Tag Archives: awards

Caribbean Readers Choice Lit Awards

The content in this post would usually be in a Caribbean Lit Plus post (the site’s twice monthly round up of regional arts news) but it merits its own. This is the Caribbean Readers Choice book awards courtesy of the Rebel Women Lit book club – an opportunity for Caribbean readers and readers of Caribbean books to, say, I’mma let you finish (insert prestigious literary awards here) but these are the books that the bookworms are actually stanning. The category breakdown is pretty interesting – I would add only Best children’s book, Best individual poem, and Best cover (of any genre) but there’s always tomorrow. As for today, eligible books would have been published between November 2019 and November 2020 (if I’m remembering correctly), if you’re wondering where your favourites are – books are reader nominated and (after being whittled to a short list) reader voted. So vote. In order announced on Rebel Women Lit’s live podcast, from which these images were screen captured, here is the shortlist of nominees.

First up was critics (this is not a voting category; just acknowledging)

(Now the categories you CAN vote in)

Big Congratulations to all the nominees. There are several books from my TBR listed, plus one I’ve actually reviewed, and voting is going to be hard because I know and/or love a lot of these writers and their writings, and the ones I don’t know, I look forward to discovering.

But this is Wadadli Pen. You know what I’m here for. The Antiguan and Barbudan nominees are:

Rilzy Adams (for best novel) with Birthday Shot. Rilzy is Rilys Adams, local lawyer and former Wadadli Pen finalist (2005, 2006), in addition to being a prolific self-published novelist.

Joanne C. Hillhouse (listed incorrectly as Hill above) in the short non-fiction category with ‘F is For…’ from the Caribbean Literary Heritage forgotten Caribbean books series. I am Joanne, writer and Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator. This short listed article began as a research project for my Jhohadli blog which I later redrafted and contributed to the CLH series. I also find myself in an esteemed company of critics and all I have to say is I’m not worthy.

Several Wadadli Pen 2020 shortlisted writers (whoop whoop!) – Andre J P Warner (A Bright Future for Tomorrow), Zaniah Pigott (A Mermaid), Aria-Rose Browne (Fabled Truth), Cheyanne Darroux (Tom, the Ninja Crab, listed as Ninja Crab), William Henderson (The Beast of Barbados) – made the short list for best short fiction; and how dope would it be if one of them won. Vote!

Barbara Arrindell is one of two nominees (the other being Jamaican writer Pietra Brown) from the online platform started just last month by Antiguan and Barbudan gender activists in the short fiction category. Barbara, a local writer and Wadadli Pen team member, is nominated for Belonging to Barbuda.

We in the 268 don’t get a lot a lot of attention usually as far as canon fanfare is concerned but we made out okay this time. Thanks to Rebel Lit Woman for this initiative. This book lover is looking forward to voting; hope you are too. If voting isn’t open when you check, just check back.

Voting closes December 31st 2020.

As with all content on Wadadli Pen, 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/Perdida! Una Aventura en el Mar Caribe, and Oh Gad!). 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.

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CARIB Plus Lit News (late June 2020)

Interviews

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)

Paperwork

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)

Goodbyes

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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Wadadli Pen Challenge – Who Won What in 2020?

“We continue the work and hopefully continue to boost the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda because that’s what Wadadli Pen is all about. Our mandate is to nurture and showcase the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda. It’s not about me; it’s not about any of the members behind the scenes. It’s about these young people and encouraging them to write. Because I think we realize even now in these sort of times that we’re in that finding ways to get out all the anxiety and confusion and even the restlessness that we all feel, writing and creating generally is a part of that and of course building your language skills and improving your critical thinking skills and your ability to think creatively and also realizing that your story and your voice matters. All of these are the reasons why we write, all of these are the reasons why we encourage the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize.” – Joanne C. Hillhouse, founder and coordinator during the May 9th 2020 facebook live announcement of winners of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize 2020 Challenge

 

The Wadadli Youth Pen Prize Challenge has been held since 2004; its goal, to encourage young people in Antigua and Barbuda to create their stories. We provide prizes as added incentive and provide this prize breakdown to share the winning stories, introduce our budding writers, and say thanks to our patrons. Thanks to our 2020 Challenge patrons who have come through in the midst of a pandemic and its economic fallout – we can’t thank them enough. We hope the prize recipients are truly appreciative of this gesture of goodwill and that our community will support the businesses and individuals that support the arts. Thanks, as well, to our judges, Wadadli Pen team member Floree Williams Whyte (author of Pink Teacups and Blue Dresses, Through a Window, and The Wonderful World of Yohan), and 2020 volunteer judges Glen Toussaint (writer and book retailer) and Danielle Boodoo Fortune-Hackshaw (Trinidad and Tobago artist, illustrator, and award winning author of the poetry collection Doe Songs). Thanks to the Wadadli Pen core team – Floree Williams Whyte, former finalists Devra Thomas (2011) and Margaret Irish (2014 Teachers Prize and 2015 Winner Take All), Barbara Arrindell, a writer (Antigua My Antigua, The Legend of Bat’s Cave and Other Stories) and book retailer, and Joanne C. Hillhouse, writer (The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure) and Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator. Here now are our winning writers and, for your reading pleasure, our winning stories and poems, plus prize breakdown with links to patron pages online. The breakdown  is first winners by age, then special category prize winners, then read all the way through to see who is the main prize winner.

Everybody gets: 

Certificates acknowledging their ranking in the Wadadli Pen 2020 Challenge.

A selection of books from The Best of Books Bookstore. Best of Books is also the sponsor of the Alstyne Allen Memorial Plaque onto which the winners’ names are engraved.

Cultural items from the Cultural Development Division – Antigua and Barbuda – this was a last minute addition after the Director of Culture (ag) Khan Cordice hopped on the May 9th 2020 live announcement on my facebook page to make the offer.

