Category Archives: Wadadli Pen News

Wadadli Pen competition, open mic, workshops (and related) notices

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 – – 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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Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Links We Love, Literary Gallery, Wadadli Pen News

#ReadAntiguaBarbuda #VoteAntiguaBarbuda

Maybe I’m just one of those people who as my mother would say won’t take telling but I want to try this again. This being an Antigua and Barbuda Readers Choice Book of the Year thingamajigee.

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Hell, we don’t have any other kind of book award and there was a time when we weren’t producing enough books to merit one. But for a 170 square mile country – if we’re counting only the two main/inhabited islands – we have considerably increased our output in this area (there are 43 books/CDs listed here). So, why not give it a go. With no Wadadli Pen 2019 Challenge planned, this #readAntiguaBarbuda initiative fills that void re community engagement (in a comparatively low maintenance way). Realizing that we launched this very late last year and did not leave sufficient time for readers to read and recommend (though that doesn’t explain why authors didn’t vote or help us share the call to vote – authors remember you can vote, just not for your own book – no stacking the votes, let’s make it authentic), we’re counting 2017 and 2018 releases toward this prize – and we use prize loosely here as mostly this is for boasting rights (last year we did have an actual prize but that had to be shelved due to insufficient response and so far this year there’s no prize commitment). But what I believe this can do is give a boost to our local authors (especially as we also hope to let the media know about this as well). Christmas is coming up #buylocal (or if you can’t as some of these books are not available locally, still support the author’s creative output) and #readAntiguaBarbuda and, again, because there’s no Wadadli Pen 2019 Challenge, the voting period will be extended through the first quarter of 2019. So, share, vote. To vote, leave a comment explaining why you recommend the book of your choice below this post or just leave the name of the book (but preferably say something about the book). Full disclaimer and disclosure one of my books is listed but every vote/comment will be approved as long as it’s not spam or hate. You will notice that there’s a mix of genres, publishing platforms, etc. and that’s because we are not discriminating in any way – any release; print, ebook, spoken word, self-published, traditionally published, this genre, that genre is added as long as the author is listed  in the Antiguan and Barbudan Writing database and has released a book 2017 and/or 2018 up to this posting date.  A minimum of 20 replies/votes is required (though we hope for much more) for a winner to be declared. If you voted last year for a book listed here that vote doesn’t carry over, you need to vote anew. Books released after this post will not be added here but will be considered for the 2018-2019 if this continues. All of that is up to you. Is there a book you love that you believe others will love too, do you want to help it find more readers, do you want to let the author know how much you love their book? Well, tell them. Vote. If this doesn’t work, I’ll take telling. I’m hardheaded, not stupid. – Joanne C. Hillhouse, blogger, Wadadli Pen founder-coordinator, author, literary arts activist, book lover, and more.

mottleyA 2nd Anthology of Radical Thoughts & Empowering Perspectives by Marcus Mottley. 2017. In the second volume of Radical Thoughts & Empowering Perspectives, Dr. Marcus Mottley comments on some of the powerful forces and disturbing issues that are unfolding around us worldwide and particularly in his native Antigua and Barbuda. Over fifteen years ago he warned of the ‘Pirate of the Caribbean’ who used Antigua as his base to ravish Antigua and other Caribbean Governments and tempt corruptible politicians. It turns out that Mottley’s insight has been proven true since this Pirate has been caught and ‘quartered’ by the US Justice system for stealing money from gullible investors! A 2nd Anthology of Radical Thoughts & Empowering Perspectives continues to stimulate thinking.

BrannThe ABCs of the Black Panther Party by S. Khalilah Brann (w/Chemay Morales-James). Decolonizing Education Publishing. USA. 2017. Decolonizing Education Publishing™ aims to produce literary work that is deliberate in centering black and brown experiences, narratives, history, and cultural contributions. Decolonizing Education Publishing is a collaboration between the founders of Culturally Responsive Education of the African Diaspora (CREAD) – which supports teachers in ensuring positive racial identity development through education – and My Reflections Matters (MRM) – which provides the tools necessary to help combat institutional and internalized racism. The ABCs of the Black Panther Party, the first book from Decolonizing Education Publishing, introduces children 7 to 12 to the Black Panther Party. It supports the expansion of children’s oral and written language while awakening their social consciousness.

Roxy 3Be With You: A Valentine’s Romance by Roxy Wilson. 2017. Tameko ‘Meko’ Sampson has worked her butt off to make her detective agency a success. It means, however, that there are times her life is at risk, but she pushes on to ensure her clients are satisfied. Then in walks Seth Hollander, a man she barely noticed when they were in high school a decade ago. Seth has always been enamored by Meko, but she barely noticed him when they were teenagers and when tragedy struck, he had to move away. Now he’s back and this time, he wants Meko to be his…for keeps. As Meko and Seth get to know each other, they have to wrestle with Meko’s ex, as well as the soon-to-be ex-husband of one of her clients. And if that isn’t all, it seems as if Seth is secretly involved with another woman. Can Meko lay aside her distrust, or is Seth really a man who’s not worthy of her love? Will her Valentine’s Day be another lonely one like the ones before?

