Tag Archives: Barbados

From the Mailbox: AnimeKon!

Fanboys and Fangirls, and LARPing enthusiasts everywhere, did you know that we have an AnimeKon in the Caribbean. Yep, in Barbados. And this week a reminder for authors wishing to participate landed in my mailbox from Chattel House Books, a five time sponsor of the event. Here it is in full:

Chattel House Books is a 5th time sponsor for the Authors Lounge at AnimeKon!

AnimeKon: Lim8tless will be held from Saturday, September 2nd to Sunday, September 3rd, 2017.

See below for all the epic activities in the Chattel House Books Authors Lounge… Look out for two added bonuses this year at the Kon: Author Workshops & Competitions!

Besides entry into the Kon which is a discounted $20 daily pass or a $40 weekend pass, ALL Author activities are FREE to Local, Caribbean and International Authors compliments Chattel House Books.

Authors, truly thank you for all your support over the years.

Warm regards,
Erica  Contact Erica Hinkson to book your spot today at (246) 429-2805/ (246) 231-2712 or at ericadara02@hotmail.com

Got that? Good. Now here are some past con pictures:



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Mailbox – Cher

This is an Antigua-Barbuda lit-arts centric site but we routinely share things beyond the borders of the literary arts, Antigua and Barbuda, and even the Caribbean. We’re not able to share everything and reserve the right to share what we choose – within whatever window time allows. This email comes from Barbados but we’re sharing it primarily because it penetrates the borders of the socio-historical as relates to African people and centers a woman more of us need to know about, Saartjie Baartman. Hey, maybe you already do, but for those who don’t. And also to say congrats to Bajan scribe and artist Cher-Antoinette as she prepares to launch her inaugural solo-exhibition. Bajan-peeps, check it out; Cher, best of luck and send us some pictures for the blog.12af77c3-97b3-43da-b499-e69a1d62f296

Cher-Antoinette is a scientist, writer and visual artist. Her inaugural solo-exhibition is being planned in association with the Errol Barrow Centre of Creative Imagination (EBCCI) at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus for the month of March 2017.

The theme of the exhibition “Just Call Me Sarah: The Colours of a Woman” was conceived in part by the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the last days in the life of Saartjie Baartman (Sarah). This KhoiKhoi woman of South African descent was made to believe that she would have a better life in Europe in the 1800’s, with wealth and prosperity, if she agreed to showcase her attributes – her ability to sing and dance and more importantly, her physical characteristics which were never before seen by the white Europeans.

The story is short, Sarah was ‘stolen’ from her homeland and sold for display in London as a “Phenomenon”. She was ridiculed and objectified and died a lonely, painful death having been placed into a life of abuse and prostitution such that we may not be able to comprehend. Five years she lived and died in Europe, a life filled with ridicule, abuse and objectification – all because she looked different with large breasts, spreading hips, an ample buttocks (a genetic condition called Steatopygia) and an elongated labia.

Her objectification was imposed upon her. Her hyper-sexuality was bestowed on her and her bodily shape was used to signify (albeit incorrectly) the close relations between black people and animals (orangutans) and also to stand as proof of ideologies regarding black female primitivism.

“The history of her exploitation touched a raw nerve in me, maybe because I also am a full figured woman, with possibly a similar genetic situation. But more importantly I am very concerned in the manner in which this present generation is embracing such self-objectification and in my mind tainting the beauty of the full figured woman. Many have chosen to initiate or be comfortable with their socially imposed objectification and in some instances have ridiculed themselves and participated in setting a stage where their perceived value is diminished. The lines of sensuality and sexuality have been blurred significantly. The Colours seen in my portfolio speak to the wholesomeness of womanhood, the joy of being a woman and the fact that beauty and strength come from within with the guidance of that which the Universe in its Divine Order has presented to us.” (Cher)

There are 25 pieces to be displayed with the primary media being singularly and a combination of watercolour, pen/ink, and charcoal, acrylic inks on paper and acrylic on canvas.



If, like us, you’re not in Barbados, you can still check out the artists’ work (though not this collection just yet) online.


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Congrats to Esther Phillips:

“Winner of the 2016 Governor General’s Award and a NIFCA Gold! Leaving Atlantis is a suite of poems that explores the unstable territory between public and private. They are addressed to the great Barbadian novelist and thinker, George Lamming, the silent but speaking partner in a relationship of love that comes between two writers when “your flag is flying at half-mast”. Read more.


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Wadadli in BIM

Some of our students brought a little Wadadli flavor to the UWI Cave Hill campus in Barbados recently. Here are some highlights courtesy (Cushion Clubber for Life) Latisha Browne.

The night’s performances included dedications to some of Antigua and Barbuda’s historical icons – through dress and mime – Oscar Mason, Short Shirt, Gwen Tonge, and national hero Nellie Robinson. Beyond the Short Shirt mention, there was also a calypso corner, where a student, Terro Ralph, did a tribute to Short Shirt, singing ‘Nobody Go Run Me’. Soca wasn’t left out – the university students also shared synopses of the careers of CP, Tizzy, and Tian while other students pretended to be them. During the mas segment, the students wore costumes from party bands Fantasy 268, Myst, and Dumz Tree. During the week there was also a panel discussion and a beer lime with music by DJ Elementz from Antigua, giving a bit of home.