 

7 to 12

Winner –

Tom, the Ninja Crab (story)

Opening: “It was a clear, still night and the moon shone so brightly through the waters that Tom, the crab, couldn’t sleep.”

by Cheyanne Darroux 11, Golden Grove Primary School

Prizes – Patrons:

EC$250 – Photogenesis; books (3) – Cindy’s Bookstore 

 

1st runner up –

My Favourite Dish (poem)

Opening: “I’m a little girl,/And I am fat,/I can tell you my favourite food did that,/It’s not because I’m greedy.”

by Ciara Thomas, 10, Sunnydale School

Prizes – Patrons:

Books (3) – Cindy’s Bookstore ; copy of Antigua My Antigua – Barbara Arrindell; US$50 for gift certificate for books – Friends of Antigua Public Library (NY)

 

2nd runner up –

A Mermaid (story)

Opening: “The wind whistled as Marie slowly crept across the soft, thick sand of the Johnson Point beach.”

by Zaniah Pigott

12, Island Academy

Prizes – Patrons:

Books (3) – Cindy’s Bookstore ; signed copy of Musical Youth 2nd edition (paperback) and With Grace (paperback) by Joanne C. Hillhouse

 

 

Honourable Mention –

A New World (story)

Opening: “The three friends sat quietly around the dinner table in disbelief about what had just happened.”

by Sienna Harney-Barnes

10, St. Nicholas Primary School

Prizes – Patrons:  

Books (3) – Cindy’s Bookstore ; copy of Antigua My Antigua – Barbara Arrindell; signed copy of The Wonderful World of Yohan by Floree Williams Whyte

 

 

13 to 17 –

Winner –

Two Worlds Collide (narrative poem)

Opening: “ROAR; Roar, that beckoning roar in the distance.”

by D’Chaiya Emmanuel

15, Antigua Girls High School

Prizes – Patrons:

EC$200 – D. Gisele Isaac (writer – Considering Venus, Wadadli Pen co-founder); EC$50 – Lawrence Jardine (founder and technical director of the Antigua and Barbuda Youth Enlightenment Academy); free eye exam – Paradise Vision Center; Bath and Body gift packages (2) – Juneth Webson (businesswoman and writer – Milo’s First Winter); external hard drive – Cushion Club (reading club for children in Antigua and Barbuda)

 

 

1st runner up –

The Beast of Barbados (story)

Opening: “The night was preternaturally quiet.”

by William Henderson

17, St. Anthony’s Secondary School

Prizes – Patrons:

EC$200 – Lawrence Jardine (founder and technical director of the Antigua and Barbuda Youth Enlightenment Academy); signed copy of Musical Youth (hard cover edition) by Joanne C. Hillhouse

 

2nd runner up –

Fabled Truth (story)

Opening: “You hear stories of Duppies, River Mumma and Lajabless.”

by Aria-Rose Browne

14, St. Anthony’s Secondary School

Prizes – Patrons:

EC$150 – Lawrence Jardine (founder and technical director of the Antigua and Barbuda Youth Enlightenment Academy); Bath and Body gift package – Juneth Webson (businesswoman and writer – Milo’s First Winter); signed copy of Musical Youth (hard cover edition) by Joanne C. Hillhouse

Honourable  Mention –

The John Bull Effect (story)

Opening: “Every day at break, Miles and Tony would steal Tyler’s lunch money,and give him a ‘wedgie’ whenever he approached the urinal.”

by Judah Christian

13, Antigua Grammar School

Prizes – Patrons:

EC$100 – Lawrence Jardine (founder and technical director of the Antigua and Barbuda Youth Enlightenment Academy); Signed copy of Musical Youth 2nd edition (paperback) by Joanne C. Hillhouse

 

 

18 to 35 –

Winner –

A Bright Future for Tomorrow (story)

Opening: “The quiet crunches of footsteps on the decrepit asphalt echoed in the barren landscape, sparsely occupied by wilted weeds and rundown buildings.”

by Andre J. P. Warner

21

Prizes – Patrons:

EC$200 and a signed copy of London RocksBrenda Lee Browne; dinner for 2 – Hermitage Bay; signed copy of Musical Youth (hard cover edition) by Joanne C. Hillhouse

1st runner up –

Lead Me Lord (poem)

Opening: “Lead me lord I will follow/but not through the bushes and on the roads with crack.”

by Lehana Simon

23

Prizes – Patrons:

EC$250 – Hazra Medica; Bath and Body gift package – Juneth Webson (businesswoman and writer – Milo’s First Winter)

2nd runner up –

Oh, Beach that I once loved (poem)

Opening: ” Waves running towards the shore as the pleasant sea air blesses one’s nose.”

by Sethson Burton

19, American University of Antigua

Prizes – Patrons:

Signed copy of Musical Youth 2nd edition (paperback) by Joanne C. Hillhouse

 

 

Special Category Prizes –

Climate Change themed ‘Imagine a Future’ prize – Winner –

A Bright Future for Tomorrow by Andre J. P. Warner

Excerpt: “April of 2008 was the day when the first infestation of the Giant African Snail was identified, a small patch in Jolly Hill. A manageable infestation but due to mismanagement the invasion spread, in the eyes of the public and the government they were not that important. The farmers were the first to complain, then a few communities, but the masses did not complain; after all it wasn’t their properties. Then the businesses started complaining; the government put up a few initiatives and even put a bounty on snails, but who wanted to pick up nasty snails in hot sun for only five dollars a bag? As time passed they spread like the slow stream of water on the dinner table, you only noticed when it’s dripping on your lap. The nation was flooded; the government still dragged their feet even when the tourists complained. The snails were seen and ignored until disaster truly struck. In November 2020 the corona virus hit the nation…”

Prizes – Patrons:

EC$500 – Juneth Webson (businesswoman and writer – Milo’s First Winter)

 

School with the Most Submissions – Winner –

Sunnydale School – 14 submissions

Prizes – Patrons:

EC$600 worth of books – Caribbean Reads Publishing

 

 

Main Prize – Winner (tie) –

Tom, the Ninja Crab by Cheyanne Darroux  & A Bright Future for Tomorrow by Andre J. P. Warner

 

 

 

 

 

Chief judges’ comments: “Tom, the Ninja Crab and Bright Future for Tomorrow both were unanimously ranked as the top piece of their category. It is hard to judge both pieces against each other given the age difference and expected abilities of the writers. Both were equally as good for different reasons. Tom, the Ninja Crab was a delight and imaginative story. While Bright Future was a well thought out and creative piece.”

Excerpts:

“Suddenly he saw a beautiful sight. A bright red light moved along the shore and threw down into the water, a long flame. Being a curious crab, Tom swam towards the shore and met the light as it stopped over a rock. There underneath the light lay six great salmon looking at the flame with their great, googly eyes, waggling their tails as if they were pleased with it.” (from Tom, the Ninja Crab)

“Lucas began to undress for the unpleasant dive he wished to avoid, but with his increase in asthma symptoms, that old hospital was the only place where he could find the Ventolin inhalers he needed. With a grimace and a deep breath, Lucas took his dive.” (from A Bright Future for Tomorrow)

Prizes (each/both) – Darroux and Warner – Patrons:

EC$500 – one anonymous and one contributed by Frank B. Armstrong; free eye exam (each) – Paradise Vision Center; US$500 (split equally) worth of books – Sean Lyons; journal (each) – one the Just Write journal by Brenda Lee Browne (Just Write) & one custom made by Jane Seagull; name emblazoned on The Wadadli Youth Pen Prize Alstyne Allen Memorial Challenge plaque – The Best of Books

*

Post script: I (Joanne C. Hillhouse) attended the Rotary Club of Antigua’s Reading Competition in March and after hearing participants read from the featured book, my own The Boy from Willow  Bend, I invited the top 3 readers to the Wadadli Pen awards to collect copies of my book Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure. but, of course, the awards didn’t happen. I have, though, turned the books over to Rotary and wanted to use this moment also to congratulate Adrian Clarke (3rd placed reader), Jelisa Graham (2nd placed reader), and winner Amaya King.