Bothism coverBothism by Tanya Evanson. Ekstasis Editions. Canada. 2017.
Bothism is an experimental Sufi text. It is both sorrow and joy, day and night, content and form, dot and circle, the threshold between worlds. It moves from unity to multiplicity and back again exploring that which can be split and reunited: a cell, a relationship, society, faith, time, words on the page. It posits that if one thing is true, then the opposite must also true, and when asked to choose, the poet’s answer is always both.

31964357_10155472100956188_9083169074359304192_n The Cleansing of the Souls by Romenita Barrett. Discovering Diversity Publishing. United Kingdom. 2017. A young boy who is very creative and continually asking questions in the hope that one day he would fulfil his dreaming of flying. Abe knew his Nan always answered his questions but what he did not know that day as they stood waiting at the streets lights was that the answer to his latest question would change the course of his life and impact every soul in the universe. A journey of discovery begins for Abe when he learns that his is no ordinary family and as the magic and mysteries are revealed to him he encounters a blackness he has never known.

DelilahDelilah the Donkey and the Missing Tooth by Anne Harewood George (w/illustrator Izzy Bean). Createspace Independent Publishing Platform. 2017. Delilah the Donkey is excited for picture day at Animal Academy but disaster strikes when her tooth falls out. What will she do? Can anybody help her?

DreamlandDreamland Barbuda A Study of the History and Development of Communal Land Ownership on the Island by Asha Frank. 2018. In 2017, Barbuda was destroyed by hurricane Irma. This is a historical account of Barbuda’s struggle to maintain a historical and sustainable common land system which has existed from pre-Emancipation to present day.

GemmaExplore Antigua and Barbuda by Gemma Handy w/ Irene Danic and illustrator Manuel Morgado. Island Books Ltd. China. 2017. Explore Antigua & Barbuda is a fully illustrated, family-friendly guide with a companion colouring book.

518MJHfgMAL__SY346_F.A.K.E.! by Vivian Luke. 2018. F.A.K.E.! traces the lives of four professional African American women who have it all until life altering circumstances crash into their lives and they realize their lives are not perfect — they are FAKE! The quartet of “forty something” super moms are connected by their decades long friendship and their lives in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. To the outside, these women are well connected, busy and beautiful, but secretly each of them knows their lives are inauthentic and shallow – simply put, FAKE! Each of these women discovers her marriage and/or health (and, possibly all they’ve worked so hard for) is on the brink of destruction and must make life-changing decisions. It is their deep rooted, life long friendships that get them through some of the toughest periods in each of their lives.

WalterFrank Walter: the Last Universal Man by Frank Walter (w/Barbara Paca). Radius Books. 2017. Coinciding with Antigua and Barbuda’s inaugural National Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2017, The Last Universal Man is the first comprehensive monograph of Frank Walter; a writer, composer, sculptor, and painter. Barbara Paca, an art historian who also serves as Cultural Envoy to Antigua and Barbuda, interviewed Walter over a seven-year period prior to his death, and provides insight and perspective into both the artist as a man and his prodigious body of work.

friend indeedA Friend Indeed by Kimolisa Mings. 2017. A Friend Indeed – A ocean away from the only life she knows, Jade Johansen can’t seem to find her place in her husband’s home city of Aarhus, Denmark that is until she befriends a man from her husband’s past. As the friendship blossoms so does her guilt for not telling her husband about the other man in her life. A man whose intentions are far from noble and may lead to the end of Jade’s marriage. Will Jade’s husband forgive her for not telling him about the other man? And when he finds out that she’s pregnant, will he take Jade’s word that the baby is his?

RoxyFriends to Forever: A BWWM Friends to Lovers Romance by Roxy Wilson. 2018. Sadie Lawrence is a professional wedding planner who excels at making a couple’s big day perfect. Now, her best friend Hunter is getting married, and Sadie’s feelings are more than a little conflicted. She wants him to be happy … but the truth is, she wants him. Period. No matter how hard she tries not to. Hunter Galloway is battling constant temptation. The more time he spends with Sadie, the more he hungers for her touch. And the fact that his fiancée can’t be bothered to help plan her own wedding makes him wonder why they’re getting married at all. After the two succumb to their feelings and spend a passionate night together, everything starts to go wrong. Hunter feels trapped into going through with the wedding … and Sadie learns that Hunter has given her more than memories.