Thanks, Latisha, for sharing how our student ambassadors are helping spread Antiguan and Barbudan arts and culture.



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From the Mailbox: Naomi Launches in Barbados

I’m going to let this one jump the queue because Naomi Jackson is one of our own (she has Bajan and Antiguan roots) and she’s been nothing but kind (most recently naming my book Oh Gad! to a recent list she did at the American Scholar).Her acclaimed book The Star Side of Bird Hill is set in Barbados so, though it’s been out for a minute, the Barbados launch is no doubt a pretty big deal for her and the country. Chattel House Books sent us this and now we’re sharing it with you. If you’re in Barbados, show her some love, and ask her when’s the Antigua launch.

NaomiThey included this synopsis of the book:

The lyrical novel of community, betrayal, and love centers on an unforgettable matriarchal family in Barbados. Two sisters, ages ten and sixteen, are exiled from Brooklyn to Bird Hill in Barbados after their mother can no longer care for them. The young Phaedra and her older sister, Dionne, live for the summer of 1989 with their grandmother Hyacinth, a midwife and practitioner of the local spiritual practice of obeah.

This tautly paced coming-of-age story builds to a crisis when the father they barely know comes to Bird Hill to reclaim his daughters, and both Phaedra and Dionne must choose between the Brooklyn they once knew and loved or the Barbados of their family.


p.s. we also shared some reviews of her book here and here.

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BIM Lit Fest: A Teaser

Bernice McFadden

This is a moment from the official launch of the 2016 BIM Literary Festival at the expansive and beautiful grounds at Ilaro Court, the official residence of the Prime Minister of Barbados. It was posted to facebook by the lady in the middle: Book of Harlan, Sugar, and several other books author Bernice McFadden, a bold and joyful spirit if ever there was one. It’s been great meeting her and, today, co-facilitating a workshop tracking the intersection of memory and fiction with her. It was great seeing and catching up with the free and grounded spirit to the far right as well, A-dZiko Gegele, who you’ll remember won the Burt Award for teen/young adult fiction for her delightful book All Over Again the year my book Musical Youth was first runner up. The three of us are here for the BIM Literary Festival. I have one more activity – a reading on Saturday night – before returning home. So far it’s a rich experience – great to reconnect with two of my first mentors Mervyn Morris and Olive Senior, to meet people I feel like I already know (thanks to social media and their writing which I’ve shared here in more than one of the reading rooms) like Shakirah Bourne and Tanya Shirley. It’s been good. At this particular event (the one pictured above), Paule Marshall (author of books like Praisesong for the Widow and Browngirl, Brownstones) was presented with a lifetime achievement award, via her son, and we, the authors, each presented a copy of one of our books to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who, credit to him, was present and engaged for the entire event (how often do we see that from a political leader at a literary event) and who re-affirmed his commitment to the literary arts. I hope he enjoys Dancing Nude in the Moonlight 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings.

See my other blog for BIM Lit Fest in Pictures.

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, and Musical Youth. 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 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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Opportunity! Apply!

Announcing the inaugural Barbados
An African Diaspora Project
May 18-24, 2014
hosted by
The Department of Language, Linguistics & Literature
University of the West Indies, Cave Hill
Free and Open to the Public

Gregory Pardlo, poetry / Maaza Mengiste, fiction

HOW TO APPLY: Applications must be submitted online at <http://www.callaloo.expressacademic.org> no later than February 14, 2014. Each applicant must submit a brief cover letter and writing sample (no more than five pages of poetry or twelve pages of prose fiction). The application should be submitted under the category BARBADOS CALLALOO CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP. For additional information and explanations, please email [Callaloo@tamu.edu] or telephone [979-458-3108] the Callaloo office.
Charles Henry Rowell, Director & Editor of Callaloo
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
Callaloo website [http://callaloo.tamu.edu]
Callaloo Facebook [(http://facebook.com/Callaloo]
Twitter [@CallalooJournal]
Free and Open to the Public

Stephanie Wasson,
CALLALOO Journal of African Diaspora editor



I earned a spot at Callaloo in 2012. In this link and this link, I share that experience. – Joanne C. Hillhouse


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Adventures in Reading

So this one is a bit dated but was too much fun not to share. Writers are a kooky bunch…and boy can I relate to being left flat footed when facing an audience of children. I’ve been known to pull an anansi out of my back pocket when pressed.  Thank God I’ll soon have my very own children’s book for such occasions.

The other reason I like this piece…we need more events like this in Antigua.

Until then, live vicariously with this place-you-there report about World Book Day by Bajan literary sistren Shakirah Bourne.

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Robert Gibson meets the Expressionists

“All in all, it was a great trip to Antigua, culminating in poetry mindgasm that left me wanting to experience it again and again and again.” This is from Bajan poet Robert Gibson’s account of his summer 2013 trip to Antigua. But what has him so hot and bothered? Find out, here.

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Fresh Milk

Sharing this because I enjoy reading about the creative process…and did you know about this residency in Barbados? Such a cool idea, the kind of space writers and other artists need to grow too often lacking here and other parts of the Caribbean.


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