Tag Archives: Antiguan and Barbudan Books

Carib Lit Plus (Early to Mid March 2022)

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).



Bocas Lit Fest has announced that season 7 of its virtual conversation series Bios and Bookmarks returns on March 10th 2022. (Source – Bocas Lit Fest instagram)


The VI Lit Fest begins online on Friday April 8 th. The line up includes featured speaker Nikole Hannah Jones, who will present on Saturday, April 9th. She will be in conversation with local and regional scholars at the Fest’s Bush Tea Morning Social in the University of the Virgin Islands’ Great Hall beginning at 7:30 a.m. (her presentation starts at 9). Hannah Jones is the woman behind The 1619 Project. (Source – Alscess Lewis Brown on Facebook)


On the heels of being named to the Women’s Prize long list, the paperback edition of Jamaican-British writer Leone Ross’ One Sky Day drops this March. (Source – author’s instagram)


We love seeing our books out and about. This round-up of recent sightings includes books by Floree Williams Whyte (The Wonderful World of Yohan, Dance on the Moon) and Koren Norton being gifted to the Public Library, Barbara Arrindell’s Turtle Beach being read by mental health advocate Chaneil Imhoff at a local school for World Book Day UK (March 3rd 2022), and a share of The Jungle Outside by Joanne C. Hillhouse shared in a Public Library promo and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure in a social media video promo from Paper Based Bookshop in Trinidad and Tobago. Floree, Barbara, and Joanne are members of Team Wadadli Pen in addition to being authors, and Koren is a former patron. All their books are listed in our Antiguan and Barbudan Writings data base. (Source – Twitter, Facebook)


Three Antiguan and Barbudan teachers have been awarded as the top producers in the royal drawing school art certification training course completed in December 2021 – winner Mark Brown, art lecturer at the Antigua State College, and runner-up Shanahan Gillon, art teacher at Pares Secondary, and Carol Gordon-Goodwin, art teacher Princess Margaret Secondary School. The three month course was financed by the Halo Foundation with certification by the Ministry of Education at the G Art Studio in Picadilly. The 23 participants will display their pieces at Government House in April. Brown will travel to London with the Halo Foundation to auction his piece at the Wings of Charity gala – with funds going to assist the most vulnerable in society as well as initiatives for youth. Gillon received cash and Gordon a trophy. (Source – Facebook)


Two Caribbean writers are among the 16 books longlisted for the 2022 Women’s Prize for Fiction. This One Sky Day by British-Jamaican author Leone Ross and The Bread the Devil Knead by Trinidad and Tobago’s Lisa Allen-Agostini. Here’s the announcement.

This 16 is whittled down from 175 submissions and there will be an additional whittling for a short list of six to be announced on April 27th 2022. (Source – YouTube)


The Monarch King Short Shirt (Sir Mclean Emmanuel), Antigua and Barbuda’s, and one of the Caribbean’s, best calypsonians, was feted as he marked his 80th birthday on February 28th. Events included a church service and a live broadcast on the ABS TV morning show on location at Shorty’s Beach Bar, the land lease for which was finally handed over to him, after many decades of operation and disputes over his right to operate there, by the country’s prime minister. There is also talk, first raised by former calypso king Progress during the church service, and endorsed by the PM, to add Short Shirt to Antigua and Barbuda’s growing list of national heroes. My favourite part of this week of observance is probably that Dr. James Knight’s documentary, released nearly a decade ago, is now online – the first time I’ve seen it since attending the premiere at the Deluxe Cinema. I have an even deeper appreciation for its narrative structure this time around.

This week’s CREATIVE SPACE is also about Short Shirt. You can read it here. (Source – Daily Observer newspaper)

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The ‘Count to 10 with Me’ Book Tag: Just for Fun

This site is a labour of love – mostly I’m driven by the love but sometimes I feel the labour. I’m feeling it today, so I thought I’d play a little. I typically do book memes over on my personal site but I thought this one could be fun and site consistent. So with a nod to Kristen at Kristen Kraves Books, where I found it, and Alyce at the Bumbling Book Blogger, who created it, and featuring only books from Antigua and Barbuda, for that site consistency, let’s count to 10 (Disclaimer: I haven’t read all these books and I may include my own if they fit; I’m basically going with what pops in to my head first – this is just for fun remember – referencing the site’s database of Antiguan and Barbudan Writings).

