Tag Archives: Barbuda


(Barbuda image – JCH)

The annual Antigua and Barbuda Conference 14th in the series, has been set for August 15–16, 2019, and they have issued their call for papers.

Here It Is:

This year, our focus will be on Barbuda and its recovery after the devastating impact of hurricane Irma. To do this topic justice, we will have to break the usual patterns of putting Antigua first and Barbuda second. In spite of being constitutionally joined since 1860, the history of relations between Barbuda and Antigua has been a rather intense and explosive one. Consequently, between the two territories there have been deep and abiding levels of distrust and misunderstanding.

One indicator of the explosive nature of the relations between these territories of our twin-island state is the 1858 four-day explosion of violence in St. Johns between migrant Barbudans and resident Antiguans. A second indicator of the depth of this divide was the secessionist position taken by the Barbuda delegation to the 1980 Lancaster House conference at which the independence constitution of the soon-to-be nation of Antigua and Barbuda was being drafted. The Barbudan delegation made it clear that they wanted a separation from the union with Antigua. The third indicator of the depth of this divide that I will mention here is the one we are living through—the differences between Barbudans and Antiguans over how best to reconstruct and develop Barbuda after hurricane Irma.

In other words, in spite of 38 years of political independence as the nation of Antigua and Barbuda, we have not been able to forge a collective identity that includes Barbudans and Antiguans on equal terms. There remains a deep fissure in the “We” or the collective identity of our nation that continues to erupt every so often, with threats to dissolve our union. Thus it is important that we seek a better understanding of this long and well-established divide by exploring its distinct nature and history.

Let us refer to this divide between Barbuda and Antigua as a form of insular inequality. This is a form of social inequality that emerged out of the peculiar relationship that colonial rule established between a colony and its dependency. Consequently, in the period after colonial rule, the people and leaders of some postcolonial nations have found themselves confronted with not only forms of imperial, class, race and gender inequality, but also insular inequality. Just as these other forms of domination and related inequalities required well-developed discourses of analysis and organized action to counter them, so too does insular inequality. To fight it, we will need carefully developed discourses of insularism that should be comparable to those of classism, imperialism, racism and sexism. Among the new postcolonial nations that inherited all of these forms of social inequality, we can think of Trinidad and Tobago, St. Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and of course Antigua and Barbuda.

Between a colony and its dependency, there exist definite feelings of insular difference produced by the maritime separation between the two islands or territories making up the union. These are basic self/other, or we/they differences that often develop on both sides around observable differences such as race, gender, geography or ethnicity. However, upon feelings of insular and other forms of difference, structures and processes of domination, exploitation and neglect were established during the colonial period. These practices greatly exaggerated these feelings of difference, transforming them into toxic forms of insularism. These exaggerated feelings in turn, became the foundations of the insular inequality that currently exists in cases like Antigua and Barbuda or Trinidad and Tobago.

We have not named and theorized insular inequality to the same degree that we have the other major forms of social domination. We have been able to name and theorize sexism, racism, imperialism and classism because there have been extensive developments of these discourses abroad on which we have been able to draw. This has not been the case with insularism, which has left us with the challenge of taking the lead in developing such a discourse that could guide the struggle for insular equality within postcolonial nations with inheritances of dependencies. We would not think of fighting racism or sexism without carefully naming and theorizing them. Yet this is precisely what we have been attempting to do in the case of insularism.

Between Barbuda and Antigua, there developed a particularly toxic form of insularism, even by Caribbean standard. Before gaining the constitutional status of a dependency, Barbuda was simply real estate owned by the Codringtons, and used to support their sugar plantations in Antigua. William Codrington called Barbuda a private governmency, a “constitutional” status that was clearly below that of a dependency. As a private governmency, there were no requirements that legislatures and other institutions of government be set up. All that was required was a manager and a lawyer, who had to report to the Codringtons. This was the low point from which Barbuda became a dependency of Antigua, with the developmental gap between the two only growing wider. As this gap widened, the insular differences turned toxic as they were equated with moral, intellectual and performative differences between Barbudans and Antiguans.

This is the persistent heritage of toxic insularism that continues to divide us. It has produced attitudes of Antigua-first and Antigua-centric forms of politics, which Barbudans have instinctively resisted. This resistance has been a major obstacle in the way of the central government’s attempts to develop Barbuda and to close the gap between these territories of our twin-island nation. The current tensions over the post-Irma reconstruction of Barbuda are the latest in a long series.

Given this long history of insular inequality, it is clear what we must do at this 14th annual country conference. First, we must listen to the anti- Antigua-centric voices of Barbudans and grasp more fully the depths of the fight for insular equality from which they speak. Second, we will have to put these Antigua-centric discourses and practices on the table for close examination. Third, we will have to get into the historical roots of this now toxic relationship so that we can understand it better. And fourth, we will have come up with suggestions for ending this practice of Antiguan superiority, as we have in the cases of white or male superiority.

Thus some of the topics that you may consider writing and speaking about are:

How is insular inequality different from class or racial inequality?
Is Antiguan insularism a form of micro imperialism?
What has been the history of the Barbudan economy and the attempts to develop it?
What have been the policies of the ABLP, PLM, UPP administrations on Barbuda?
What was the ACLM’s position on the development of Barbuda?
How do we deal with the vexed issue of land ownership on Barbuda?
How does Antigua and Barbuda today compare with Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and the Grenadines or St. Kitts-Nevis?
How do we heal and close the deep fissure between Barbuda and Antigua?

If you are interested in making a presentation at this 2019 conference, please send us a brief abstract that includes your name, your title and a brief description of the theme of your presentation. We must receive your abstract by May 20th, 2019. It will help us to put you on the right panel. Your abstract, in the form of a word document, should be emailed to paget_henry@brown.edu or to janetlofgren@gmail.com


Paget Henry, president, Antigua Barbuda Studies Association
Zane Peters, head, UWI (Antigua)
Schuyler Esprit, program officer, UWI (Antigua)
Janet Lofgren, editorial assistant, Antigua and Barbuda Review of Books

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (founder and coordinator of Wadadli Pen, and 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. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. 

There’s still time to vote in the #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda Readers Choice Book of the Year initiative.



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$600 Worth of Books to Go to a Local School…if you vote

mock logo

This is the press release we sent out re the prize for the #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda Readers Choice initiative with some updates to reflect developments since the release was issued.

Schools Prize to be Given in the Name of Winning Author/Book;
#readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda

While there is no Wadadli Pen Challenge in 2019, the Antigua and Barbuda Readers Choice #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda prize will benefit a school in Antigua and Barbuda thanks to two regular, generous patrons who have pledged a combined EC$600 to the initiative.