IyaFu You Tongue Heavy Lakka 56 by Iyaba Ibo Mandingo. USA. 2018. Fu You Tongue Heavy Lakka 56 is a look back at the body of work by Iyaba Ibo Mandingo. It includes his early work, the works written after his 9/11 arrest and detainment by homeland security and the latest work following his return to Afrika. “Fu You Tongue Heavy Lakka 56” is Antiguan patois. It is a favorite saying of Iyaba Ibo Mandingo’s Great Grandmother, “Rozzy” Guy. It means you have a lot to say. As the grandchild of former enslaved Africans she remembers the elders talking about the heavy plows they used during slavery and the days of shooting hard labor (sharecropping) that followed. The size of each plow was designated by a number stamped on the handle. 56 was the number of the heaviest of them all. It was a perfect way to honor his Eguns (ancestors) and the perfect title for a collection of poetry.

giftThe Gift (Falling Like A Johnson Book 1) by Rilzy Adams. Amazon Digital Services. 2017.The Gift – When Maya’s best friend, Charlotte, asks her to be her surrogate, she reluctantly agrees. Although pregnancy and motherhood were things Maya didn’t plan to deal with for years, she was willing to sacrifice nine months of her time for her best friend’s happiness. Her world is turned inside out when Charlotte is murdered just as Maya gets confirmation of the IVF’s success. Now, Maya must raise the child she never intended to keep and preserve peace with Charlotte’s widower, Jaxon. Soon Maya finds that pregnancy and impending motherhood are the least of her worries. She must fight against the tenderness she’s begun to feel for her best friend’s husband and she must atone for the sin she desperately tries to keep hidden. Maya Jenkins killed her best friend.

40236449_1024641034371150_8222943835718680576_nGillie’s World by Gillian McDonald Howie. 2018. Stories based on childhood memories, plucked from diaries throughout the years.

38825245_245734709598496_214725537048821760_nGod’s Sovereignty Over Our Lives by Aloma Mason-Stanislaus. The individual must come to the place where they acknowledge their wickedness and desire to turn their lives around. Without that realization, prayer and fasting is done in vain. When we start listening and obeying, we will experience the abundance of life that God has in store for us.

RoxyGreer’s Alphas: A Paranormal Menage by Roxy Wilson. 2017.  Greer’s Alphas: The unthinkable takes place when she’s leaving a long, grueling shift at the hospital—just after she has lost a young patient…Dr. Greer McAdams is attacked by a beast, a wolf. And now an evil force is hot on her trail, seeking to destroy her. Falling for Dr. Bryce ‘McDirty’ Trevino seems inevitable, but the enigmatic billionaire, Conan Stormwater, has set his sights on her. Two men, two different personalities, what can this newly formed werewolf do?

untitledHidden Secrets of St. Croix by Clarice C. Clarke. 2017. Hidden Secrets of St. Croix juxtaposes images of St. Croix’s history and natural life with the author’s commentary.

HolHol de Line and Other Stories by Mary Geo Quinn. Caribbean Education Publishers. Trinidad and Tobago. 2017. Hol de Line and Other Stories details the non-fictitious accounts of events from as far back as the 1940s.

maileHow to Work Six Jobs on an Island an Island Boy’s Dream by Shawn N. Maile. 2017. An inside look at how an island boy went from having 0 jobs to 6. If you live on an island and you’re only working one job… you my friend are missing out. With 24 hours in a day and a short distance to commute between locations, an island is the ideal place to engage in multiple vocations. Find out how you could do more with your day or how others got it done.

kimI Do…NOT by Kimolisa Mings. 2017. I Do…NOT: Attorney at Law, Alexa Marsh, has everything going for her. A successful career. A great social life. And the perfect man. But all that glitters is not gold, or in her case, platinum. After returning the ring, bringing the short lived engagement to an end, Alexa embarks on the single life. But this, too, is short lived. Instead of meeting one Mr. Right-Now, she meets two. Alexa tells herself that she’s just dating, but the more she spends time with the men, the more they seem to be Mr. Rights. But which Mr. Right should she choose? The self-made millionaire with the heart of gold? Tall, dark and handsome who caters to Alexa’s needs? If she doesn’t choose, the choice may be taken away and the results may change her life forever.

ShoeIf the Shoe Fits by Kimolisa Mings. 2017. If the Shoe Fits – It’s The Perfect Frame Job, The Only Problem Is She Is The one Being Framed.  Waking up in the midst of a gruesome crime scene, Cindy Ellington can’t remember the night before. She narrowly escapes it and is now on the run. Stumbling onto the city’s biggest murder case, Detective Sam Masterson discovers two bodies. But one is very much alive and now is the chief suspect in the death of a city official. But is she the killer? The more Sam investigates, the more he doubts that Cindy commited the heinous crime, even though all the evidence points to her, chiefly the murder weapon, a red stiletto. With the law on her trail, Cindy seeks the truth only to discover that it is closer to home than she thinks.

42641653_10155580427792633_8062224016313679872_nInto the Black Widow’s Web by K. N. Mings. 2018. Into the Black Widow’s Web – Audra Kellman is found dead in a place that is said to be where demons cross over to the human world. Now Three People Want To Find The Killer. The head of an underground narcotic distribution ring. The CEO of an influential group of companies. And a reluctant private investigator who is more interested in finding out the true identity of the person who hired him than finding out who killed the innocent woman execution style. As D’Angelo Marshall, a private investigator who walks on the razor edge of the law, investigates the case he finds himself caught up in a web of secrets. And the case takes him in a new direction that would change his life forever.

