Tag Archives: Antiguan and Barbudan Writings

What did you love? (Top Wadadli Pen Blog Posts of 2021)

Top here is defined as most individual views. This year, four lists – one for pages on the blog (not including the home page), one for posts on the blog, one for new posts on the blog, and one for posts to the YouTube channel. The time period is the year to this point. The deep dive re engagement (likes, shares, comments etc.) that I typically do when preparing the Best of posts won’t be as meticulousness because I don’t have the time. I don’t want to make this too long, so rather than individual top 10s, I’m doing a top 20 overall which roughly breaks down to five per list. But! as taking the homepage away leaves only four pages, I’m going to round off with a new blog or vlog post that I think deserves more views. No, this isn’t the last post for the year…probably. But I guess I had time today.Here we go.

My Boost

Carib Lit Plus Mid to Late December 2021

I’m going with the latest from the Wadadli Pen art and culture bulletin as a way to remind you that I post two of these a month -on the front end and the back end, trying to round up as much arts news as I have time to research and write about. It is a service to the Caribbean arts community by keeping us aware of and connected to what’s going on with each other. I’m not the only one doing this, obviously, but it’s still amazing how much we don’t know. So, as much as we can, now you know. Use the search feature to find former editions of Carib Lit Plus.

Top New Posts

Revisiting Rupert ‘Littleman’ Pelle’s Contribution to Calypso in Antigua and Barbuda, and the Need for Recordkeeping

The award winning calypso songwriter gave an interview to Culture a week before his death in December 2020. I was glad I found this and had to share it. The title is commentary on the need for more cultural documentation more consistently.

Sub-theme ‘2020’ – Winner, and Main Prize – Honourable Mention (Wadadli Pen 2021) – Jason Gilead

It would appear that this honourable mention, ‘The Great Old Woodslave’, is the popularity winner of the 2021 season of the Wadadli Pen Challenge. Ironically, it’s written by someone who declares themselves not a writer and entered on a fluke with no intention or expectation of being picked.

Wadadli Pen 2021 – The Short List

The last preview to the Wadadli Pen challenge prize giving; it makes sense that people were checking in to see if they were still in the running.

Wadadli Pen Challenge – Who Won What in 2021?

And naturally on the heels of the short list, the winners.

Wadadli Pen 2021 Challenge – The Long List


Takeaway: It’s good to see the interest in the Challenge, and it makes sense; but be sure to check out other content.

Top Posts

Revisiting Rupert ‘Littleman’ Pelle’s Contribution to Calypso in Antigua and Barbuda, and the Need for Recordkeeping

The award winning calypso songwriter gave an interview to Culture a week before his death in December 2020. I was glad I found this and had to share it. The title is commentary on the need for more cultural documentation more consistently.

Antiguan and Barbudan Cultural Icon – Paul King Obstinate Richards

Speaking of record keeping, I’ve tried to do some of that here on the blog and this tribute to one of the Big Three of Antiguan Calypso (The Undefeated) is an example of it. This actually is not a new one; this is almost 10 years old (and I’m going to have to resist the urge to fix the links to videos that have since been removed because I simply don’t have the time).

Nobody go run Me (Lyrics)

This is a classic by the Monarch King Short Shirt one-third of the Big Three and an entry from a few years ago into the site’s lyrics project. I remain committed to this project but transcribing these songs is time consuming. If you think you’re intern material and this is the kind of project you might be into, email wadadlipen@gmail.com

Antiguan and Barbudan Writings

This is perhaps the most important project, second only to our efforts to nurture new writers via the Challenge and related workshop activities, keeping this data base of writings from and by Antiguans and Barbudans. We have a canon; it is much more substantial than I realized when I started keeping this record and it continues to grow. Any blog intern will probably have to assist with maintaining this as well; if that’s you, email wadadlipen@wadadlipen

Antiguan and Barbudan Cultural Icon – Oscar Mason Remembered

I like that I was right place right time to take this picture (and gain an appreciation for the musicianship of the whole Mason clan and the pioneering legacy of Oscar Mason). Shout out to Auntie Esther Henry who back in the 90s and early aughts organized concerts and other activities to celebrate our culture such as this Oscar Mason tribute concert, and then ‘harrassed’ the media to show up. I was the media. I showed up. And I don’t regret it.

Takeaway: The oldies are still the goodies. Check out some of our newer posts from time to time though, too, okay?

Top Pages

Wadadli Pen 2021

This is the how to submit page which includes the guidelines etc. for challenge submissions; so that makes sense. Also, good that people are checking it and trying to get their submissions right. Makes it easier for processing.

About Wadadli Pen

This is perhaps the most important page on the site; it’s the project history, present, and future. It’s a record of what we’ve done and are doing, and what some of our past finalists have gone on to do.