Anyone reading this can help a school in Antigua and Barbuda get some local and/or Caribbean books for its class/school library by voting. Students can vote too. The donated funds will be used to purchase books which will go to the winning author’s alma mater or a school of his/her choice. This contribution will be made in the author’s name on behalf of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize, a project which has been nurturing and showcasing the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda since 2004.

The Book of the Year prize, covering books published 2017 to launch date 2018, is intended to boost not just the winning local author but the local literary arts in general. With the gift of books, it will also serve to encourage the reading of local and regional literature among our young people.

Anyone wishing to bump up the gift by adding a cash component to the already pledged patronage, email wadadlipen@gmail.com Everyone else is being reminded by Wadadli Pen to vote – Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator, author Joanne C. Hillhouse, has said that while they have the minimum number of votes to ensure that a winning author will be named, it has been disappointing that more people have not taken the time to vote. “You don’t’ have to have read all the books, but if you or your child has read even one of the books and liked it, it costs you nothing but a few moments, not even a minute, to vote,” she stressed. To vote, click the #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda link , and comment below the post with your choice of book and a reason why you think it should win.

So far, the leading vote getters are The ABCs of the Black Panther Party by S. Khalilah Brann (with illustrator Chemay Morales-James), F.A.K.E. by Vivian Luke, How to Work Six Jobs on an Island: an Island Boy’s Dream by Shawn N. Maile, London Rocks by Brenda Lee Browne, and This Woman Can: the No Bullsh*t Guide for Women Who Lead by Janice Sutherland. Also on the board are Be with You: a Valentine’s Romance by Roxy Wilson, Friends to Forever by Roxy Wilson, The Gift (Falling like a Johnson Book 1) by Rilzy Adams, The Guardian Vampire by Roxy Wilson, and Dreamland Barbuda: A Study of the History and Development of Communal Land Ownership on the Island by Asha Frank, and Legend of Integrity and Courage by Nuffield J. Burnette. This means that there are 35 books with not even a single vote – this, in spite of Hillhouse stressing that authors can vote (just not for their own books) and their entire families and fan bases are also welcome to vote. “This is not science, it is a celebration of our literary arts,” she said. “If there’s a book you read and loved, show it some love, and if you haven’t read any of the books, pick one, buy it, read it, and, if you like it, vote for it before the end of March. This is Black History Month but how about we make it A & B literary month, and show a local author some love.”

“it really had me in the feels” 

“straightforward and relatable”



“A fantastic read”

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A & B Arts Round up – January 3rd 2019 —>

July 6th 2019 – 6 p.m. – The Royal Society of Literature – New Daughters of Africa – part of the Africa Writes Festival @ the Knowledge Centre, the British Library, London – this is obviously not being held in Antigua (and though I’m unlikely to be there, I wanted to let my Caribbean and especially my Antiguan people know about this, one of the events being held to promote the New Daughters of Africa). “Twenty-five years after Margaret Busby’s Daughters of Africa anthology, a new companion volume brings together the work of over 200 writers from across the globe – Antigua to Zimbabwe, Angola to the USA – to celebrate a unifying heritage, illustrate an uplifting sense of sisterhood and showcase the remarkable range of creativity from the African diaspora.” Details here.

April 30th 2019 – A feature of Antigua Sailing Week is Reggae in the Park at the Nelson’s Dockyard, an official UNESCO heritage site. Go here for details.

March 31st 2019 – Wadadli Pen Readers Choice Book of the Year voting deadline. If there’s a book, released between 2017 and 2018, by an Antiguan and Barbudan that you read and liked. Vote. If you haven’t read any of the books on the list; there’s still time. Here’s where you go to see the books and vote.

#readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda

January 29th 2019 (give or take) – Team Antigua Island Girls due to return home – follow their page for the latest (and to read up on them if you haven’t been following their 3,000 mile row across the Atlantic) as this kind of thing is hard to pin down – also check out our tribute here on Wadadli Pen #Girlscan

January 14th – 18th 2019 – Schools Drama Festival & January 17th 2019 – Honey Bee Theatre’s The Long Walk ETA: Encore showing set for February 9th 2019 – Dean William Lake Centre.49682638_10156651453962931_7641356855263887360_n

January 8th 2019 (5 p.m. – 7 p.m.) – Art Show and Wine Tasting featuring Tracy Salmon.48356852_371261727012898_7963534236311355392_n

49115870_762893680740981_3748126278847299584_nJanuary 4th (6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. and 5th 2019 (11 a.m. – 2 p.m.) – The Black Exhibit presents ART: A Research Study Redefining Gender Norms Through Photography by Jesseca Ormond at the Reginald Samuel Art Gallery located at the Antigua and Barbuda Youth Enlightenment Academy (Old BBC building in Lightfoot). Admission is free. For more information you can email theblackexhibit@gmail.com, call (268) 734-7359, or visit the facebook event page for details. Another showing to be organized – watch this space (or check with The Black Exhibit’s facebook page or email them for more)

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Wadadli Pen founder, coordinator, and blogger Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and With Grace). All Rights Reserved.

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Voter Turnout Low

(media release updating re #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda – issued December 8th 2018)

Votes are trickling in but voter turnout could be a lot higher. That’s according to Wadadli Pen which is running a #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda People’s Choice Book of the Year Challenge. The Challenge – the first of its kind for Wadadli Pen, which will not be having its usual creative writing challenge in 2019 – invites and encourages readers to vote from among the 45 books in the running; and if you or your circle haven’t read any of the books, Wadadli Pen wishes to remind you that books make good gifts to self and others.

Some authors have embraced the idea, notably Shawn N. Maile, who did a promotional ebook giveaway of his book, How to Work Six Jobs on an Island: an Island Boy’s Dream, in order to encourage people to read and vote. And he didn’t limit his encouragement to his book, posting on his facebook page, “also support the other authors by purchasing and reading their works in whatever format you can.” His book is one of the leading vote getters so far. Voters are encouraged to leave a reason for their vote and one of those who voted for Six Jobs said, “It was a great example of time management and maximizing resources.” Also on the board so far, the second leading vote getter Vivian Luke’s F.A.K.E.; three books by Roxy Wilson, who writes ebooks in the romance genre – Be With You, Friends to Forever, and The Guardian Vampire; former Wadadli Pen judge Brenda Lee Browne’s London Rocks; and former Wadadli Pen finalist Rilzy Adams’ The Gift – “it really had me in the feels”.

The #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda initiative has not reached the minimum vote threshold but readers do have until March 2019 to vote. Wadadli Pen does want to reminder the Antigua and Barbuda public, though, if there’s a book you like – or a book your children liked – don’t sleep on it. With 44 books in the running – after corrections to adjust for books of which Wadadli Pen might not have been aware – there are plenty of choices to go around.

