A reminder that the process with these Carib Lit Plus Caribbean arts bulletins is to do a front and back half of the month, updating as time allows as new information comes in; so, come back, or, if looking for an earlier installment, use the search window. (in brackets, as much as I can remember, I’ll add a note re how I sourced the information – it is understood that this is the original sourcing and additional research would have been done by me to build the information shared here – credit and link back if you use).
A reminder that Dotsie Issac‘s Senses, the second annual edition of her poetry and music showcase, is coming up in June right here in Antigua.
(Source – N/A)
Maybe this requires a separate category? Summer activities for children in Antigua and Barbuda? If you’d like to pre-register for my Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing camp in the tail end of summer, email me at email@example.com I’ll have it as long as there’s interest. Meanwhile there’s also Splash Robo Club’s Kids Steam Team Summer Camp Edition.
(Source – Facebook)
Antiguan and Barbudan designer Miranda Askie repped the 268 in Trinidad and Tobago at EWA AFRICA 2 – SANKOFA STYLE, a Caribbean fashion event kicking off the 2023 Pan African Festival TT, hosted by the Emancipation Support Committee of Trinidad and Tobago and directed by Richard Young.
“I am simply grateful for the opportunity granted by the tourism of Trinidad and Tobago @ewaafrica @richard_a_g_young and all the other designs I had the opportunity to dialogue with and more,” Askie said in the caption accompanying this post on instagram of her relaxing poolside in Trinidad in one of her designs. She explained, in response to my inquiry, “I was asked to represent Antigua for 2024 Caribbean fashion week and Ewa Africa2 Sancofa Style by the board of tourism of Trinidad and Tobago 🇹🇹”. (Source – Miranda Askie on Instagram)
A two-fer right here in Antigua and Barbuda – the launch of my, Joanne C. Hillhouse’s To be a Cheetah, a collab with local artist Zavian Archibald, and the Wadadli Pen Awards ceremony, hosted, as usual by the Best of Books. July 2nd 2023; mark the date.
(Source – BA on Facebook)
June means its once again #readCaribbean and #Caribathon two Caribbean Heritage Month social media book events encouraging readers to read and share Caribbean reads. This vid is by one of the CaribAthon founders and she kicks it off with The Secrets of Catspraddle Village by Callie Browning and At the Bottom of the River by Antigua’s own Jamaica Kincaid– “Jamaica Kincaid has yet to disappoint me; she feeds me,” she said. “This will get re-read a couple of times.” The video speaks most extensively on Kincaid’s book and also mentions Breanne McIvor’s The God of Good Looks.
I am currently reading Kim Johnson’s The Illustrated Story of Pan and most recently finished Andrea Levy’s Small Island – both of which I would recommend checking out.
See Books below for more reading ideas. (Source – Various)
Ask a whole generation of Antiguans and Barbudans – those of us born in the 1970s – to this day of more varied options where had the best ice-cream and there remains only one answer, Thwaites, at the corner of De Souza Road and All Saints Road in Ottos. Never mind that it was the only ice-cream shop for the longest while, its flavours are wrapped in memories of family trips to the pink, wooden building for your choice of the smoothest vanilla, strawberry, or chocolate, before or after maybe, one room over, having your picture taken in your best Sunday dan-dan in the studio whose familiar backdrop is in the albums or on the mantels of thousands of Antiguan and Barbudan households. It is for the latter that in its announcement of his passing, ABS TV/Radio described Egbert Merril Thwaites as a “pioneering Antiguan photographer”. Thwaites corner is iconic for a number of reasons – notably the political meetings held there each campaign season; note that it bears the name of the man who was 99 at the time of his passing in early June (his death was announced on June 7th 2023). (Source – ABS TV/Radio on Facebook)
Tameisha’s Adventures sends its 13-year-old heroine back in time to 1840s Barbados, a time in which Black people are oppressed even though slavery has legally ended. Tameisha is under constant threat of being sent to work in sugar cane fields. Will she find her way back home or stay in the past for ever? Evans previous publication is Memory and Landscapes: the Works of Four Early Twentieth Century Barbadian Writers. (Source – JR Lee email)
Refica Attwood has authored an activity book, Eco Tour: Study Guide with Puzzles and Activities, which was published in early June 2023 under the Wallings Nature Reserve Inc trademark.
