Tag Archives: Bernadine Evaristo

Reading Room and Gallery 44

Things I read or view or listen to that you might like too. Things will be added – up to about 20 or so – before this installment in the Reading Room and Gallery series is archived. For previous and future installments in this series, use the search feature to the right. Possible warning for adult language and themes.

BUSINESS

“It’s pretty difficult to advocate for yourself when you’re an artiste and you’re doing something that you really like; it’s very easy to sell yourself short…eventually I created a fake manager, it was really me, and I was able to negotiate a lot higher. It’s very, very important. Somebody needs to teach a class on that for sure.” – Felicia La Tour, life and wellness coach

FICTION

‘It was never meant to be this way,’ she reminds me as we walk past the more elaborate tombstones. ‘He was meant to bury me.’ – from ‘The Strong-Strong Winds‘ by Mathapelo Mofokeng

VISUAL ART

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This is a link to an article on must-see Antiguan and Barbudan films, according to Caribbean Loop news. HAMA, producers of the country’s first full length feature, The Sweetest Mango, dominates the list with four features but click to see who else made the list. Speaking of Antigua and Barbuda’s first full length feature, here’s a making of that I recently came across on YouTube.

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This is a link to several animated shorts (or trailers for shorts) by women from all over the world – although not, alas – the Caribbean (though not, I’m sure, through lack of ideas). There are seven shorts. Three of the ones you can watch all the way through are Paper or Plastic, dir. Nata Metlukh of the Ukraine and the US, Albatross Soup, dir. Winnie Cheung from Hong Kong, United States, and Japan, and The Opposites Game, dir. Lisa LaBracio & Anna Samo from Germany, Russia, and the United States.

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‘Cinematography, per Britannica.com, is “the art and technology of motion-picture photography. It involves such techniques as the general composition of a scene; the lighting of the set or location; the choice of cameras, lenses, filters, and film stock; the camera angle and movements; and the integration of any special effects.”’ – this post frames and links to a Variety article entitled ‘Contenders: How Cinematographers played with Elements to convey Director’s Vision’

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The cinematographer of the Small Axe anthology series was Antiguan and Barbudan Shabier Kirchner. Director Steve McQueen is British of Grenadian and Trinidadian descent. – “You need to see it hurts.”

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BEFORE SILENCE: Afghan Artists in Exile.

POETRY

“To be born is to be ushered in to noon’s brightness…” – from ‘Spirit of Labyrinth’ by Wilson Harris, read by Ian McDonald

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“So you try not to act too muscular not to look too big
muscular looks very threatening on your skin
you want to walk hard jog hard
be hard
but today you think about your mother

you owe it to her to protect her from this
what you can do what can be done to you” – from ‘Place de la Nation (III)’ by Jason Allen Paisant in Moko: Caribbean Arts and Letters

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My 2022 World Poetry Day live includes readings of poetry found right here in the Reading Room and Gallery series. Including poems by Grace Nichols of Guyana, Juleus Ghunta, Claude McKay, and Safiya Sinclair of Jamaica, Yvonne Weekes in Barbados, Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming of Trinidad & Tobago, US poet Lucille Clifton, Stanley Humphreys in Antigua-Barbuda from the song lyrics data base, and some of my poetry as found in A & B Writing in Journals, Showcases, and Contests

The audio is not as clean and clear as I had hoped, but the poems are linked on my jhohadli blog; so you can read along.

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“play my body like a dub riddim” – from ‘Yes‘ By MOON in Rebel Women Lit digital literary magazine

CONVERSATIONS

The Tim Tim Bwa Fik podcast focusses on Caribbean romance literature and I’m pointing you there specifically to check out a series of conversations with Caribbean authors who have written in the genre. The line-up begins and continues with the British Virgin Islands’ Eugenia O’Neal (Jamaica Dreaming), Trinidad and Tobago’s N. G. Peltier (Sweethand), Barbados’ Callie Browning (The Vanishing Girls), and Antigua and Barbuda’s Joanne C. Hillhouse (Dancing Nude in the Moonlight) and Rilzy Adams (Twelve Dates of Christmas).

