Category Archives: A & B WRITINGS

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

***

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

***

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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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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August Wiin’ Dung and Round Up

August is winding down. Where’d the summer go? Hell, where’d the year go? It’s crazy how time has no real interest in our ins and outs, isn’t it? It just keeps on ticking.
coffee
I’m doing a round up for Wadadli Pen’s first participation in the Caffeinated Book Reviewer’s Sunday Post meme (a meme I’ve participated in several times from my personal/author blog); specifically a round up of postings on this site over the past month – in case you missed anything.

There was a post on the forthcoming Belize Writers’ Conference. Writers’ conferences are becoming almost as ubiquitous as music festivals and Carnival in the Caribbean. But you won’t hear me complaining (in fact, I wrote about the burst of regional literary festivals last year for Writer’s Digest magazine).

I also shared a link from the Writer’s Path about self-editing. How-to  articles are always interesting to me – as a writer and editor interested in improving my own craft, and as a workshop facilitator and writing coach wishing to add to the toolkit I draw from in helping the writers and non-writers with whom I work.

I shared information on the new consultant hired to work on our cultural policy…and the fact that I have questions. This is local so non-Antiguan-Barbudan readers can probably skip past this one; though if you do have a cultural policy where you are, it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on approach and real impact.

I shouted out our National Youth Choir on their success in Commonwealth competition. Always happy to see our young people and young artists becoming soar.

One of my favourite memories of the summer, of every summer, but especially this summer given that I started the year dealing with health issues, and still am in some ways, is Carnival; because come Carnival time you put everything down and let the music get a hold of you. It wasn’t entirely a stress free Carnival for me, as I was involved in putting my own mas on the road, specifically the mango tree faerie from my last picture book, With Grace. 20638129_10155570812792622_8816133180187600831_nBut I had fun and, hassles aside, we put our show on the road; and the pictures allowed me opportunity to reflect – and opportunity to see some of the other Carnival acts (since the downside of playing mas is that you miss the show you’re a part of). Join me in catching up on the colours and creativity of the season .

The arts round up is just a space that I use to share upcoming local arts activities. There were updates, as well, to Opportunities Too (with submission deadlines for writers and artists), Reading Room and Gallery (the 24th edition, where I share artistic things that have caught my interest), and the Antigua and Barbuda Children’s Fiction and Antigua and Barbuda Writing pages.

Blogger posts I engaged with (i.e. commented on) over the month include
Nut Free Nerd’s Goodreads’ Book Tag
Darkowaa’s discussion on Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place
And Caitlin’s Unmediated Life at Broadside

If a link grabs your interest, click, read, leave a comment. It’s never too late, I got a brand new comment on my seven year old Jamaica Kincaid postthis month and it was nice to revisit that piece.  Feedback is love.

As for books, I haven’t finished anything – I still have the last two pages to get over with Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys and I’ve only just started getting in to Bernice McFadden’s Glorious. TBC.

Hope your Sunday is happy and caffeinated wherever you are.

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Policy to Action…or Nah?

I’m sharing, below, the link to the announcement re a Cultural Policy for Antigua and Barbuda because this is something that has been on my radar as a reporter covering the culture and arts scene, and as a writer and arts activist. But first some context and questions.

From my own reporting…

In 2011, Marion Byron, the education officer responsible for Music in the Ministry of Education, discussing the National Youth Symphony Orchestra not having a home, spoke of the lack of “a serious cultural policy” as a factor: “Because there’s no cultural policy all the arts are just trying to make do and there (are) no standards…we just try to do to the best of our ability.”

abyso5

Antigua and Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra concert, 2009.

 

In 2010, Dorbrene  O’Marde, writer and commentator, speaking at the opening of the Leonard Tim Hector Memorial Week, touched on the need for a cultural policy; but not as a dead document, rather (as I described it then) “as the vascular map” with culture being the blood running through the body and the creative energy of the people as the pumping heart. Forgive my hackneyed analogy but the cultural policy, O’Marde suggested, should not be about (again my words) “‘developing’ that which is neither static nor ‘preservable’ (i.e. culture) but on honing the creativity of the people and acknowledging the intrinsic relationship between culture and all aspects of life … (including) tourism, investment, the environment, education, farming, sports; not just performance and production management, which he suggested was the current narrow read on culture and on government’s role in its development.”