OneJust One More Time (Falling Like a Johnson Book 3) by Rilzy Adams. 2018. When Orlando Johnson walked out on Katrina Bolton nearly a decade ago, he swore to anyone who would listen that he would never regret it. Now fate has tossed them back together in the form of a little boy who needs their love and protection and Orlando realizes leaving Kat was the worst mistake of his life. Orlando is determined to get her back, but can he convince her to let them try their hand at love just one more time?

writeJust Write Antigua Journal by Brenda Lee Browne. 2017. Browne designed the Just Write Antigua Journal as a space to write and be inspired by pictures taken as she walked and drove around Antigua.

elloyLearning Bible-verses: the Vow, the Wow, the Now by W. Elloy D. de Freitas. 2018. This book is the sharing of Elloy’s testimony from a transaction (vow), to a revelation, to a new comprehension of reality, and for traction and action. Learning Bible-verses is one of several paths to GOD. Learning Bible-verses encourages making the Bible a delight with its associated benefits of holistic happiness, prosperity, success, and shalom.

legend4Legend of Integrity and Courage by Nuffield J. Burnette. 2017. Chapter 1 – The Beginning; Chapter 2 – Hurricane David; Chapter 3 – Arrival in Antigua; Chapter 4 – The World at Work; Chapter 5 – IHI Investigation; Chapter 6 – Change of Government; Chapter 7 – Multiple Homicide in Antigua; Chapter 8 – Family Life; Chapter 9 – Senior Command Course 2009; Chapter 10 – Prince of the City Explores; Chapter 11 – Regional Recognition Awards; Chapter 12 – When Logic Defy Intellect; Chapter 13 – Through the Lens; Chapter 14 – Deterrent Verses Punishment.

ClaytineLife as Josephine by Claytine Nisbett. 2017. Life As Josephine takes place in the 1990s, chronicling the formative years of a strong-willed Bronx, New York teenager, Josephine Peters.

Lovers Rock2London Rocks by Brenda Lee Browne. Hansib. UK. 2017. This is the story of Dante Brookes, a young man growing up in London in the late seventies and early eighties when sound systems ruled the party scene for young, Black British youth of Caribbean heritage. He navigates the loss of friends, police harassment and being a teenage father while forging a career as an MC. Dante stumbles into the acting profession and also becomes a writer. It is through these disparate experiences that he learns that the pen and mic at mightier than the sword.

Lost Cover Front 4Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure by Joanne C. Hillhouse [w/illustrator Danielle Boodoo-Fortune]. Caribbean Reads Publishing. St. Kitts-Nevis/USA. 2017. LOST! A Caribbean Sea Adventure – When an Arctic seal named Dolphin finds himself far from home in the warm Caribbean sea, he has to rely on new friends for help. Will he make his way back to his Arctic home? This book, an update of 2013’s Fish Outta Water (illustrated by Zavian Archibald), includes a short story, all new illustrations by Danielle Boodoo Fortune, and a puzzle. Lost! is available in print, ebook, and audio format; there is also a Spanish language edition (¡Perdida! Una Aventura en El Mar Caribe).

meant to beMeant to Be: A BWWM Friends to Lovers Romance (Loving A Morrison Book 1) by Roxy Wilson. 2018. Sloane Stevenson has always had a skewed concept of what love is. But now, Sloane, an intelligent attorney with a heart brimming with compassion, finds herself repeating history when she falls in love with Blake Morrison, a Caucasian man, with his smoldering gaze, who makes her dreams take flight. Although Sloane’s heart yearns for him, their relationship is bombarded with verbal attacks, and her past experiences only serve to reinforce her idea that interracial marriages never work. His brother’s bachelor party is the wake-up call he needs to return to town to chase down his lost love. Unbeknownst to Sloane, her best friend works alongside Blake to finally get the pair back together. But the obstacles and societal demands haven’t changed in the past five years. Sloane must overcome her distorted beliefs about love and need to play love safe if she’s to find true love and happiness with Blake. Otherwise, they’re both destined for a life of emptiness. Note for readers: MEANT TO BE was previously published as The Right Kind of Love. This new edition has been revised.

51582lJTKoL__SY346_Milo’s First Winter (Milo’s Adventures)(w/illustrator Ros Webb). Fig Tree Drive PressAmazon Digital Services. USA. 2018. Milo’s First Winter is a picture book for children between the ages of three and eight years of age. It tells the enchanted tale of Milo, a black and white kitten, that got out of the house while it was snowing. It was Milo’s first time seeing the snow and he was in such awe of the snowflakes that he kept trying to catch them. This chasing after snowflakes took Milo on an unforgettable adventure.