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“I am talking to super compassionate, people who are interested in nuance, people who are intelligent, but people whose emotional intelligence is off the charts, but importantly, people who I can trust with these things.” – Kei Miller

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“There’s a Stephen King novel called 11.22.63 about a man that goes back in time to stop the Kennedy assasination, and one of the main characters in that is a librarian named Mimi Corcoran who is a best friend of this character who goes back in time. When Bridget Carpenter was writing that series, she felt very strongly that she did not want to do a series set in the 60s where the only roles that Black people played were shoeshine people; even though that was quite a reality of the time, she didn’t want her series to reflect that. So she decided that she was going to take Mimi Corcoran and cast it as a Black woman.” – Tonya Pinkins during this very interesting panel with a number of African-American actresses including the legendary Diahann Carroll

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“It’s difficult to find an edge on me; my spine is a valley” – Bones by Lisa Ann Cockrel, Kenyon Review workshop (online)

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“I thought you know, my mom and dad are particularly ridiculously crazy about each other…you’d go out with them to a store and you’d catch them stealing a kiss…in a way, my parents were the first pushing back…the ways in which they creatively circumvented disciplinary measures to pursue pleasure.” – Andil Gosine

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“Trust that people will meet you where you are and if they’re not there on their own, give them a map so that they’ll meet you there.” – Stacey Abrams with Merriam-Webster’s Book Thing

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“When you’re that young, you’re so clear eyed about how stupid these rules are…” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

CREATIVES ON CREATING

“Being under water, swimming, keeping an eye on things under water, trying to get the best shots possible in such a foreign environment, I was really excited by the challenge.” – Arati Jagdeo, past Wadadli Pen finalist, make up artist and art director on Yemoja’s Anansi

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“This is the world in which I’m creating.” – Christal Clashing on her Anansi series for my (Joanne C. Hillhouse) CREATIVE SPACE column

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This is actually creatives creating. The Beatles working out ‘Something’. It’s from the 2021 Peter Jackson directed docu-series, The Beatles: Get Back.

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This is how it was adapted about a book cum film that the whole film making academy slept on in the 2022 awards season. Read my review of the book and of the film over on my blog.

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Elijah Wood on his Lord of the Rings experience –

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“I love creating characters…I create my characters from every body I’ve ever known.” – Bernadine Evaristo

ARTICLES

“There’s a deep irony to the parallels: an outraged white Texan succeeds at getting a novel about Mexican American experiences removed from schools, and she does it with a distorted reading of a passage about a group of white Texans, in 1937, venting their outrage at the presence of a Mexican American in their school.” – from ‘A Texas School District Banned My Book. Then Things got Really Ugly.’ by Ashley Hope Pérez, author of Out of Darkness, a historical novel chronicling a love affair between a teenage Mexican American girl and a teenage African-American boy in 1930s New London, Texas, occurring right up to the 1937 New London School explosion.

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“The two people who vouched for Moore’s birth and life experiences in Antigua with the most depth were Black women who had until recently been enslaved themselves, her half sister Hester Blackstone and her friend Mary Hughes. Moore did not know her own date of birth, and the retelling of her early life in Antigua rested on the estimates of women who were equally unsure about details of Moore’s biography and the exact moments when she was taken from and returned to the island. But the women speaking on her behalf skillfully figured out how to circumvent their inability to provide exact dates. Hester and Mary used imperial events in their 1838 depositions, a tactic manifested in their testimonies in so similar a fashion as to suggest deliberate coordination. Hughes and Blackstone linked important moments in Moore’s life with notable British imperial administrative and military events at the turn of the nineteenth century, such as the installation of a new governor in Antigua or the outbreak of war in the Caribbean. Their use of imperial time made their affirmation of Moore’s birth and life in Antigua as a child more legible to the powerful administrators hearing testimony from these formerly enslaved women. Their success, however, should not obscure the reality that the strategy they adopted out of necessity calls our attention to yet another dehumanizing aspect of enslavement: the negation of enslaved people’s sense of themselves as beings in time, and thus as autonomous participants in their life stories. Their inability to know time intimately and the denial of the privilege to preserve a record of important dates in their lives, such as their own birthdays and the births and deaths of loved ones, helped to compound the exploitation deeply embedded within enslavement. The depositions of Blackstone and Hughes nonetheless underline the crucial function of community in slavery as the support system that facilitated both survival during bondage and individual enslaved people’s acts of fugitivity and claims to freedom. The British government would not have taken Moore’s case seriously if these women had not vouched for her. Eliza’s first point of self-presentation was to invoke her Antiguan-born mother, Sally Carr, which both Blackstone and Hughes reiterated. Proclaiming her birth to an enslaved mother in Antigua and demonstrating her sisterhood and friendship with formerly enslaved Antiguan women all grounded Eliza in that British colony and contributed to the colonial administrators’ serious consideration of her case. These details subtly show how enslaved people fostered and deployed loving relationships even over time and distance.” – from “So Far to Leeward”: Eliza Moore’s Fugitive Cosmopolitan Routes to Freedom in the Nineteenth-Century Caribbean by Natasha Lightfoot in The William and Mary Quarterly, Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Volume 79, Number 1, January 2022

