Tag Archives: Anansi

End of Year Book Tag (Caribbean)

No you didn’t sleep through the tail end of hurricane season, Independence season (if you’re in Antigua and Barbuda), nor, heaven forbid, Christmas season, but book blogger Kristen Kraves Books has announced this tag and as a Caribbean literary space, we never miss the opportunity to talk books…Caribbean books. So I’ll be answering the tag questions but in Caribbean. Read through and play along.

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

I don’t remember exactly when I started it but I would love to finish Trinidad and Tobago writer Monique Roffey’s The Mermaid of Black Conch. It’s picked up tons of awards, is in translation in many places, is critically acclaimed, is a book I’ve even used in the Jhohadli Writing Project workshop as it has some great craft moments, but, yes, I still need to finish it and I really really want to.

I should finish it at least before the new The Little Mermaid comes out (right?) just so I can check any notion when I write about it (because it feels like one of those books I’ll be wanting to discuss in Blogger on Books) that non-white mermaids do not exist, because in any world where mermaids exist at all, we’ve been there.

Do you have an autumnal book to transition to the end of the year?

I’m going to interpret this as books with endings since we don’t have autumn in the tropics and I’m going to be very literal about it since I’ve been reading Antiguan-Barbudan writer Gayle Gonsalves My Stories have No Endings, because it’s right there in the title and because I am in sight of the ending. This is an indie which has picked up several indie awards and which I’ve read in waves and stops; hoping to hit another wave.

Is there a New Release you’re still waiting for?

Based on Kristen Kraves Books response, this one is about books that have been announced but are not yet on the market. But I’m going to take the opportunity to boost a recent release from an Anguillan author, Cassilda Brookes who reached out to me recently to share news of the official launch of children’s book Anansi and The Hurricane, which has been in the market since earlier this year.

I met Cassilda when I went to the Anguilla Literary Jollification in 2015 and, a reminder that you never know how your energy is impacting another’s journey, because she said I helped motivate her and I appreciate her saying that. Maybe I needed to hear that. And we stan an Anansi tale in the Caribbean. So much is generational now that I tested this by asking my youngest kid about Anansi recently and, yep, he knew all about the trickster spider so we’re still passing on knowledge of this West African demi-god by continuing to tell our own Anansi tales. This one seems timely too with its focus on hurricane preparedness.

What three books you want to finish before the end of the year?

I would like to finish books I’ve started before turning to new books, so I’m going to list three in-progress books. Jamaican writer Curdella Forbes’ Songs of Silence, set so far in rural Jamaica, Reclaim Restore Return: Futurist Tales of the Caribbean edited by Barbadian writer Karen Lord and Grenadian and US and British Virgin Islands author Tobias S Buckell, and Fortune, which is shaping up to be a historical epic beginning in the oil fields of Trinidad, by T & T writer Amanda Smyth.

Is there a book that could still shock you and become your favourite book of the year?

I don’t think I’d be shocked but, keeping it Caribbean, I have finished and am working on my review of New Daughters of Africa. This book is almost 800 pages and there were times I thought I wouldn’t finish it. It was a marathon and right now, in addition to the review, I am working on a paper focussed on Caribbean authors in NDOA for the Antigua and Barbuda Conference, organized annually by the Antigua Studies Association, and focussed this year on “The Current State of the Global Black Struggle”. It’s in a couple of weeks. I may be in over my head.

Challenging as this book was in terms of sheer volume, it is easily a top tier read, and, yes, possibly my favourite of the year.

Have you started making reading plans for 2022?

I don’t make reading plans as such, though I do have an ever-growing TBR and do want to get caught up especially on Caribbean releases of the last few years. As there’s lots of exciting new content and I haven’t been able to keep up.

How about you?

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, and The Jungle Outside). All Rights Reserved. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Dennika Bascom (Winner, Art, Junior)

The 2013 Wadadli Pen art challenge was Barbara Arrindell’s idea. Barbara is owner/manager of long time Wadadli Pen partner, the Best of Books and also an author of illustrated books. She had a notion that she might find her next drawing partner (the person to help her re-imagine that iconic Caribbean literary character, Anansi) through the Challenge. They were to draw Mrs. Anansi a as a modern Caribbean woman and two other scenes: Mrs Anansi cussing while Anansi looks sheepish, a family portrait with three children, Anansi driving a sports car, the Anansi home – ’round South, or the Anansi children flying kites. She’ll probably need to keep looking – most of the entries were from children who need a little time yet to develop their technical skills. The best of them though were selected for encouragement.