 

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Lead me lord

by Lehana Simon, 23

Lead me lord I will follow
but not through the bushes and on the roads with crack.
Not through the alleys, 1735, nor the rastaman shack.
Perhaps through the green pastures,
and around the church room?
maybe somewhere real far, like Freetown?
Then again, it’s too soon.

Lead me lord I will go,
but I need to know in advance
because my schedule’s already planned.
These new church shoes can’t be walking on dirt, or in potholes.
Suppose I mash two ants?
I’d destroy their home!
But don’t worry I will go.
Actually, something came up,
how about tomorrow ?

You have called me
at a time that’s extremely inconvenient.
And you have a son that you could’ve sent
‘cause it’s quite obvious that your daughter is busy –
name talking and of course deep sin diving.
The person you’ve called is unavailable,
so please, leave a message after the tone.
As a matter of fact, put down the phone.

I will answer.
As long as you call back later.
And I’ll try my best not to let you speak to the operator
And I’ll try my best not to rush you
But you already know that sermons can’t finish minutes to two.

Lead me lord
Down this path.
This one that doesn’t have any bumps or too many curves,
This one right here that’s paved out already,
the one without the word.

I will go

If I don’t go lord, then who?
Am I to walk the long bitter road in this old tattered shoe?
Cause im empty and im tired
And I’m trying to endure and wait for you.
I’m trying to endure and wait for you.

But Lord, I cant talk like them, walk them, or dress like them of old.
I’m not a product of USC, so cant you see I’m not one you got to mold?
So are you going to leave me here in Tarshish?
To endure all the mess that i’ve built?
Are you gonna leave me here to eat with pigs?
Are you gonna leave me here because of that one small fib?
Can’t you see that I stutter in my sins?
And every last one keeps reoccurring again
And every last one keeps reoccurring again.
And I’m just trying endure and wait for you
But could I endure and wait for you?

ABOUT the poem: “The poem was written with the average Christian, or more specifically SDA Christian in mind. Often times persons may profess to be willing and able to fulfill the great commission – to preach and teach about Jesus, but when the time comes, an array of things get in the way – pride, jealousy, or even other responsibilities and commitments. I wrote the poem to remind myself, and other Christians that there is no such thing as the ‘perfect time to share the gospel’ or behave in a christian manner. Rather, every opportunity should be maximized if we are to truly be disciples.” The poem was second placed in the 18 to 35 age category of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize 2020 Challenge.

Lehana

ABOUT the author: Lehana Simon is a 23 year old daughter of the soil. Like many others before her, writing became an avenue for self expression and reflection. Her poems largely revolve around the complexities of being a Gen-Z female Christian, though she would take inspiration from other themes of life. Her goal is to create pieces that reflect the reality around her, and that would resonate with people everywhere.

ABOUT prizes won:

Prizes – Patrons:

EC$250 – Dr. Hazra Medica; Bath and Body gift package – Juneth Webson (businesswoman and writer – Milo’s First Winter)

Each winner is also set to receive a certificate, a selection of books from The Best of Books Bookstore and cultural items from the Cultural Development Division – Antigua and Barbuda.

For the full breakdown of ‘who won what’, if not linked (yet), use the site’s search feature.

ABOUT Wadadli Pen: The Wadadli Youth Pen Prize launched in 2004 with a writing Challenge that continues 16 years later. It is Wadadli Pen’s pilot project, in keeping with its mandate to nurture and showcase the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda, encouraging  writers (and visual artists) in Antigua and Barbuda (35 years and younger) to create a piece on any topic, within a Caribbean aesthetic. In 2020, there was also an Imagine a Future climate change challenge. To support the work of Wadadli Pen, contact wadadlipen@gmail.com

Please respect the author’s copyright. If you share, excerpt, credit, and link back; do not republish without permission nor without crediting.

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Carib Lit Plus March 2020

The timing of this post is funny (not haha) as the world slowly shuts down to halt the spread of an international pandemic. No hysterics here. Just a reminder to be safe – follow the guidelines – and don’t panic.

Check a trusted source and tune in to official fact-based updates via local news outlets. Recommended though that this news intake be in manageable bites (to reduce fear and panic), and that we all embrace ways to stay lifted. To wit, this being an arts site, we hope you’ll appreciate this montage of Italians coping with song.

Now, on to arts news from Antigua and Barbuda, and the wider Caribbean.

Awards

The Wadadli Pen 2020 Challenge has a short list! Thanks to judges Floree Williams Whyte (judging chief/Wadadli Pen partner), Glen Toussaint (bookseller, writer), and Danielle Boodoo Fortune (Bocas winning poet, and artist). Entries still in the running are: Oh, Beach that I once loved; The John Bull Effect; The Beast of Barbados; Two Worlds Collide; A Bright Future for Tomorrow; My Favourite Dish; A New World; A Mermaid; Lead Me Lord; The Fabled Truth; and Tom, the Ninja Crab. See who the writers were, here.

Zadie Smith, a UK writer, of Jamaican descent on her mother’s side, was shortlisted for the Folio Prize. Already well known and celebrated for books like White Teeth, Zadie is one of eight singled out, this time for her book Grand Union. The winner is due to be announced this March. More here.

Here in Antigua and Barbuda the Directorate of Gender Affairs Awarded 25 Women of Wadadli, a first time initiative held, appropriately, on International Women’s Day, March 8th 2020. “DoGA Executive Director, Farmala Jacobs, said that this year’s celebration of International Women’s Day is especially significant and that the Woman of Wadadli Awards aimed to recognize the unsung heroes among us.” Among the 25, there were broadly eight artists (Colleen Simpson – Culinary Arts, Heather Doram – Culture, Noreen Phillips – Fashion, Zahra Airall – Fine Arts, Marion Byron – Music and Entertainment, Mako Williams – recognized for Tech is also an artist, and Wadadli Pen core team member Barbara Arrindell – recognized as a changemaker, but also a writer). The Literature prize went to Wadadli Pen’s own Joanne C. Hillhouse.