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This links to CREATIVE SPACE 1-10, 2020 – 2022 on my Jhohadli blog. It is an anniversary check-in of the top performing installments of the column since it began its Observer run in 2020. This image is from CREATIVE SPACE #28 OF 2021 – CARIBBEAN CHRISTMAS. CREATIVE SPACE is an Antiguan-Barbudan/Caribbean art and culture column by Joanne C Hillhouse.

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, The Jungle Outside, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on AmazonWordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Reading Room and Gallery 36

Things I read that you might like too. For previous and future installments in this series, use the search feature to the right.

READING

INTERVIEW

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“The different sides of freedom was another thing that was always interesting for me to see.” – Alice Yousef on Poetry Influence on Origins: the International Writing Program Podcast

CREATIVES ON CREATING

“Photography is not just about what you put within an image but what you choose to leave out of that frame.” – Nadia Huggins

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“Even Jesus had to pass through a punnanny” – Staceyann Chin talking about her life and work, and in conversation with Nicole Dennis-Benn

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“Through the edit, we wanted to give the suspense and a little bit of hope. That was achieved by letting the scene breathe.” – How Spencer Averick Built Suspense Through Editing Ava DuVernay’s ‘When They See Us’

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‘The questioner said he was a journalist and had trouble making his mind switch from the journalistic style of writing to fiction. “I have students who have this same problem. I understand you. There is one thing you can do; interview the character/person you want to write about. Ask him anything, then you will have enough information to move them forward,” answered McFadden.’ – by Maryam Ismail writing on the Sharjah International Book Fair and specifically a session by African American author Bernice McFadden

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“Imagine Hirut on the top of a hill, rifle ready, prepared to ambush the enemy. Along the way to this war, she is forced to contend with sexual aggression and then rape by one of her own compatriots. The smoky terrain of the front lines has expanded to engulf Hirut herself: her body an object to be gained or lost. She is both a woman and a country: living flesh and battleground. And when people tell her, Don’t fight him, Hirut, remember you are fighting to keep your country free. She asks herself, But am I not my own country? What does freedom mean when a woman—when a girl—cannot feel safe in her own skin? This, too, is what war means: to shift the battlefield away from the hills and onto your own body, to defend your own flesh with the ferocity of the cruelest soldier, against that one who wants to make himself into a man at your expense.” – Writing About the Forgotten Black Women of the Italo-Ethiopian War: Maaza Mengiste on Gender, Warfare, and Women’s Bodies By Maaza Mengiste

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‘But she was a reader, in the fiercest sense. Susan knew exactly what she wanted. When I finished my last book, she said, “I love that Paris chapter. I want more. Could you please turn it into a novel?” She said it again and again, so often that I began writing the book in my head. Last month, when Susan fell ill, I asked what I could do for her. The reply came shooting back: “The best gift would be to write me that book.”’ – ‘I Think You Need to Rewrite It’: Ruth Reichl on What Makes an Editor Great

