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This is a space where I’ll be placing articles about Antiguan and Barbudan literature that are not current but still worthy of inclusion in a virtual library of Antiguan and Barbudan literature. This is a work in progress.


Writer Althea Prince up to Big Things – Daily Observer (Antigua) – October 12th 2012
Excerpt: “In the Black is a collection of fiction and poetry by a mix of well known African Canadian writers, and yours truly. The credits read like a literary who’s who and includes the two writers to whom the collection is dedicated – George Elliot Clark, winner of Canada’s Governor General’s Award for Poetry and other prestigious prizes, and celebrated playwright Djanet Sears, who counts among her too numerous to mention awards, a Martin Luther King Jr Achievement Award, the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Canadian Screenwriting Award.”

As with all content on Wadadli Pen, except otherwise noted, this is written by Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out Please note that, except otherwise noted, images on this site also need to be cleared if you wish to use them for any purpose. Thanks.


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Best of 2017

It’s that time of year again, to look at the year’s best (well, up to this point).

Using site stats, I’ve once again been able to get a sense of what drew views, interaction (likes, comments), and action (shares) here on the site. Since our goal (with the blog – the online platform of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize and a literary/artistic portal to Antigua and Barbuda and the wider Caribbean) is to engage with our reader, this is valuable information that can perhaps guide future blogging.

Given their popularity, you’ve probably seen some of these posts already but just in case you haven’t or want to revisit, here again 10 to 1 are the most popular posts of the past year – plus five of the least popular (i.e. posts you engaged with barely, if at all, that you might be disappointed that you missed)


#10 – Press Release: Wadadli Pen 2017 Launches

Wadadli Pen LogoThe 2017 Wadadli Pen challenge launch release – as issued to the media. Let’s people know, and we’re off…

#9 – Those who won’t hear will feel by Zion Ebony Williams

zion2 (2) Every year one of our winning Wadadli Pen stories seems to catch fire; and this seemed to be Zion’s year. P.S. Zion went on to place third in the Grade Six National Assessment of 2017.

#8 – Calypso Battle

This had to do with threatened lawsuit (by Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister) and censoring (by the Carnival organizer who insisted on vetting the lyrics, and the radio stations who bowed to the threat of law suits) over a song (Nasty) by calypsonian Queen Ivena (an artist who in the tradition of calypsonians like Obstinate, Scorpion, and others has always held the feet of the country’s leaders to the fire and called their name); as a lit arts site, I felt it was important to record developments related to this as it speaks to key issues like freedom of speech, artistic freedom/expression, and the role of calypso in our society.

#7 – From the Mailbox – Concerning Barbuda

Ben Rainey Guest post re literary project to aid Barbuda – despite the amount of eyes on this post and the number of shares, no (or very few) submissions were received (and the project was delayed) – a reminder that information doesn’t always lead to action…and that there’s always still time to help.

#6 – Wadadli Pen Challenge: Who Won in 2017

P_20170519_151707_vHDR_Auto Another Wadadli Pen awards post – this one is always a highlight as the ‘who won what’ posts is usually the first after the awards. A good spotlight for both our winners and our patrons.

#5 – Wadadli Pen Challenge 2017 – the Picture Post

Wadadli Pen winners The picture post is usually one of the last post-Wadadli Pen awards posts as it takes a while for us to gather pictures from different sources; for obvious reasons, because it’s an opportunity to see the winners and for the winners to see themselves, it’s always popular. It’s also the point at which, looking at the pictures, I begin to feel genuine joy and relief that we made it through another year – perhaps the moment, looking at the pictures, that it becomes real to me.

#4 – Wadadli Pen Challenge 2017 – the Long List

The Wadadli Pen awards is at once one of the most stressful and fulfilling times of year for me. It’s a celebration of the winning authors of a challenge I started as an annual project back in 2004 and it’s amazing to me that it’s still around, against all odds, after all this time. This long list, started a few years ago, is usually the first hint eager submitters have of whether they made the cut or not; it helps to keep the momentum going while the work behind the scenes continues.

#3 – Nelson’s Dockyard: On Becoming a World Heritage Site

Sometimes I read things and think “more people should be aware of this!” Sometimes that thing ends up in the reading room and sometimes in a post of its own. These details of how and why Nelson’s Dockyard became a World Heritage Site ended up in the latter category. It got a boost I think by being re-shared on the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda’s social media; so thanks to them for that.

#2 – Mailbox – National Youth Awards (Results!)

This (essentially a re-post of a press release) was also one of the most shared and liked posts on my author facebook; I guess people really wanted to know who the winners were(?) Kudos to Spilling Ink, the lit art winners.

