Category Archives: A & B Lit News Plus

News of what’s happening literally in Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda Literary Works Reviewed Vl

This picks up where the previous Antigua and Barbuda Literary Works Reviewed pages left off (there was one, two, three, four, five – 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.

In the Black cover“This cadent collection of poetry and prose from some of Canada’s most gifted black writers is moving, and sometimes disturbing, for readers of any colour.” – Philip K. Thompson writing in The Herald about In the Black: New African Canadian Literature edited by Althea Prince

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Troubling Freedom

Dr. Lightfoot signs copies of Troubling Freedom at the launch event organized by the Friends of Antigua Public Library. (Photo by Barbara Arrindell of the Best of Books/Do not use without permission and credit)

Reviews of Natasha Lightfoot’s Troubling Freedom: Antigua and the Aftermath of British Emancipation:

“By tracing the development of Antigua in the post-emancipation period, Lightfoot has produced a work that will interest scholars who study conceptions of freedom, working-class solidarity, labor, Antigua, and the wider Caribbean. Recommended.” — J. Rankin, Choice

“Lightfoot’s Troubling Freedom sheds light on how freedpeople in Antigua negotiated the terms of their labor and the conditions of their freedom in Antigua….The book also illustrates that space and spatial relations were at the heart of Antiguans’ struggle for freedom after emancipation: between Antigua and Barbuda, the city and the country, the free villages and estates.” — Kaneesha Cherelle Parsard, American Quarterly

“Instead of a ‘narrative of valiant and unified subaltern struggle,’ a moral tale of progress and expanding unproblematic liberation, Lightfoot offers a more complex and ambivalent history of freedom, which contains not only hope and solidarity, but also internecine conflicts and violence. For this very reason, this is an important and insightful history that deserves to be read.” — Henrique Espada Lima, Canadian Journal of History

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Antigua launch of Oh Gad at Best of Books photo by BYZIAPhotography

Me at the 2012 launch of my book. (Photo by byZIA Photography)

“Oh Gad! is a major artistic triumph of which all Antiguans and Barbudans can be justly proud. I certainly am delighted by this publication of this novel and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. As a work of fiction, it is beautifully written and flows like a river on its way to the sea. The conversations between the characters are well crafted dialogues, often very sharp, with verbal darts that pierce the thick armors of several of the characters.

Along with being very well written, this is a very Antiguan and Barbudan novel. Hillhouse’s fiction bears and reflects the cultural marks and tensions in our society, its patterns of in and out migration and its dependence on metropolitan cities like New York. Oh Gad! very artfully encodes in its characters and plot lines rich slices of the culture of Antigua and Barbuda…we encounter very directly the cultural values, proverbs, practices, and everyday crises that make up life in our twin-island state. Many of the difficulties that challenge her characters, Hillhouse links to slave past and the matri-focal family structure that it has left us. Thus, among the major achievements of this novel is the extent to which the social and cultural life of our society gets woven into its most basic fabric.

In spite of its carefully embedded cultural riches, Oh Gad! is a character driven novel. Its characters are very well developed, clearly delineated, and very artfully kept alive by Hillhouse.” – Badminded Nikki: A Review of Joanne Hillhouse’s Oh Gad! by Paget Henry in the Antigua and Barbuda Review of Books and in Journeys in Caribbean Thought: the Paget Henry Reader. Other reviews of Oh Gad! in the Antigua and Barbuda Review of Books here.

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Cushion Club Resumes This Weekend

cushion clubnewThe Cushion Club, a fun reading club for children in Antigua, resumes this coming Saturday 23rd September, at the University of the West Indies Open Campus (Antigua and Barbuda). Children from Barbuda currently resident in Antigua are invited to come out as well. Adult volunteers are always needed as well. The Cushion Club meets between 10:30 a.m. and 12 noon. If you have questions ahead of Saturday, please call 722-7719. Less urgent inquiries can be sent to cushionclub@yahoo.com

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A & B Writings in Journals and Contests (N – Z)

This page has grown fairly quickly, so I’m breaking it up in to two pages. For A – M, go here. For books, go here. This is exclusively for creative pieces by Antiguans and Barbudans accepted to established literary journals, festivals (and other notable literary platforms), and contests (not pieces posted only to personal blogs) as I discover (and in some cases, re-discover) them. Primarily, the focus is on pieces accessible online (i.e. linkable) because those are easiest to find; but it is not limited to these. It is intended as a record of our publications and presentation of creative works beyond sole authored books. Naturally, I’ll miss some things. You can recommend (in fact, I welcome your recommendations), but, as with all areas of the site, additions/subtractions are at the discretion of the admin.