Roxy2My Guardian Vampire: a BBW Paranormal Romance by Roxy Wilson. 2017. My Guardian Vampire: On a night that should have been an ordinary one, curvy BBW Lacey Parker is accosted by a knife-wielding mugger, but is soon rescued by a charismatic stranger. Not even 24 hours later, Lacey’s life is once again at risk and her rescuer of the previous night snatches her from the jaws of death. Vampire Aric Thornton knew Lacey from the moment of her birth. His existence revolves around watching her every footstep and protecting her from the enemies she knows nothing about. He loves her with every fiber of his otherworldly being, but the crazy thing is she didn’t even know he existed… until one night in the darkened alley. Lacey can’t stand it; one minute Aric is all over her, can’t get his hands off of her, and the next he is giving her the cold shoulder. It doesn’t help that Damian is also vying for her affections. Can she and Aric defeat the forces that are conspiring against them and still have the love of a lifetime before it’s too late?

41Hoh8zjGEL._AC_US218_ (2)The Nakedness of New by Althea Romeo-Mark. CreateSpace Independent Publish Platform North/South Carolina, USA. 2018.The Nakedness of New is divided into six sections: I Caribbean Rooted, II: The Stories of Immigrants, III: Ugly Stories, IV: Lost Love/Liberia (West Africa), V: Sifting Through Life’s Grains, and VI: Going Past Rivers. Althea Romeo-Mark’s verse gives the reader a close-up view of life as an immigrant in the Caribbean and details her experiences in England after fleeing the violence of the Liberian civil war. She takes the reader inside the uneasy tapestry of immigrant cultures that form the Caribbean islands. She goes on to explore the problems encountered by women in a society that is male-dominated, unstable, and unjust; by immigrants displaced from their homes and their ways of life; and by families committed to each other no matter what comes. The Nakedness of New also includes three revealing personal essays and a section focused on her maternal grandmother, a controversial personality who held the family together. Through it all run the themes of resiliency, heart, and dedication to living.

Off KeyOff Key by Rilzy Adams. Amazon Digital Services. 2017.Off Key – When Zoë Caldwell’s record label threatens to drop her unless she pretends to date the embattled, disgraced Liam Trafford, she almost gives up on her dreams. But she had come too far to just fail, so she makes a deal with the Devil.When Liam Trafford’s manager suggests he pretended to date a beautiful girl with an angelic voice to save his career he reluctantly agrees. He doesn’t want to rehabilitate his reputation. He wishes he could go back in time to fix the mistake that ruined both his life and that of an innocent girl. Soon they both realize that the past cannot be fixed but the future is wide open and maybe, just maybe, they can save each other.

meekrThe Plantations of Antigua, the Sweet Success of Sugar, Volume I by Agnes Meeker (w/Donald Dery). AuthorHouse. USA. 2018.  It covers the 50 plantations in the Parish of St. John’s, Antigua, 28 of which still have a sugar mill standing. The majority of Antigua and Barbuda’s place names stem from plantations or their owners. This book provides a chronology of ownership and brief quotes from other works that pertain to each plantation, listed in order from the late 1600’s to the demise of sugar in 1970s –  300 years of sugar history. It represents over 20 years of research.

Dotsie Isaac Gellizeau The Royal Wedding by Dotsie Isaac. Antigua. 2018. The Royal Wedding is a spoken word poem released as a CD single in response to the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

shoutThe Shout: For HALCYION STEEL’S CHAMPIONSHIP PANORAMA 1975 by Franklyn Jones. GG LLC. 2017.One player’s tale of Antigua’s Halcyon Steel Orchestra’s rise, and the tremendous Shout of appreciation that welcomed the band as Steelband Champions in 1975.

Sunny DreamsSunny Dreams Of Rainbows (The Secret Lives of Babies) by Jacquelin Webson and  Faye France (w/illustrator Ros Webb). Figtree Drive Press. 2018. While out walking with her mother one day, a little girl named Sunny sees a rainbow for the first time. Now, she cannot stop thinking and dreaming about rainbows.

grandmaWhen Grandma Comes to Stay (When Family Comes to Stay Book 1) by Jacquelin Webson and  Faye France (w/illustrator Jayamini Attanayake).Figtree Drive Press. 2018. A family with young children is filled with joy and excitement when they find out that their grandmother is coming to stay with them for a while. As they wait anxiously for her arrival, they reminisce about all the wondrous things they get to do with her when she visits.

Rilzy 2Will you be Mine? (Falling like a Johnson Book 2) by Rilzy Adams. Amazon Digital Services. 2017. Will You Be Mine? – JT Johnson has been in love with his best friend for as long as he can remember. Hallie, however, seems clueless or deliberately obtuse. When she asks him to pretend to be her boyfriend for her ex-best friend’s wedding, JT hesitantly agrees. Will their escape to the Caribbean be Heaven or Hell in Paradise?

will you be my friendWill You Be My Friend? (Making Friends Book 1) by Jacquelin Webson and  Faye France (w/illustrator tullipstudio).Figtree Drive Press. 2018. Left alone by his young owners who are too busy to properly take care of him a young puppy sets out on a search to find a friend. Along the way, he encounters surprises and heartbreak as he tries to make friends with a lot of different animals, but they all turn against him. However, the little dog is tough and never gives up; until finally, he finds friendship in the most unexpected place.

