Tag Archives: antiguan writer

Antiguan-Barbudan Writer, Wadadli Pen Founder to Read at World Poetry Festival – How to Watch

To Watch – Click the Image and set your reminder where ever you are.

August 10th 2021 – 8 p.m. if you’re in Antigua and Barbuda and/or the Atlantic Standard Time (AST) time zone.

Please double check the time where you are by doing the time zone conversion – isn’t google great!

Related links:

Programme – 31st Festival Internacional de Poesia de Medellin

Joanne C. Hillhouse – Antigua Y Barbuda – presentation samples

Jhohadli – Appearances

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.

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CARIB Plus Lit News (late June 2020)


Your opportunity to interview me via my youtube channel, AntiguanWriter. I’ve promised to do a live AMA if I reach a certain number of subscribers. Check the channel’s discussion tab for the details.

Reading Recommendations 

pleasure Big up to Antiguan and Barbudan writing juggernaut Kimolisa Mings’ latest book, her 21st by my count, is a bestseller. Having climbed as high as 11th in the top 100 Amazon rankings, which is based on sales and updated hourly, The Pleasure is Mine (currently kindle only though I believe a print edition is pending) is, at this writing, 24th on the Amazon African American Erotica Bestsellers Books list and 28th on the Amazon African American Erotical Bestsellers Kindle list. The Pleasure is Mine is subtitled as A Caribbean BWWM Romance (Sapodilla Resort & Spa Romance Book 1). See the Antigua and Barbudan Writings and Fiction lists for Mings’ complete bibliography; she’s also listed in our data base of professional services.

I want to say thanks to the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority’s CaribCation Caribbean Author Series for tapping me for a spot in June 2020. You can view it on CaribCation’s social media and I’ve also uploaded it to my AntiguanWriter YouTube channel

I’m reading from Musical Youth, a Burt Award winning teen/young adult novel. I also encourage you to check out other authors featured in the series. I have been and I have added Dr. Tanya Destang Beaubrun’s Of Bubbles, Bhudda, and Butterflies to my TBR after listening to her reading.

New Daughters of Africa, published by UK’s Myriad press and by Harper Collins in the US NEW_DAUGHTERS_HIGH-RES-670x1024was recommended by Olivia Adams writing in Marie Claire about Books to Educate Yourself and Your Children about Racism: “Showcasing the work of more than 200 women writers of African descent, this major international collection celebrates their contributions to literature and international culture.”

At my author blog, where I blog on books among other things, my most recent recs are not really recs as I haven’t yet read the books (in full) but I recently listened to an audio abridged version of one Booker prize winner, watched a stage adaptation of an Orange prize winner, and read excerpts from a print edition of a book that includes Antigua and Barbuda, and specifically the Hillhouse family. If you want to see which books I’m talking about, go here.

Interviewing the Caribbean

We previously shared news of the publication of Volume 5 Issues 1 and 2 of the Opal Palmer Adisa and Juleus Ghunta edited ‘Interviewing the Caribbean’, an annual literary magazine. We wanted to update to let you know that both issues are available as ebooks through BookFusion. The UWI Press is also working to place the books – and these literary magazines are at least as thick as a short novel – with regional bookstores.  If you’re a bookseller looking to acquire the books, reach out to UWI Press. Issue 1 includes articles/art by and/or interviews with Polly Pattullo, Geoffrey Philp, Phillis Gershator, Oonya Kempadoo, Esther Phillips, Yolanda T. Marshall, Merle Hodge, Paul Keens Douglas, Diane Browne, Diana McCaulay, Tricia Allen, and from Antigua and Barbuda and Wadadli Pen specifically 2018 finalist Rosie Pickering and me (Joanne C. Hillhouse) – I’d been asked to rec some Caribbean books for the youth market, so I did. Pickering’s poem ‘Damarae’ is actually the same poem that earned her honourable mention in 2018 and, per the magazine’s format, she’s also interviewed about the poem. Issue 2 has as its cover image (above) the cover image of my book With Grace, art by Cherise Harris, used with permission of Little Bell Caribbean. It includes articles/art by and/or interviews with Summer Edward, Kei Miller, Tanya Batson-Savage, A-dZiko Simba Gegele, Tanya Shirley, Olive Senior, Pamela Mordecai, Linda M. Deane, Marsha Gomes-McKie, Carol Ottley-Mitchell, Yvonne Weekes, and from Antigua and Barbuda, and Wadadli Pen, Barbara Arrindell (Create Stories that Remind us of What We went Through) and me, again (an interview headlined Caribbean Children need as Many Stories as there are Tastes)


The Caribbean Development Bank’s Cultural and Creative Industries Innovation Fund is crowd sourcing for information towards building a “compendium of cultural policies, practices,, resources, and trends in the Caribbean.” Why? “To best support Creative and Cultural Industries across the region, we need the right data to make the right decisions. As such, CIIF is developing a series of Country Profiles that showcase data and information about the cultural landscape in each of our Borrowing Member Countries, in order to help cultural practitioners and policy-makers make data-driven choices.” The process will take 15 to 30 minutes; here’s the link.