#1 – Wadadli Pen has its first Intern – Meet Michaela


This was our first year as Wadadli Pen with an intern. She was, at the time, a student at the Antigua State College which was the only institution that we reached out to during the application process. She, a former Wadadli Pen finalist, was gung ho from the get go as this introductory post indicates.


Building a Reading Culture in the Classroom – The title is self-explanatory; and it’s a reblog.

A & B Writer in New International Collection – Congrats to Tammi Browne-Bannister.

Reading Room and Gallery 26 – the latest (which probably explains why it doesn’t have a lot of views yet) in my series of good reading and art from around the web.

Keens, Arrindell and the Children of the Emerald Isle – another late year addition, this one from the Alliouagana lit fest in Montserrat.


Mailbox – Lit Culture – This was a share from children’s book author, Teacher Cray.

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, Oh Gad!, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, 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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Reading Room and Gallery 26

The Reading Room and Gallery is a space where I share things I come across that I think you might like too  – some are things of beauty, some just bowl me over with their brilliance, some are things I think we could all learn from, some are artistes I want to support by spreading the word, and some just because. Let’s continue to support the arts and the artistes by rippling the water together. For earlier installments of the Reading Room and Gallery, use the search feature to the right. This is the 26th one which means there are 25 earlier ones (can’t link them all). Remember to keep checking back, this list will grow as I make new finds until it outgrows this page and I move on to the next one. – JCH


CaribbeanReads  …How did that day dreaming influence your illustrations, Danielle.

Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné  …Dolphin’s daydreaminess really helps define him, I think. It was the first thing that struck me when I started doing concept sketches of each of the characters. It set him apart from his friends…. aside from his nose of course. In the illustrations, I wanted his eyes to always be wide and filled with wonder.” – conversation between Danielle Boodoo Fortune, Caribbean Reads Publishing, and Joanne C. Hillhouse about collaborative project, children’s picture book Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure


“Always close to home, it has been a delight seeing a private student, a little girl of eight whom I tutor, experiencing the antics of Anansi for the first time through Philip M. Sherlock’s Anansi the Spider Man.  She had never before read or been read the stories.  An essential primer, the book can be enjoyed either way.  I was told by Ayesha Gibson-Gill, the National Cultural Foundation’s literary arts officer, that the Bajan book stall at Carifesta XI in Suriname couldn’t stock enough Anansi titles by our authors: everyone was after the trickster.  One of the other books I have on Anansi is actually a Dutch title purchased in 2003 at Carifesta VIII, also in Suriname.” – Robert Edison Sandiford on Carifesta Xlll


“The IndyList, as we like to call it, is a selection of 12 Barbadian books to make friends with over the coming year.” Check them out.

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: 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings, Oh Gad!, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and Musical Youth). All Rights Reserved. Do not re-use content without permission and credit. If you enjoyed it, check out my 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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And the Winner is…

No, you didn’t sleep and miss another season of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize Challenge, but you did miss your opportunity to win a copy of my new book Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure (a children’s picture book).

The winner had to play to win by responding to trivia questions launched during Independence season and spotlighting local artists. You may remember that this was triggered in part by discussions about the arts (in which I participated) during the Antigua and Barbuda Independence season.

The winner got all but two of the questions correct. She is FAYOLA JARDINE (who is also a 2017 Wadadli Pen Challenge finalist). Peep her answers (and the correct answers) below.

This person won the Dan David prize for Jewish writers
Fayola’s Answer: Jamaica Kincaid
Correct Answer: Jamaica Kincaid
Jamaica Kincaid (born Elaine Cynthia Potter Richardson) is a convert to Judaism. The Ovals, Antigua born, US based author of many books, including Annie John and Lucy, won the Dan David Prize in 2017

This person is the founder of Moondancer Books
Fayola’s Answer: Floree Williams
Correct Answer: Floree Williams
Floree Williams Whyte already had two books – Pink Teacups and Blue Dresses and Through a Window – to her credit when she launched the independent press Moondancer Books to publish her children’s book The Wonderful World of Yohan in 2017.
Yohan book

This person wrote ‘An Interview with hurricane Luis’
Fayola’s Answer: Joy Lawrence
Correct Answer: Joy Lawrence
The 1995 hurricane unleashed Joy Lawrence‘s poetic voice though in the years since she’s become known as a folk historian thanks to books like The Way We Talk and Other Antiguan Folkways, and several village histories.