WoW

Read more.

Exclusive Interview: M. J. Fievre

Featured on Hillhouse’s Jhohadli blog, this interview with Haitian-American writer M. J. Fievre traverses the territory of depression and her own experience with it and the creative expression that emerged. Her book Happy, Okay? uses various literary forms to speak to her mental health journey (in progress) and another book touched on, Badass Black Girl, is meant to be a guide to young girls in their own process of emerging. Check out the full interview here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Books

New from Peepal Tree Press, from PEN English Translation winners Puerto Rico-based Loretta Collins-Klobah and Maria Grau Perejoan, a bilingual anthology of thirty-three contemporary Caribbean women poets The Sea Needs No Ornament/ El mar no necesita ornamento. It is the first bilingual anthology of contemporary poetry by women writers of the English- and Spanish-speaking Caribbean and its Diasporas to be curated in more than two decades. The anthology presents a selection of work by poets from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and from various Anglophone Caribbean islands and the Diaspora. Each poem is presented first in the original, followed by the translation. The majority of poets have not yet been widely translated nor included in a bilingual anthology of this scope.

Klobah is a past Bocas winner.

This one actually came out in late 2019 but we missed it, so

The ArtsEtc Winning Words Anthology is very much in the spirit of what we try to do here at Wadadli Pen. It is a developmental programme that helps to nurture and showcase new writing in Barbados – from fresh and established voices. The only difference really is the resources behind it (e.g. the National Cultural Foundation). Kudos to the NCF for all it does to push literary arts in BIM.

We also want to acknowledge that past Wadadli Pen finalist Rilzy Adams dropped three new self-published ebooks late in 2019 – 12 Dates of Christmas (Love on the Rock Book 1); You, Me + Baby (Love on the Rock Book 2); and Brand New: A Love on the Rock Novelette.

Jacob Ross has released the second book in his Michael ‘Digger’ Digson crime noir series. Black Rain Falling (published with Sphere) picks up after The Bone Readers (Peepal Tree), which introduced the Caribbean forensic detective to the literary world, with a couple of new mysteries to solve.

Monique Roffey – already prolific and profound as the author of books like Archipelago and White Woman on the Green Bicycle (both published with Penguin) – has a new one  (with Peepal Tree) The Mermaid of Black Conch, in which a fisherman on a fictional Caribbean island meets a cursed woman of the sea. The UK-based Trinidad writer previously won the Bocas Prize for literature and has been shortlisted for several other major international awards. Early reviews for this one are good too: “The setting is slow and lush, full of colour and texture, which makes it beautifully three dimensional, with a feeling of movement that lifts and carries you through. There is beauty in the grimness too.” (Jess Sturnam-Coombs)

Also out this March, An Autobiography of the Autobiography of Reading (CSL Kreisel Lecture Series via the University of Alberta Press) by Dionne Brand. Most online bios found through google describe her as a Canadian poet but she is Trinidad and Tobago born and raised. And this book is informed by her Caribbean colonial upbringing. In it, the “internationally acclaimed poet and novelist Dionne Brand reflects on her early reading of colonial literature and how it makes Black beings inanimate. She explores her encounters with colonial, imperialist, and racist tropes; the ways that practices of reading and writing are shaped by those narrative structures; and the challenges of writing a narrative of Black life that attends to its own expression and its own consciousness.” (book summary)

Film

Guyanese actress, Shuri from Black Panther, Letitia Wright has reportedly signed on to star in the bizarre story of a pair of Barbados-born, UK-based twins. In a nutshell, “They became known as The Silent Twins as they refused to communicate with anyone but each other, and ended up in Broadmoor Hospital after they turned to crime. Jennifer and June spent 11 years in Broadmoor where they were studied by doctors and psychologists, but the pair would still only communicate with each other and became catatonic when separated.” Interesting. Check it out.

Meanwhile, an Antiguan-Barbudan boy is Peter Pan in a new adaptation by the director of the critically-acclaimed, Oscar nominated Beast of the Southern Wild.

Yashua Mack, a local boy, made his big screen debut in February 2020 at the Sundance Film Festival playing the iconic literary character who has been re-imagined many times over but, perhaps not with quite so much melanin. The film was also partially filled in Antigua, primarily at local landmark Hell’s Gate – an offshore island which is a border between the calm of the Caribbean Sea and the wilds of the Atlantic Ocean. A red carpet premiere was planned for Antigua-Barbuda in March 2020 (can’t confirm if this has been cancelled in light of COVID-19 government ban of public gatherings of a certain size – with this and all events call first).

Reading Comps

Reading competitions seem to be catching on; there are two national ones in Antigua, one with a regional component. Here’s some news related to both.

A Grace Christian Academy student won the Rotary Antigua Reading Comp, for the third time. This is the second year in a row that it has featured a book by a Wadadli Pen associated writer – last year, The Wonderful World of Yohan by Floree Williams Whyte, Wadadli Pen’s chief judge and this year, The Boy from Willow Bend, the first book by Wadadli Pen founder Joanne C. Hillhouse.

Reading Comp
(read the full article above from the Daily Observer newspaper 08-03-20 and this related blog post )

Meanwhile, Antigua and Barbuda placed third in the OECS edition of the Courts reading competition.

 

Developmental News

The Honorable Harold Simmons Folk Academy of The Monsignor Patrick Anthony Folk Research Centre has announced a FRC Saint Lucia Studies Conference for 2020 focused on “Creoleness/Créolité : Saint Lucian culture and cultural/creative industries in national development today.” The announced date is June 24-26 at the Finance Administrative Centre in Pointe Seraphine. The Conference seeks to provide an opportunity for researchers in the areas of Saint Lucian life and culture to present their findings in a Saint Lucian setting. For more information, email frc@candw.lc or the folkresearchcentrelibrary@gmail.com

Online literary journal (out of Jamaica) Pree has announced a Pree Writing Studio initiative funded by the Prince Klaus Next Generation Grant. “With tutors of the calibre of Marlon James, Nicole Dennis-Benn, Kei Miller, Garnette Cadogan, Ishion Hutchinson, Ingrid Persaud and Safiya Sinclair those lucky enough to attend PREE’s inaugural writing studio are in for a treat. In addition there will be a publishing studio by Little, Brown/Hatchette/Dialogue Books publisher Sharmaine Lovegrove.” There may be some subsidy for writers unable to meet the total cost and this seems to be only the first of a planned series. Read more.