R & D

This is a new page which gathers the various site resources and data bases in to one place.

Team Wadadli Pen

This is one of the newer pages – set up around when we got our legal non-profit status. They’ve been mentioned before in posts but I decided to set up a page as a way of introducing everyone to the team in a more permanent way.

Tops from the Wadadli Pen YouTube page

GMAB June 2nd 2021

Interview with the winning author on ABS TV’s Good Morning Antigua Barbuda. Kevin Liddie explains, he was also reluctant to enter, as he was going through a difficult patch, but he did have a pre-exising interest in writing that has been re-ignited.

Father and Daughter win with Wadadli Pen

We did the Challenge awards announcement by zoom (far from perfect but much improved from 2020 which was also a virtual year and a simple announcement but badly produced). We were fortunate to have the winners on the zoom and to hear from them during the ceremony.

Wadadli Pen Awards – The First Winner of the Zuri Holder Achievement Award Announced

Zuri Holder was one of my children, not biologically but in that I’ve been knowing him since he was a wee one through my years volunteering with the Cushion Club, I remember his graduation from secondary school when his father invited me to say some words just a few years ago, and, of course, his times as a Wadadli Pen finalist just a few years before that. I never imagined having to be at his funeral but that’s how 2021 started. Right around my birth date, as it happened. His father set up this award in his memory, though, of course, we would rather have him here with us. He lives on in our hearts, in our memories, and in this prize. This is the announcement of the first person whose name was etched unto the plaque.

Judge explains Why We chose It

Because I perceive Wadadli Pen as an arts development project, I love when we take the opportunity to give feedback on the winning submissions. If only we could do it for all. This year the logistics of doing it even for the winning pieces was too much for me, so I asked one of our judges to explain why we chose the winning piece as an example of what works and why.

World Book and Copyright Day Chat with Barbadian Author Cherie Jones

The Barbados Embassy sent me this one and I was happy to share it. I haven’t read her book, How the One-Armed Sister sweeps Her House, yet, but she is having a year. The kind of year writers like me dream of – go forth and conquer, sis.

Takeaway: the Wadadli Pen YouTube channel could be more dynamic but I would need more time. If this is an area you would be interested in volunteering with – i.e. creating Wadadli Pen YouTube content and boosting the channel and all of Wadadli Pen across social media – email wadadlipen@gmail.com In fact, volunteering generally whereever help is needed.

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 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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Antiguan and Barbudan Writings – Mixed/Anthology/Other or Unknown

N.B. This is a sub-list of the bibliography of Antiguan and Barbudan Writings. It is specific to books that are a mix of genres. Use the search window to the right to find the master list and other sub-lists, broken down by genre (fiction, non-fiction, poetry etc.). As with the rest of the bibliography, this list is specific to books and/or CDs. Publications in journals can also be found by using the search window to the right. Also reviews of published Antiguan and Barbudan works, interviews, and much more. If you’re looking for Wadadli Pen winners, use the drop down menu on the right or search Wadadli Pen by year, name, story or other feature (e.g. ‘Wadadli Pen winning stories’, ‘Wadadli Pen story links’). Hope you find what you’re looking for.

Name: Heather Doram


The Heather Doram Caribbean Collection Coloring Book: Daily Life. 2021.

The Heather Doram Caribbean Collection Coloring Book: Sea Life. 2021.

The Heather Doram Caribbean Collection Coloring Book: Nature. 2021.

The Heather Doram Caribbean Collection Coloring Book: Homeland. 2021.

About the Books:

This is a colouring book series by one of, if not top, Antiguan and Barbudan artist Heather Doram and it’s categorized as Other instead of Children’s Lit, here because we believe it’s intended for adults, not children. Just look at the official summary (excerpted):

Are you looking for a way to relax after a long day? Need to release stress and spark your creative juices? Anxious for a new adventure? Well, reach for your colored pencils because these fanciful hand drawn illustrations will surely bring joy, peace, colour and creativity to your life. According to researchers, picking up a coloring pencil and book could be beneficial for your mental health. So Improve your mood, reduce your stress and boost your creativity with The Heather Doram Caribbean Collection. In creating the books, Heather was influenced by the people and their daily lives, the culture, and the flora and fauna of the landscape. She was mostly drawn to the working class; the farmers and the market vendors surrounded by stalks and baskets of luscious, colorful fruits and vegetables; and she would make up stories about the conversation they would be having as they went about their day. Details: beautiful, hand drawn illustrations; quality, single-sided paper to prevent bleed-through; suitable for markers, colouring pencils, and gel pens; large 8.5×11 format which can be removed and framed; suitable for all skill levels.