(Source – RA on Facebook)
I was hoping to finish reading my ARC of this before its release date (especially after my e-copy of her previous book, Josephine against the Sea, timed out before I could finish it. But here we are – I’m still reading Nightmare Island (about 133 of 305 pages in) but still motivated to finish.
In the meantime, let me say happy pub dat this week, June 6th 2023 specifically to Shakirah Bourne of Barbados.
Nightmare island is so far as mysterious as the name suggests with a spunky female protagonist to hook our imaginations on as we try to figure out what in the douen is going on. (Source – Shakirah Bourne on Twitter)
New addition to the Antiguan and Barbudan Children’s Literature page – Pip the Parrotfish by Sophia Charles of Barbuda. Click the link to read about it. (Source – Daily Observer by Newsco)
Trinidad and Tobago’s Ayanna Lloyd Banwo’s When We were Birds , recent winner of the OCM Bocas Prize, continues its winning ways, after making the short list of the Jhalak Prize, as it lands on the long list of Goldsboro Books 2023 Glass Bell Awards.
“The Glass Bell Award is judged by David [Headley, Goldsboro Books co-founder and MD, and founder of the Glass Bell Award] and his team here at Goldsboro Books. It is the only prize that rewards storytelling in all genres – from romance, thrillers and ghost stories, to historical, speculative and literary fiction – and is awarded annually to ‘a compelling novel with brilliant characterisation and a distinct voice that is confidently written and assuredly realised’. The shortlist will be announced on Thursday 27th July, with the winner – who will receive £2,000 and a beautiful, handmade glass bell – announced on Thursday 28th September 2023.” (Source – Twitter)
Antigua-Barbuda independent media company Tarsier Strategy has won another international award – this one a MarCom International Gold Award for its work on The Tourism Authority’s #CoolisClean Campaign in the category Video/Audio | Digital Video Creation | Animation category.
MarCom Awards honors excellence in marketing and communication while recognizing the creativity, hard work, and generosity of industry professionals. MarCom is administered by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP). The international organization, founded in 1995, consists of several thousand marketing, communication, advertising, public relations, digital, and web professionals. AMCP administers recognition programs, provides judges, and rewards outstanding achievement and service to the community. (Source – Tarsier Strategy on Linkedin)
This year’s Anthony N. Sabga laureates, including yours truly , the Arts and Letters laureate, have been feted at a grand gala in Trinidad and Tobago, and we acknowledge each of them as creatives in their own way. Science and Tech laureate Dr. Mahendra Persaud of Guyana through his research creates various strains of rice (flour and more to follow) that have helped boost production (to the benefit of local farmers and the Caribbean community in terms of better nutrition – with research, for example, looking at producing high zinc strains and lower glycemic strains of rice – and food security). Also, like any creative, he has spoken about working in isolation, being driven, wondering if your work is seen and understood, and hoping that this boosts interest and investment in more research within the region. Public and Civic Contributions laureate Dr. Adesh Sirjusingh of Trinidad and Tobago is creating a safer environment, first for gestating mothers, reducing maternal mortality, and working to be more responsive to patient needs in the public healthcare system. Talking to him, it’s clear that it’s not just about medicine but people – something I pressed for in our own public health care system in CREATIVE SPACE #11 OF 2023 – DOES OUR PUBLIC HEALTH HAVE A CULTURE OF CARE?
To be clear, none of the work I do is with the expectation of winning an award and a lot of what I apply for (the opportunities and opportunities too I share) is practical – part of building a writing career – and moments like this when you are seen or selected by others is never in my bingo card, plus I am extremely reserved and don’t do well in the spotlight but I appreciate this appreciation in great part because it allows me to continue the work that I love to do; and …I receive it (that’s the mindset). Per the citation, I was recognized for my “achievements as a writer and in full appreciation of the role [I have] played in creating an enabling environment for self-expression through storytelling in [my] home country.” The full citation and more personal and extensive reporting on laureate weekend is to be posted on my Jhohadli blog.