Awards and Accolades

The winner of the inaugural Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry, awarded to a full length book of poetry published in 2019, will be announced in July 2020. The 13-person shortlist, announced in May, includes Jamaica Kei Miller (In Nearby Bushes) and Trinidadian Roger Robinson (A Portable Paradise) – the latter collection having already won several major prizes. The prize includes a $1,000 cash award, along with a reading at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, the publication of a limited-edition broadside by Arrowsmith Press, and a week-long residency at Derek Walcott’s home in either St. Lucia or in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. Read more here.

Antigua and Barbuda’s acting culture director is also an award winning pan composer/arranger with Hell’s Gate and noted soloist in his own right. He proves his proficiency with his performance in Pan Ramajay, an international pan soloist competition started by Exodus Steel Orchestra since 1989, this year held virtually.104288255_1819636641493573_2262030051999680067_n

As you can see, he’s  the leading contender going in to the finals after the preliminary and semi-final rounds. The finals are Saturday 27th June 2020. If he wins, he’ll pocket $2000 (not sure which currency). ETA (290620): He did not win but he did place second overall.

The Wadadli Pen Challenge Awards is the flagship of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize, a project launched in 2004 to nurture and showcase the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda, and the reason this site, launched in 2010, exists. This year was a challenging year for Wadadli Pen as it has been and continues to be for all the world, due primarily to the global COVID-19 pandemic which literally shut down the world. We had to rethink how to do the awards – going in the end with a live announcement and efforts to connect the winners with the patrons directly so that they could make arrangements to collect their prizes. The latter has proved to be a drawn out process and I have had to find a way to make peace with not being able to really control any of it though I did my best to make the connections and follow up. One upside is that weeks out images like this one continues to trickle in – this is a picture from the mother of 7 to 12 honourable mention Sienna Harney-Barnes (A New World) who is shown collecting the contribution from the Cultural Development Division, a contribution volunteered during our live awards announcement by the director Khan Cordice who is shown delivering the prize to our young writer.

Two of our other writers, Cheyanne Darroux (Tom, the Ninja Crab), winner 7 to 12 and tied winner overall, and D’Chaiya Emmanuel (Two Worlds Collide), winner 13 to 17, made appearances to share their stories on ZDK radio – and we have video.

Caribbean Literary Heritage

June is Caribbean Heritage Month in the US. Online, this has sparked campaigns like the #CaribAThon on #booktube (youtube for bibliophiles) and #readCaribbean on #bookstagram (instagram for bookies). I’ve been happy to see some of my books (The Boy from Willow Bend, Musical Youth, and Dancing Nude in the Moonlight) show up in both challenges, and I jumped in as well, really to share (finally) my contribution to the #MyCaribbeanLibrary campaign that Bocas announced some time ago. But it all intersects.

The Caribbean literary love will continue if St. Martin’s House of Nehesi publishers, co-organizers of the St. Martin’s Book Fair, has its way. HNP used the occasion of the 18th anniversary of the Fair – largely virtual this year due to COVID-19 – to call for July 12th to be Caribbean Literature Day. “We envision this day as the first pan-Caribbean literature day, celebrating the roots, range, and excellence of writings and books across the language zones of our region. Celebrate the day by reading the works of your favorite Caribbean authors; buying Caribbean books, published in the Caribbean and beyond, and by Caribbean authors; and presenting Caribbean books as gifts. Celebrate the day with books, recitals, and with discussions about books, of poetry, fiction, drama, art, music, and all the other genres by Caribbean writers.” The date was chosen because it is the day in 1562 when the writings of the indigenous people were destroyed by their colonizers. (Full release here)


Antigua and Barbuda said goodbye to two time Calypso monarch and one time road march winner (as lead singer of the Vision Band) Tyrone ‘Edimelo’ Thomas. He was laid to rest June 19th 2020 at St. John’s Cathedral. “Antigua and Barbuda has lost one of its brightest lights, and we are all the poorer for it. But his wonderful life and legacy lives on; none of it will be interred with his bones. Whenever we hear DON’T STOP THIS PARTY (a remix with the Mighty Swallow) or IN DE PAN YARD (an encomium to the joys of pan music), we will remember Edimelo,” said the June 20th Daily Observer newspaper editorial. We daresay, Carnival and party lovers will most remember him for the way the music made them “dress back” (the Road March winning tune) while Calypso lovers will surely pour out one every time they intone “the more things change/the more they remain the same” from arguably his best known calypso.