Dobrene Omarde presents copy of book to Marcus Christopher

Dorbrene O’Marde, foreground, left, with late calypso writer Marcus Christopher who for a long time tried to get his calypsos published in book format. This is at the launch of Dorbrene’s book on calypso icon The Monarch King Short Shirt.

 

These are just two examples of this idea of a cultural policy coming up over the years. When I saw recently the ad for someone to guide the process of drafting a cultural policy, I was surprised. This amorphous cultural policy had been discussed for so many years with no evidence of the process being moved forward, I imagined it was kind of like Big Foot or Lochness – a mythical thing you hear about but will never see, and who even knows if it’s real. but shortly after that there was an announcement that someone (a Jamaican firm actually) had been selected to guide the process forward.

It subsequently occurred to me, in conversation with others in the arts community since this announcement, that there are a whole heap of unknowns here. Apart from the obvious, how was the person selected and did any Antiguans and Barbudans bid for consideration, of course (see the official response to this concern here). Unknowns like…

Will this be a living document, activated and transformative, or filed away as so many other conversations, research, and reports on various areas of national development have been over the years. Some are not confident because we’ve been here and had people pick our brains before, and nothing has changed. There is consultation exhaustion (and think about what you’re asking when you ask artists to meet and meet again and meet again especially if there’s no meat). But I can get behind this if the powers that be are prepared to back up the research and drafting process with transformative action.

What does a cultural policy mean, tangibly? Well, …er… it… okay, so what a cultural policy does is… *crickets* … point is do we have a clear idea of what this process is designed to accomplish…as one person asked me, what will this policy really do? I tried to speak to it as best I could but I think the answer unfortunately, for some of us is… well, er, arm. And there’s always Wikepedia. So I can only hope that the consultant selected has the expertise and is given the time and resources to do the necessary research to define and articulate what this process is meant to accomplish and to put concrete benchmarks in place.

Will Antiguan and Barbudan consultants be a part of the process? Some have taken issue with the selected consultant being from Jamaica, and I understand because we are talking about a document that is in some ways very particularly about the character of the country; and digging in to that requires an insider’s perspective and network. But I think it can work if a team approach is taken, and if said team includes people who bring certain experience of researching and drafting these kinds of policies working with (not just picking the brain of) Antiguan and Barbudan consultants.

At least one person I’ve spoken to thinks I’m being naïve to even suggest that this could be anything more than business as usual – here, let me pick your brain; let me write up this document you’ll have no real role in shaping and never see; now let me file it away in a rusty (and sadly not metaphorical) cabinet. There, job done.

So, those are some of the issues as I see them but as a lover of my country, and as writer and arts activist working in a country that sometimes doesn’t seem to love me back (the struggle is real for our arts community where just this week I was involved in a facebook thread started by a visual artist and drew in last I checked input from people in the dance, literary, visual arts and production, all lamenting the lack of transparency and inclusiveness re CARIFESTA and funding re arts in general), I am want to be hopeful that this process and the document it produces will lay some kind of road map for how artists function in this country and how we are valued and supported, but also for how we exist collectively as a people, who we are, what we value, how we define ourselves but also how we imagine ourselves. Aiming too high?

Anyway, whatever comes of it, here’s the article announcing the process (follow the link to read the whole thing):

“Lisa Callender of Protrade Consultancy, a firm in Jamaica, has been appointed to head the newly created National Cultural Policy project.

Minister with Responsibility for Culture, Honourable Chet Greene, made the declaration at a press conference at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium yesterday.

According to Minister Greene, the project is being funded by a grant from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and will seek to bring Antiguans and Barbudans closer toward the realisation of a cultural renaissance.” Read more.

p.s. here are some of my previously shared thoughts re arts development in Antigua and Barbuda which I’ve taken to passing on to anyone who asks to pick my brain while my hands are busy gripping the edge of the slippery ledge that is the reality of being an artist in Antigua and Barbuda.