Yohan bookThe Wonderful World of Yohan by Floree Williams Whyte (with illustrator Stoogeco). Moondancer Books. Antigua. 2017. Welcome to the Wonderful World of Yohan! Yohan’s world is a creation of his vivid imagination. This series of short stories follow Yohan’s imagination-inspired adventures. From day to day his adventures transform his reality and often lead him into accidental mischief.




Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Literary Gallery, The Business, Wadadli Pen News

Fu Arwe Ting: A Night of Creative Arts

file.jpgFu Arwe Ting is/was a new lit/arts event for Independence 2018 – a positive addition in my view. The ladies behind it – in collaboration with the Festival Commission are Linisa George and her Black Exhibit Project and Angelica O’Donoghue who you might remember as the winner of the 2006 Wadadli Pen Challenge (when she was 16!…well she’s grown now, a near 30 year old mommy of two with her own book in the works…as I told her backstage tonight, way to make me feel old…also delighted that she’s grown in to one of the sparks of Antigua-Barbuda lit arts). Delighted to be a part of the event and even more delighted to sit in the audience and enjoy.

My personal favourites –

Joy Lawrence’s reading from her book Barbuda and Betty’s Hope: the Codrington Connection, specifically the first person accounts of two survivors of a boating disaster between Antigua and Barbuda back in 2003. The vivid accounts were riveting and I had an emotional moment when one of the testimonials described the 17 year old boy seeing his mother jumping around on the shore as he was being pulled from the sea after fighting the water overnight for his life.

Honey Bee Theatre – all their performances but especially their first number which was about the contradictions and burdens of being a girl in a world that places so many labels and limitations …so many labels and limitations…labels and limitations that both boys and girls are confined within; the piece was both well written – rife with irony and humor – and well executed – with exuberance and maturity. It’s fair to say that gender issues were an unofficial theme as – from Shiva School of Dance’s opening number to Angelica’s entreaty that you are not your father to young boys and Marseille Jardine’s reflection on dem little girls – this wasn’t the only performance tackling it.

Other things I enjoyed – Jervon Tittle’s second poem especially was inspirational. “Start where you are/use what you have/do what you can”. How’s that for a kick in the ass?
Annia Matthew’s vocal performance had backstage (where I was during her performance) bouncing and, though I disagreed with how she summed up Caribbean literature (as I’ve found on my reading journey much more diversity of genres, topics, and styles than is credited), I am interested in reading Kimolisa Mings’ Into the Black Widow’s Web after the excerpt she shared – the detective character sounds about as hard-bitten and cynical as we’ve come to expect of the detective mystery sub-genre and the humor seems just dry enough to be salty.  Olsfred James’ take on writers’ block rang true. Zahra Airall’s end piece about black magic is worth thinking about – and, as ever, powerfully presented; though I did think to have people dancing out of the theatre the producers might have flipped it in the presentation order with the previous number – a rousing calypso-ish medley by Police Kings Bartimus and Singing Sudden. I say calypso-ish because it was those national songs we grew up being drilled in come Independence time when in school – Antigua Land to God Bless Antigua – set to a an uptempo and infectious calypso riddim. They’re much more fun that way.

The programme was rounded out with performances by Jojo Intsiful, Kadeem Joseph, and yours truly. I read from Musical Youth and also shared my poem Ode to the Pan Man.

Thanks to the organizers for the invite. And in light of conversations and criticisms last year, it’s nice to see such a prominent role for local literary arts in the Independence programme; continued growth.

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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Spotlight: Motion

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Spotlight. They’re fairly random and I’m usually inspired to do one if I pull a picture of said author and have the time. Well, I have the time today.


This is Wendy Brathwaite a.k.a. Motion in Poetry a.k.a. Motion. This looks like one of the pictures from the 2014 launch of So the Nailhead Bend So the Story End, an anthology of new writing by Antiguans and Barbudans, in Canada.

A Canadian with Antiguan and Barbudan roots, Motion has quite the impressive resume as a playwright, poet, screenwriter, and emcee. You can find her listed on this site on the local theatre page, the local poets page, and the local fiction page. Motion is as much as spoken word artist as a writer, and it was through her spoken word first hearing her live in 2003 at the Caribbean Canadian literary festival in Toronto and her CD Motion in Poetry that I was introduced to her poetic voice and lyrical skills. This was my first international festival and she was one of the spotlighted artists, celebrated for having won the CBC Poetry Face-off with ‘connect the t.dots’ which can be found in her first book Motion in Poetry (2002). Her second collection is 40 Dayz (2008). There has been several anthologized pieces before and since in addition to her stage productions and performances. I believe she’s also teaching in addition to being a radio personality. A full plate for one of Antigua and Barbuda’s own, currently in the Wadadli Pen spotlight – which is fitting as she is also one of our past donors.

