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Shout-outs, Celebrating Intersections

Shouting out Danielle Boodoo Fortuneof Trinidad and Tobago whose debut poetry collection Doe Songs dropped recently to acclaim, not a surprise to anyone familiar with her work. Danielle, a past Hollick Arvon and Wasafiri New Writing prize winner, also has new work in the Peekash collection Thicker than Water, recently announced on this site. If you’re a regular to this site, you know that both her poetry and art work have been shared here (use the search feature to the right to revisit them), and you know that she illustrated my last picture book Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure.

illustrator Danielle

Danielle with her son and our book.

Congrats, Danielle.

Shouting out Loretta Collins Klobah of Puerto Rico on her latest win the PEN Translates Award for The Sea Needs No Ornament, edited and translated from Spanish, with Maria Grau Perejoan. That’s right hurricane recovery has not slowed her efforts as she continues to work on other literary projects and teach, and has recently released the poetry collection Ricantations, the follow up to her critically acclaimed, Bocas award winning The Twelve-Foot Neon Woman. If you’re a regular to this site, you know that her poetry has been featured here (use the search feature to the right to revisit them), and you may or may not know that students in her Caribbean Children’s Literature course have been introduced to and done presentations on my books The Boy from Willow Bend and Musical Youth (so thanks to her for that).

Congrats, Loretta.

Celebrating intersections.

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). Excerpting, reblogging, linking etc. is fine, but PLEASE do not lift ANY content (images or text) wholesale from this site without asking first and crediting the creator of that work and/or copyright holder. All Rights Reserved. If you like the content here follow or recommend the blog, also, check out my page on WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. Thank you.

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Reading Room and Gallery 29

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 29th one which means there are 28 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

INTERVIEW

“Gowdy: I return to the childhoods of one or two of my main characters in most of my books, I think. It’s nothing I plan on doing ahead of time, but I guess it’s as if I need to establish certain propensities in the child before I can fully create the adult. And then there’s the joy of writing about children because they haven’t yet formed a shell sturdy enough to hold in their souls. Children are so expressive and hilarious. They’re all poets in that they’re trying to get a fix on the world, so they’re comparing everything to everything else, sounding out words, taking what you say too literally, even as they believe in magic. I hope the young Rose is recognizably the grown Rose, but neither is quite the other, and that’s where I live as a writer, in the place between the living, personal self and the remembered self. Or in the place between the living self and the different self.” – The Impossible is Now Possible: A Conversation by Barbara Gowdy and Helen Phillips

***

“(Danielle) Boodoo-Fortuné is a fresh new voice on the poetry scene. This collection creates vivid images of the rural Trinidadian world, where the real and the mythical rub along together.” – Esther Phillips, Barbados’ Poet Laureate speaking with Zing on her new role and 5 Great Works by Caribbean Poets

***

 – Juleus Ghunta

FICTION

“Bills gather in heaps at my feet. I watch them beat about on the paint encrusted tiles, in the slight breeze seeping in under my door through a space big enough to let in the lizards, centipedes and mice which use my house for shelter when the rains come.  But the rains have not come. A week to Easter, and still no rain. Not even back to back cricket matches, usually enough to entice the rains to douse the field just when our team is winning, can sweeten the rain to fall. Young fruit die sunburnt under confused mango trees that flower and bear at the same time. The plants look like when you drink something sour and your face falls into itself. The cow itch vine, whose windblown fibres make me want to scratch skin off my bones, head in the ground. Even the weeds are seeing trouble.” – A Whiff of Bleach by Suelin Low Chew Tung

***

“In those days, it was the custom to roll out a lemon from the delivery room. The midwife in charge always had a lemon at hand. As soon as the baby arrived she would roll it out of the room. The exact moment that the fruit exited the room would be registered and used to cast the horoscope. Ayya did not have much faith in this fruit-rolling practice. He would wait for the baby’s first cries. He contended that the wail was enough to give him the time of birth. Amma’s vote was for the fruit. The accident that followed my birth made Ayya change his stand.” – Horoscopes by Appadurai Muttulingam, translated from Tamil by Padma Narayanan

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, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page Jhohadli or like me on Facebook. Help me 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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Jhohadli Writing Project – Latest News

Why did you register for this workshop?
I was curious. I also thought I could learn new things which I did.

