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Gold Rush by King Obstinate


Disclaimer: We don’t own this. We’re not profiting from it. This is a lyric share. Also, as the saying goes, calypso go call your name, and we try to capture the song in its fullness (keeping in mind that it’s transcription from an audio recording so we might not have heard right), but no slander is intended. This is simply part of an ongoing part of our project to document Antiguan and Barbudan literary arts for educational purposes as we have with the bibliography of publications by Antiguans and Barbudans, the song writers and playwriting projects, and our still wan lyrics data base. Please help us to correct any errors and complete these records, and appreciate in the intended spirit the work that has gone in to the research, preparation, writing, and sharing of all content on this site. Props to our artists who continue to produce outstanding works, like this Caribbean calypso classic. – JCH

Years ago
When Antigua was down
And no whole ton ah money was around
Mi grandfather does say
Water more than flour
Tuppence ha’penny had plenty power
Them days
We suck sal’ to survive
It’s by the grace of God we were kept alive
But things has changed
In this state today
But the chosen few
Getting the big pay

Antigua today has a gold rush (x2)
Henry Beckett get fu he
Wexelman get fu he
Dick Bartone get fu he
You could ask the Deputy
So get what you can, get what you can, get (x2)
Jacobs get fu he
In New York City
Controlling the laundry mat
But Reagan didn’t like that
So get what you can, get what you can, get (x2)

People flocking
From everywhere
And just dropping their anchor here
Some with blueprints and ideas alone
To suck the marrow and leave the bone
And while the politicians playing games with we
They grapping up all the land by the sea
So young people, that’s the reason why
Is not motor car, is house and land you must buy

Antigua today has a gold rush (x2)
Jeff Harley get fu he
Stan Brown get fu he
Now they bringing in JB with four hundred TV
So get what you can, get what you can, get (2)
Ivor get fu he
Fort James property
To practice what he preach
Right on Fort James beach
So get what you can, get what you can, get (x2)

Mi grandfather say
You mus’ hold your groun’
Be aware of all that’s happening around
Try and avoid all them dirty thugs
They’ll paralyze your minds with filth and drugs
And while they put you to sleep and rest
All of them will reap the harvest
So get a slice o’ the apple
While the apple’s ripe
Before dog eat your supper
And crapaud smoke your pipe

Antigua today has a gold rush (x2)
DC get fu he
And garn way lef arwe
He live up Marble Hill
And Neaga sufferin’ still
So get what you can, get what you can, get (x2)
Marshall get fu he, Humphreys get fu he, Dr. Willie get fu he
You could ask Cutie
So get what you can, get what you can, get (x2)

Kendall get fu he
But he’s an attorney
So anything he squeeze is just his lawyer fees
So get what you can, get what you can, get (x2)
The Italian get fu he
Now he want more money
And if they can’t pay he bill
He demanding Goat Hill
So you get what you can, get what you can, get
You gotta get what you can, get what you can, get
TMC get fu he, Patrick Dinay get fu he
Antigua Mason-ary ah way Mr. Smith get fu he
So get what you can, get what you can, get (x2)
Yearwood get fu he
Four hundred thousand EC
Four hundred acres of land
Ah what they put in he hand


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Reading Room and Gallery 24

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 24th one which means there are 23 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


“I find it invigorating to constantly work in new forms and genres.” Alyse Knorr at Grab Life by the Lapels


“Arnav’s palms are cool and moist; I know he is frightened. He quickens his pace and I am afraid he will break into a run. I tell him it’s alright; they didn’t hear the asphalt hit the hut. I push him in front of me and clutch his shirt from behind. They will shoot him if he runs. They are shooting a lot of young boys these days. In the villages that flank our town, they are making boys run in the open fields, then shoot them down as if they were balloons at a hit-the-target game in funfairs. There is a name for it which escapes me now.” – Greetings from a Violent Hometown by Ritu Monjori Kalita Deka


“Before he died, my father, who loved words, told me that the Chinese language has no past tense—that therefore all events recur and nothing ends. Similarly, he said, the Japanese language has no future tense and so, in order to imagine the days to come, all we have within our vocabulary is the present.” – The Second Waltz by Madeleine Thien


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Caribbean Poets Forward

The 26th annual Forward Prizes will be awarded on September 21, 2017, at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre in London. Among the writers on the shortlist there are Caribbean writers such as: Ishion Hutchinson (Port Antonio, Jamaica); Malika Booker (of Guyanese and Grenadian parentage); and Richard Georges (Port of Spain, Trinidad). [Caribbean writers Vahni Capildeo and […]

via Forward Prizes 2017: Shortlists — Repeating Islands

The Forward Prizes for Poetry are the most coveted awards for poetry published in Britain and Ireland: they have played a key role in bringing contemporary poetry to the attention of the wider public for quarter of a century. They were set up in 1991 by philanthropist William Sieghart to celebrate excellence in poetry and increase its audience, and are awarded to published poets for work in print in the last year. The three prizes – £10,000 for Best Collection, £5,000 for Best First Collection and £1,000 for Best Single Poem – are unique in honouring both the work of established poets and the debuts of brilliant unknowns. Past Forward Prizes winners include Claudia Rankine, Thom Gunn, Seamus Heaney, Alice Oswald, Ted Hughes, Carol Ann Duffy and Kathleen Jamie.

Among the writers on the shortlist there are Caribbean writers such as: Ishion Hutchinson (Port Antonio, Jamaica); Malika Booker (of Guyanese and Grenadian parentage); and Richard Georges (from Port of Spain, Trinidad and resident in the British Virgin Islands). [Caribbean writers Vahni Capildeo and Tiphanie Yanique were among last year’s Forward Prizes winners.]


