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From the Mailbox – Hurston Wright Legends

zoraYou know I love Zora Neale Hurston (pictured) and respect Richard Wright as an important part of our African diasporic canon, and you’ve seen me post here before about the programme named for these African American literary heavyweights (e.g their Hurston Wright Writers Week). This latest post is the announcement of the winners of this year’s Hurston Wright book awards – a programme that recognizes and lifts up writers from the aforementioned diaspora, in fact, Kwame Dawes a child of both Africa and the Caribbean, resident in America, was a nominee in the poetry category this year, and Antigua and Barbuda’s own Marie Elena John (Unburnable) is a past nominee. I’m late but still pleased to announce this year’s winners some of whom are already on my TBR and will no doubt find their way on to yours. Also, here’s a link re submission guidelines for the next round of nominees. Finally, walk good and rest in power to Hurston Wright Legacy Award winner Ntozake Shange, whom you will know as the author of the seminal and influential choreopoem For Coloured Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf. – JCH blogger and Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator

The winners and finalists of the Legacy Awards are as follows:

Debut Novel
Winner: The Talented Ribkins, Ladee Hubbard (Melville House Publishing)
In the words of the judges: “Characters map family secrets and lore as they reckon with magical powers that bring both vulnerability and strength. For better or for worse, they learn who they are in solitude and as a collective.”

Nominees:
What We Lose, Zinzi Clemmons (Viking)
An Unkindness of Ghosts, Rivers Solomon (Akashic Books)

Fiction
Winner: Black Moses, Alain Mabanckou (The New Press)
In the words of the judges: “Set in the Republic of Congo, this funny, efficiently-rendered picaresque tale superbly traces the hero’s psychic collapse. The perils of tyrannical government are deftly interrogated throughout this seemingly simple and humorous narrative about an orphan boy.”

Finalists:
The Woman Next Door, Yewande Omotoso (Picador)
In the words of the judges: “Two squabbling octogenarian women on different sides of South Africa’s racial divide live out their rancorous days meditating on the pain of the past and the present. In telling the story of the feud between them, The Woman Next Door brings characters who are often overlooked to the center stage.”

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (Scribner)
In the words of the judges: “This Faulknerian tale (heavily influenced by As I Lay Dying) about broken lives and about how the past keeps haunting the present is written with lyricism and power.”

Nominees:
What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky, Lesley Nneka Arimah (Riverhead Books)
The Tragedy of Brady Sims, Ernest J. Gaines (Vintage Contemporaries)
Dance of the Jakaranda, Peter Kimani (Akashic Books)

Nonfiction
Winner: The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits, Tiya Miles (The New Press)
In the words of the judges: “Miles mines scattered and long-forgotten accounts to reconstruct a stunning, surprising and often-horrifying account of Native Americans and African Americans in 18th century Detroit.”

Finalists:
Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and the End of Public Education, Noliwe Rooks (The New Press)
In the words of the judges: “Pulling back the veil of neoliberal ‘solutions’ to end the racial divide in our education system, Cutting School demonstrates that the demolition of public education reinforces rather than alleviates the so called ‘achievement gap’ between black school children and their white peers.”

The Cooking Gene: A Journey through African American Culinary History in the Old South, Michael W. Twitty (Amistad)
In the words of the judges: “Following the food trail through his multiracial family history, DNA research, race, and traditional recipes, he creates a comprehensive re-evaluation of the meaning of food to African Americans and their ancestors.”

Nominees:
Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A., Danielle Allen (Liveright)
Loving: Interracial Intimacy in America and the Threat to White Supremacy, Sheryll Cashin (Beacon Press)
Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History, Camille T. Dungy (W.W. Norton & Company)

Poetry
Winner: Semiautomatic, Evie Shockley (Wesleyan University Press)
In the words of the judges: “Despite the ugliness of the violence around us, she has written a collection of poems that both chronicles it and decries it, all while offering us the beauty of her lines.”