Here’s a vid I found:

And one final one:

I remember Motion wanted to bring one of her plays to Antigua some years ago. I think this would be dope. Hopefully the powers that be and the stars can align to make that happen.

Meanwhile, if you’re interested, past spotlights here on Wadadli Pen are National Youth Theatre, Jamaica KincaidFloree Williams, Tim Hector, the Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival, Dorbrene O’Marde, Sylvanus Barnes, Shakeema Edwards,
Angelica O’DonoghueTina Chang, Gayle Gonsalves, Marie Elena JohnVeronica Evanson Bernard, Kush DavidSwallow, and Vivian Michael.

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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Lit News (Whaaaat!)

I got an invite to the Miami Book Fair. Big up to Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure Lost Cover Front 4which landed me a spot on the ReadCaribbean Presents Adventures for Kids panel. Grateful for the opportunities #TheWritingLife affords me now and again to go somewhere and talk about my books and share the worlds and characters I’ve ‘created’. Plus my life (both my actual life and my writing life) could use this little reprieve right about now; so I look forward to being there.

There is Children’s Alley at the Miami Book Fair on November 18th at 4 p.m. I’ll be sharing the stage with Trini-American Marjuan Canady (Callaloo: The Trickster and the Magic Quilt), Jamaican Paula-Anne Porter Jones (Sandy, Tosh and the Moo Cow), and Haitian-American Francie Latour (Auntie Luce’s Talking Paintings).

My book is, of course, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure. If you’re in the Miami area (and especially if you hail from Antigua and Barbuda), I’ll be looking out for you.

Shout out to Caribbean Reads Publishing, the Caribbean/US indie which has published not only Lost! but Musical Youth. And shout out to the organizers of the MBF; looking forward to it.


Also, be sure to check out Antigua and Barbuda’s own Asher Otto jamming with international star Joss Stone on a beach. I write all about it (my love of Joss’ series and Asha’s music) in CREATIVE SPACE 11 – be sure to check it out – and anyone out there wanting to sponsor a future CREATIVE SPACE post, contact me at jhohadli at gmail dot com

Annnd shout out to Kimolisa Mings on her new book Into the Black Widow’s Web.41688072_10155549848492633_5636677081694732288_n I’ll be adding it to the Antigua and Barbuda bibliography here on the site as soon as I can. Meanwhile don’t sleep on it. Still forthcoming, I believe, is another book, this one, The Flowers in her Hair, by Linisa George39861953_691690201194663_8050367295236603904_n; so keep an eye  out for that. Already here, shout out to the Barbudan sister, is Asha Frank’s Dreamland Barbuda. Asha was scheduled to be a panelist at the Brooklyn Book Fair (a panel called Force of Nature – Writing a Hurricane) earlier in September and her book is on local bookshelvesAsha; check it out. Also a New Daughters of Africa is cominguntitled…and I have some news about that but for now that’s all the tease you get.

Finally, a reminder to check out the updates in Reading Room 30, Opportunities Too, Antiguan and Barbudan Writing, and Writing Antigua Barbuda ; and remember Support the Arts and, it should go without saying but sadly needs to be said, PAY ARTISTS!

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!, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, Musical Youth and With Grace). All Rights Reserved. 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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Just Letting You Know

Look up.

The far right of the banner has been updated to Wadadli Pen 2019.

Nothing to report re the next year’s Challenge – a staple of Wadadli Pen since its inception in 2004 – except that I have informed my partners that I am on a time out for the next season as I try to focus or re-focus my energies on some real life issues. I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this but it’s September when planning should begin and I don’t have the mental space or time to give to it right now. So, I’m taking a step back.

If the rest of the team (having worked with me over the past two seasons) decide to proceed without me, I’ll let you know – as I will still be blogging.

I will also check the mailbox as often as I can. The latter is important because one of the things I do want to mention is that Wadadli Pen if it is to become a non-profit needs money and it needs legal help. I’ve spent the last year (and on and off before that) trying to wrap my head around what needs to be done, reaching out to institutions that I thought could assist with the process but the process requires money and the legalese and the navigation of the legal maze requires translation and guidance – at least for my non-legal brain. I honestly don’t have the time to give to it anymore but I also don’t think time is the only issue – I think the project needs a lawyer who has experience working with non-profits who can say here’s what you need to do, and just guide us through it. I wish I had the money to pay such a lawyer because not even legal aid is free (I’ve checked) but I don’t and Wadadli Pen as it is not a legal entity does not have a bank account nor funds of its own. So if there is a lawyer with non-profit experience and the resources to offer pro bono assistance to a community project like ours, reach out via wadadlipen at gmail dot com