1st Book in a SeriesThe History of Bethesda and Christian Hill by Joy Lawrence kicks off a series of folk investigations in to the history of communities in Antigua and Barbuda. It’s followed by The Footprints of Parham, and Barbuda and Betty’s Hope, with likely more to come.

2 or more copies of the same book – the easy one here is one of mine (author copies and what not), so I’ll eenie meenie and go with my Caribbean faerie tale With Grace, which was a 2017 official pick for the US Virgin Islands Summer Read Programme (which makes it a good pick actually as I have both the originally hard cover and the paperback with the seal as an official pick for this programme). Fun fact: I had surgery shortly after this book came out and one of my recovery goals was to play mas again and specifically to play the magical character, the mango tree faerie, from this book – we actually thought about doing a whole float at one point creating the whole world of the story, and then thought about doing a stilt version of the mango tree, but downsized our imaginations). It was just me and two of my friends after all. We three were Grace’s Merrymakers, an officially registered Carnival troupe.

Hopefully, seeing all the fun we had playing her (the mango tree faerie) will entice you to introduce her and the picture book she is a character in to your young readers.

3 colours on the cover – I’m going to go with past Wadadli Pen finalist and award winning romance author Rilzy Adams’ Birthday Shot , which was recently a nominee for the Rebel Women Lit’s Caribbean Readers’ Awards and the Romance book industry’s Swoonies, for the deep red lipstick, the sparkly silver eye shadow, and that popping brown melanin glow.

4 or more perspectives Ladies of the Night by Althea Prince. Okay this is a bit of a cheat as it’s a short story collection, different points of view are part of the recipe. But the cake is sweet and textured, so I’ll allow it. Ladies of the Night references a particularly pungent nocturnal flower which works beautifully as a pun, while the stories capture the complex lives of Caribbean women in an enticing book that should be bigger part of the study of womanist Caribbean literature than it is. Prince is one of Antigua and Barbuda’s modern literary pioneers (writing and publishing when the field was a lot thinner and still) and one of our most prolific and profound with just a handful of her books making up the rotating Wadadli Pen site banner at this writing.

A 5 star read – I turned to Goodreads for this one (finding a book with an average 5 star rating was hard, as it should be) and extracted Painter and Poet: The Wonderful World of Ashley Bryan – the multi-award winning veteran children’s book writer and illustrator, and actual World War II veteran, was born in the US to Antiguan parents. Here he is on one of his trips to Antigua, interacting with fans at the Public Library.

6 or more short stories – the obvious choice is So the Nailhead Bend, So the Story End: an Anthology of Antiguan and Barbudan Writing, Vol. 1, edited by Althea Prince, because who else could pull together so many classic and contemporary, established and new voices from at home and abroad than a writer with Prince’s cred and connection. The book features about 30 authors, a mix of poetry and fiction.

Left to write holding copies of So the Nailhead Bend, So the Story End: some of the contributors Motion, Yvonne James, Dr. Llewellyn Joseph, editor – Althea Prince, Gayle Gonsalves, Clifton Joseph, Amber Williams-King, and publisher -Miguel San Vincente.

A 7 on the cover of the spine – it seems fitting to follow the most recent anthology of Antiguan and Barbudan literature which what I believe to be the first (until proven different),  Young Antiguans Write: Prize-winning Selections in Poetry and Prose from School Creative Writing Annual Competition, 1968-1978. If there is an antecedent to Wadadli Pen, it is Young Antiguans Write and the project that birthed it, which I was not even aware of (I don’t believe) when I launched Wadadli Pen, to nurture and showcase the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda in 2004. The culmination of 10 years of a literary arts development programme, it had ended before I knew myself. I discovered the book at the home of one of the student writers featured in Young Antiguans Write, a founding partner of Wadadli Pen, and author in her own right, D. Gisele Isaac – yes, I’m using the lack of YAW cover to sneak in another book – that like Prince’s work should be receiving more academic attention than it is as a pioneer work vis-a-vis gay themes in Caribbean literature.