International Publishing Announcements

UK-based Jamaican writer Leone Ross’ latest book is the talk of the publishing world after inking a deal with Faber for the 2021 release of This One Sky Day. ‘Set on a fictional Caribbean archipelago called Popisho, This One Sky Day is described by Faber as “a sensual meditation on the nature of love and addiction” as well as “a dazzling, funny and incisive disquisition on post-colonial politics”. It also called it “a major work of fiction in conversation with Gabriel García Márquez, Toni Morrison, Arundhati Roy and Junot Díaz via the Harlem Renaissance and Anaïs Nin”.’ Read more.

My-Fishy-Stepmom

Barbados’ Shakirah Bourne has landed a publishing deal with Scholastic for her Burt Award winning title, already released as My Fishy Stepmom by Jamaica’s Blouse and Skirt Books, to be released in to the US market as Josephine vs. the Sea Spirit. Per Publisher’s Weekly, “This middle grade novel features cricket-playing Jo, who discovers that her father’s new girlfriend is a powerful and vengeful sea creature and has to convince everyone of the woman’s true identity before she loses her dad forever. Publication is slated for spring 2021.” We don’t know the details of the deal but this is a big deal and we join the Caribbean literary community in congratulating her. If we’re counting right, this is the third Burt title to land a separate US publishing deal – maybe she should team up for a ‘how they did it’ seminar with Diana McCaulay, author of Gone to Drift which landed at Harper Collins, and Lisa Allen-Agostini, author of Home Home which is forthcoming this year from Delacorte Press, a division of Penguin Random House,  after both being initially published by Dominica/UK’s Papillote Press.

Pan

Kim Johnson of Trinidad is seeking to republish his Illustrated History of Pan.

Meanwhile, in Antigua and Barbuda we say good bye to the long serving member of the longest running pan in the world the multi-award winning Hell’s Gate Steel Orchestra, Eustace ‘Manning’ Henry.

Anansesem Announces a New Chapter 

The founding editor Summer Edward is stepping down but the online platform for Caribbean children’s literature will carry on – which is what you love to see; succession, continuity. Summer also took the opportunity to announce the pending publication of her own book. Read her full statement.

CREATIVE SPACE on a New Platform

The Antigua and Barbuda art and culture series by JCH is now running every other Wednesday in the Daily Observer newspaper and on the Jhohadli blog online with extras.

The latest edition – second on this new platform – is Black History Month and Women’s History Month themed and headlined Centering Us, Year Round. Above is that second published article – be sure to look out for fresh articles in the series every other Wednesday

Book Club

ABS TV has for several weeks been running Book Club, a Tuesday morning segment on Antigua Today. So far segments have included the likes of D. Gisele Isaac (Considering Venus) and Gayle Gonsalves (Painting Pictures and Other Stories). Not sure if it airs at a particular time in the daily national TV morning show but Tuesday’s the day. Kudos to ABS TV for this initiative.

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, and Oh Gad!). 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.

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Carib Plus Lit (Mid February 2020)

brooklyn book fest 2020

Caribbean Reads – sponsor of the 2020 Wadadli Pen Challenge Schools Prize – at the Brooklyn Book Fair in 2019. The sub-regional independent publisher will be giving EC$600 worth of books to the winning school in this year’s Wadadli Youth Pen Prize Challenge, some from its own booklist. Which may include pictured books like Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure by yours truly.

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On the subject of Wadadli Pen, I wanted to share that I am thrilled that this project has survived since 2004 – it’s always touch and go. Also, though it mostly manifests as a competition, it’s not about winning prizes. It’s about encouraging creativity and all of the reflection, imagination, and expression that comes with that.

In one of the targeted direct mailers I sent out, I noted that participation “can be purely fun and about self-discovery; it can also open a portal to expressing and coping with challenging feelings and experiences. Encouraging youth creativity also promotes mental growth, potentially improving academic performance and emotional maturity. Encouraging youth creativity gives young people an opportunity to try new things, new ways of seeing, new ways of thinking, and new ways of problem solving. The ‘Imagine a Future’ special prize in this year’s Wadadli Pen Challenge, for instance, will create an opportunity to explore the potentials of action or inaction on climate change – the existential challenge of our day – do we survive and how. This may emerge as a dystopian shadowland or a bright sci fi future. Who knows? As small islands, we are on the front lines of climate change; it’s an opportunity for young people to think through what will be the first major battle of their life time, for bad or good. If you are a youth in Barbuda, you have been in the headlines at least since 2017 and hurricane Irma, the trauma of which you may not have fully explored even as you grapple with historical and political realities beyond your understanding, where is your voice in this, what’s your story? ‘The Wa’omani Prize’ is an opportunity to remember that there are no small stories, that every experience matters – from fishing with your dad to being in the path of a storm to end all storms. The Wadadli Pen Challenge is not fixed on a theme – tell any story you want, about anything you want, however you want – but it is Caribbean, simply because we must centre our own imagination in our own stories. Storytelling is an opportunity to explore us. At the same time, it is an opportunity to experience our reality from a different perspective – where did the frigates go when they flew away …from the perspective of a frigate. For people working with young people it’s an opportunity to ask what if… allowing the imagination to zig from reality to fantasy and back again. The 3-strip comic panel is a challenge for those better at expressing themselves using visuals than words because visuals too can tell a full story filled with drama, humor, warmth, etc. Writers and artists can even collaborate for full expression of an idea. The thing to remember is that there  is no wrong or right, only the urge to write, to draw, to create, and the freedom to be on the page.” Time will tell if this and the other media (thanks to Observer Media Group, Antiguanice.com, 268 Antigua, ABS TV, Crusader Radio, and others for helping us get the word out) and social media, and direct pushes we made to encourage young people in Antigua and Barbuda to submit by February 16th 2020 moved the needle at all.

For full guidelines and submission form, visit https://wadadlipen.wordpress.com/wadadli-pen-2020 Shout out to our patrons Juneth Webson, Frank B. Armstrong, Lawrence Jardine, Brenda Lee Browne, D. Gisele Isaac, Caribbean Reads Publishing, Hermitage Bay Antigua, Adventure Antigua, Cindy’s Book Store, Floree Williams Whyte, Paradise Vision Centre, Jane Seagull, and others.

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You’ll notice that the art category is back for Wadadli Pen but framed this time as a comic strip challenge. Here’s hoping we’ll see lots of entries from the winners of this other art prize, the Halo Christmas card competition, which has been one of the more enduring art initiatives – albeit under different headings, Halo in recent years – in Antigua and Barbuda. Shout out to my alma mater Christ the King High School from which winner Tiffany Dunnah hails. Here’s the report via 268.