Finalists:
Ordinary Beast, Nicole Sealey (Ecco)
In the words of the judges: “Sealey addresses our frailty, our fears, our folly, with grace, humor, the perfect timbre of understanding, steady in its conviction that love requires praxis.”

Incendiary Art, Patricia Smith (TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press)
In the words of the judges: “At once dexterous and transcendent, Incendiary Art digs far below surface issues to their roots, offering readers a rare glimpse into the nuances of characters’ lives with unmatched frankness and grace.”

Nominees:
City of Bones, Kwame Dawes (TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press)
Trophic Cascade, Camille T. Dungy (Wesleyan University Press)
In the Language of My Captor, Shane McCrae (Wesleyan University Press)

The judges
Debut Novel: Angela Flournoy, Donna Hemans, Ravi Howard
Fiction: Amina Gautier, Chinelo Okparanta, JJ Amaworo Wilson
Nonfiction: Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina, E. Patrick Johnson, William P. Jones
Poetry: Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, A. Van Jordan, Willie Perdomo

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Reading Musical Youth

You may have heard that Musical Youth is on the Antigua and Barbuda schools’ reading list (that was another announcement in the Caribbean Reads newsletter announcing the Spanish edition of Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure). I hope this is just the beginning for this book (well the continuation as the book has been out since 2004, after placing second for the Burt Award for teen/young adult Caribbean fiction, and it was on a schools list in Trinidad and Tobago). The response of the teens who’ve read it gives me hope. I was stopped by some of them at Fu Arwe Subben, the Independence showcase. I had finished performing and was on my way back to front of house at which I performed so that they could tell me how much they were loving the book – read it X times, favourite character – Zahara, Shaka and Zahara being #relationshipgoals There was also the teen boy who wanted to know about this book they were talking about, interested because they had expressed interest in it – to which I say, yes!

Another of those trippy, unexpected, hopeful moments on the potholed roads of this writing life. Give thanks. And keep reading for a bit of my presentation of Musical Youth. For more videos, go to my youtube channel. Now, here’s Musical Youth.

Read about Musical Youth.
Read an excerpt from Musical Youth.

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,  Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure). All Rights Reserved. You can also subscribe to and/or follow the site to keep up with future updates. You’re also invited to follow me on my author blog http://jhohadli.wordpress.com 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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Caribbean Reads announces two new Spanish Language Titles

How many Caribbean English children’s picture books have been translated in to Spanish? I’m legit asking as I have no idea. It seems a logical next step given the sizeable Spanish population in the region and the opportunity to remove language as a barrier when sharing our stories. But I have no idea how much it has been done.

Well, however much it has or has not been done in the past, Caribbean Reads Publishing is the latest one to do it. The independent publishing house based in both St. Kitts-Nevis and the US has announced two new titles – both translations of previous titles, one of which is my Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure

and the other Sweet Victory (Dulce Victoria) by Heidi Fagerberg. Both new editions will make their debut at the Miami Book Fair, where I’ll be reading later this month.

The new editions, the book fair, and another bit of news involving my book Musical Youth, also a Caribbean Reads title, is in the latest editing of their newsletter. Here’s a link to read the full thing.

ETA: If you are a blogger or reviewer who would like to receive a review copy of the Spanish language edition of Lost!, contact me a jhohadli at gmail dot com

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,  Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure). All Rights Reserved. You can also subscribe to and/or follow the site to keep up with future updates. You’re also invited to follow me on my author blog http://jhohadli.wordpress.com 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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A & B Arts Round-up – November 2nd 2018 –>

Mark Brown at the airport.jpgOngoing – Independence art show at the airport – extended to the weekend of November 10th 2018. For more on this event, check out CREATIVE SPACE 14 at my Jhohadli blog.