Photo by Sonji Davis

8 letters in the title – You know I had to include a Jamaica Kincaid (come on) and I’m going with Mr. Potter which is not one that comes up often in her ouevre in part because it’s the rare outlier in the potential Nobel Laureate’s catalogue that deals with the father instead of the mother.

Book ends on a page ending in 9 – yikes. Ok, I’ll need Amazon’s help for this one (I was hoping to get through this without a Bezos reference – the image of him in space suit and cowboy hat like a caricature of a billionaire is still too raw). And it tells me that Andy E. Williams’ In the Rum Shop and Other Flash Fiction has 39 pages.

10 books in a series – As my mother’s people (from the French Creole island of Dominica) would say, mondieu (sounds like mowj-yay), I don’t believe we have a local author with 10 books in a series. So, I’ll mention one who has a ton of books instead (close enough?). Among her many self-published romance books Kimolisa Mings has four books in her Friends to Lovers series – Book 1: More than Friends, Book 2: Just Friends, Book 3: Yesterday’s Gone, Book 4: Tomorrow’s End – and other series as well, which may well add up to 10 serialized books (There’s Integration and Oration: Integration Book 2, and The Bachaanal Sweet and Bachaanal Tu’n Up are tagged as Eros 1 and 2, respectively), and there may well be more -she’s pretty prolific.


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, The Jungle Outside, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on AmazonWordPress, 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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Check us Out

I spent part of Saturday 15th December 2018 at the Best of Books Bookstore as part of their in-store display of local authors. Yes, we were right there to greet and hopefully entice readers doing their Christmas shopping.December 2018 3And yeah, we did some of that but we also caught up, talked movies, talked comics, talked comic book films – so you know it got spirited #booknerds We’re our own special brand of misfit cool – so don’t come for us.December 2018 2Do come for our books though. There is still time between now and Christmas. And since books – unlike bread – don’t go stale, there’ll be there after Christmas too.December 2018 1

So, let me tell you about these books real quick. Starting with the books (the pictured books) by the authors who were present.

Like Kimolisa Mings (far left in each of the posted pictures) most recent Into the Black Widow’s Web, and earlier releases If the Shoe Fits and She wanted a Love Poem. Into the Black Widow’s Web is a Caribbean mystery beginning with the death of Audra Kellman and featuring private investigator D’Angelo Marshall walking the razor’s edge of the law and getting caught up in a web of secrets, and a case that could change his life forever. Similarly If the Shoe Fits is a mystery from the perspective of Cindy Ellington who wakes up in the middle of a gruesome crime scene with no memory of the night before, and is now on the run and uncertain if she is the killer. She wanted a Love Poem is a poetry collection. You can read my review of it here on the blog. I’ll add this. In addition to being a talented and prolific writer, Kim is savvy – she self-publishes, and has attention grabbing titles and covers, runs workshops on and assists others with self-publishing, and is quite internet savvy (building and running sites like Bus Stop Antigua and others). She did a guest post about ebook publishing which is her primary lane a while ago; you can check that out here. Kim has a few books – A Friend in Need, I do…NOT, If the Shoe Fits, and Into the Black Widow’s Web – in the running for the Readers Choice Book of the Year, so remember to #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda

Then there’s Brenda Lee Browne (middle in the top two pictures) with her book London Rocks (her other book Just Write, a photo/lit journal isn’t pictured but I’ll mention it because she mentioned that there’s a new smaller version of the original book now available). London Rocks though is her first book of fiction and it tells the story of Dante a young Black man of West Indian descent finding his way in London, finding his way through music. So Dante gives you a window to the dub music/sound boy scene in late 70s/early 80s England and to the realities of being a Black body in a largely white world. When Brenda, mother of one, is not writing, she’s working behind the scenes of professional cricket both in the Caribbean and across the way in India; she’s also been a journalist and a creative writing/communications instructor and text writer. Both London Rocks and Just Write are in the running for the Readers Choice Book of the Year, so remember to #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda

Michelle Toussaint (middle, bottom picture) has a book called Now Taking a Lover which is a collection of poems chronicling a woman’s journey from spurned lover, to finding love. She is a secondary school science teacher (trained in forensic science and science education), wife, and mother of three. She also maintains two blogs, Death by Expectations and What the Hell is Real.