About the Author:

Heather Doram, MFA, GCM, is both a veteran and Antigua and Barbuda’s leading contemporary artist.
She believes in art as a catalyst of change. She studied art at Jamaica’s Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts and the Savannah College of Art and Design – distinctions from her time there include being named to the Who’s Who in American College Universities, her art being selected to represent the college at the Venice Biennale, and the college purchasing almost her entire thesis show for its permanent collection. She was one of only 12 Caribbean artists selected in 2004 for a US$20,000 prize and one of only 40 featured in the Textile Museum of Canada’s show at the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Games. As a textile artist, Heather manipulates felt to create a visual experience at once personal, domestic, and universal. She works with a mix of elements – acrylic paints, metallic threads, found objects, while using colour and animal (butterfly, lizard, dragonfly) symbolism as a visual shorthand.  Her work celebrates womanliness while also acknowledging its complexity. Most emblematic of this has been her signature show Strength of a Woman. But it runs throughout all of her major series: We have So Many Stories to Tell, Sands of Time, and the Shadow Boxes made of found objects, which probe at Antigua and Barbuda’s societal shifts with a mix of nostalgia and curiosity. Off canvas, Heather explores various creative avenues: actress in The Sweetest Mango, No Seed, The Amazing Maizie and Em comedy shorts, and several stage productions; talk show host (ABS TV’s Keeping it Real), and a gallery owner (Ulanda). Her work has showed up on the Carnival stage and street (due to her multi-decade, multi-award winning costume collaborations with husband Connie), book covers (The Boy from Willow Bend), in the airport (a commissioned mural), on non-traditional surfaces like bottles and trays, and on the bodies of many Antiguans and Barbudans on National Dress Day (as the artist behind the dress’ official design). She has worked as an educator, education administrator (visual arts curriculum officer with the Ministry of Education), and chief examiner for visual arts over a decade with the Caribbean Examinations Council. She retired in 2006 after peaking as culture director. In retirement, she offers art workshops while producing new work prolifically. Her Grand Cross of the Most Illustrious Order of Merit was bestowed in 2002.


Name: Robin Forward and Marie Kinsella

Book: Images of the Sun. 2011.

About the Book:

An anthology by Robin Forward illustrated by Marie Kinsella in aid of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine Antigua W. I. Restoration Fund.

About the Authors: 

Robin Forward – In 1800, his great grandfather Cap Tiller first came to the island – in Nelson’s Navy. Cap Tiller’s daughter Jane was born in Antigua and later married Robert McDonald beginning five generations of Robin’s family born in Antigua. Born in
1934, he became a doctor – an anesthesiologist – while also developing an interest in writing poetry. He’s published three collections and his epic poem For the Ancestors was published in 2005 in The Journal of Caribbean Literature. He retired in 1999.

Marie Kinsella – born Ireland – moved to England at 13 – came to Antigua in 1984 – where she fell in love with the people and the beautiful light of the island and stayed.


Name: authors – various (including Alexia Baird, Motion, Itah Sadu, Brenda Lee Browne, Trey Anthony, Sister Soiuljah, Jully Black, Barbara Arrindell, Jemini, D’bi Young, Tiffani Powell, Glenda Prince, the editors etc.); editor – Althea Prince; co-editors Gayle Gonsalves and Aisha Wilks)

Book: 9781554831753_cover_coverbookpage-v2The Black Notes. Insomniac Press. Canada. 2017.

About the Book: 

The Black Notes contains stories and poems written by 12 black women. The storytelling crosses intergenerational, and local, national, and international cultural sensibilities, giving the reader a glimpse of the way the storytellers ‘receive’ and ‘share’ story.

About the Author: 

Prince is covered in Fiction, Children’s Fiction, and Non-Fiction.

Gonsalves is covered in Fiction.

Arrindell is covered in Fiction, Children’s Fiction, and Non-Fiction.

Baird (Fashion Trends and Stay Woke) is the daughter of Glenda Prince.

Browne is covered in Poetry and Fiction.

Motion is covered in Plays/Screenplays and Poetry.

Powell (My Heart is his Prisoner).

G. Prince (Giving Thanks).


Name: authors – various (including Vivian Michael, Jhohadli, Eulie Frederick, Carl E. Samuel, Malaka Parker, Monique James-Roberts, Linley Wynter, Gavin Crump, Karil Sampson, and anon.)

Book: Collective Soul. Chrysalis. Antigua. 1998.

About the Author:

Michael is covered in Poetry.

Jhohadli is Joanne C. Hillhouse, covered in several sub-lists.


