A reminder that the process with these Carib Lit Plus Caribbean arts bulletins is to do a front and back half of the month, updating as time allows as new information comes in; so, come back, or, if looking for an earlier installment, use the search window. (in brackets, as much as I can remember, I’ll add a note re how I sourced the information – it is understood that this is the original sourcing and additional research would have been done by me to build the information shared here – credit and link back if you use).
Books and Other Reading Material
Tameisha’s Adventures by Zoanne Evans. “Thirteen-year old Tameisha is tired. Tired of teachers, tired of homework generally tired of school. All she really wants to do (apart from hanging out with her friends) is to style hair. That all changes when a cosmetologist inspires her to make an unprecedented visit to the school library to research Madam C.J. Walker. In the library something goes terribly wrong and Tameisha finds herself still in Barbados, but in 1840 just post-emancipation…Will she find her way back to 21st century Barbados or will she have to stay in the 19th century and accept her awful fate?”
The paperback edition of Ayanna Lloyd Banwo’s When We were Birds was published in 2023.
The Trinidad and Tobago author has already wracked up a bevy of awards and accolades for her debut novel (see below) and is, at this writing, on the short list for the Jhalak Prize. (Source – N/A)
Soul Sations will be offering up good food for mind and body including a talk on wellness by Saran Davis on June 3rd at the G Art Gallery in Piccadilly. Scheduled performers include deejays Sistah Souljahs; singers Amanda Tappin and Rashid Walker; literary artistes Kimolisa Mings, Glen Toussaint, and MJ the Poet; with food by Vegan 100 and drinks by Timmy Time Cocktails. (Source – Kimolisa Mings on Instagram)
My timeline was awash with pictures from the May 26th – 28th 2023 return of Jamaica’s Calabash literary festival and I’m borrowing some of them. Slideshow below.
Slide to see Joyce Carol Oates, Johnny Temple with Padma Lakshmi, Angelina Jolie with Padma Lakshmi and Sarita Choudhury, steps with book titles, Kwame Dawes, Amina Blackwood-Meeks with Janet and Dale Mahfood, Olive Senior, and Kevin Jared Hosein. (Source – Johnny Temple, Caribbean Writers, and Calabash International Literary Festival on facebook, seasaltanddrum, Joyce Carol Oates, and Tanya Batson-Savage on twitter)
The Antigua and Barbuda Ministry of Education‘s virtual research symposium series continues May 24th 2023 on facebook live. 6-8 p.m. The previous week’s symposium can be viewed here. (Source – Daily Observer Antigua by Newsco)
In the UK, on June 24th 2023, Wasafiri will host an afternoon of readings & conversation, ‘Windrush: Writing the Scandal’, live in partnership with the Black Cultural Archives.
Windrush – the name of one of the ships that took them there – has become a catch-all for the post-World War 2 generation of then British West Indian citizens who went to help rebuild England, them and their generations after suffering extreme racism in the process. (Source – Ira Mathur on Twitter)
The National Archives of Antigua and Barbuda’s inaugural marketplace and cultural exhibition is coming up on June 9th 2023. It is expected to feature local craft, maypole dancing, john bulls, moco jumbies, local foods, including a fungee eating competition, and local drinks. Vendors can call 462-3947 to register. (Source – Daily Observer newspaper by Newsco)
‘The Historical and Archaeological Society (HAS) held the first event in its ‘Unlock the Museum’ series over the weekend, as persons passionate about Antigua’s history traversed Fort James. The ‘Unlock the Museum’ series was created to share some of the museum’s most intriguing artefacts, stories, and heritage about Antigua and Barbuda. Observer media travelled to the site of the first event in the series, Fort James, as Dr Christopher Waters, an archaeologist and expert in Antiguan fortifications spoke to us about what the ‘Unlock the Museum’ initiative means. “The idea is to bring all of this knowledge, history, material that we have to the wider public, unlocking our archives…so these field trips that we are doing now actually hark back to about 30 years ago, which was common within the Society,” Dr Waters explained.’ from Observer newspaper (Source – Facebook)
Antiguan and Barbudan poet Dotsie Isaac debuted Senses, a spoken word event, last year to considerable acclaim and here she comes again. The event is scheduled for June 17th and benefits the local Sickle Cell foundation. ICYMI, I interviewed her for CREATIVE SPACE in 2022. (Source – Dotsie Isaac on Instagram)
