Tag Archives: Bocas

Carib Lit Plus (Early to Mid November 2022)

A reminder that the process with these Carib Lit Plus Caribbean arts bulletins is to do a front and back half of the month, updating as time allows as new information comes in; so, come back, or, if looking for an earlier installment, use the search window. (in brackets, as much as I can remember, I’ll add a note re how I sourced the information – it is understood that this is the original sourcing and additional research would have been done by me to build the information shared here – credit and link back if you use).

Opportunities

The last Jhohadli Writing Project of 2022 is December 2nd 2022. Participate virtually. Also see Opportunities Too.

Wondering if the JWP is for you? Participants this year have included someone hoping to learn more about the business of writing while considering a self-publishing journey (“I learned quite a bit about the writing process”), someone revising a Caribbean-set novel who wanted the perspective of a Caribbean editor (“strengthened my pages”), someone hoping to overcome the fear and lack of confidence keeping them from writing (“I feel my confidence building”), and a newcomer taking her first writing workshop who said she felt comfortable and participated fully in the environment created. Your goals are your own, but I really try to meet participants where they are. People have participated from the Caribbean and the US; so, as a reminder, it’s virtual, you can participate from anywhere. (Source – me)

Art and Culture

An Antiguan and Barbudan designer, Danielle McCoy, had a hand in the creation of the Nigerian uniform worn during the Winter Olympics earlier this year.

Per this Essence article, the outfits were produced by a brand known as ActivelyBlack. It was one of the top designs according to major tastemakers, alongside well established international brands like Ralph Lauren and Puma. Danielle worked with Jordan Jackson, both of AmenAmen Studio on the look. (Source – N/A)

***

Barbadian songstress and international superstar Rihanna is now part of the Black Panther universe with her contribution of “Lift me Up” to the blockbuster’s sequel’s soundtrack. It’s haunting melody is a reminder that the second film arrives without its titular lead played by Chadwick Boseman who died of cancer between this and the previous film. RIP to him. Take a listen.

(Source – Twitter)

ETA – In further Black Panther news, via Variety, the sequel to the seminal Marvel cinematic universe film, Wakanda Forever, took in US$180,000,000 domestically (i.e. in the US). It is the second biggest domestic debut of the year after the latest Dr. Strange, another MCU film. I checked Box Office Mojo, and this is already the 9th top grossing film of 2022. Wakanda Forever‘s international take for its opening weekend was $330,000,000. Why do we care about this at Carib Lit Plus? The Caribbean representation, of course, with Guyana born British actress Letitia Wright (Shuri) and Tobago born US actor Winston Duke (M’baku) revived their star-making roles. Also Haiti is trending. Comments from Twitter:

*Spoiler alert*

“Two scenes in the #BlackPanther movie are set in #Haiti! Actual footage of Cap-Haïtien made it to the big screen. Haitian Creole and even our local transportation, tap taps, are in the movie. An important character is named after our national hero, Toussaint…Historically, major cinematic films that have portrayed #Haiti have emphasized zombies, poverty, demons, just pure darkness. They’ve silenced our glorious past & our present beauty. #BlackPanther has begun to shift the narrative.”

“Cap-Haitien, Haiti just popped up as a location in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and they are speaking Kreyol!”

“Shoutout to black panther for their representation of Haiti in the movie.”

The shoutouts are plentiful and have even moved off twitter, with karukerament.com blogging about “How Black Panther 2 introduces the Caribbean to the World (afro)”. The post celebrated the uncharacteristic positive representation of the island: “Listen, if you had told me that one day I would watch an MCU movie without the need for subtitles because the dialogues are in Haitian Creole, I would never have believed you. Never. And not only did they aim for the authenticity of the language, but they also linked the history of Ayiti to the history of Wakanda. They tied the history of the first black Republic to the history of the only black nation that was never colonized. They did not create a hierarchy. They just put them together as two equal parts of the Afro world. We are what we are, we don’t need to hide it and no one can take it away from us.”

(Source – Facebook)

***

A biopic of reggae legend Jamaica’s Bob Marley is in the works. Kingsley Ben-Adir, a British actor with a Trinidadian mother and white British father, has been cast to play him. Ben-Adir was last seen playing Malcolm X (whose mother, Louise Little, was Grenadian by the way) in One Night in Miami. Variety also reports that the screenwriter (Zach Baylin) and director (Reinaldo Marcus Green) behind King Richard, about Richard Williams, the father of tennis greats Venus and Serena, a role that recently won Will Smith his first Oscar, are attached. (Source – Twitter)

***

Late calypso giant Rupert ‘Swallow’ Philo’s family has donated instruments – a full set of steel pans and drum set – to Nelvie N. Gore Primary School. This is the former primary school of Willikies, Swallow’s home village. One of his dreams was the establishment of a music department at his alma mater and Vernon ‘Dr Solo’ Benjamin advocated for the department to be named in his honour. (Source – Daily Observer newspaper, Antigua)

***

A reminder to check out my CREATIVE SPACE column especially the 2022 series, the most recent of which focussed on collaging with St. Lucian sister Catherine-Esther and Kelsey.

(Source – me)

Events

Peepal Tree Press has collaborated with the Out of Many Festival to bring Book Club events in October and November. Still to come are The Merchant of Feathers with Tanya Shirley on November 18 and Prophets with Kwame Dawes on December 2. (Source – JRLee email)

***

I’m seeing reports around social media about the BVI Lit Fest, like this one from Jamaica born Barbados based writer Sharma Taylor, whose debut novel What a Mother’s Love don’t teach You landed this year.