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We join the Caribbean and the rest of the literary world in bidding well done and farewell to the late Barbadian scribe Kamau Brathwaite who died on February 4th 2020 (at age 89). He’s been covered a time or two here on the blog but the various tributes should provide a sense of the scope of his work and influence. Also, the Bocas Lit Fest reported “Just days before he died, Brathwaite agreed to accept the 2020 Bocas Henry Swanzy Award for Distinguished Service to Caribbean Letters, presented annually by Trinidad and Tobago’s Bocas Lit Fest. The award pays tribute to Brathwaite’s landmark work as a critic — the author of many seminal essays on Caribbean literature and culture — literary activist, and editor, and was also intended to honour him in the year of what would have been his ninetieth birthday.” The award will now be presented to a member of Brathwaite’s family on March 5th 2020 at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill in Barbados during the annual KamauBrathwaite Lecture.

Peepal Tree publisher Jeremy Poynting said in his tribute (among the various tributes linked above): “Maybe there’s a room somewhere where Kamau, Derek and Wilson are talking together. Now wouldn’t that be some conversation to hear?” He is, of course, referencing Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott and acclaimed Guyanese writer Wilson Harris, the statement an indicator of the company in which Brathwaite sits.

In his influence on and shaping of Caribbean poetry, West Indian Literature, Nation Language (a term he coined as a descriptor of Caribbean ‘dialect’), Africa-infused experimental linguistics in his creative expressions,the work of the UWI, the writers he’s mentored or influenced, the many he’s educated, Brathwaite is remembered as a literary lion and his legacy will surely endure.

For more on Brathwaite, read this editorial in Barbados Today

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Also via a Bocas mailing, the second year of the Johnson and Amoy Achong long list has been posted. It is, per usual, dominated by Trinidad, Jamaica, and Guyana (after being won last year by a Jamaica born, Barbados based writer). The developmental prize for emerging writers (this year focused on non-fiction) will go to either Amanda Choo Quan (T&T), Melissa Doughty (T&T), Ruel Johnson (Guyana), Otancia Noel (T&T), Kim Robinson-Walcott (Jamaica), and Amílcar Sanatan (T&T). Congrats to them.

Speaking of Bocas, check out some of the activity forthcoming at Writers Centre, described as an arts friendly, collaborative, enterprising space.

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New Books –

British Virgin Islands author Eugenia O’Neal’s latest book is March 2020 release Obeah, Race and Racism: Caribbean Witchcraft in the English Imagine (via University Press of the West Indies) which sounds very interesting (wonder if I can get a review copy). Here’s a partial synopsis from its Amazon page:

“In Obeah, Race and Racism, Eugenia O’Neal vividly discusses the tradition of African magic and witchcraft, traces its voyage across the Atlantic and its subsequent evolution on the plantations of the New World, and provides a detailed map of how English writers, poets and dramatists interpreted it for English audiences. …O’Neal examines what British writers knew or thought they knew about Obeah and discusses how their perceptions of black people were shaped by their perceptions of Obeah. …The English reading public became generally convinced that Obeah was evil and that blacks were, at worst, devil worshippers or, at best, extremely stupid and credulous. And because books and stories on Obeah continued to promulgate either of the two prevailing perspectives, and sometimes both together until at least the 1950s, theories of black inferiority continue to hold sway in Great Britain today.” Interesting, right?

Also coming soon is Trini-Bajan Ingrid Persaud’s Love after Love which landed with Faber and Faber after a bidding war because she’s dope like that. It’s due in April but this interview she did with Audible about her BBC and Commonwealth award winning short story The Sweet Sop and her writing journey to date is up now.

Excerpt: “Plot. You know how many times I wake up all two in the morning wondering if I will ever find a plausible plot? Or sometimes I have a plot, and I dream of all the black holes readers are going to find. One day I hope to create a story with a plot so exquisitely crafted that the reader is barely aware of being led through it.”

Finally, in new books, this one is already out I believe, Dominica’s Celia Sorhaindo writes I believe the first post-Irma book of its kind, Guabancex: “On 18 September 2017, a category 5 hurricane, the worst in recorded history, hit the Caribbean island of Dominica. Hurricane Maria destroyed lives and land. Nothing would be the same again. Guabancex explores the complex mix of experiences and emotions, both during and after the event. The collection is named in recognition of the ancient indigenous peoples of the Caribbean. One of these groups, the Taino, called the supreme female spiritual entity associated with all natural destructive forces, Guabancex.”

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Here in Antigua and Barbuda, we can also report that the Cultural Development Division has announced plans for a National Music Awards. It is not, as touted the country’s inaugural music awards (we’ve had the National Vibes Star Project Awards, which was a private/community-driven Grammy-style venture which actually had an even broader range of categories) but it is good to see an initiative to boost one aspect of the arts in Antigua and Barbuda. Lit arts still out here waving its hands but we’re not going to begrudge another category of artists getting a deserved boost. The NMA, per a release, is meant “to highlight and motivate practitioners in the field of music, in Antigua and Barbuda.” The person behind the initiative seems to be new deputy director of Culture, also a very talented, award winning musician and composer, Khan Cordice. As we’ve always said here on the blog (see reference to Barbara Mason) artistic disciplines benefit from having advocates who are passionate about the particular disciplines being in a position backed by the resources of state (limited though they may be) to move the needle. The announced awards categories, each with its various sub-categories, are Vocal, Instrumental, Steelpan, Recording Artiste, DJ, and Special awards. See breakdown.The announced NMA date is April 16th 2020.

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Culture has also unveiled the team behind Antigua and Barbuda’s staging of CARIFESTA. via Antiguanice.com “Leading the charge as Chairman of the Board of Directors will be the Honourable Daryll Matthew, and Senator Shenella Govia as Deputy Chairman. The other members of the board will include Dr. Hazra Medica as Executive Secretary to the Board, the Director of CARIFESTA, and representatives from the following entities, namely the Ministry of Tourism; Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ministry of Finance; National Festivals Office; Ministry of Health, Cultural Development Division; Environment Division; Immigration Department; Security Forces, and the Legal Department.” The announcement coincided with the launch of the new CARIFESTA logo selected from a competition in which Gamal Goodwin emerged victorious. You know what I’ve written about literary Antigua-Barbuda being written out of past CARIFESTAs but I think all of us in the arts community (including writers) still look forward to what may come.

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Another local government agency announcing an awards programme is Gender Affairs. Women of Wadadli is a people’s choice awards recognizing the contribution of “extraordinary work” by “ordinary women” in Antigua and Barbuda. 