When I wrote in one of the recent Wadadli Pen 2023 Challenge posts that Teachers are the Real MVPs, I didn’t even realize it was Teachers’ Week – it was a recounting of an encounter and a celebration of one of our key partners, teachers. Well, May 14th – 21st is Teachers’ Week in Antigua and Barbuda and we are happy to join in giving them all deserved flowers. A teacher adjacent activity I wanted to mention is the Ministry of Education’s research symposium, May 17th and 24th, which you can view and/or listen from their facebook page. Symposia like this which offer research specific to Antigua and Barbuda is vital – give the findings a listen. (Source – Daily Observer newspaper)
Wadadli Pen News
ETA: Patronage update
As we’ve updated you, the 2023 season of the Wadadli Pen Challenge has launched. We can confirm that contributions from Barbara Arrindell, Wadadli Pen team member, and Daryl George, past Wadadli Pen winner, have enabled us to take the step of opening an account as a non-profit. They have been added to our 2023 patrons list, as well as individuals (Joy Lawrence), companies (KN Consulting, the Best of Books bookstore, Moondancer Books), and community groups (Cushion Club) who have committed to contributing to the 2023 challenge season, with prizes and other things (e.g. promotion). We continue to seek patronage. Contact us at email@example.com if you want to contribute or volunteer/intern with us. As usual, we shout out all the media who have helped push our agenda and especially so this year – Observer Media Group, WTP 93.5 FM (which hasn’t happened yet but which we expect to this week), and apart from the Wadadli Pen blog and vlog, both of which you should be subscribed to by the way, we have a year-round presence on Antiguanice.com
I’m happy to report that entries have started coming in and we look forward to y’all overwhelming us with submissions. It’s the kind of problem we like to have. (Source – in house)
Remember to check Opportunities and Opportunities Too to make sure you never miss out on another …opportunity. One of those opportunities, specific to Caribbean and Caribbean diaspora artists, is the Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival short story competition, which, in part due to limited opportunities, has quickly become quite coveted. It is made more appealing by the high standards it brings to table breaking and/or elevating the vanguard of new Caribbean writing. If you feel your pen is nice, this is a challenge you want to take. They have added to the challenge; ruminate on the number 5/five. “Have you ever thought about what you would do if you only had 5 months to live? What if that time was whittled to 5 weeks or even 5 days? What would you do with those remaining moments? How would you spend your last 5 dollars in the world, knowing very well that there’d be nothing else? Thinking back, is it possible to recall the most impressionable 5 moments of your life? The number 5 is undoubtedly an important increment. From universally representing the length of the daily grind between the (often) dreaded modern work week of Monday to Friday, those 5 days which have come to define the life cycles, circadian, arcadian and social rhythms of modern human civilisation; to the perfectly appointed number of digits on each hand, 5 is a relatable and easily identifiable multiple. In the Caribbean, 5 is nature in action. Countless childhood memories have been crystallised from the tart and sweet nectar of ripe 5-finger fruit – memories headlined by mothers who have themselves wiped clean the sticky chins and fingers of their children – those lifted hands almost an act of reverential offering. Which Caribbean person can deny that carambola is the star(fruit) of the wet season? The regalia of a formed hibiscus flower has five sepals, the fragrant frangipani, 5 petals. Indeed, the number 5, as a pattern and as a unit is stamped in the conscious and unconscious memory, flora, fauna and sensory landscape of all Caribbean people. Permit us to add one more object to the magical numeric sequence of our complex and variegated Caribbean lives. This year, the Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival (BCLF) observes 5 years of celebrating Caribbean writers in the North American diaspora and across the yes – you got it, 5 boroughs of New York. It’s been 5 wonderful years of falling in love anew with Caribbean stories.” The submission deadline is July 1st 2023.