Ongoing – new film – Loving Daniella – while this doesn’t look to be a local film, it does, judging from the trailer, have some location shots in Antigua and Barbuda, and some local talent (I spied Omar Mathurin and Julie Hewlett who played brother and sister in Antigua and Barbuda’s first feature length film The Sweetest Mango – congrats to both of them!) – it popped up in my social media timeline with a reminder to support local talent so (though it’s free advertising for Caribbean Cinemas which never responds to our requests to contribute to Wadadli Pen) I’m passing it on. 45795689_10155506642631148_2346737162365435904_n.jpg

November 7th 14th 2018 – 5-7 p.m – Eef Armstrong, someone who through her Raw Island Products has been a Wadadli Pen patron and whose daughter was a regular in the finals gallery until she graduated out of the 12 and younger category and turned her attention to the performing arts (so be sure to go out and support!), is artist of the month at Vino Joe, Mandolin Place, Friars Hill Road.

November 10th 2018 – 8 p.m. – AGHS Honeybee Theatre, helmed by Zahra Airall, no stranger to Wadadli Pen blog regulars as she is listed in the theatre bibliographies and related postings, and actually collaborated with us on a Black History Month showcase when Wadadli Pen returned in 2010 after a 3 year break, presents Light in the Dark, a play she’s taken twice on tour this year, at the Dean William Lake Centre. Don’t miss your chance to see this!

November 10th 2018 – 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. – Best of Books Bookstore, St. Mary’s Street – Wadadli Pen Open Mic. This is a project of the bookstore for which they requested the use of the name fully 8 years ago now and still going strong. Just call it Wadadli Pen’s cousin which makes it family, so support.

October 15th 2018 – November 15th 2018 – 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Monday to Friday – Halo Foundation for the Needy presents War the Exhibition – the untold story of World Wars 1 & 2 and the sacrifice of thousands of West Indian men who voluntarily put their lives at risk to support their mother country… Government House, Independence Ave., St. John’s – in commemoration of the brave soldiers of Antigua and Barbuda who served in WWl & WW2 – Free Admission – in support of the ex-Servicemen’s Association of Antigua and Barbuda – contact@foundationhalo.org – 268-562-9153. Incidentally, you can read about this in CREATIVE SPACE 13 over at my Jhohadli blog.

November 14th 2018 – related to War the Exhibition – lecture 1 9 a.m. – 10 a.m., lecture 2 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Government House.

November 17th 2018 – 4 p.m. – this one is not in Antigua nor Barbuda but I just wanted to remind the Antiguan and Barbudan diaspora in south Florida that I’ll be reading at the Miami Book Fair – where the Spanish edition of Lost! The Caribbean Sea Adventure will also make its debut.lost spanish cover 2

March 31st 2019 – Deadline to #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda and help select the Antigua and Barbuda Readers Choice Book of the Year (2017 + 2018). These are the books.

Now, go here to vote.

As with all content on Wadadli Pen, except otherwise noted, this is written by Antiguan and Barbudan writer Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure; also a freelance writer, editor, writing coach and workshop facilitator). If you like the content here follow or recommend the blog, also, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. Thank you.

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Lost! at the Miami Book Fair

Just wanted to let Antiguans and Barbudans in the Miami area know that I’ve been invited to present my picture book Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure Lost Cover Front 4at this year’s Miami Book Fair. I am delighted to have another opportunity to represent, as I have in the past, not only my own words but writing from my country at an off-island event.  Here is a link to the entire Fair programme and thisEvent is an image from that programme of my event’s listing. Copies of the books will be on sale at the Book Fair and I’ll be available to sign copies as well. You can read more on my event here. . Plus here’s a Fair post card 2018-mbf-save-the-dateJ. Spread the word.

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,  Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure). All Rights Reserved. You can also subscribe to and/or follow the site to keep up with future updates. You’re also invited to follow me on my author blog http://jhohadli.wordpress.com 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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On becoming an author of children’s books (but not a children’s books author)

Below is an excerpt from my guest post at Women Writers, Women Books.