They include junior winner, Dennika Bascom. Dennika is a nine year old student at St. John’s Catholic Primary. For her efforts in the art challenge, Dennika receives gifts from Art at the Ridge, the Best of Books, and Kittitian/Nevisian writer Carol Mitchell, author of Seascapes.These are her drawings:

Art Set L 1 Art Set L 2

Art Set L 3

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Jamika Nedd (Third Placed, Art, Junior)

The 2013 Wadadli Pen art challenge was Barbara Arrindell’s idea. Barbara is owner/manager of long time Wadadli Pen partner, the Best of Books and also an author of illustrated books. She had a notion that she might find her next drawing partner (the person to help her re-imagine that iconic Caribbean literary character, Anansi) through the Challenge. They were to draw Mrs. Anansi a as a modern Caribbean woman and two other scenes: Mrs Anansi cussing while Anansi looks sheepish, a family portrait with three children, Anansi driving a sports car, the Anansi home – ’round South, or the Anansi children flying kites. She’ll probably need to keep looking – most of the entries were from children who need a little time yet to develop their technical skills. The best of them though were selected for encouragement.

They include third placed junior winner, Jamika Nedd. Jamika is a nine year old student at St. John’s Catholic Primary where her teacher describes her as a very hard working student who is constantly writing and sketching. For her efforts in the art challenge Jamika receives gifts from Art at the Ridge, the Best of Books, and Arrindell herself. These are her drawings:

Art Set D 1 Art Set D 2 Art Set D 3

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Wadadli Pen Art Competition

We’ve had art comps as a part of the Wadadli Pen Challenge off and on over the years. Well, this year, it’s on! It’s partner Barbara Arrindell, manager of the Best of Books’ baby. In December 2012, Arrindell released her second book and as she plans future books featuring the beloved Anansi character, or accurately, Mrs. Anansi, she wants to piggyback Wadadli Pen to unearth a possible art collaborator. Wadadli pen age and country restrictions still apply; and as before submissions will have to be scanned and submitted to wadadlipen@yahoo.com with the appropriate subject line and other identifying information per usual terms and guidelines. Here, though, are Barbara’s terms and guidelines specific to the art challenge:

Artists taking part in the competition will be required to provide three sketches from a list of six scenarios detailed below. Of these, the only compulsory sketch will be the one labelled #6. Two others labeled sketches will also have to be submitted. Here are the options:

#1 – An angry Mrs. Anansi cussing her husband who is standing by looking rather sheepish.

#2 – A family portrait of the Anansi Clan. They have 3 children. The eldest is a girl – The other two are boys. You depict them at any age you see appropriate.

#3 – Mrs. Anansi driving either a sports car – top down or an SUV – show scenery also … perhaps potholes in the road or fence at the side of the road.

#4 – The Anansi’s home. A typical, well kept, brightly coloured wooden house with a veranda in the “Round-South area”

#5 – The Anansi children flying a kite in an open field.

#6 -Mrs. Anansi described as a forgetful, mature female spider who claims to be the wife of Brer Anansi; she is dressed in bright Caribbean colours, sporting high heeled shoes on 4 of her feet and dread locks tied neatly on her head.

Registration forms and scenario outlines can be collected from The Best of Books on St. Mary’s Street.

The artwork submitted for this challenge remains the property of the artists unless or until a subsequent agreement is made.

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Random Picture Post (and no, you’re not seeing double)

This is me (Joanne C. Hillhouse) when I was rocking my cornrowed’fro-hawk. I’m reading from Ashley Bryan’s Dancing Granny under the Western Union children’s tent at the 2010 Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival.  As I’m not myself a writer of children’s books but often get asked to read to children (perhaps because of my work with the Cushion Club and Wadadli Pen, and the fact that my first book is entitled The Boy from Willow Bend, who knows?). It’s a privilege and I embrace it when I can. But it means that I often have to draw on the writings of actual children’s writers…sometimes past Wadadli Pen stories…sometimes the writings of talents like Philip Sherlock and Ashley Bryan, since they’re both good for an anansi tale or two. When I’m reading, I lose myself in the story (and I have to credit the time reading to kids at the Cushion Club for making me comfortable with looking and acting like a fool in service to the story) and so I rapped the rapping parts while they kept the beat. It was a fun day.

It’s not clear if there will be an ABILF 2012 but I hope there is, even a children’s literary fair if not a full on festival as a reminder to the kids that reading is not only fundamental, it’s also fun.

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, and Oh Gad!). 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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