(they’re out of order but I’m tired).

Here’s the link.

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Via the Daily Observer, we’ve learned of a film production webinar series, in progress, thanks to the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States’ Business Development Unit. Facilitators so far, according to the report, have included St. Lucia’s Davina Lee and Antigua and Barbuda’s Howard and Mitzi Allen of HaMA Films. The series is reportedly aimed at “sensitizing filmmakers in the region to modern (and best) practices in film production.” FYI, Mitzi Allen is also one of the advisors, along with Shakirah Bourne of Barbados, Juliette McCawley of  Trinidad, and Kareem Mortimer of The Bahamas on the Commonwealth Writers Caribbean Voices project targeting filmmakers (writers, directors, producers) from the region. Apply by February 24th to participate in the May workshop and be in the running for funding for your film project. Details here just in case I don’t get time to add it to the Opportunities Too page in time.

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We’ve covered Dadli Hack before though it deals with tech, not arts, because it seemed a creative enterprise in the way it challenged participants to use technology to troubleshoot and innovate around the issues of our day. This year’s winner is also no stranger to the blog – Team Antigua Island Girls. Remember them? The first all Black all female team to row across the Atlantic. Per the Observer, Dadli Hack 3.0 is part of the United Nations Office of Project Services Global Innovation Challenge. Team Island Girls have won, from among a field of 10 from various Caribbean islands, US$5,000 towards the development of their project to improve eco-tourism via their youth ocean rowing project. The Hackathon includes a week of training and then the ideas pitch. It was held at Antigua and Barbuda’s Science and Innovation Park.

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U.S. based Haitian author Edwidge Dandicat is one of three finalists for the Story Prize for book length short story collections published in 2019 from among 94 submissions. The other two finalists are Zadie Smith and Kali Fajardo-Anstine. If she wins for her book Everything Inside, Dandicat will win US$20,000 and if she doesn’t, she’ll win ‘just’ US$5,000. The winner will be announced on February 26th 2020 at the New School (co-sponsor of the prize) in NYC.

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Have you read Jamaican Marlon James’ A Brief of Seven Killings. Much of the world has and as such Entertainment Weekly, as reported by Jamaicans.com, has dubbed it one of the best books of the last decade. The multi-award, including Booker Prize, winning was an obvious choice for this list and it’s cool to see the Caribbean represented.

Another writer who would make any one’s best of list is Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie who, per AllAfrica, was named ThisDay’s Woman of the Decade. I know she’s not Caribbean but she’s still amazing so we won’t hold that against her.

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Also from the Observer…

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The NAACP Image Awards nominees have been announced and while attention has been on the film and TV categories and Bajan daughter Rihanna being tapped for the President’s award (go, Bad Gyal Ri-Ri!), I have been particularly interested in the book nominations. I am delighted to reveal that New Daughters of Africa which includes some 200 writers, yours truly repping Antigua and Barbuda among them, is a fiction nominee. The anthology is edited by UK-based Margaret Busby (pictured left below with two of the book’s contributors ahead of a panel at the Sharjah International Book Fair in November 2019) who has African and Caribbean roots.

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“Trinida­di­an born po­et and au­thor, Ian Williams has won Cana­da’s rich­est lit­er­ary award for fic­tion, for his nov­el Re­pro­duc­tion. Williams was named as the 2019 Sco­tia­bank Giller Prize…beat­ing out five oth­er au­thors for the prize. The first time nov­el­ist, who is an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor of po­et­ry in the Cre­ative Writ­ing pro­gramme at the Uni­ver­si­ty of British Co­lum­bia, said he was shocked to earn the prize. ‘It’s a to­tal sur­prise, I mean there’s no prepar­ing for it. Even in your wildest fan­ta­sy like you imag­ine it and there’s noth­ing like it. Maybe it’s what pro ath­letes feel like or when ten­nis play­ers win Wim­ble­don or the US Open. Like we don’t write books for this mo­ment and then it hap­pens and you’re to­tal­ly off guard as a hu­man,’ he told the Cana­di­an Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion. He said the win made him re­flect on his past, in­clud­ing his time be­ing raised in Trinidad and To­ba­go be­fore his fam­i­ly mi­grat­ed to Cana­da.” Read more.

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Another award winner, this one with Antiguan roots is lauded children’s book writer and illustrator Ashley Bryan who picked up another Coretta Scott King award for Infinite Hope: a Black Artist’s Journey from World War II to Peace. Released last October, it is described as “a deeply moving picture book memoir about serving in the segregated army during World War II, and how love and the pursuit of art sustained him.” The story offers a reminder that though some have dubbed the WWII generation the greatest generation, it really depends on who’s telling the story. And here Bryan finally tells his own: “In May of 1942, at the age of eighteen, Ashley Bryan was drafted to fight in World War II. For the next three years, he would face the horrors of war as a black soldier in a segregated army. He endured the terrible lies white officers told about the black soldiers to isolate them from anyone who showed kindness–including each other. He received worse treatment than even Nazi POWs. He was assigned the grimmest, most horrific tasks, like burying fallen soldiers…but was told to remove the black soldiers first because the media didn’t want them in their newsreels. And he waited and wanted so desperately to go home, watching every white soldier get safe passage back to the United States before black soldiers were even a thought.” Read more about the book and the other nominees, at AALBC.

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Another Caribbean writer, another accolade. ‘Toronto writer M. NourbeSe Philip has been announced as the 2020 recipient of the PEN/Nabokov Award for International Literature. The $50,000 U.S. ($66,445 Cdn) award honours a writer whose body of work shows “enduring originality and consummate craftsmanship.”‘ Philip is from Tobago. Read about her at CBC.

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There’s more; I’m always gathering stuff to share. But I have to stop for now. So, til next time.

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 which has a Spanish language edition). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out http://jhohadli.wordpress.com 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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Salute

‘Peepal Tree Press is thrilled to announce that the Saboteur Awards judges shortlisted Leone Ross’s Come Let Us Sing Anyway (Peepal Tree Press) for the award for Best Short Story Collection.

This is Leone’s second nomination of the year, after she was nominated for the Jhalak Prize, which last year was won by Peepal Tree Associate Fiction Editor and author, Jacob Ross for his riveting Caribbean crime novel, The Bone Reader. Peepal Tree is no stranger to award success, with wins including the Clarissa Luard Award, the Forward Prize and the Casa de la Américas Literary Award.

Independent and small presses dominate the Saboteur Awards, which celebrate the best books published by the little guys of the book world.