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One online group, Amazing Antiguans and Barbudans for Social and Economic Development, sharing one of the several social media posts about #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda, said, “so I heard on radio the other day that we are lacking in authors and then here comes (this)…do you know your local authors? If not, get to know them and vote! If you are already familiar then do vote now!” Wadadli Pen appreciates the love and encourages everyone to share, read, and vote.

Wadadli Pen is reminding fans of the books to vote, as well as authors of the books as well and their circle – authors may not be able to vote for their own book but they can vote; and they can and should do whatever they can to push their book. The #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda is about giving our local authors and their books a boost in keeping with Wadadli Pen’s mission to nurture and showcase the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda.

For more on #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda and to vote, visit https://wadadlipen.wordpress.com/2018/10/30/readantiguabarbuda-voteantiguabarbuda

As with all posts on Wadadli Pen, this is written by founder and author Joanne C. Hillhouse, who (full disclosure) also has a book – Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure – in the running. This one you can feel free to share fully and encourage your fellow book lovers to #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda

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A & B Arts Round-up – November 2nd 2018 –>

Mark Brown at the airport.jpgOngoing – Independence art show at the airport – extended to the weekend of November 10th 2018. For more on this event, check out CREATIVE SPACE 14 at my Jhohadli blog.

Ongoing – new film – Loving Daniella – while this doesn’t look to be a local film, it does, judging from the trailer, have some location shots in Antigua and Barbuda, and some local talent (I spied Omar Mathurin and Julie Hewlett who played brother and sister in Antigua and Barbuda’s first feature length film The Sweetest Mango – congrats to both of them!) – it popped up in my social media timeline with a reminder to support local talent so (though it’s free advertising for Caribbean Cinemas which never responds to our requests to contribute to Wadadli Pen) I’m passing it on. 45795689_10155506642631148_2346737162365435904_n.jpg

November 7th 14th 2018 – 5-7 p.m – Eef Armstrong, someone who through her Raw Island Products has been a Wadadli Pen patron and whose daughter was a regular in the finals gallery until she graduated out of the 12 and younger category and turned her attention to the performing arts (so be sure to go out and support!), is artist of the month at Vino Joe, Mandolin Place, Friars Hill Road.

November 10th 2018 – 8 p.m. – AGHS Honeybee Theatre, helmed by Zahra Airall, no stranger to Wadadli Pen blog regulars as she is listed in the theatre bibliographies and related postings, and actually collaborated with us on a Black History Month showcase when Wadadli Pen returned in 2010 after a 3 year break, presents Light in the Dark, a play she’s taken twice on tour this year, at the Dean William Lake Centre. Don’t miss your chance to see this!

November 10th 2018 – 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. – Best of Books Bookstore, St. Mary’s Street – Wadadli Pen Open Mic. This is a project of the bookstore for which they requested the use of the name fully 8 years ago now and still going strong. Just call it Wadadli Pen’s cousin which makes it family, so support.

October 15th 2018 – November 15th 2018 – 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Monday to Friday – Halo Foundation for the Needy presents War the Exhibition – the untold story of World Wars 1 & 2 and the sacrifice of thousands of West Indian men who voluntarily put their lives at risk to support their mother country… Government House, Independence Ave., St. John’s – in commemoration of the brave soldiers of Antigua and Barbuda who served in WWl & WW2 – Free Admission – in support of the ex-Servicemen’s Association of Antigua and Barbuda – contact@foundationhalo.org – 268-562-9153. Incidentally, you can read about this in CREATIVE SPACE 13 over at my Jhohadli blog.

November 14th 2018 – related to War the Exhibition – lecture 1 9 a.m. – 10 a.m., lecture 2 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Government House.

November 17th 2018 – 4 p.m. – this one is not in Antigua nor Barbuda but I just wanted to remind the Antiguan and Barbudan diaspora in south Florida that I’ll be reading at the Miami Book Fair – where the Spanish edition of Lost! The Caribbean Sea Adventure will also make its debut.lost spanish cover 2

March 31st 2019 – Deadline to #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda and help select the Antigua and Barbuda Readers Choice Book of the Year (2017 + 2018). These are the books.

Now, go here to vote.

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). 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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#ReadAntiguaBarbuda #VoteAntiguaBarbuda


Voting in the #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda Readers Choice Antigua and Barbuda initiative wraps on March 31st 2019. The winning author wins boasting rights and hopefully a bit more recognition, a bit more of the spotlight. Plus a contribution in the author’s name will be made by Wadadli Pen to an Antiguan and Barbudan school of the author’s choosing or the author’s alma mater. The prize is EC$600 worth of books (specifically age-appropriate Antiguan-Barbudan and Caribbean books) thanks to contributions of EC$500 and EC$100 from regular Wadadli Pen Challenge patrons who have requested anonymity; and a copy of Roget’s Thesaurus English Words and Phrases contributed by another regular patron Jane Seagull. If anyone reading this wishes to add to this school gift, please contact us at wadadlipen@gmail.com This will be instead of Wadadli Pen Challenge prizes as the Challenge is on hiatus.

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Antigua and Barbuda doesn’t have a national book award – until recently we arguably didn’t have enough books to warrant it. But there are roughly 45 books in contention for this first readers’ choice prize – which is a testament to the growth of writing and publishing activity since Wadadli Pen launched in 2004. While the Challenge, encouraging Antiguans and Barbudans to tell their stories has been our flagship project from the beginning, this initiative is consistent with our stated mission – then to now – to nurture and showcase the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda.

As voting prepares to wind down, please share; encourage your fans and fam and entire network to vote. Authors, you can vote too – just not for your book (spread the love). Vote only once. To vote, leave a comment below explaining why you recommend the book of your choice below this post or just leave the name of the book (but preferably say something about the book). 

Between now and the end of March, a vote tally will be added in red to this post – for transparency, and so that you can see how your book of choice is doing.

For more Antiguan and Barbudan books, visit our database 

mottleyA 2nd Anthology of Radical Thoughts & Empowering Perspectives by Marcus Mottley. 2017. In the second volume of Radical Thoughts & Empowering Perspectives, Dr. Marcus Mottley comments on some of the powerful forces and disturbing issues that are unfolding around us worldwide and particularly in his native Antigua and Barbuda. Over fifteen years ago he warned of the ‘Pirate of the Caribbean’ who used Antigua as his base to ravish Antigua and other Caribbean Governments and tempt corruptible politicians. It turns out that Mottley’s insight has been proven true since this Pirate has been caught and ‘quartered’ by the US Justice system for stealing money from gullible investors! A 2nd Anthology of Radical Thoughts & Empowering Perspectives continues to stimulate thinking.