What was your favourite/least favourite activity?
I enjoyed everything at the workshop especially the discussions.

Would you recommend this workshop?
Yes, most definitely. There is a lot to learn and the facilitator did a great job of explaining what I didn’t understand.

Promo July August 2018

The Q & A above excerpt a recent Jhohadli Writing Project evaluation – redacted to exclude any information specific to the participant.

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, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page Jhohadli or like me on Facebook. Help me 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 – New Peekash

Peekash Press began in 2014 as a partnership between Peepal Tree Press in the United Kingdom and Akashic Books in the United States; it was a CaribLit initiative coming out of the Bocas Lit Fest in partnership with Commonwealth Writers and the British Council.

Peekash’s first publication was Pepperpot: Best New Stories from the Caribbean followed by Coming up Hot: 8 New Poets from the Caribbean, New Worlds Old Ways: Speculative Tales from the Caribbean, and So Many Islands: Stories from the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. Antiguans and Barbudans in these collections, to date, have been Tammi Browne-Bannister, from Antigua and Barbuda/based in Babados, who has been in So Many Islands and New Worlds Old Ways; and Joanne C. Hillhouse in Pepperpot – as listed in Antiguan and Barbudan Writings.

Peekash’s new publication is Thicker than Water: New Writing from the Caribbean. Here are the details:

Difficult parents and lost children, unfaithful spouses and spectral lovers, mysterious ancestors and fierce bloodlines — the stories, poems, and memoirs in this new anthology tackle everything that’s most complicated and thrilling about family and history in the Caribbean. Collecting new writing by finalists for the Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize, a groundbreaking award administered by the Bocas Lit Fest, Thicker Than Water shows us how a new generation of Caribbean authors address perennial questions of love, betrayal, and memory in small places where personal and collective histories are often troublingly intertwined.

Thicker than Water

Contributing writers are:

Lisa Allen-Agostini • Trinidad and Tobago
Nicolette Bethel • The Bahamas
Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné • Trinidad and Tobago
Vashti Bowlah • Trinidad and Tobago
Richard Georges • British Virgin Islands
Zahra Gordon • Trinidad and Tobago
Barbara Jenkins • Trinidad and Tobago
Lelawatee Manoo-Rahming • Trinidad and Tobago/The Bahamas
Ira Mathur • Trinidad and Tobago
Diana McCaulay • Jamaica
Sharon Millar • Trinidad and Tobago
Monica Minott • Jamaica
Philip Nanton • St Vincent and the Grenadines
Xavier Navarro Aquino • Puerto Rico
Shivanee Ramlochan • Trinidad and Tobago
Judy Raymond • Trinidad and Tobago
Hazel Simmons-McDonald • St Lucia
Lynn Sweeting • The Bahamas
Peta-Gaye V. Williams • Jamaica

Details here.

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, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page Jhohadli or like me on Facebook. Help me 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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A & B Arts Round-up – July 6th 2018 –>

This page or series of pages is specific to arts and/or cultural events being held in Antigua and Barbuda.

Friday 10th August 2018 – 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. – The Black Exhibit – Colour Light Sound – Sir Reginald Samuel Art Gallery and Main Hall of the Antigua and Barbuda Youth Enlightenment Academy – black exhibitvisual art exhibition-silent auction-wine tasting-musical performances-spoken word – cost EC$50 in advance only – tickets will not be sold at the door – Tickets available via the Ticketing app and by emailing theblackexhibit@gmail.com or from any of the featured artists.