Caribbean Creatives Creating

I hope you’ve been keeping up with my CREATIVE SPACE series covering local art and culture. It continues to run in the Daily Observer newspaper every other Wednesday with an extended version on my site. Latest spotlights have included singer Arianne Whyte talking about her career and her Sip ‘n Stream online series and Chavel Thomas and his conceptual art which is about challenging and redefining gender, race, maybe even reality. It’s the first time the series has gotten the front cover since it switched platforms to the Daily Observer in 2020 – issue 9.

Cover Chav

In case you missed any of the previous installments in the series, including  on previous platforms, they are archived on the Jhohadli website.

Trinidadian Kamella Anthony’s Krea8ive Kids Show was spotlighted in T&T Newsday all the way back in the strictest part of COVID-19 curfew in the region. In it, the former librarian cum storyteller is quoted as saying, “Ultimately, I want to have creative centres locally, regionally and internationally. I have travelled and seen several types of centres and it’s been awesome. I like to see children learning and having fun. Not just from a book, but from nature, from people.” Here’s the link to her YouTube Channel.

This content is curated by Joanne C. Hillhouse. Additions may be made between now and the end of June 2020.  If used, please credit or link back.


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New Book Selfie

My new book Musical Youth is here in Antigua - it's been on Amazon in kindle and paperback form since earlier this month. I've got a reading at 7 p.m. on Friday 21st November 2014 at the Best of Books...and I'm excited to report that I'm going to be sharing the spotlight with some of the 2014 Wadadli Pen Challenge winners.

My new book Musical Youth is here in Antigua – it’s been on Amazon in kindle and paperback form since earlier this month. I’ve got a reading at 7 p.m. on Friday 21st November 2014 at the Best of Books…and I’m excited to report that I’m going to be sharing the spotlight with some of the 2014 Wadadli Pen Challenge winners.

WIN_20141119_164553 WIN_20141119_164548

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Author Spotlight: Gayle Gonsalves

Gayle Gonsalves.

Gayle Gonsalves.


Author’s Bio:           

Gayle Gonsalves’ stories have appeared in The Bluelight Corner, In the Black and So the Nailhead Bend, So the Story End. Painting Pictures and Other Storiesis her debut book, featuring eight short stories.

In the past, she had a column on female issues at the Guyana Chronicle; she was the editor at Caribarena and a judge at the Annual Independence Literary Festival. Gayle has a Bachelor of Arts degree from York University in Toronto, Canada, where she lives and writes.

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Book Synopsis:

Painting Pictures and Other Stories features eight stories of discovery, betrayal, and passion. The book depicts the emotional turmoil that results from decisions: a little girl who migrates to Canada on a hot August day is flabbergasted to discover there’s no snow; a graphic designer leaves her husband each morning to meet her lover; an inconsolable heartbreak leads a woman to the brink of sanity as she desperately wanders city streets seeking answers in dark places; a young woman gives a touching eulogy to the woman who raised her; a wife is torn between her love for her husband and his brother; a college graduate moves across the country to keep a secret and recover from the lover who abandoned her, only to meet him again; a young woman experiences the joy of first love, its passionate awakening, and the moment when it’s questioned; and three women bond while shopping for dresses for their fictional weddings.

Note About the Book:

In her own words: “This book features a variety of stories that I wrote over a long time span. Clarissa’s Letter is the first story I wrote, albeit it slightly resembles its original form but the thread and the theme are there. My first published story was Tamarind Stew, and it holds a very special place for me because it solidified my dream of being a writer, and it was truly gratifying to see my work in print. Then there were years when I didn’t write and upon my return to creative writing, I re-found my voice, with a more mature sound, and in new stories. They came to life in several pieces in the book such as Painting Pictures and A Good Woman.

“One of my creative writing teachers once said, ‘writers write to be read,’ and I found the publication of this book brought those words back to life.”