This person participated in the Pan Am Games
Fayola’s Answer: Edison Liburd
Correct Answer: Heather Doram
Heather Doram is a celebrated Antiguan and Barbudan artist, Carnival costume designer, and former Culture Director. Her piece, Rootedness, was one of several from around the world featured at the Textile Museum of Canada as a partner project to the 2015 Pan Am Games.
Heather's image

This person runs an art camp for kids
Fayola’s Answer: Heather Doram
Correct Answer: Edison Liburd
In 2011, Edison Liburd, another talented Antiguan and Barbudan visual artist actually offered a scholarship to one of Wadadli Pen’s art challenge winners to participate in one of his summer camps.

This person has degrees in physics and chemistry
Fayola’s Answer: Dorbrene O’Marde
Correct Answer: Dorbrene O’Marde
Dorbrene O’Marde Dorbrene O'Mardeis best known as a playwright, calypso writer, author (including the biography of the Monarch King Short Shirt) and cultural activist, but has degrees in physics and chemistry from the University of the West Indies.

This person is a UNESCO award winner
Fayola’s Answer: Sylvanus Barnes
Correct Answer: Sylvanus Barnes
Barnes, a beloved local poet, is one of several writers to receive an honour award for contribution to literacy and the literary arts from the local UNESCO body in 2004

This person had a sister named Ethlyn
Fayola’s Answer: King Obstinate
Correct Answer: King Obstinate
King Obstinate’s heartfelt calypso Who Kill Me Sister, queries in direct address to the then police commissioner, the (alleged) murder of his sister, Ethlyn.

This person is a 2007 Hurston Wright award nominee
Fayola’s Answer: Marie Elena John
Correct Answer: Marie Elena John
Marie Elena John’s debut novel Unburnable was nominated for the 2007 Hurston Wright Award (a prestigious US award for writers of African descent) for best first book.

This person wrote How the Starfish got to the Sea
Fayola’s Answer: Althea Prince
Correct Answer: Althea Prince
This children’s book was written by a then Althea Trotman in 1993. Her other books (as Althea Prince) include How the East Pond got its Flowers and Ladies of the Night.
how the starfish

I’ll be contacting Fayola to collect her prize (and look forward to her posting her reader review on Amazon, Goodreads, or even here on WordPress); in the meantime why don’t you get to know these Antiguan and Barbudan artists and support all our work as much as you can. Bless.

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.

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Art, Freed From Guantánamo — Repeating Islands

An interesting read about officialdom’s push-back against the exhibition of art work created by men interred at Guantanamo. In some ways it made me think of Gender Affair’s/Brenda Lee Browne’s creative writing programme here in Antigua and Barbuda’s prison though given that Guantanamo’s prisoners have had no due process, it’s a bit of apples and oranges… but the connective thread is the ways art allows us to communicate with ourselves and the world at large…and how for some the very act of creating art can be dangerous and revolutionary (even when the art itself is quite benign). We need to do all we can to encourage creativity and fund programmes that allow it to exist.

An Editorial from the New York Times. The American prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba — where men suspected of terrorism are for the most part being held indefinitely without trial — has long been a stain on this country’s human rights record. Now the military has stumbled needlessly into a controversy over, of all things, art. […]

via Art, Freed From Guantánamo — Repeating Islands

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Lost! Released

Author, editor, and writing coach Joanne C. Hillhouse releases her latest children’s book, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure. Beautifully illustrated by Trinidadian artist Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné, Lost! is inspired by the story of an Arctic seal which found itself in the Caribbean seas a few years ago. The book pulls children into a fun adventure about […]

via Dolphin, the Arctic Seal, Returns to Antigua and Barbuda in an Inspiring Children’s Book — Repeating Islands

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A & B Writer in New International Collection

Shout out to Antiguan and Barbudan writer, Tammi Browne-Bannister, included in the collection So Many Islands – announced earlier this year, published this month. peekash-so-many-islands-cover

The collection also includes works by

Tracy Assing • Trinidad and Tobago
Heather Barker • Barbados
Angela Barry • Bermuda
Cecil Browne • St Vincent and the Grenadines
Sabah Carrim • Mauritius
Damon Chua • Singapore
Marita Davies • Kiribati
Fetuolemoana Elisara • Samoa
Kendel Hippolyte • St Lucia
Erato Ioannou • Cyprus
Emma Kate Lewis • Malta
Karlo Mila • Tonga
Jacob Ross • Grenada
Melanie Schwapp • Jamaica
Mere Taito • Rotuma, Fiji
Mikoyan Vekula • Niue
Afterword by Sia Figiel

The collection which includes a foreword by Marlon James is edited by Nicholas Laughlin and Nailah Folami Imoja.

Congrats to Tammi (see what else she’s been published in in our Antiguan and Barbudan Writings and Literary Journals pages) and to all the selected writers. Read about the collection here: so many islands info sheet Final (1)

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