July – August 2018 31172136_10155396943712031_2981263520554234593_n

July 2018 – 32149315_10156266501943864_974797339552120832_n

 

 

 

All year – my Jhohadli Writing Project Creative Writing Workshop Series will be running in 4 week cycles throughout the year. Email jhohadli at gmail dot com to be put on the mailing list re future installments. Also check out the CREATIVE SPACE series on my Jhohadli blog – open for tips re coverage and sponsorship of that page.

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. 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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Mailbox – Who is That?

I get all kinds of things to my mailbox, some of which I share here when relevant. I’m not sure how relevant this is – this being a Wadadli Pen, Antiguan-Barbudan-Caribbean literary-arts site, but I’m going to lean in to the more broadly literary arts aspect of the site for a minute (won’t be the first time).

The Lit Hub mailer recently included this header image Charlotte Perkins Gilman

and seeing that woman perched above the crowd in what seemed to be a late 19th/early 20th century image had me wondering, who is that?

The caption read:  “In 1860, feminist, sociologist, novelist, and a lecturer for social reform, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, author of the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” is born.”

So it didn’t identify this particular moment but given that Gilman is said to be an advocate, perhaps she was frozen in such a moment. Without further digging that I don’t have time for, who knows? But I thought to share it anyway because I remember reading The Yellow Wallpaper when I did the University of Iowa’s online open writing course (which is open for registration now by the way).  Sidebar: one of the beauties of doing writing courses is the new writing you get to dive in to – I try to give some aspect of this experience in my own Jhohadli Writing Project Creative Writing Workshop Series.

Anyway, The Yellow Wallpaper was perhaps the most immersive experience of descent in to madness I’d read since reading Guadeloupean writer Miriam Warner-Vieyra’s Juletane (a more modern work) – and in both cases the burdens of existing as a woman within a patriarchal society was to blame. It (meaning The Yellow Wallpaper by Gilman, who is American) is an interesting read for both men and women, I think. I would categorize it as psychological/gothic horror with feminist overtones (like, say, Rosemary’s Baby) – I may be off but – it doesn’t matter how you categorize it, it’s an example of art’s power to draw you in to another’s experience and to draw attention to issues relatable across individually lived lives – among the reasons I share stories and other art in the Reading Room series here on the blog.  In this particular case, it’s a woman locked in a room for her own good, who is told what is not-wrong with her by men who presume to know better than her, underpinning that knowledge apart from being men of authority in her life – e.g. husband – is being men of authority in society – e.g. doctor. it’s also about how a woman’s life is compartmentalized by society. The ironic thing is that these issues – being heard as a patient if you’re female, being assigned a particular role in society if you’re a woman – are still very much with us, though there have been considerable strides. The story apparently stems from Gilman’s own experience as a woman seeking help for depression and being prescribed “rest cure” – which allowed her very very little mental stimulation and no interaction with the pen/writing (which for a writer can feel like a kind of death). Writing The Yellow Wallpaper after months of this ‘therapy’ and near mental breakdown as a result was Gilman’s act of rebellion.

So, yeah, The Yellow Wall Paper, a pre-modern feminist writer, an interesting image, look it up. Shout out to Lit Hub.

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). Excerpting, reblogging, linking etc. is fine, but PLEASE do not lift ANY content (images or text) wholesale from this site without asking first and crediting the creator of that work and/or copyright holder. All Rights Reserved. If you like the content here follow or recommend the blog, also, check out my page on WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. Thank you.

 

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Missed Announcements (Commonwealth, Burt)

I missed a couple of announcements which is understandable, this isn’t my job after all, but I wanted to get back to them even if they aren’t technically new(s) any more, because these authors deserve their dap – and because there are so few opportunities specifically for Caribbean writers, I like to highlight the ones that are. Call it inspiration for any of the rest of us out here putting pen to paper (fingers to keyboard, thumbs to keypad, whatever) every day.