Details here. (Source – BCLF email)
Per The Blacklist, “What’s at stake is nothing less than the future of writing as a viable career.” They made a strong case against scabbing or breaking the picket line by picking up the work WGA members have put down on projects produced by Guild signatory companies. As someone who has been all-in on my writing career (no net) since 2002/3, I know how important it is for the people you work with (and sometimes for the other creatives you work alongside) to understand that we must insist on the value of what we do (the right to a fair fee, an understanding of rights and ownership of our Intellectual Property etc.), so that we can eat and, hopefully, thrive. (Source – The Blacklist email)
Young Barbudan Sophia Charles won the BarbudanGo World Oceans Day writing competition in 2022 and her winning story “Pip the Parrotfish” is being turned in to a book which will be released in June 2023. As a pre-launch activity, BarbudanGo, a non-profit on Antigua’s sister island, held an illustration competition, the winner of which is Kyrolos Greaux. He won an art book and art supplies. As for Pip the Parrotfish, BarbudanGo is in the process of planning and organizing a series of reading drives. (Source – the Daily Observer by Newsco)
Fresh off of her win at Bocas, Trinidad and Tobago’s Ayanna Lloyd Banwo has made the short list of the Jhalak Prize.
The prize is awarded to writers of colour in the UK. Ayanna lives in the UK and her book When We Were Birds is one of six in the running, culled from a long list of 12. The three-member judging panel includes award winning UK based TnT poet Anthony Vahni Capildeo. The winner will be announced on May 25th 2023. (Source – Twitter)
Regional winners of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize have been announced. Jamaican Kwame McPherson is the Caribbean pick.
ETA: About the regional winner for the Caribbean via Ruth Killick Publicity, “Caribbean – Kwame McPherson (Jamaica) A past student of London Metropolitan University and University of Westminster, Kwame McPherson is a 2007 Poetic Soul winner and was the first Jamaican Flash Fiction Bursary Awardee for The Bridport Prize: International Creative Writing Competition in 2020. A prolific writer, Kwame is a recent and successful contributor to Flame Tree Publishing’s (UK) diverse-writing anthologies and a contributor to ‘The Heart of a Black Man’ anthology to be published in Los Angeles, which tells personal inspiring, uplifting and empowering stories from influential and powerful Black men.”
McPherson is joined by Hana Gammon (South Africa, Africa); Agnes Chew (Singapore, Asia); Rue Baldry (United Kingdom, Canada and Europe); and Himali McInnes (New Zealand, Pacific). The overall winner will be announced on June 27th 2023. (Source – Commonwealth Foundation Creatives for Facebook)
“CREATIVE SPACE #19 OF 2022: THE ‘HEADKERCHIEF’; HERITAGE, FASHION, CELEBRATION, AND RESISTANCE” from the Antigua and Barbuda art and culture column by Joanne C. Hillhouse is in the running for the Caribbean Broadcasting Union Caribbean Media Awards – People Choice. Anyone can vote until June 12th 2023. Also in the running are six stories by Great Belize Productions. You can view or read before voting here. (Source – CBU email)
We previously related that several Caribbean diaspora writers were on the Women Prize Discoveries longlist and now we can report that some of them have made the shortlist: Specifically Georgina Charles, described as a “grandchild of the Windrush generation”, Paige Cowan-Hall, “the child of second generation Jamaican immigrants”, and Riana Duce, whose paternal grandparents are from St. Kitts and Nevis “where her grandfather still lives”. Credit to her Caribbean roots, Duce said, in response to a question asked of the short listed writers, “My favourite author is Andrea Levy. Small Island taught me more about the Windrush generation – and with it my own family history – than school ever did. There isn’t a book Levy wrote that I don’t adore. Her voice, her wit, the intimacy and scope of her work, and her phenomenal characters will live with me forever. ” Per the Women Prize site, “The Discoveries programme, run by the Women’s Prize Trust in partnership with Curtis Brown literary agency, the Curtis Brown Creative writing school and Audible, aims to find and support aspiring female writing talent from across the UK and Ireland and culminates in the awarding of the Discoveries Prize.” (Source – Women’s Prize for fiction email)
As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, The Jungle Outside, and To be a Cheetah – the latter scheduled for July 2023 release and available for pre-order wherever you buy books at this writing). All Rights Reserved. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.