“It’s very nice to be shortlisted,” Leone said. “There are so many wonderful books nominated this year, and the fact readers can vote directly makes me grateful for all the people who’ve read and enjoyed my book.”‘

Come let us sing anyway

CONGRATS to Leone Ross. Read more here.

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A & B Arts Round Up – April 10th 2018 —>

This page or series of pages is specific to arts and/or cultural events being held in Antigua and Barbuda.

May 20th 2018 – Call for papers – 13th Annual Conference and Distinguished Lecture (August 16th -17th 2018) – the University of the West Indies Open Campus Antigua and Barbuda, the Antigua and Barbuda Studies Association, and the Antigua and Barbuda Youth Enlightenment Academy. Details re Call for Papers: UWI-ABSA Conference 2018 Call for Papers

April 28th 2018 – Jhohadli Writing Project Creative Writing Series continues – must register at least one week in advance – can participate from anywhere – several payment options – April 2018

April 21st 2018 – 6:30 p.m. mock logoThe Wadadli Youth Pen Prize 2018 Challenge Awards Ceremony at the Best of Books, St. Mary’s Street.

April 16th – 18th 2018 –  3:00 – 5:00 p.m. – Teenagers’ Artistic Expressions In Writing and With Cell-phone Photographs – Instructor, Mali Adélàjà Olatunji Dip. photo, BSc, M.A. The_Art_of_Mali_Olatunji_-_Full_Size_RGB_m– at The Museum Of Antigua and Barbuda (Long and Market Streets, St. John’s, Antigua) – exploring the simplicity of photography with the use of a cell-phone to make pictures of any subjects or objects with the intention to produce images of artistic pictorial expressions; also articulating  intentions in words in the manner of photojournalism to provide a documentary or a visual account of specific subjects and events, literally re-presenting objective reality rather than the usual subjective discourses of everyday life.

April 14th & 15th 2018 – Antigua Opera Society’s first ever performance at Catherine’s Café and the National Sailing Academy. Read more at Antiguanice.com

April 14th 2018 –  the official launch of Brenda Lee Browne’s first novella, ‘London Rocks’, at Cedars Pottery, Buckley’s Main Road, 6pm – 8pm. There will be a reading,  Q&A and book signing – copies of  ‘Just Write Writers Journal’  will also be on sale. An art exhibition featuring original pieces by Browne will be on display. About the Book: New Book from Hansib – London Rocks[1789]
London Rocks

As with all content (words, images, other) 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, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure). All Rights Reserved. You can also subscribe to and/or follow the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks. And remember while linking and sharing the links, referencing and excerpting, with credit, are okay, lifting whole content (articles,  images, other) from the site without asking is not cool. Respect copyright.

 

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Mailbox – Vanishing Sail Wins Again

Vanishing SailI met Alexis Andrews at his home at Indian Creek, Antigua some years ago (maybe around the late 90s/early 2000s-ish) to interview him about his photography. I’ve written about said photography a couple of times for local and regional publications. Andrews is Greek and has been in Antigua since he sailed here in 1986. His first book, a book of photographs, can be seen as a love letter to Antigua in Images (that’s the title by the way) in the way that it captures life in Antigua and Barbuda. Check the Antiguan and Barbudan Writings page for the full listing of his books (and, of course, all books by Antiguans and Barbudans). His photography and involvement in the yachting culture (including his day job photographing luxury yachts) intersected in what would become his film Vanishing Sail, a documentary about the culture of boat building in Carriacou. That film continues to make the film festival circuit picking up some awards along the way. We’ve captured the ones (awards, that is) we’re aware of on the Antiguans and Barbudans Awarded page. The latest, that I’m aware of is the Donald Gosling Award at the Maritime Media Awards, news of which came in this November 2017 letter (sorry for the delay; if blogging was my job I’d be more on time with these things but I get them out as fast as I can). Here’s the letter:

Dear Friends,

Last night at the Institute of Directors, iconic landmark of London’s Georgian heritage, there was a black tie dinner held in honor of the nominees for the 2017 Maritime Media Awards. This is an annual celebration acknowledging exceptional contributions to the understanding of maritime matters in the United Kingdom and beyond.

Vanishing Sail is the winner the Donald Gosling Award for Best Television or Film!

“An absolutely superb film, with all aspects of it perfectly balanced against each other – very like Exodus herself, as rewarding a maritime documentary as you could hope for.” Rob White Chair, The Maritime Foundation.

We sincerely hope this official honour & recognition will inspire support for our film to be distributed and more importantly, help us develop more boatbuilding projects for the communities of Carriacou!

Next screenings: Dartmouth, Plymouth, Falmouth – tickets: http://www.vanishingsail.com/#screenings

With Thanks & Respect,
Alexis & Justin
The Justin in the signature refers to Alexis’ producing partner Justin Sihera. Congrats to them both.

***

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). All Rights Reserved. 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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Only One Week to the Wadadli Pen Awards

Are you excited?

The Wadadli Pen Awards, which will be held 5:30 p.m. as part of the Wadadli Stories Book Fair, takes place on May 13th. That’s next week Saturday. We’re looking forward to it here at Wadadli Pen, too. That’s when our Finalists will be rewarded and the ultimate winners announced, which we would not have been able to do without the contributions from our generous patrons. Whew! This is the longest gap we’ve ever had between the actual awards (which launches every year in January) and the awarding (typically late March/early April), but I’m sure our patrons and finalists will agree that they have a bigger spotlight as part of the Wadadli Stories event. Believe it or not, even with a permanent team in place, we’ve needed all of that time. And then, once the 2017 Wadadli Pen Challenge season is wrapped, the team can exhale… until we get back to planning and executing the transition of Wadadli Pen from this project I launched back in 2004 in to a proper non-profit which could potentially out last even me. I dream. Anyway, hope to see you if you’re in Antigua at the book fair. There’ll be something for everyone from the Spelling Bee for the kids to the Erotic tent for the adults and somewhere in between a mini-comic-con complete with cosplay for the kids at heart. There’ll be professional development panels (such as my panel on editing), literacy activities (such as testing), readings (including my reading for the little ones from With Grace and for the older ones from Musical Youth), and much more. Go to the Wadadli Stories page for all the details.

17854813_10154497215021188_8497364273538347535_oFor more local arts events on our radar, go 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, Oh Gad!, Fish Outta Water, Musical Youth, and With Grace). All Rights Reserved. Seriously, a lot of time, energy, love and frustration goes in to researching and creating content for this site; please don’t just take it up just so without even a please, thank you or an ah-fu-she-subben (credit). 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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