BrannThe ABCs of the Black Panther Party by S. Khalilah Brann (w/Chemay Morales-James and illustrator Uela May). Decolonizing Education Publishing. USA. 2017. Decolonizing Education Publishing™ aims to produce literary work that is deliberate in centering black and brown experiences, narratives, history, and cultural contributions. Decolonizing Education Publishing is a collaboration between the founders of Culturally Responsive Education of the African Diaspora (CREAD) – which supports teachers in ensuring positive racial identity development through education – and My Reflections Matters (MRM) – which provides the tools necessary to help combat institutional and internalized racism. The ABCs of the Black Panther Party, the first book from Decolonizing Education Publishing, introduces children 7 to 12 to the Black Panther Party. It supports the expansion of children’s oral and written language while awakening their social consciousness.

Roxy 3Be With You: A Valentine’s Romance by Roxy Wilson. 2017. Tameko ‘Meko’ Sampson has worked her butt off to make her detective agency a success. It means, however, that there are times her life is at risk, but she pushes on to ensure her clients are satisfied. Then in walks Seth Hollander, a man she barely noticed when they were in high school a decade ago. Seth has always been enamored by Meko, but she barely noticed him when they were teenagers and when tragedy struck, he had to move away. Now he’s back and this time, he wants Meko to be his…for keeps. As Meko and Seth get to know each other, they have to wrestle with Meko’s ex, as well as the soon-to-be ex-husband of one of her clients. And if that isn’t all, it seems as if Seth is secretly involved with another woman. Can Meko lay aside her distrust, or is Seth really a man who’s not worthy of her love? Will her Valentine’s Day be another lonely one like the ones before?

Bothism coverBothism by Tanya Evanson. Ekstasis Editions. Canada. 2017.
Bothism is an experimental Sufi text. It is both sorrow and joy, day and night, content and form, dot and circle, the threshold between worlds. It moves from unity to multiplicity and back again exploring that which can be split and reunited: a cell, a relationship, society, faith, time, words on the page. It posits that if one thing is true, then the opposite must also true, and when asked to choose, the poet’s answer is always both.

31964357_10155472100956188_9083169074359304192_n The Cleansing of the Souls by Romenita Barrett. Discovering Diversity Publishing. United Kingdom. 2017. A young boy who is very creative and continually asking questions in the hope that one day he would fulfil his dreaming of flying. Abe knew his Nan always answered his questions but what he did not know that day as they stood waiting at the streets lights was that the answer to his latest question would change the course of his life and impact every soul in the universe. A journey of discovery begins for Abe when he learns that his is no ordinary family and as the magic and mysteries are revealed to him he encounters a blackness he has never known.

DelilahDelilah the Donkey and the Missing Tooth by Anne Harewood George (w/illustrator Izzy Bean). Createspace Independent Publishing Platform. 2017. Delilah the Donkey is excited for picture day at Animal Academy but disaster strikes when her tooth falls out. What will she do? Can anybody help her?

DreamlandDreamland Barbuda A Study of the History and Development of Communal Land Ownership on the Island by Asha Frank. 2018. In 2017, Barbuda was destroyed by hurricane Irma. This is a historical account of Barbuda’s struggle to maintain a historical and sustainable common land system which has existed from pre-Emancipation to present day.

GemmaExplore Antigua and Barbuda by Gemma Handy w/ Irene Danic and illustrator Manuel Morgado. Island Books Ltd. China. 2017. Explore Antigua & Barbuda is a fully illustrated, family-friendly guide with a companion colouring book.

518MJHfgMAL__SY346_F.A.K.E.! by Vivian Luke. 2018. F.A.K.E.! traces the lives of four professional African American women who have it all until life altering circumstances crash into their lives and they realize their lives are not perfect — they are FAKE! The quartet of “forty something” super moms are connected by their decades long friendship and their lives in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. To the outside, these women are well connected, busy and beautiful, but secretly each of them knows their lives are inauthentic and shallow – simply put, FAKE! Each of these women discovers her marriage and/or health (and, possibly all they’ve worked so hard for) is on the brink of destruction and must make life-changing decisions. It is their deep rooted, life long friendships that get them through some of the toughest periods in each of their lives.

WalterFrank Walter: the Last Universal Man by Frank Walter (w/Barbara Paca). Radius Books. 2017. Coinciding with Antigua and Barbuda’s inaugural National Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2017, The Last Universal Man is the first comprehensive monograph of Frank Walter; a writer, composer, sculptor, and painter. Barbara Paca, an art historian who also serves as Cultural Envoy to Antigua and Barbuda, interviewed Walter over a seven-year period prior to his death, and provides insight and perspective into both the artist as a man and his prodigious body of work.

friend indeedA Friend Indeed by Kimolisa Mings. 2017. A Friend Indeed – A ocean away from the only life she knows, Jade Johansen can’t seem to find her place in her husband’s home city of Aarhus, Denmark that is until she befriends a man from her husband’s past. As the friendship blossoms so does her guilt for not telling her husband about the other man in her life. A man whose intentions are far from noble and may lead to the end of Jade’s marriage. Will Jade’s husband forgive her for not telling him about the other man? And when he finds out that she’s pregnant, will he take Jade’s word that the baby is his?

RoxyFriends to Forever: A BWWM Friends to Lovers Romance by Roxy Wilson. 2018. Sadie Lawrence is a professional wedding planner who excels at making a couple’s big day perfect. Now, her best friend Hunter is getting married, and Sadie’s feelings are more than a little conflicted. She wants him to be happy … but the truth is, she wants him. Period. No matter how hard she tries not to. Hunter Galloway is battling constant temptation. The more time he spends with Sadie, the more he hungers for her touch. And the fact that his fiancée can’t be bothered to help plan her own wedding makes him wonder why they’re getting married at all. After the two succumb to their feelings and spend a passionate night together, everything starts to go wrong. Hunter feels trapped into going through with the wedding … and Sadie learns that Hunter has given her more than memories.

IyaFu You Tongue Heavy Lakka 56 by Iyaba Ibo Mandingo. USA. 2018. Fu You Tongue Heavy Lakka 56 is a look back at the body of work by Iyaba Ibo Mandingo. It includes his early work, the works written after his 9/11 arrest and detainment by homeland security and the latest work following his return to Afrika. “Fu You Tongue Heavy Lakka 56” is Antiguan patois. It is a favorite saying of Iyaba Ibo Mandingo’s Great Grandmother, “Rozzy” Guy. It means you have a lot to say. As the grandchild of former enslaved Africans she remembers the elders talking about the heavy plows they used during slavery and the days of shooting hard labor (sharecropping) that followed. The size of each plow was designated by a number stamped on the handle. 56 was the number of the heaviest of them all. It was a perfect way to honor his Eguns (ancestors) and the perfect title for a collection of poetry.

giftThe Gift (Falling Like A Johnson Book 1) by Rilzy Adams. Amazon Digital Services. 2017.The Gift – When Maya’s best friend, Charlotte, asks her to be her surrogate, she reluctantly agrees. Although pregnancy and motherhood were things Maya didn’t plan to deal with for years, she was willing to sacrifice nine months of her time for her best friend’s happiness. Her world is turned inside out when Charlotte is murdered just as Maya gets confirmation of the IVF’s success. Now, Maya must raise the child she never intended to keep and preserve peace with Charlotte’s widower, Jaxon. Soon Maya finds that pregnancy and impending motherhood are the least of her worries. She must fight against the tenderness she’s begun to feel for her best friend’s husband and she must atone for the sin she desperately tries to keep hidden. Maya Jenkins killed her best friend.