Name: authors – various (including Catherine Bain, George Elliott Clarke, Gayle Gonsalves, Joanne C. Hillhouse, Clifton Joseph, Dwayne Morgan, Motion, Jelani Nias/J-Wyze, Djanet Sears, Mansa Trotman); editor – Althea Prince

Book: In the Black coverIn the Black: New African Canadian Literature. Insomniac. Canada. 2012.

About the Book: 

In a mix of short fiction, poetry, dub poetry, and hip hop, some of Black Canada’s foremost writers from across generations explore history, community, love, and healing.

About the Author:

Prince is covered in Fiction, Children’s Fiction, and Non-Fiction.

Gonsalves is covered in Fiction.

Hillhouse is covered in Fiction, Non-Fiction, Children’s Fiction, and Poetry.

Joseph is covered in Poetry.

Motion is covered in Poetry, Plays/Screenplays, and Fiction.

Nias is covered in Fiction.

Trotman is covered in Poetry.


Name: authors – various (including – Zahra Airall, Barbara Arrindell, Madeline Blackman, Brenda Lee Browne, Shakeema Edwards, Linisa George, Gayle Gonsalves,  Joanne C. Hillhouse, D. Gisele Isaac, Dotsie Isaac-Gellizeau, Yvonne H. Pamela James, Tameka Jarvis-George Clifton Joseph, Llewelyn Joseph, Kaliq Lowe, Monica Matthew, Rosie V. McMaster, Motion, Jelani Nias, Dorbrene O’Marde, Althea Prince, Janis Prince Inniss, John Prince, Ralph Prince, Taija Ryan, Heidi Skerritt,  Glen J. Toussaint, Mansa Trotman, Amber Williams-King); editor – Althea Prince

Book: nailhead.jpgSo the Nailhead Bend, So the Story End: an Anthology of Antiguan and Barbudan Writing, Voume 1. A Different Publisher. Canada. 2013.

About the Book:

A collection of Antiguan and Barbudan modern literature including established and fresh voices.

About the Authors: 

Airall is covered in Playwrights and Screenwriters, Plays/Screenplays and Poetry.

Arrindell is covered in Fiction, Non-Fiction, Playwrights and Screenwriters, and Children’s Literature

Blackman is a former Consul General for Antigua and Barbuda in Canada.

Browne is covered in Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Poetry.

Edwards is covered in Poetry and Fiction.

George is covered in Poetry.

Gonsalves is covered in Fiction.

Hillhouse is covered in Poetry, Fiction, Children’s Literature, Playwrights and Screenwriters, and Non-Fiction.

Inniss, born in Guyana, is the daughter of Antiguan writer Ralph Prince, to whom this collection is dedicated.

Isaac is covered in Fiction.

Isaac-Gellizeau is covered in Poetry.

K. James is of Antiguan parentage; he is, also, a lecturer with a PhD in aerospace engineering.

Y. James is a retired teacher.

Jarvis-George is covered in Poetry, Children’s Literature, and Fiction.

C. Joseph is covered in Poetry.

L. Joseph’s ‘first poetic attempt at 8 – “to see ants march in perfect line/as some ascend and some decline.” His aunt laughed, and despite his mother’s encouragements, he never saved or showed anything he wrote for years.’ (p.168, So the Nailhead Bend, So the Story End)

Lowe won first place in the 2008 Independence Literary Arts Competition and was a finalist again in a subsequent year.

Matthew is covered in Non-Fiction.

McMaster is covered in Poetry.

Motion is covered in Poetry, Fiction, and Playwriting and Screenwriting.

Nias is also covered in Fiction.

O’Marde is covered in Non-Fiction, Fiction, and Playwriting and Screenwriting.

A. Prince is covered in Fiction, Children’s Literature, and Non-Fiction.

J. Prince is covered in Poetry.

R. Prince is covered in Poetry.

Ryan (Choices and Third Time) – this is her first publication; her maternal grandmother is Antiguan.

Skerritt was born in England to Antiguan parents and grew up in Canada. She migrated to Antigua in the 1990s, and started the Sistas with Books book club.

Toussaint is covered in Poetry.

Trotman is covered in Poetry.

Williams-King is covered in Poetry.


Name: authors – various (including D. Gisele Isaac, David Spencer, Dianne Carrott, and others); editor – Lucilla Benjamin

Book: Young Antiguans Write: Prize-winning Selections in Poetry and Prose from School Creative Writing Annual Competition, 1968-1978. Ministry of Education and Culture. Antigua. 1979.

About the Authors:

Benjamin was, among other things, a series advisor for the New Caribbean Reader published by Ginn and Company.

Isaac is covered in the Fiction section.


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, its Spanish language edition Perdida! , and Oh Gad! ). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page Jhohadli or like me on Facebook. Help me spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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