PHILLIPS, ROWAN RICARDO – reading at Poets Out Loud – 2011

PHILLIPS, ROWAN RICARDOReverse Eurydice and Apollo: Season Three – Granta – 2010.

RICHARDS, ROSALIESmitten – Tongues of the Ocean – 2014

ROMEO-MARK, ALTHEA – Runners in the Marathon of Time – Womanspeak: A Journal of Art and Writing by Caribbean Women Volume 8 – 2016

ROMEO-MARK, ALTHEA – Camp – Moko: Caribbean Arts & Letters – 2016

Excerpt: “We read menacing messages in the scowls
 of passers-by. Some circle around,
 mark the territory with treads of footprints,
 count down days to our departure.”

ROMEO-MARK, ALTHEASmall Island Deprivations Unwanted Visitors –Tongues of the Ocean – 2014

ROMEO-MARK, ALTHEA – Neighbour’s in the Wood Shack, Desiree’s Revenge, Flawless, Play-Mamas, and A Kind of Refuge/Living in Limbo – Womanspeak: A Journal of Writing and Art by Caribbean Women, Volume 7 – 2013

ROMEO-MARK, ALTHEAThe Haunt of Alma Negron in St. Somewhere – 2013

ROMEO-MARK, ALTHEA – Burdened (which is quoted below along with six others) – Published in KRITYA Poetry Journal, Fall 2012 (www.kritya.in).

Excerpt: “Everything is on her head.

She trudges forward.

A straw mat tops the aluminum basin

filled with rescued essentials.

Her face, veiled in dust,

masks the fear beating her breast.

Her feet, swollen from endless trooping,

take her where others go.

Carrying memories of death,

she follows a long trek to nowhere,

and pauses only to suckle the child

strapped to her back.”

ROMEO-MARK, ALTHEA – Love at first Sound – Published in Off the Coast, Maine’s International Literary Journal, Winter (http://www.off-the-coast.com) – 2011.

Excerpt: “She loved the rhythm
of their singing
and the music of letters
spun off tongues,
that whirled in her ears.”

ROMEO-MARK, ALTHEALiberian Curfew at Tongues of the Ocean – 2010.

ROMEO-MARK, ALTHEAThe Nation Builders – at Medellin Poetry Festival – 2010.

Excerpt:

“…condemned as job snatchers

Pounced on by immigration

They are herded into vans

Shackled like cattle…”

ROMEO-MARK, ALTHEAWaking the Obeah Within Us  a series including the poems Jumbi Eyes, Clippings, Turn the Broomstick Up, FRAID, Web Weaving at Women Writers- 2008

ROMEO-MARK, ALTHEARevolution and Reggae published in Calabash – 2007.

ROMEO-MARK, ALTHEAEaster Sunday – published in The Caribbean Writer – Volume 10 1996

Excerpt: “They say if you come back they goin’ block the entrance to the church.”

“For what? What I do to them?”

“They say you make the man leave his wife of twenty years to marry you.”

“But, that’s their business?”

“They don’t see how Joseph could leave his wife to marry you. You know what they call you?”

“What?”

“Black, ugly, long mouth. . .”

ROMEO-MARK, ALTHEANager Man, Poverty, No Teeth Nana, Cha-Cha Town’s Blackbird – published in Palaver – Downtown Poet’s Co-op, New York, 1978.

Excerpt:

“Bokrah man
lashing whip ‘pon back.
Nager man
lashing whip ‘pon back
when slavery

done gone long time.”

