pink Teacups & Blue Dresses and Through the Window are available on Amazon and at Best of Books. Her newest publication The Wonderful World of Yohan will be the first publication of Moondancer Books.

Mitzi Allen is an award-winning journalist and film and television producer – Managing Director of HAMA Inc. producers of four television series, four feature films and countless documentaries. She is an avid reader and belongs to the ‘Sisters with Books’ book club, which is over 15 years old.

Brenda Lee Browne – Born in the UK of Antiguan parents, trained as a journalist and yet, wanted to be a writer since about 9/10. Started writing after moving to Antigua and has been published in newspapers in Antigua, the UK and the USVI, as well as anthologies in the USA, Canada, Caribbean and the UK. Created ‘Just Write’, a face book page and creative writing workshop that takes place in the community, prison, and an annual writers retreat. Hurston Wright Writers Week Scholarship recipient, Antigua and Barbuda Life Time Achievement Youth Development Award and was long listed for the 2013 Hollick Arvon Prize. Her first Novel, ‘London Rocks will be published by Hansib in 2017.

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