40236449_1024641034371150_8222943835718680576_nGillie’s World by Gillian McDonald Howie. 2018. Stories based on childhood memories, plucked from diaries throughout the years.

38825245_245734709598496_214725537048821760_nGod’s Sovereignty Over Our Lives by Aloma Mason-Stanislaus. The individual must come to the place where they acknowledge their wickedness and desire to turn their lives around. Without that realization, prayer and fasting is done in vain. When we start listening and obeying, we will experience the abundance of life that God has in store for us.

RoxyGreer’s Alphas: A Paranormal Menage by Roxy Wilson. 2017.  Greer’s Alphas: The unthinkable takes place when she’s leaving a long, grueling shift at the hospital—just after she has lost a young patient…Dr. Greer McAdams is attacked by a beast, a wolf. And now an evil force is hot on her trail, seeking to destroy her. Falling for Dr. Bryce ‘McDirty’ Trevino seems inevitable, but the enigmatic billionaire, Conan Stormwater, has set his sights on her. Two men, two different personalities, what can this newly formed werewolf do?

untitledHidden Secrets of St. Croix by Clarice C. Clarke. 2017. Hidden Secrets of St. Croix juxtaposes images of St. Croix’s history and natural life with the author’s commentary.

HolHol de Line and Other Stories by Mary Geo Quinn. Caribbean Education Publishers. Trinidad and Tobago. 2017. Hol de Line and Other Stories details the non-fictitious accounts of events from as far back as the 1940s.

maileHow to Work Six Jobs on an Island an Island Boy’s Dream by Shawn N. Maile. 2017. An inside look at how an island boy went from having 0 jobs to 6. If you live on an island and you’re only working one job… you my friend are missing out. With 24 hours in a day and a short distance to commute between locations, an island is the ideal place to engage in multiple vocations. Find out how you could do more with your day or how others got it done.

kimI Do…NOT by Kimolisa Mings. 2017. I Do…NOT: Attorney at Law, Alexa Marsh, has everything going for her. A successful career. A great social life. And the perfect man. But all that glitters is not gold, or in her case, platinum. After returning the ring, bringing the short lived engagement to an end, Alexa embarks on the single life. But this, too, is short lived. Instead of meeting one Mr. Right-Now, she meets two. Alexa tells herself that she’s just dating, but the more she spends time with the men, the more they seem to be Mr. Rights. But which Mr. Right should she choose? The self-made millionaire with the heart of gold? Tall, dark and handsome who caters to Alexa’s needs? If she doesn’t choose, the choice may be taken away and the results may change her life forever.

ShoeIf the Shoe Fits by Kimolisa Mings. 2017. If the Shoe Fits – It’s The Perfect Frame Job, The Only Problem Is She Is The one Being Framed.  Waking up in the midst of a gruesome crime scene, Cindy Ellington can’t remember the night before. She narrowly escapes it and is now on the run. Stumbling onto the city’s biggest murder case, Detective Sam Masterson discovers two bodies. But one is very much alive and now is the chief suspect in the death of a city official. But is she the killer? The more Sam investigates, the more he doubts that Cindy commited the heinous crime, even though all the evidence points to her, chiefly the murder weapon, a red stiletto. With the law on her trail, Cindy seeks the truth only to discover that it is closer to home than she thinks.

42641653_10155580427792633_8062224016313679872_nInto the Black Widow’s Web by K. N. Mings. 2018. Into the Black Widow’s Web – Audra Kellman is found dead in a place that is said to be where demons cross over to the human world. Now Three People Want To Find The Killer. The head of an underground narcotic distribution ring. The CEO of an influential group of companies. And a reluctant private investigator who is more interested in finding out the true identity of the person who hired him than finding out who killed the innocent woman execution style. As D’Angelo Marshall, a private investigator who walks on the razor edge of the law, investigates the case he finds himself caught up in a web of secrets. And the case takes him in a new direction that would change his life forever.

OneJust One More Time (Falling Like a Johnson Book 3) by Rilzy Adams. 2018. When Orlando Johnson walked out on Katrina Bolton nearly a decade ago, he swore to anyone who would listen that he would never regret it. Now fate has tossed them back together in the form of a little boy who needs their love and protection and Orlando realizes leaving Kat was the worst mistake of his life. Orlando is determined to get her back, but can he convince her to let them try their hand at love just one more time?

writeJust Write Antigua Journal by Brenda Lee Browne. 2017. Browne designed the Just Write Antigua Journal as a space to write and be inspired by pictures taken as she walked and drove around Antigua. There is also a second smaller (but not less rich) edition of this visual journal of Antigua and Barbuda.

elloyLearning Bible-verses: the Vow, the Wow, the Now by W. Elloy D. de Freitas. 2018. This book is the sharing of Elloy’s testimony from a transaction (vow), to a revelation, to a new comprehension of reality, and for traction and action. Learning Bible-verses is one of several paths to GOD. Learning Bible-verses encourages making the Bible a delight with its associated benefits of holistic happiness, prosperity, success, and shalom.

legend4Legend of Integrity and Courage by Nuffield J. Burnette. 2017. Chapter 1 – The Beginning; Chapter 2 – Hurricane David; Chapter 3 – Arrival in Antigua; Chapter 4 – The World at Work; Chapter 5 – IHI Investigation; Chapter 6 – Change of Government; Chapter 7 – Multiple Homicide in Antigua; Chapter 8 – Family Life; Chapter 9 – Senior Command Course 2009; Chapter 10 – Prince of the City Explores; Chapter 11 – Regional Recognition Awards; Chapter 12 – When Logic Defy Intellect; Chapter 13 – Through the Lens; Chapter 14 – Deterrent Verses Punishment.

Life as Josephine by Claytine Nisbett. 2017. Life As Josephine takes place in the 1990s, chronicling the formative years of a strong-willed Bronx, New York teenager, Josephine Peters.life as Jose

Lovers Rock2London Rocks by Brenda Lee Browne. Hansib. UK. 2017. This is the story of Dante Brookes, a young man growing up in London in the late seventies and early eighties when sound systems ruled the party scene for young, Black British youth of Caribbean heritage. He navigates the loss of friends, police harassment and being a teenage father while forging a career as an MC. Dante stumbles into the acting profession and also becomes a writer. It is through these disparate experiences that he learns that the pen and mic at mightier than the sword.