I do believe that it continues to hurt us that we are a project and not a legal non-profit. For instance, things that I could have applied for in terms of technical support and funding to solidify and/or expand our operations if our status was different than it was (they were very specific about the legal non-profit part); and people who’ve reached out – people in academic institutions regional and further afield who approached me about working with the project for their academic reasons – which I haven’t felt able to say yes to because those kind of collaborations require time and mental space that I don’t have just now. Even our internship programme of two Challenge seasons ago. It was a good thing and I’d like to be able to do it again and expand it but in order not to shortchange the intern, to properly mentor and guide said intern, to manage and oversee their progress, to properly delegate and supervise, you need time and mental space and other resources; and as we’re not a non-profit with anything resembling a staff, it is what it is for now. And right now I do need to reduce my involvement because the time I put in to Wadadli Pen and have since 2004, much as it matters to me (as much as or maybe more than any book I’ve written), and hopefully to the community, isn’t valued as currency, so I’ve got to put more time, focus, and energy in to the hustle. And hopefully, because I do have several of my own writing projects as well, have some me left over for my own creative growth. For now, coordinating (planning and managing the moving parts of a) Wadadli Pen Challenge season, is part of the sacrifice.

But Wadadli Pen will, I hope, be around for a long time beyond me and that’s why I put a team in place a couple of years ago. I ran in to one of those team members just this week and I’ll admit her contribution has not been at the level either of us would have liked because like me she has to work and pay her bills and manage her life, but her commitment to the project remains. That remains. To quote Puffy we ain’t going nowhere.giphy So keep sending us your positive energy and whatever support you can in the specific areas that we need, we receive it with thanks, and I will keep you informed re whatever the team decides to do re Wadadli Pen Challenge season 2019.

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!, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, Musical Youth and With Grace). All Rights Reserved. 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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Wadadli Pen – Some Behind the Scenes Stuff in the In-Between

One of my projects since the last Wadadli Pen Challenge season earlier this year has been the cleaning up and organizing of our mailing list, and uploading one by one by one the names on that list to our wadadlipen at gmail dot com mailbox so that life with respect to mailings to media, sponsors, participants etc. can be easier in future. This is one of the I’ll get to it I’ll get to it hoping our intern (that time we had an intern) would get to it things, but there was always other things that needed to be done. And there still is but I decided to just try to tackle it little by little. I’m not done but I’ve started.

One of my reflections during the phase of building the list of sponsors past and present was amazement and gratitude at the many individuals and businesses that have given to the project over the years. I count 85 so far, since 2004. This list may not include any patrons we engaged with only by phone, by mail, or in person. This applies especially to patrons in the early years when I would type up and deliver the letters, and the late Alstyne Allen, for whom our Challenge plaque, sponsored by the Best of Books, is named, would make the follow up phone calls, and then I would collect the prizes. These days, email has made the system much more efficient, which is one reason to clean up the mailing list. The list also would not include inactive email addresses or businesses that no longer exist. It makes me sad that so many of the businesses who supported our journey no longer exist. Some of these businesses – like the Map Shop and Stephen B. Shoul – were institutions. It makes me sad because I like to believe that people and businesses who support their community thrive, because if we are not creating an environment that stimulates and encourages local enterprise to thrive, especially those that make it their business to give to their community, then what are we doing?

I am also moved to reflect on how much of that support would have been an act of faith especially in that first year (2004, technical 2003 which is when they would have been approached). I mean sure I was a published writer, barely, and a journalist by that point but still there was no way to be sure, was there, that my cause was legit. One of the things I did – still do – to allay any fears is ask for pledges with the gifts being delivered (cheques made out to prize recipients, not me) just in time for the Wadadli Pen Challenge awards ceremony. But still…ah who me, ah way me come from, right? Another person asking them to give. So, looking at the list, I am thankful to the ones that did.

I come across Gisele’s name – that’s D. Gisele Isaac, the Wadadli Pen project’s first partner, partner for the first three and a half years of the project. I remember that she and Alstyne were the first two people I floated this idea of a project to nurture and showcase the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda, and that she encouraged me and signed on to the project, I remember her working with me on the launch press release, I remember her judging the prize (and then volunteering her sister, also a writer, in 2010 when she could no longer judge), I remember her securing the pledge of a computer as easily our first major gift, for the winner. Every year, including after she’d given up active involvement in the project, Gisele always contributed cash to the prize package; she did this every year up to and including 2014. It wasn’t always smooth sailing but we sailed.

alvin livingstone with d gisele isaac

D. Gisele Isaac making a presentation to our art winner in 2014.

Gisele has been experiencing some challenges of late and 2014 was the last time she had a presence in Wadadli Pen – that was out 10th anniversary year and I insisted she come out to the awards, and put her to work giving out prizes. I gave a token, contributed by Photogenesis, to Gisele and a handful of others without whom Wadadli Pen would not be. So, while working on this mailing list, Gisele, the work she has done so that Wadadli Pen could even be here over the years, was one of the things on my mind.

The work continues.

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!, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, Musical Youth and With Grace). All Rights Reserved. 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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