 

SIMON, MONIQUE S. Color of Love – published in Calabash Volume 3 Number 2 Fall/Winter 2005

SIMON, MONIQUE S.NIGHT LIGHT (Ode to Bolans Village, Antigua –‘Home’) – published in Calabash Volume 3 Number 2 Fall/Winter 2005

Excerpt: “It was night, so it was light
Island light
Home for the night light
Man whispering to woman light
Child teasing child ‘bout daytime, schoolyard game light
Extension chord attached to hanging bulb over old wood tables with dominoes, cards,
and checkerboards light
Bob Marley, Short Shirt, King Obstinate, Charlie Pride, old-time calypso light
Home from ‘de week doing live-in maid job light

It was night, so it was light carried like electric current throughout the night in the small
village…

Tonight, Saturday night
Bolans was dark but it was light, real light”

SIMON, MONIQUE S. – Raven in my Arms – published in Calabash Volume 3 Number 2 Fall/Winter 2005

SPENCER, CHARLENE – Stranger – published (p. 31) in The Caribbean Writer Volume 28 Volume_28__2014__5433ea290b7cf_150x225–  2014

THOMAS, DEVRAHer Missing Fingers – Tongues of the Ocean – 2014

 WILLIAMS (NOW WHYTE), FLOREEYohan! – published in Anansesem

WILLIAMS, ZION EBONYThe Night I went to Cricket – in Tongues of the Ocean – 2014

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, Musical Youth, Fish Outta Water, Oh Gad!, and With Grace). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen, my books, and my freelance writing-editing-coaching-workshop services. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Songwriters Data Base – Status Report

In the time since I started building the data base of Antiguan and Barbudan literature – expanding that definition to include the writing which influenced my formative years, calypso, often not written down, uncredited, I have struggled to build the songwriters data base. Part of the hurdle has been my own too narrow definition – there are many Antiguan and Barbudan songwriters, for instance, who do not write calypso (but instead mix it up in gospel, jazz, rnb, reggae, hip hop, soca, and fusions of many of these and other forms); perhaps they felt that this space was not for them. I have tried to grab the ones I can but, problem number two, is that too often writers are uncredited. Part of it, going back to calypso, had to do with the prophetic nature of calypso – if the prophets had ghost writers, they certainly stayed in the shadows, so, too, it seemed, for the most part (with notable exceptions like Shelly Tobitt, Dorbrene O’Marde, and Marcus Christopher) the calypso writers. 

Dobrene Omarde presents copy of book to Marcus Christopher

Dorbrene O’Marde with the late Marcus Christopher, two of Antigua and Barbuda’s main calypso writers.

When CDs or before them cassettes, and before that vinyls were still a thing, they often listed sponsors and maybe songs, maaaaybe producer if a name brand producer, but rarely (read: almost never) lyricists, composers, and the like. So I’ve had to pluck a lot from memory, boosted by research, because I want to be as factual as possible. And though I’ve asked time and again for people to help me fill in the blanks, while fiction and poetry book writers reach out with fair frequency to have their listing corrected or updated, only one songwriter has ever contacted me with his songs and then when I requested verification, returned with that as well. It took time but he understood, it seemed, the importance of putting these things down for the record, how often we are not part of the larger conversation simply because we haven’t bothered to write ourselves in to the history.

 

So, this songwriters database remains a struggle list – light on details. Perhaps with funding and a research intern or two, I could remedy that, but for now, so it stands.

So the call goes out again, if you’re a songwriter and you’re miscredited or not credited at all in the songwriters database , bring the receipts; if you’re not a songwriter but you know the history, congratulations you are a valuable resource – help me out; and if you’re a fan, well, enjoy: Antigua and Barbuda songwriters database

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!, Fish Outta Water, With Grace, and Musical Youth). All Rights Reserved. Do not re-use content without permission and credit. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, 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.