Lost Cover Front 4Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure by Joanne C. Hillhouse [w/illustrator Danielle Boodoo-Fortune]. Caribbean Reads Publishing. St. Kitts-Nevis/USA. 2017. LOST! A Caribbean Sea Adventure – When an Arctic seal named Dolphin finds himself far from home in the warm Caribbean sea, he has to rely on new friends for help. Will he make his way back to his Arctic home? This book, an update of 2013’s Fish Outta Water (illustrated by Zavian Archibald), includes a short story, all new illustrations by Danielle Boodoo Fortune, and a puzzle. Lost! is available in print, ebook, and audio format; there is also a Spanish language edition (¡Perdida! Una Aventura en El Mar Caribe). lost spanish cover 2

meant to beMeant to Be: A BWWM Friends to Lovers Romance (Loving A Morrison Book 1) by Roxy Wilson. 2018. Sloane Stevenson has always had a skewed concept of what love is. But now, Sloane, an intelligent attorney with a heart brimming with compassion, finds herself repeating history when she falls in love with Blake Morrison, a Caucasian man, with his smoldering gaze, who makes her dreams take flight. Although Sloane’s heart yearns for him, their relationship is bombarded with verbal attacks, and her past experiences only serve to reinforce her idea that interracial marriages never work. His brother’s bachelor party is the wake-up call he needs to return to town to chase down his lost love. Unbeknownst to Sloane, her best friend works alongside Blake to finally get the pair back together. But the obstacles and societal demands haven’t changed in the past five years. Sloane must overcome her distorted beliefs about love and need to play love safe if she’s to find true love and happiness with Blake. Otherwise, they’re both destined for a life of emptiness. Note for readers: MEANT TO BE was previously published as The Right Kind of Love. This new edition has been revised.

51582lJTKoL__SY346_Milo’s First Winter (Milo’s Adventures) by Juneth Webson (w/illustrator Ros Webb). Fig Tree Drive PressAmazon Digital Services. USA. 2018. Milo’s First Winter is a picture book for children between the ages of three and eight years of age. It tells the enchanted tale of Milo, a black and white kitten, that got out of the house while it was snowing. It was Milo’s first time seeing the snow and he was in such awe of the snowflakes that he kept trying to catch them. This chasing after snowflakes took Milo on an unforgettable adventure.

Roxy2My Guardian Vampire: a BBW Paranormal Romance by Roxy Wilson. 2017. My Guardian Vampire: On a night that should have been an ordinary one, curvy BBW Lacey Parker is accosted by a knife-wielding mugger, but is soon rescued by a charismatic stranger. Not even 24 hours later, Lacey’s life is once again at risk and her rescuer of the previous night snatches her from the jaws of death. Vampire Aric Thornton knew Lacey from the moment of her birth. His existence revolves around watching her every footstep and protecting her from the enemies she knows nothing about. He loves her with every fiber of his otherworldly being, but the crazy thing is she didn’t even know he existed… until one night in the darkened alley. Lacey can’t stand it; one minute Aric is all over her, can’t get his hands off of her, and the next he is giving her the cold shoulder. It doesn’t help that Damian is also vying for her affections. Can she and Aric defeat the forces that are conspiring against them and still have the love of a lifetime before it’s too late?

41Hoh8zjGEL._AC_US218_ (2)The Nakedness of New by Althea Romeo-Mark. CreateSpace Independent Publish Platform North/South Carolina, USA. 2018.The Nakedness of New is divided into six sections: I Caribbean Rooted, II: The Stories of Immigrants, III: Ugly Stories, IV: Lost Love/Liberia (West Africa), V: Sifting Through Life’s Grains, and VI: Going Past Rivers. Althea Romeo-Mark’s verse gives the reader a close-up view of life as an immigrant in the Caribbean and details her experiences in England after fleeing the violence of the Liberian civil war. She takes the reader inside the uneasy tapestry of immigrant cultures that form the Caribbean islands. She goes on to explore the problems encountered by women in a society that is male-dominated, unstable, and unjust; by immigrants displaced from their homes and their ways of life; and by families committed to each other no matter what comes. The Nakedness of New also includes three revealing personal essays and a section focused on her maternal grandmother, a controversial personality who held the family together. Through it all run the themes of resiliency, heart, and dedication to living.

Off KeyOff Key by Rilzy Adams. Amazon Digital Services. 2017.Off Key – When Zoë Caldwell’s record label threatens to drop her unless she pretends to date the embattled, disgraced Liam Trafford, she almost gives up on her dreams. But she had come too far to just fail, so she makes a deal with the Devil.When Liam Trafford’s manager suggests he pretended to date a beautiful girl with an angelic voice to save his career he reluctantly agrees. He doesn’t want to rehabilitate his reputation. He wishes he could go back in time to fix the mistake that ruined both his life and that of an innocent girl. Soon they both realize that the past cannot be fixed but the future is wide open and maybe, just maybe, they can save each other.

meekrThe Plantations of Antigua, the Sweet Success of Sugar, Volume I by Agnes Meeker (w/Donald Dery). AuthorHouse. USA. 2018.  It covers the 50 plantations in the Parish of St. John’s, Antigua, 28 of which still have a sugar mill standing. The majority of Antigua and Barbuda’s place names stem from plantations or their owners. This book provides a chronology of ownership and brief quotes from other works that pertain to each plantation, listed in order from the late 1600’s to the demise of sugar in 1970s –  300 years of sugar history. It represents over 20 years of research.

Dotsie Isaac Gellizeau The Royal Wedding by Dotsie Isaac. Antigua. 2018. The Royal Wedding is a spoken word poem released as a CD single in response to the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

shoutThe Shout: For HALCYION STEEL’S CHAMPIONSHIP PANORAMA 1975 by Franklyn Jones. GG LLC. 2017.One player’s tale of Antigua’s Halcyon Steel Orchestra’s rise, and the tremendous Shout of appreciation that welcomed the band as Steelband Champions in 1975.