Finally, there is me, Joanne C. Hillhouse (far right in each of the pictures). In one picture I’m holding Musical Youth and on the table you can see Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure.


In addition to being an author, I provide writing and writing related services, and I blog here (at Wadadli Pen, the online platform for the programme I started in Antigua and Barbuda to nurture and showcase the literary arts) and at jhohadli. Musical Youth was first runner-up for the Burt Award for teen/young adult Caribbean literature in 2014. It follows the drama – literally – of a group of teens involved in a summer production and deals with friendship, young love, family (including a bit of familial mystery), creating art, and coming to terms with colourism (in which lighter shades of blackness are given greater currency than darker). Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure is a picture book about the story of an Arctic seal stranded in the Caribbean and how he finds his way back home after making new friends. It is inspired by a true story. Lost! and its recently released Spanish edition is also in the running for the Readers Choice Book of the Year, so remember to #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda

There are some other Antiguan and Barbudan books on the table – Antigua My Antigua by Barbara Arrindell and How to Work Six Jobs on an Island by Shawn Maile (also in the running for the Readers Choice Book of the Year, so remember to #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda) – and on the shelf behind us – I can see Cooking Magic, a cook book from the country’s longest running TV show o the same name, and Explore Antigua and Barbuda by Gemma Handy (also in the running for the Readers Choice Book of the Year, so remember to #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda).

That’s it.

Check us out. Better yet, check out our books.

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Wadadli Pen founder, coordinator, and blogger Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and With Grace). All Rights Reserved.




Leave a comment

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

Book Notes – To Shoot Hard Labour

to shoot hard labour

“The first murder I witness at North Sound was when Harty Bab get killed. Back then the planters use to call the names of the workers each day before the start of work. Our money would be stopped or the bakkra could take us to the magistrate if was was not present to answer to our names. When our names was called we have to answer, ‘Yes, Massa.’ Now, the names was not called at any set time, like 6 a.m. or 7 a.m. No, mass would just call the names in his own sweet time and we just have to make sure we were there to answer. Sometimes we would be feeling we were early, but then we were late. Other times we’d be thinking we late and then we early.

One morning after the roll call, we have to wait for orders from the planter in charge of the gang. While we were there waiting, Massa Hinds youngest boy, Ralph, starts to imitate his father and goes calling our names. Everybody answer like usual until he gets to Harty Bab. At least she didn’t answer, ‘Yes, Massa.’ Now Massa Hinds was close by, and he hell her that she was marked absent for not answering. He say she disrespect his son and she was not going to get pay for that day. Then he further accuse her of grumbling bad words at him. In the end he so annoyed he decide to lash her with a cart whip. When he try this, she resist him, but that didn’t last for too long for she was over-powered and he beat her mercilessly. Then he forced her in to the estate cellar where he leave her locked up for some days.

When he give the order to release her, she was dead. Rats had bitten off her lips and nose.

Remember that whatever we have in mind to say to mass about this, we have to keep it to ourselves.” (p. 73-74, To Shoot Hard Labour: The Life and Times of Samuel Smith, an Antiguan Workingman 1877-1982

I was inspired to share this excerpt after attending the annual Watch Night ceremonies in recognition of our Emancipation as people of African descent whose ancestors endured the British Empire Atlantic Slave Trade (the BEAST, as the Reparations Support Commission in Antigua and Barbuda, organizers of Watch Night, termed it). Emancipation Day was August 1st 1834 but as the excerpt in this post-Emancipation narrative illustrates, that date did not mark the end of the atrocities. You can read about Watch Night in my series CREATIVE SPACE; you can keep up (if you wish) with the Reparations Support Commission of Antigua and Barbuda via their facebook page; and you can discover more Antiguan and Barbudan books 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 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on 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.


Leave a comment

Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Caribbean Plus Lit News, Links We Love, Literary Gallery