As with all content (words, images, other) 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,  Fish Outta Water, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, 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 WadadliPen and my books. You can also subscribe to and/or follow the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks. And remember while linking and sharing the links, referencing and excerpting, with credit, are okay, lifting whole content (articles,  images, other) from the site without asking is not cool. Respect copyright.

 

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#WeNeedDiverseBooks Author Re-Writes the Fairytale

That’s the headline of a piece published to Wandering Educators (thanks, Dr. Jessica Voigts) about my last picture book With Grace. It begins…

Once I realized that With Grace was turning out to be a fairytale, I did not resist it…but I did do my best to subvert the tropes of the genre.

Why didn’t I resist, though not strictly speaking a children’s writer (I had only one previous children’s book among five to my credit)? Because as a writer, I enjoy wrestling with genres I’ve never attempted before – even if that cage match is to be within the deceptively simple and straightforward world of ‘once upon a time’ where they ‘all lived happily ever after’. Also, as a long time dreamer and reader, it was joyful to revisit the genre that helped me fall in love with stories in the first place.

IP2 cropped

So, why subvert? Because for all the ways it helped open up my imaginative pathways, the fairytales of my childhood did their share of inadvertent damage, as well. While every race and culture has its own fairytales, as a black girl coming of age in the Caribbean, in the retellings that were popular in my part of the world, I was never a part of the story nor was anyone who looked like me. Also, unlike the women I saw in real life, the girls in the fairytales were invariably in need of rescuing, usually by a Prince (or the Prince was in some way the pathway to happiness). I’m not going to do a deep dive in to feminist and racial and cultural and problematic in many other ways readings of Western fairytales, but I will say that as With Grace, my own Caribbean faerie tale, revealed itself to me, I wanted to tell a different story. I say revealed because, let me be clear, it was never my intention to be heavy-handed; whatever rebellion was to happen had to happen naturally. My primary goal was to tell a good and engaging children’s story. I hope I’ve done that. But a writer can have secondary goals.

READ the full thing here.

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Tourist Leggo

Sung by Mclean ‘Short Shirt’ Emanuel
Written by Shelly Tobitt

1.
Carnival
Jouvert Morning
Just as the band start parading
I in Scot’s Row jamming tight with a leggo
Pretty little yankee tourist at that
She say she come down from Halifax
And she never see carnival
So she come to join in the bacchanal
She want to go jump and play she mas
Just like an Antiguan
She want to go jump up
And join in a j’ouvert jam
Join in the greatest vehicle of expression
Jumping in the steelband
Dancing in the sun

Cho.
She want to romp, she want to dance
She want to jump, she want to prance
She want a man
She want to jam
She blood run cold every time she hear a pan roll
Bi Dang Dang Bi Dang Bi Dang Bi Dang Dang
Bi Dang Dang Bi Dang Bi Dang Bi Dang Dang
She want to romp and shake she waist
She want to make mas in the place
She want to romance with a man
She want to wine wine wine wine
Roll roll roll roll
Jump jump jump jump
Romp romp romp romp

2.
From the start you could see the girl love the art
We calypso and we steel band
Man, she really love the jam session
Quietly the girl said to me
Shorty, what a glorious symphony
The music seems to fill you with rage
And make you feel like you on a stage
Oh what an artistic excitement moment of history
A gala of beauty
Festival of dance, song, and spree
The melody, the harmony … (?)
Singing in she brain driving she insane

Cho.

3.
Mas for so
Look the pan man dem on the go
Everybody shouting with glee
Wining, shaking their body
The place well hot and the music sweet
Prancing feet igniting the street
And then she couldn’t take it no more
Suddenly the woman explode
With an ungraceful wobble just like if she was swimming
Jumping without timing
Singing with a strange harmony
Trouncing, chipping man like if she go fall down
Two bottle of white rum underneath she arm

Cho.

 

For more Antiguan and Barbudan lyrics, see the Song Lyrics data base. All lyrics transcribed by Joanne C. Hillhouse. Please help in correcting any errors or share any lyrics you may have so that we can continue to build the data base. We do not own the rights to these works and no profit is being made; they are being shared exclusively for educational purposes.