Sunny DreamsSunny Dreams Of Rainbows (The Secret Lives of Babies) by Jacquelin Webson and  Faye France (w/illustrator Ros Webb). Figtree Drive Press. 2018. While out walking with her mother one day, a little girl named Sunny sees a rainbow for the first time. Now, she cannot stop thinking and dreaming about rainbows.

sutherland added DecThis Woman Can! The no bullsh*t guide for women who lead by Janice Sutherland. 2018. In This Woman Can, author Janice Sutherland approaches relatable scenarios that both aspiring and existing female leaders face with candor, honesty and simplicity. Providing solutions for women to develop self-belief in their capabilities. Utilizing her personal knowledge as one of the Caribbean’s first female CEOs and drawing on her experiences as an executive leadership coach, she provides practical answers without bullshit acronyms that women can utilize to get the job done. Each chapter provides concise bulleted applications and a list of self- reflection questions to consider that will guide women of all ages along the leadership pathway.

grandmaWhen Grandma Comes to Stay (When Family Comes to Stay Book 1) by Jacquelin Webson and  Faye France (w/illustrator Jayamini Attanayake).Figtree Drive Press. 2018. A family with young children is filled with joy and excitement when they find out that their grandmother is coming to stay with them for a while. As they wait anxiously for her arrival, they reminisce about all the wondrous things they get to do with her when she visits.

Rilzy 2Will you be Mine? (Falling like a Johnson Book 2) by Rilzy Adams. Amazon Digital Services. 2017. Will You Be Mine? – JT Johnson has been in love with his best friend for as long as he can remember. Hallie, however, seems clueless or deliberately obtuse. When she asks him to pretend to be her boyfriend for her ex-best friend’s wedding, JT hesitantly agrees. Will their escape to the Caribbean be Heaven or Hell in Paradise?

will you be my friendWill You Be My Friend? (Making Friends Book 1) by Jacquelin Webson and  Faye France (w/illustrator tullipstudio).Figtree Drive Press. 2018. Left alone by his young owners who are too busy to properly take care of him a young puppy sets out on a search to find a friend. Along the way, he encounters surprises and heartbreak as he tries to make friends with a lot of different animals, but they all turn against him. However, the little dog is tough and never gives up; until finally, he finds friendship in the most unexpected place.

Yohan bookThe Wonderful World of Yohan by Floree Williams Whyte (with illustrator Stoogeco). Moondancer Books. Antigua. 2017. Welcome to the Wonderful World of Yohan! Yohan’s world is a creation of his vivid imagination. This series of short stories follow Yohan’s imagination-inspired adventures. From day to day his adventures transform his reality and often lead him into accidental mischief.



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Post Post Re Antigua Conference, Antigua and Barbuda Review of Books

I don’t have much to say about the conference as I missed it this year but it focused on the 70th anniversary of the University of the West Indies.


Other observed anniversaries were Antigua and Barbuda’s 37th and the UWI Open Campus’ 10th.

Held August 16th to 17th, it included feature lectures by noted Caribbean historian Professor Sir Hilary Beckles and Professor Adlai Murdoch; and UWI narratives and reflections by Drs. George and Gwendolyn Roberts, Dorbrene O’Marde, La-Chelle Carter, Levisha Josiah, and Professor Paget Henry. As usual, the conference was also the occasion of the launch of the Antigua and Barbuda Review of Books.

I finally got my hands on a copy today. Here’s a rundown re the content:

An interview with Edris Bird by Susan Lowes

Featured essays on Distance Learner Ecologies of the University of the West Indies Open Campus Program by Elizabeth Beaubrun, A Socioreligious Revolution: a Sociological Exegis of ‘Poor’ and ‘Rich’ in Luke-Acts by Birchfield Aymer, Joanne Hillhouse’s Iconic Stance through her Works by Valerie Knowles Combie, WANTED: Offspring, Talent, Inheritance and Assets Management by Lawrence A. Jardine, and Entrepreneurial Socialism vs. Pragmatism: Reflections on the 2018 Elections in Antigua and Barbuda by Paget Henry.

and Reviews of Marilyn Sargeant’s Carbon is Yellow by Lionel Hurst, Claytine Nisbett’s Life as Josephine by Valerie Knowles Combie, and Economic Development of Small States edited by Edris Bird by Paget Henry.

Excerpts pulled at random:

“they came from the offices, from the schools, and they wanted to further their education” – Edris Bird, former UWI Open campus resident tutor in interview with Susan Lowes

“Like all forms of machinery, the machinery of government can go out of alignment as vital parts get worn or damaged in the case of daily use.” – Paget Henry (Entrepreneurail Socialism vs. Pragmatism: Reflections on the 2018 Elections in Antigua and Barbuda

“Hillhouse is a credible, authentic writer whose voice courts universal appeal.” – Valerie Knowles Combie (Joanne Hillhouse’s Iconic Stance Through Her Work)

“This coming-of-age book is a quick read succinctly delivered, packed with words of wisdom and relevant experiences for both parents and children as they explore this troublesome period of their lives.” – Valerie Knowles Combie (A Review of Claytine Nisbett’s Life as Josephine)

I haven’t read the Review as yet but I do want to thank Professor  Combie for her paper on my work. I look forward to reading all the articles. You too? Cool. The contact for copies (I believe) and to submit reviews is Paget_Henry@Brown.edu

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!, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, Musical Youth and With Grace). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.


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This one is for Barbuda

Barbuda Then

If you follow this site, and you are a writer, I hope you remember to check in with the Opportunities and Opportunities Too pages as those are among the regularly updated pages – especially Opportunities Too which is about contest and other submission deadlines. It teases and provides links which I hope you’ll find helpful as you seek opportunities to boost your writing career.

Just added is a post from Friends of Antigua and Barbuda Public Library that’s about more than that. This contest is a timely intervention in the still unravelling tragic post-Irma state of affairs in Barbuda, Antigua’s sister island. It invites teenage Barbudans, scattered across Antigua since the evacuation of Barbuda, to take a cathartic journey on the page and write about home – but this isn’t just about venting but about capturing the unique story of Barbuda.

This contest is part of the build up to the Barbuda Homecoming that I wrote about in my CREATIVE SPACE series (which is a blog series that invites local businesses to boost their brand while boosting local arts and culture).

Read the details of the Barbuda Then contest and other contests on the Opportunities Too page.

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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A & B Arts Round-up – April 30th 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

May 10th 2018 and continuing every Thursday – Rhythm and Rhyme Open Mic Night at Tannins. Special guest, Brenda Lee Browne author of London Rocks. Wine, Words and Tannins.

May 5th 2018 – Glimpses of Antiguan History at the Best of Books bookstore (St. Mary’s Street, Antigua)May 5 Dingwall

Reminder – I (Joanne C. Hillhouse) started another cycle of my Jhohadli Writing Project Creative Writing Workshop Series (Series 3 is focused on character building) this past weekend, but as I’ve been saying since the start of the year these 4 week series will be ongoing. Email jhohadli at gmail dot com to be put on the mailing list re future installments. Also check out the CREATIVE SPACE series on my Jhohadli blog – open for tips re coverage and sponsorship of that page.

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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Creak by Kyle Christian (Wadadli Pen Winning Story, 2018)

kyleCreak, creak, creak.