THE BUSINESS


FICTION

“This is Orson Welles, ladies and gentlemen, out of character to assure you that The War of The Worlds has no further significance than as the holiday offering it was intended to be. The Mercury Theatre’s own radio version of dressing up in a sheet and jumping out of a bush and saying Boo! Starting now, we couldn’t soap all your windows and steal all your garden gates by tomorrow night. . . so we did the best next thing. We annihilated the world before your very ears, and utterly destroyed the C. B. S. You will be relieved, I hope, to learn that we didn’t mean it, and that both institutions are still open for business. So goodbye everybody, and remember the terrible lesson you learned tonight. That grinning, glowing, globular invader of your living room is an inhabitant of the pumpkin patch, and if your doorbell rings and nobody’s there, that was no Martian. . .it’s Hallowe’en.” – from the script of the 1938 radio broadcast of H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds which you can also listen to (I recommend listening to it first)

VISUAL ART

“We do not need permission nor expensive equipment to play the game or make art” – video essay re Steven Soderberg and his film High Flying Bird which was shot entirely on an iPhone

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Flow presents the results of its 2019 amateur mobile short film contest

POETRY

“You feel like is fire inside you
a fire twisting you insides into ash
a fire that sucking the earth beneath you dry
But you watch her dancing” – Tricia Allen

“…it almost I who came
back out of each punishment,
back to a self which had been waiting, for me,
in the cooled-off pile of my clothes? As for the
condition of being beaten, what
was it like: going into a barn, the animals
not in stalls, but biting, and shitting, and
parts of them on fire? And when my body came out
the other side, and I checked myself,
10 fingers, 10 toes,
and I checked whatever I had where we were supposed
to have a soul…” – How it Felt by Sharon Olds from her collection Arias

‘Fool neber ‘fraid w’en moon look bright,
Say, “Crab and jumbie lub dark night.”
Jumbie like moon as well as we—
Dey comin’ waalkin’ from de sea.
Deir foot tu’n backward w’en dey tread,
Dey wearin’ body ub de dead
Dat fisher-bwoy dat wu’k on sloop,
He watch dem waalkin’ from Guadeloupe.
Dey waalk de Channel, like it grass;
Den, like rain-cloud, he see dem pass.
Dey comin’ steppin out ub Hell,
Wit burnin’ yeye an’ a sweet smell.’ – Lullabye by Eileen Hall from her 1938 collection

“It is far from here now, but it is coming nearer.
Those who love forests also are cut down.
This month, this year, we may not suffer;
the brutal way things are, it will come.
Already the cloud patterns are different each year.
The winds blow from new directions,
the rain comes earlier, beats down harder,
or it is dry when the pastures thirst.
In this dark, overarching Essequibo forest,
I walk near the shining river on the green paths
cool and green as melons laid in running streams.” – from The Sun Parrots are Late This Year by Ian McDonald

REVIEWS

‘The book starts with an epigraph from Jamaican blogger Paul Tomlinson’s reproach to the commissioner of police to “go inna the bush and catch” the criminals who “always escaping in nearby bushes.”’ – Vahni Capildeo on Kei Miller’s ‘In Nearby Bushes’

REPORTS

“She writes intuitively from her own rural Jamaican childhood through to her becoming a global citizen, and because she writes from a searing past of aloneness and pain, her self-discovery and choice of self makes her work relevant, not only to people of the Caribbean who appreciate that she deals sensitively with race, class hierarchies and cultural oppression ­ the legacy of colonialism – but to all sensitive people of the world who respond to her quiet assertion of personal identity.” – One on One with Olive Senior in the Jamaica Gleaner, 2004

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“Canadian writer Margaret Atwood and British author Bernardine Evaristo split the Booker Prize on Monday, after the judging panel ripped up the rulebook and refused to name one winner for the prestigious fiction trophy.” UK-based Evaristo is Ango-Nigerian though those of you who’ve read her previous novel Mr. Loverman might remember that it features an Antiguan character (I remember meeting her when she was here in Antigua researching that character). Her Booker winning book is Girl, Woman, Other; tied with Canada-born Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale sequel The Testaments. Read the judges’ reasoning here.

As with all content on Wadadli Pen, except otherwise noted, this is written by Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure – Perdida! Una Aventura en el Mar Caribe). All rights reserved. 

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