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Mailbox – Barbuda Aid

I don’t know how many more of these I’ll be sharing (this is an arts site after all), but I really do want to make sure that we don’t lose sight of the fact that many islands and countries (like our own Barbuda) have a long road to recovery ahead. Support is needed. So, when a series of releases re support via USAID hit my mailbox, I elected to share some of them. The releases are specific to Barbuda but this fact sheet – 09.09.17 – USAID-DCHA Caribbean Hurricanes Fact Sheet _3– provided information about several affected islands and countries. Our heart goes out to all affected, and we have already provided on this site  hurricane relief links relative to Barbuda and other parts of the Caribbean.

Here’s the first and last of the messages I received (to date) from USAID post-Irma:

USAID LENDING ASSISTANCE TO STORM-RAVAGED BARBUDA (September 8th 2017)

USAID GENERATORS

Emergency Generators Donated by USAID.

 

The United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), is providing assistance to the Government and people of Antigua and Barbuda following the recent passage of Hurricane Irma. Working in partnership with Antigua and Barbuda’s Red Cross, the United States Government  will provide US$100,000 in immediate disaster relief for essential relief items including mattresses, bedding, hygiene kits, kitchen sets, kits, and clean-up equipment.

The catastrophic category five storm decimated the smaller of the twin-island state, damaging 90 % of its buildings and leaving the country “barely habitable” before continuing on its destructive path across the region. A USAID/OFDA assessment team is expected to be on the ground in Antigua next week to conduct further assessments to determine what additional assistance is needed, following the passage of Hurricane José.
USAID/OFDA is continuing to monitor the impacts of ongoing weather systems, and has deployed response teams to countries in the projected path of the storms. Disaster experts are prepared to conduct damage assessments and provide immediate assistance to affected countries as soon as conditions permit.

USAID supports a number of international NGO and UN partners in the region that are equipped to immediately provide assistance to hard-hit areas. As the U.S. Government’s lead federal coordinator for international disaster response, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance is coordinating with disaster officials in the region, as well as with U.S. embassies in countries that could potentially be impacted by these storm events.

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US SENDS RELIEF FLIGHT TO ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA (September 14th 2017)

Photo by Ricardo Herrera USAID-OFDA _3

A Relief Flight from Miami, containing key assistance commodities including tarps, blankets, hygiene kits, kitchen sets, water containers, and chain saw/clean-up kits, arrived in Antigua and Barbuda today.

The shipment is part of the United States Government’s ongoing assistance to the storm-ravaged twin-island state, still reeling from Hurricane Irma, the category 5 storm that severely impacted Barbuda last Wednesday, September 6, 2017. This assistance is being coordinated through the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), and in collaboration with Antigua and Barbuda’s National Office of Disaster Services.

Today’s flight included several essential items not available in-country. This relief flight follows a U.S. $100,000 award donated by the United States Government to the Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross for assistance to those affected by Hurricane Irma.

A five-person USAID/OFDA Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) was deployed to Antigua and Barbuda on September 11, 2017 to conduct a needs assessment and explore potential for further assistance.

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!, Fish Outta Water, With Grace, and Musical Youth). All Rights Reserved. Do not re-use content without permission and credit. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, 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.

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Mailbox – Lit Culture

Teacher Cray (Cray Mahalia Francis, author of children’s book Honey Dew’s Carnival Fever) has produced a pilot for her new independently produced literary themed show. Check it out:

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!, Fish Outta Water, With Grace, and Musical Youth). All Rights Reserved. Do not re-use content without permission and credit. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, 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.

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Carnival Honorees

That they were even having Carnival awards was something I didn’t realize until after the fact but could just be I had my head in the clouds as usual. Anyway (though the moment has passed and our heads are in a more somber place now), sharing and celebrating especially the writers in the line-up (because celebrating the arts and especially the writers is what we’re all about). Man like Marcus Christopher, Shelly Tobitt, Mclean Emanuel (Short Shirt), Rupert Philo (Swallow), Paul Richards (Obstinate), Percival Watt (Bottle), Ogliver Jacobs (Destroyer Sr.), Dr. Prince Ramsey, Toriano Edwards (Onyan), Joseph Hunte (Calypso Joe) … congrats to all.

Here’s the full list:

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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!, Fish Outta Water, With Grace, and Musical Youth). All Rights Reserved. Do not re-use content without permission and credit. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, 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.

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