The small, wooden bed, in the small bedroom at the back of the Lenny’s Bar, rocked back and forth. As Agnes lay there, Bobby on top of her, her mind wandered. It was her little escape to make the task easier.

“What am I doing here, lord?” she asked herself. “I young. I don’t have no pickney to feed. At least other woman have their reasons.”

Agnes thought of her mother now and her disapproving eyes surveying Agnes’s body as she left the house this afternoon.

“Wey you a go?” Mrs Margaret George asked.

“Mother, I tell you already, I get a little work at the shop over dey by the army base.”

“Hmmm,” her mother made that judgmental sound birthed from the base of her throat. Margaret was not one to vocalise her thoughts. She was confrontation-averse but knew how to make her displeasure known.

Agnes knew her mother knew what she was doing. Ever since the American bases opened, bars popped up to service the needs of the servicemen; and women who worked at the bars were seen as suspect.

But Agnes, at 21 years, needed to make her own money. She told herself she would only do it for a short time.

“Mommy cut cane, daddy cut cane, granny cut cane. Everybody cutting blasted cane! Well not me,” she said. It was how she stayed motivated when doubt crept in.

When the Bendals sugar factory closed in 1940 both of Agnes’ parents lost their jobs. Things got harder in Antigua and her father had considered migrating to Cuba to cut more “blasted cane” to support the family.

The two American bases opened up at Crabbes and Coolidge and things changed. People got new, different jobs which paid better than the sugar factory ever did. Even her brother Tinny got carpentry work to build barracks at the base.

Thump, thump, thump.

The sound brought Agnes back to the present.

“He nuh done yet?” she thought to herself. Lost in her thoughts, she had almost forgotten he was there.

Robert Weismann from Crawford, Alabama was a private at the base. Agnes had hoped for a higher ranked officer, like a Colonel, who would have had the privilege to take her back to his quarters. She had never been on the base and wondered what it looked like. It would have meant that she didn’t have to suffer the indignity of the rackety bed.

Bobby, as Robert liked to be called, was nice enough. He was kind to Agnes and maybe even a little shy. They met two weeks ago when Agnes, and the other girls, wearing pretty dresses and lipstick, sat at the bar waiting for the rowdy army officers to approach them.

“How d’you do, missy?” Bobby asked her. She smiled at him and allowed him to buy her a drink. That’s was how it started.

Creak, Creak, Creak!

“Arrrhh,” with one long breath Bobby exhaled. He was spent. He rolled over, pulled a Raleigh cigarette from his shirt pocket and lit it.

“Thanks,” he said.

Agnes smiled, barely; amused that he would thank her. She slid down to the edge of the bed and began dressing herself. She picked up the folded dollar bills on the side table and walked towards the door.

“See you next week?” Bobby asked.

She turned and looked at him. “I don’t think you will see me again. This is the last time I doing anything like this.”

With a look in his eye he said, “Okay missy.”

They both knew she was lying.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kyle Christian, 28, considers himself the consummate student and views life as a big university. A lover of words and language, Kyle is a writer and communicator. He has worked in media as a journalist and radio news presenter and currently works in public relations. With a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance, Kyle has a rare love of numbers and words. His favourite things to do on vacation are to cook and read. Kyle was a Wadadli Pen regular in the early years (between 2004-2006) and though he didn’t place in those early years, he recalled a word of encouragement that fuelled his determination to keep writing. Wadadli Pen founder, Joanne C. Hillhouse, he said, told him after the 2006 awards ceremony, “I really enjoyed your story…keep on writing.” He did and claims the main prize in 2018.


Kyle with Hillhouse and the Best of Books sponsored Alstyne Allen Memorial plaque which bears the name of every Wadadli Pen winner since 2004. (Photo by Glen Toussaint)


ABOUT THE STORY: “This story encompassed the theme perfectly and was well written.” – judge

The story is about the economic choices Antiguans (specifically women) were forced to make in the post-slavery era when sugar began to lose its dominance. It was inspired by slice-of-life literary works such as Fences, the Mighty Sparrow’s Jean & Dinah calypso classic, and the realization that American army bases had similar cultural and economic impacts on Antigua.

PRIZES WON: As the 2018 winner of the Wadadli Pen Challenge, a ‘winner take all’ year, Christian pockets EC$2,937.65 (from contributions by Pam Arthurton, International Women’s Club, Frank B. Armstrong, Juneth Webson, Art. Culture. Antigua, Carol Mitchell, and one other). His name will be on the annual Challenge plaque, sponsored by the Best of Books. His other prizes are books – Antigua My Antigua (1), The Legend of Bat’s Cave and Other Stories (1), With Grace (1), Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure (1), Just Write Writers Journal (1), London Rocks(1), and other books – Donors: Barbara Arrindell, Brenda Lee Browne, Joanne C. Hillhouse, and the Best of Books; a gift Certificate for books ($100) – Donor: Cedric Holder for the Cushion Club; a custom Journal – Donor: Jane Seagull; custom gift cards – Donor: Monique S. Simon; scholarship Jhohadli Writing Project Creative Writing Workshop Series  (EC$300) – Donor: Joanne C. Hillhouse; and a gift certificate (EC$225) – Donor: Danz’s Sweet Dreams. His name has also been emblazoned on the Alstyne Allen Memorial plaque and he takes home a winner’s certificate sponsored by the Best of Books.

ABOUT WADADLI PEN 2018: The Wadadli Youth Pen Prize launched in 2004 with a writing Challenge that continues 14 years later. The project was launched by Joanne C. Hillhouse with D. Gisele Isaac and the Young Explorer publication. Today, its core team is Hillhouse with past finalists Devra Thomas and Margaret Irish, and writers and long time patrons and partners Floree Whyte and Barbara Arrindell. The name of each winner is emblazoned on the Alstyne Allen Memorial plaque, named for one of the project’s earliest volunteers (and sister-friend of founder, Joanne C. Hillhouse) who died in 2015. The Challenge is Wadadli Pen’s pilot project, in keeping with its mandate to nurture and showcase the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda. The Challenge has encouraged young writers in Antigua and Barbuda (35 years and younger) to write on any topic, within a Caribbean aesthetic. It doesn’t often prescribe other limitations, but this year it did request specifically historical fiction/poetry. Normally, prizes are broken down by age categories but this year it’s winner take all with only one winner and a handful of honourable mentions (Andre Warner, Rosie Pickering, Andrecia Lewis, Chloe Martin, and Ava Ralph). Congratulations to them all. Thanks to the patrons and to partners – Floree Whyte, Barbara Arrindell, Devra Thomas, and Margaret Irish. To find out how you can continue to support the work of Wadadli Pen contact wadadlipen@gmail.com

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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