Commonwealth

First up. This dude. This dude right here!hosein

He made all the newspapers in his native Trinidad and Tobago for being that rare unicorn to repeat a Commonwealth Short Story Writers Prize win. The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (2000 – 5000 words) across the Commonwealth. The overall winner receives £5,000 and regional winners receive £2,500. Translators receive additional prize money. Hosein, as I mentioned on my facebook, has been on a roll lately between being longlisted for Bocas (for The Repenters in 2017), being shortlisted/placing second for the Burt Award (for The Beast of Kukuyo in 2017), and now winning his second Regional (Caribbean) Prize for the Commonwealth Short Story Competition. I had a conversation recently with someone about whether it was fair for past winners to repeat and I think it is – a past winner is still a writer, writing, and not as set for life as some might like to think, and if the judging is blind as we like to think it is then their odds of winning/losing are the same as anyone else’s. I don’t think it necessarily has to stack the deck. And if you break through in any competition against a proven winner wouldn’t that feel even more like a win? I don’t know, apples and oranges in terms of scope, but Wadadli Pen winners can keep competing no matter how many times they win, as long as they’re still age eligible, because for them and every entrant it’s about challenging themselves; at least that’s how I see it. I certainly plan to keep going for everything I’m eligible for because I’m far from set/still hungry and because I always want to challenge myself to be better. A competition isn’t really an exact science as far as good, better, best is concerned – I know this all too well having been a judge of competitions myself – but for me the challenge isn’t really on the judges’ end but on mine, challenging myself to be better than I was two sentences ago. When it’s a personal challenge like that, chances are you may be inclined to step back anyway because been there, won that. Though of course that prize money and the come-up a win gives a writer is also nothing to cut your eye at. Within all of it though, hopefully bigger than all of it, is the desire to continue telling your stories:

“Trinidad and Tobago writes itself. It writes loudly and quietly at the same time. Loudly, because it likes to boast of its best and worst parts. Quietly, because it thinks nobody cares to listen. This win, along with the many voices year after year whom have shortlisted and won for this little twin-island nation, is reinforced proof that people out there are entertained by our stories, derive meaning and relevance from them, and are moved by them. It is proof that people care to listen”. – Kevin Jared Hosein

Since you’re here btw, take a new look at a post Kevin did about writing and publishing from the Caribbean; I’ve recommended it for people trying to understand the industry, and recommend it here again for you – he breaks it down way better than I’ve been able to.

Burt

I posted the short list and a run down of all previous winners (and their books) of the Burt Award but don’t think I ever got around to coming back and letting you know the top three winners’ ranking. Not that it matters – apart from a little more bank depending on where you are in the ranking – as, per Burt’s template, all three top three will be published and widely distributed across the region. This makes the Burt Award – sponsored by Canadian non-profit CODE and replicated among the Canadian First Nations/Natives community and all of Africa – a tangible path to publication.

So you can look out for new books from Guyanese writer Imam Baksh (who claimed his second Burt win – top spot), Barbadian writer (and filmmaker – second in the ranking) Shakirah Bourne, and Bermudan writer (editor, tutor – third overall) Elizabeth J. Jones.  In addition to the book orders (up to 2,500 copies of each book), Burt also gives lump sum cash prizes to the winners – 10,000 CAD to the winner and 2,000 CAD each to the finalists. See the winners’ announcement here.

Looking forward to their books and I really do encourage you teachers, parents, aunts with teens – Caribbean or otherwise but especially Caribbean – in your life to introduce them to at least one of these books. These are modern tales of the young Caribbean experience or tales with particular, though not exclusive, appeal to this age group.

See the full list to date.

See also Caribbean Reads publisher Carol Mitchell’s encouragement to writers from the so-called small islands to big up themselves in these contests and Opportunities with upcoming deadlines for anyone seeking to challenge themselves to do just that.

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). Excerpting, reblogging, linking etc. is fine, but PLEASE do not lift ANY content (images or text) wholesale from this site without asking first and crediting the creator of that work and/or copyright holder. All Rights Reserved. If you like the content here follow or recommend the blog, also, check out my page on WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. Thank you.

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