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Art supporting Art

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Jane Seagull has gifted a custom made journal to our winning writer for the past several years, since her time as artist in residence at Art at the Ridge, which was also a Wadadli Pen patron at the time. We’re grateful that she’s still with us even though Art at the Ridge has closed its doors. Jane actually had a show on around the same time as the Wadadli Pen awards. The show is no more but she shared some of the pieces with me and (with her permission) I’m sharing them with you. Find her on facebook if you’re interested in purchasing her art or commissioning a piece.

And remember to support all our patrons – because arts patronage is rare and cherished especially here (not branding, not sponsorship, but just giving in the interest of boosting the arts because you realize that though not seen as an economic driver, art and creativity are essential…rare). The patrons for the 2017 season of Wadadli Pen (and really all information related to said season) can be found behind the Wadadli Pen 2017 tab above, see also About Wadadli Pen.


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Mailbox – Ujima

Claytine Nisbett is a former Wadadli Pen volunteer – she was with us for the 2012 season 

powder necklace

Claytine, right, making a book presentation to one of our 2012 winners.

– shout out to her on her new-ish business venture Finders Keepers in Montserrat and on the recent publication of her first book, Life as Josephine .Life as Josephine


This post concerns the revival of another of her projects, Ujima, and her call for voluntary guest bloggers.

Per her email, the Caribbean-based, youth-focused, solution-oriented blog plans to expand when it begins posting on July 1st 2017, focusing not just on youth but on gender – an area of activism for Nisbett. Contributors do not have to live in the Caribbean but they should have Caribbean roots. And they should be between the ages of 16-39. Is that you?

Here are the details.JCH, Wadadli Pen founder/coordinator & blogger

Ujima Solutions Magazine is the Caribbean youth and Caribbean gender-focused blog whose mission is to not only discuss the problems but to present viable solutions to those problems so we can work on them collectively, leading to necessary change.

What sets us apart? The fact that we are not only talking about the problems but we are suggesting possible solutions to the socio-economic ills that are being faced by Caribbean youth, in addition to resolutions to gender-related matters such as domestic violence, limited access to jobs and job mobilization, human trafficking, improper healthcare systems, etc. Though we understand the fact that both men and women are affected by gender-related issues we cannot ignore the fact that women are disproportionately affected. However, we will not shy away from articles that discusses and presents solutions to the disadvantages that men face.

We also do not limit our articles to Caribbean persons only living in the Caribbean. We at Ujima Solutions do realize that we have Caribbean persons all around the globe who may live in an ethnic enclave of other Caribbean people or may be in constant interaction with other Caribbean persons. Those individuals may realize that there are disadvantages that are affecting Caribbean persons within that country and/or community. We welcome your input too! You are free to submit articles to Ujima Solutions Magazine.

Ujima (Swahili) –  To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems, and to solve them together.

We are always looking for guest bloggers so if you are interested please contact us at with your idea and/or article. Blogs must be Caribbean youth or Caribbean gender-focused and solution oriented. Subjects include but are not limited to:

Gender Equality

Youth Development




Youth Violence





Violence Against Women

Domestic Violence

Human Trafficking

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A & B Arts Round-up – June 4th 017 –>

July 23rd 2017 – Fashion Formation at the Copper & Lumber Store Hotel, English Harbour at 4:00 pm

July 3rd – 28th 2017 (registration June 26th to 30th, 9:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.) – the National Public Library Annual Summer Program. Call 562-4502/3.

June 29th 2017 – Fundraiser

June 24th 2017 – Lion King

June 17th and 18th 2017 – Shiva School of Dance presents Born to Dance at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively, at the Dean William Lake Centre.

June 17th 2017 – Antigua Dance Academy’s Bring Yuh Drum and Come event – part of its 25th anniversary celebration. Activities will include an ancestral tribute, drummology (featuring Zuberi, Nayim, Jelani & Roghae; another one of by the Junior Drum Corps of the ADA; and another one by the Senior Female Drum Corps of the ADA), presentations by Priest Kademe Isaac and Elder Ras Soyyica Straker, poetry by Karen Henry, the ADA’s Junior Dancers and Senior Dancers in two separate presentations, and open invitational dancing and drumming; fading on the heart beat rhythm. It begins 10 a.m. at the Public Market.ADA

June 10th 2017 – 7:30 p.m. – Wadadli Pen Open Mic (usually every second Saturday but this is the last of the season) at the Best of Books bookstore – St. Mary’s Street

June 9th 2017 – 7 p.m. – Mary Geo Quinn, the Grand Dame of Poetry, launches Hol’ De Line And Other Stories – Runway 10 Conference Centre

p.s. writers and artists, remember to search for the ‘opportunities too’ page from time to time to peep new/upcoming submission deadlines.

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Sheena Rose: Another Bajan Export Making Big Moves in the US

A report by Tamara Best for the New York Times. Almost every room in Sheena Rose’s family home, tucked away on a quiet street here, has played host to her paintings and live performance art. In 2015, for “A Bit of Gossip, a Bit of Privacy,” Ms. Rose invited both the public and people from the […]


‘The bubbly Ms. Rose, who is passionate about art advocacy, teaches visual arts at Barbados Community College in St. Michael. Still, she is grappling with whether to remain in Barbados or move abroad to a city like New York, which she said was like her second home.

“Some people say: ‘Man, Sheena, you have so much going on for yourself. Why are you studying Barbados so much?’ And I say: ‘Barbados is my home. I can’t help it.’ I have this anxiety of ‘Should I leave? Will things be bigger and better for me?’”

Those questions — and possible answers — will no doubt continue to play out in her art.’

via The Artist Sheena Rose Is Reaching Beyond Barbados — Repeating Islands

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