Other Publications:

Short Story Publications: Tamarind Stew in The Bluelight Corner edited by Rosemarie Robotham, 1998

A Good Woman in In the Black, edited by Althea Prince, 2012

Jumbies Don’t Sleep in So the Nailhead Bend, So the Story End, edited by Althea Prince, 2013

Gayle reading at the launch of So the Nailhead Bend, So the Story End in Canada.

Gayle reading at the launch of So the Nailhead Bend, So the Story End in Canada.


Painting Pictures and Other Stories, 2014


An Antigua launch of Painting Pictures is expected to take place at the Best of Books in late June on the evening of July 5th 2014.

Read Gayle’s guest blog at my personal writing site, Jhohadli.

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A Collection of Antiguan short stories has been published just in time for Christmas


Last year Barbara Arrindell working in association with Edison Liburd produced a colouring book entitled Antigua My Antigua. According to Arrindell 431 copies of the colouring books sold over a period of one year, with both locals and tourists taking an interest in it. This year she has produced a small book consisting of three short stories.

“The Legend of Bat’s Cave and other Antiguan Stories” has been read by a few Antiguan Scholars and is said to give a historical peek into three specific time slots in the nation’s history while providing excellent entertainment for readers of all ages.

The title story, The legend of Bat’s Cave, looks at the lives of the island’s first authorized Europeansettlers and the legend involving the abduction of the Governor’s wife, complete with her eventual love affair with her Kalinago/Carib captor.

Conrad Luke, former editor of the Outlet Newspaper read the stories prior to the book’s publication and spoke of his impression of the second story,“A Bishop without a Cathedral”.He said “ A most interesting historical short story and ever so topical given the present state of the Cathedral”. The second story is told through the eyes of the first bishop of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Of great interest to Luke is the role of the church on the question of slavery and how it (the church) relates to the Black Community.

The third story “Chasing Horses” takes a look at life in Antigua in the 1920’s & 1930’s. “One cannot but take note of the class concerns nicely woven into the story” commented the former Outlet editor.“The gender issue and the role of woman in society which loomed larger then is posed in a most provocative and human way.”

According to the author the outline for “Chasing Horses” and The Legend Of Bat’s Cave” were both written in 2007. The stories were then written and rewritten many times.She says that she stumbled upon some information concerning Bishop Daniel Davis while assisting to design tours of the Cathedral shortly after restoration work began. The little that she read at that time fascinated her so much that Arrindell paid to get access to his hand written letters which are stored in the British Archives. Having sifted through many documents she found a substantial number of them written to his superiors in England reporting on many aspects of life at that time. These letters gave greater insight into his professional and personal life.

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DON’T FORGET – Announcement re Joanne C. Hillhouse’s Book Launch Party

Joint Release from





Lower St. Mary’s Street, St. John’s Antigua – 268 562 3198 – bestofbooks@yahoo.com


Ensure that you are one of the first people on island to have a copy of Oh Gad! – the latest novel from the author of The Boy from Willow Bend and Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Joanne C. Hillhouse.

The book will be released internationally by U.S. publisher Strebor/Atria/Simon & Schuster on April 17th 2012.

In Antigua you will be able to pick up your autographed copy at three minutes past midnight at Joanne’s Midnight Launch to be held at the Best of Books Village Walk branch on Friars Hill Rd. To ensure that you receive your copy you can pre-order by pre-paying at either location. Be sure to get and keep your receipt as books can only be reserved by pre-payment.

No exceptions.

The festive launch party will begin at 11 p.m. on the night of April 16th. Wine and other drinks will be on hand as we get set to toast the accomplishments of yet another outstanding Antiguan author. You have to be there to raise your glasses as the clock strikes midnight as Oh Gad! officially takes it place on bookshelves around the world.

Books cost EC$52.00 and prepayments will be accepted starting on the 26th March. People who pick up their copies at the launch party will receive an instant $5.00 cash back.

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So, I’m trying not to sweat my presentation for the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars International Conference but (who am I kidding), I’m sweating it a little bit. Trying to pull my ideas together…preparation beats nerves every time, right. Meanwhile, lots of positive energy encouraged…oh and check out the line up of featured writers/artists. I’m humbled (and did I mention nervous as hell) to be among them.

Also look out for Oh Gad! (so excited and nervous about it’s release, as well…this ride is such a roller coaster) but so far so good…and still on track to hit the market in April 2012.

Like I posted on my facebook page recently, I’ll do my best to keep up… and remember to breathe.

Joanne C. Hillhouse, with much gratitude for all the support and encouragement.


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