Each laureate’s flag was hoisted and their anthem played at the gala awards ceremony June 3rd in the Grand Ballroom of the Trinidad Hilton. Featurettes of laureates’ life and work to that point were screened (those can be viewed here) and each received Each was presented with a cheque for the equivalent of TT$500,000, an Anthony N. Sabga Awards commemorative medal, and a citation, ushering them in to the company of laureates who have been recognized since the programme was launched in 2006. More about the Sabga prize here. You will find there as well the nomination form for the 2024 awards. (Source – JCH)
Wadadli Pen News
See above re Wadadli Pen founder, me again, claiming a prize – here I am thanking my communities which includes Wadadli Pen.
(Source – me)
When I returned from the festivities above, it was back to work on Wadadli Pen. And, as I cleared the inbox and processed the entries, these questions asserted themselves – how to fast track automating this process because this one-one-thing ain’t it, how to boost public school participation especially at the primary and to a lesser extent secondary level because the private schools are dominating, how to boost male participation because the arts are for everyone, how to spur youth participation even as we’re happy to see the 18+ writers respond enthusiastically to the opportunities opening up now that the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize project is the Wadadli Pen Inc. non-profit. I’m recognizing some of the past finalists as I clear the entries for blind judging by the authors and am happy to see the mix of continuity and new voices. Final count of 2023 Challenge entries is 101 submissions. The stats, with some things as yet undefined, also show that
-the majority are poems, followed by fiction, then by essays a distant third – love to see entrants experimenting with creative pieces
-school participation generally was down in terms of the spread if not the volume – with participating schools/educational institutions on record being past winners for schools with the most submissions – Antigua Girls High School, Island Academy, St. Andrews Primary School, St. Anthony’s Secondary, and St. John’s Catholic Primary – and one of them will be winning that prize again; as well as St. John’s Lutheran School, Sunnydale, and Princess Margaret School, and tertiary institutions Antigua State College and, for the first time, UWI (Five Island Campus). Shout out as well to youth and community groups Listen to Me and Vibrant Faith Ministries for their submissions.
As a reminder, the Wadadli Pen main prize winners, i.e. the13 people who over 15 Challenge seasons in 18 years had their names emblazoned onto the Alstyne Allen Memorial plaque sponsored by the Best of Books bookstore, to date are 2004 Gemma George (F, 18, Antigua State College); 2005 Sandrena Martin (F, 16, Antigua State College); 2006 Ayoka [Angelica] O’Donoghue (F, 17, Antigua State College); 2007-2009 – no Challenge held; 2010 – no main winner; 2011 Devra [Vanessa] Thomas (F, 18-35); 2012 Rosalie A. Richards (F, 17, Antigua State College); 2013 Asha Graham (F, 15, Antigua Girls High School); 2014 Asha Graham (F, 16, Antigua State College); 2015 Margaret Irish (F); 2016 Daryl George (M, 18-35); 2017 Kaeiron Saunders (M, 18-35); 2018 Kyle Christian (M, 18-35); 2019 – no challenge held; 2020 Cheyanne Darroux (F, 11, Golden Grove Primary School) & Andre J. P. Warner (M, 18-35); 2021 Kevin Liddie (M, 18-35)
As noted, our 2023 awards ceremony is already being planned.
Judges are our team member and returning as chief judge author and publisher Floree Williams Whyte, team member and former Wadadli Pen finalist Devra Thomas, and owner of Ten Page bookstore, a patron, and long time associate of Wadadli Pen Glen Toussaint.
To support our work become a Patron or Volunteer or Intern. (Source – in-house)
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, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, The Jungle Outside, and To be a Cheetah – the latter scheduled for July 2023 release and available for pre-order wherever you buy books at this writing). All Rights Reserved. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.