Ironically enough, when my first book

The Boy from Willow Bend (a story about a boy though not written as a children’s book) dropped, I got hung with the children’s author label (even after my second book Dancing Nude in the Moonlight

dropped).  It felt confining to my publishing brand and my creative spirit. Publishing loves its categories and I wrote everything, as my writing and publishing record since continues to illustrate. And yet I was excited to receive recently an invitation to participate in a children’s book panel at a major American book fair. The publishing gods have a sense of humor because here I am embracing a label I worked for years to shake.

Part of the reason I wrote my first children’s story

was so that I could have a story of my own to read when I attended events (‘children’s author’ Joanne C. Hillhouse had no age appropriate material) – it was a branding (or rather lack-of-branding) issue. Reading an early draft of that first children’s story to children (once during a school visit, once at the children’s reading club with which I volunteered) and editing it based on their reaction actually helped me get it to a pretty publishable place (children at that impulse st/age don’t know to be polite, they just react). So that when I saw a publisher call for material for new children’s books I had something to submit.

To read the whole thing, go here.

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Nationalism (lyrics)

Genre: Calypso
Origin: Antigua and Barbuda
Writer: Short Shirt and Stanley Humphreys
Artiste: Short Shirt
Circa: Sometime in the 1980s

Did you ever consider what a place this world would be
If there was no national border
You could come and go as you please
You wouldn’t need a visa to go to the USA
Emigration system would see the end of its day
But such a change will disrupt politicians plan
Whose aim it is to control their own gang
But so they rise, I say, is so they fall down
Like Hitler, who want all will get none

Cho.
Nationalism
Creating division among the world people
If we never had national boundaries
You and I could move about as free as a bird in a tree
Politicians will never let this happen
They too power hungry to control people
They like to have soldiers fighting bitterly
To take over a little more territory
Soldiers die leave their family
Suffering in their country
That’s how nationalism is killing we

Russia put troop in Afghanistan
Iraq invading Iran
But this would simply never be
If they were all one country
Take a look at Germany
People of one family separated by political boundary
Suriname, Guyana, and Venezuela wouldn’t have no dispute over a border
And a Trinidadian fisher could fish in anywhere on Venezuela

Cho.
Nationalism
Creating division among the world people
If we never had national boundaries
All the islands’ gasoline would be shared equally
Politicians will never let this happen
They too power hungry to control people
They like to have soldiers fighting bitterly
To take over a little more territory
Soldiers die leave their family
Suffering in their country
That’s how nationalism is killing we

India spend 25 million US to put a rocket up in the sky
Other nation they trying to impress
While their people standing their dying
Each nation must be number one
At the expense of their national
So who really benefit I don’t understand
Caribbean people wanted Federation
Politicians wanted their own nation
So it’s love for each other, you see
And not the nation is our only way of survival

Cho.
Nationalism
Creating division among the worl d people
If we never had national boundaries
Cambodia and China would exist peacefully
Politicians will never let this happen
They too power hungry to control people
They like to have soldiers fighting bitterly
To take over a little more territory
Soldiers die leave their family
Suffering in their country
That’s how nationalism is killing we

“Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”
That is what one politician said but with him I must disagree
See what you can do for your fellow man regardless where he come from
Politician will have you kill for their preservation
What we need now is one world government
That will stamp out greed hatred and discontent
So Reagan, Brezhnev, and all you others
Step aside; make way for higher powers

Cho.
Nationalism
Creating division among the world people
If we never had national boundaries
All the food in the whole world would be shared up equitably
Politicians will never let this happen
They too power hungry to control people
Britain want to pass a Nationality Bill
So they will have the right to send out emigrant at will
They done work most of them for free
Had their forefathers in slavery
That’s how nationialism is killing we

Note: Transcribed from the lyrics. Anything in red I’m not sure of. You can help improve these lyrics or any others in the Antigua and Barbuda Song Lyrics Database. If you share give credit to the source – the songwriters’ obviously (sharing here is not intended to infringe their copyright) but also Wadadli Pen for taking the time to transcribe and share for public information. – JCH, blogger

 

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