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Calypso Battle

Update again (July 25th 2017): This story has been fast moving so this update may already be dated. But last I read, Queen Ivena was being told she had to either remove the ‘offensive’ lyrics or lose her spot in the semi-finals (which went by last weekend), and last I heard she opted for door number 2. This may be the last update as I don’t want to get too deeply in to this as this space belongs to Wadadli Pen (maybe at some point, I’ll write about it on my own blog), but the writer and journalist and free thinker in me is disturbed. It’s one thing for the PM to follow through on his threat to sue for defamation (though honestly I’ve heard calypsoes more scandalous than this one e.g. – this calypso did call names and I was a child but I remember adults lapping up each line). It’s quite another thing, if the reports are true, for the body responsible for staging the calypso show to deny a calypsonian access to the platform given to calypsonians to sing their song (in a matter that has not yet been ruled on in the courts, to the best of my knowledge). This seems to be a harder line than the Carnival Development Committee took in 2010 when, in response to legal action involving objectionable lyrics by another artist, it reportedly said, that it can only advise an artist not to sing the song, not compel them to. Banning an artist from the stage feels unprecedented (stand to be corrected on that but I remember, through the years, even artists banned from the radio got to have their say on the stage). If the court rules that libel or slander has been committed, that’s one thing (it’s a risk). But this precedent (i.e. the Festival Commission’s change your lyrics or else you won’t get to perform), once set, can potentially affect not only the single artist but the art form as a whole (the internal pressure calypsonians and writers in general then feel to not offend and how that then re-shapes what they produce and dilutes the role of the calypsonian and the artist in our society). This concerns me as a writer and as someone who through Wadadli Pen pushes the literary arts (among which this site has consistently counted calypso) as an avenue for expression.

Update: According to the Daily Observer newspaper, Saturday 15tth July 2017, Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne has followed through on his threat to sue former Calypso Monarch Queen Ivena. “Queen Ivena was served on Thursday with a copy of the claim filed by Rika Bird & Associates on behalf of the Prime Minister,” according to the Paper. He reportedly claims severe injury to his character and reputation. The singer, based on the report, remains resolved not to change her lyrics (per his demand) as the song makes its way through the elimination rounds in the singer’s 2017 Calypso Monarch competition run.

At this writing, this posting of the song, ‘Nasty‘, is at over 7500 views and counting with majority up-votes/likes and user comments: e.g. “this is real calypso”.

ORIGINAL POST

A bit of context: There’s a calypso, by Antiguan and Barbudan Scorpion, which declares ‘Calypso go call Your Name’, and that has always been a hallmark of the art form, a folk music tradition that gained prominence as the voice of the people in a time when other platforms for free expression were not available. If you check our lyrics data base, you’ll see that speaking truth to power (via social and political commentary) is something calypso prides itself on. It does so via lyrical masking (symbolism, metaphor, pun, double entendre etc.). Just as often, though, names are called, and the cut is sharp and pointed. Ivena, who became, in 2003, the first female Monarch (as calypso is still a male dominated field), is the self-declared Razor Lady and has landed some cuts in the past. Usually politicians, often the villains of calypso, take it in stride, an alleged radio ban here or there, not to mention allegations of rigged calypso competitions; the chatter gets loud (to understand how loud you’d have to understand how topical Carnival is in season, across the Caribbean, summer in Antigua, and how intrinsic the voice of the calypsonian is to Carnival even with the popularity of soca), but lawsuits are rare. However, rare is not the same as never, and here we are. We try to stay out of politics here at Wadadli Pen, but we’ve covered calypso, an oral literary art form, on this site, including posting song lyrics, song writer credits, and artiste profiles, including this one on Ivena. It seems only right to share this local calypso battle, especially as it’s specifically over lyrics, and has now gained regional attention.

Antigua and Barbuda’s The Daily Observer reports on the possible legal battle between Prime Minister Gaston Browne and calypsonian Lena “Queen Ivena” Phillip if she does not change a line from her song, “Nastiness” [also known as “Nasty”]. The article does not quote the critical content, but you may check it out on YouTube. Queen […]

via “Queen Ivena” gets ready for battle — Repeating Islands

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, With Grace, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved.

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