“Had the absolute pleasure of recently participating in the 2nd annual BVI Lit Fest in beautiful Tortola www.bvilitfest.com The Governor, Premier, Dr. Richard Georges and his team at the H Lavity Stoutt Community College were amazing hosts! Book lovers, please put this event in your calendar as a ‘must attend’ event for next year! I met some awesome writers there!”

Sharma is pictured to the left of the image taken from her facebook page.

The BVI Literary Festival ran from November 3 – 6 2022 in Tortola after being founded (virtually) in 2021 as part of the Department of Culture’s Culture and Tourism Month activities and operates in collaboration with the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College. This year’s line-up included well known Caribbean writers like Trinidad and Tobago’s Andre Bagoo, USVI based editor of The Caribbean Writer literary journal Alscess Lewis-Brown, the USVI’s Tiphanie Yanique, Grenada’s and the Virgin Islands (British and US’) Tobias Buckell, Jamaica’s Kei Miller, and BVI poet laureate himself Richard Georges. (Source – Sharma Taylor’s Facebook)

***

Montserrat’s Alliouagana Festival of the Word returns with book launches, movie screenings, and activities for the children.

The featured films are The Fab 4 & The Silent Retreat, written by Jamaican-Canadian Diane De La Haye and directed by UK born Sint Maarten based filmmaker Peter Sagnia

and

Deep Blue, written and directed by Antigua and Barbuda’s Howard Allen

Festival dates are November 17 – 19. (Source – Nerissa Golden on Linkedin)

***

Spilling Ink’s Poetry in the Park returns with an art and open mic event on November 26th. Featured artist is Laikan whom I wrote about in a recent CREATIVE SPACE and whom you can listen to on my Spotify list. Venue is the 90s Restaurant and Lounge on High Street in St. John’s, Antigua, 6:30 – 10:00 p.m. If you want to really dig in to the archives, check out my CREATIVE SPACE on Spilling Ink. (Source – Laikan on Instagram)

***

November 13 – 20 is the Miami Book Fair. This is the 2022 schedule. As usual, there will be a strong Caribbean presence, primarily through the Read Caribbean programme. Highlights include a pre-event, on November 12, “Original Roots: The Sound & Story of Jamaican Tradition” featuring Jamaican poet laureate Olive Senior, “Our Beautiful and Corrupted Islands”: Pamela Mordecai, Mc. Donald Dixon & Celeste Mohammed on November 19, “Out of Many, One People”: Olive Senior, Dionne Irving & Jonathan Escoffery on November 19, and Zain Khalid, Leila Mottley & Elizabeth Nunez: A Conversation on November 20. The Miami Book Fair dates back to 1984 and is today considered one of the most comprehensively programmed book fairs in the US. This year includes participation by authors both in-person and virtual (e.g. Trinbagonian author of Bocas winning Pleasantview Celeste Mohamed has announced that she will be part of Miami Book Fair online activities the named Read Caribbean panel discussion, an interview with fellow Trini writer Tracey Baptiste, and a podcast interview with Marva Hinton). (Source – Celeste Mohamed on Instagram)

***

Antiguan and Barbudan artist Heather Doram has a show coming up.

(Source – Facebook)

***

Caribbean book and lifestyle influencer Book of Cinz is reporting a successful staging of her first reading retreat in the nature isle, Dominica. Round two will be held in October 2023 and interested readers of Caribbean lit can already sign up here. Meanwhile, her next virtual book club meet-up to discuss Irish Trinidadian author Amanda Smyth’s novel Fortune will be on November 29th 6-8 p.m. (Source – Book of Cinz newsletter)

Books

I-ROY by Eric Doumerc, with various contributors, is a book about the prolific and talented Jamaican deejay, Roy Samuel Reid, 1942-1999. He enjoyed a hugely successful recording career in the 1970s but died of heart failure relatively young after two decades of declining health and output. Belated recognition has come following the selection of his song ‘Sidewalk Killer’ to feature in the 2004 video game Grand Theft Auto San Andreas and this timely re-appraisal reviews his life’s work and achievements in sound and lyrics. (Source – JRLee email)

***

UK based Trinidad and Tobago writer Ayanna Lloyd Banwo’s When We were Birds dropped this year. It is described as “a mythic love story” and has been widely acclaimed. In addition to the print and ebook editions, there is also an audio version using the voices of Trinidad actors/readers, sourced with assistance from the UTT’s theatre programme, Wendell Manwarren and Sydney Darius. “I wouldn’t have it any other way,” said the writer. (Source – N/A)

***

US based Jamaican children’s book writer Renaee Smith has announced a couple of new titles, bringing her total book count to 10 – seven of them children’s books. The new titles are Dorianne the Baker, written with Nella Perrier and Freddie learns the Value of Money. This book is an introductory book for children ages 5-12 that teaches them the value of money. It introduces the basic financial concepts of saving and budgeting, from earning money from chores to spending money earned in stores. 

This seems to be the fifth in a Freddie series of books. (Source – Renaee Smith email)

***

ESPJr. of Trinidad and Tobago have uploaded a number of early readers – such as the Ready Set Hatch! storybook, Spanish language edition, and colouring book; The Most Magnificent, about the sentient (in the story) seven magnificent houses along Trinidad and Tobago’s Queen’s Park Savannah; Alex the Awesome & the Crazy Quest for the Golden Pod, about a secret agent agouti; and the Agriman series of adventures. All written by Jeunanne Atkins, storyteller and co-founder of ESPJr with former teacher Andrea Alkins. (Source – N/A)

***

Caribbean book influencer ifthisisparadise on instagram has announced a Jamaica Kincaid read-a-long for 2023 – 2024.

Jamaica Kincaid was born Elaine Potter Richardson in Ovals, Antigua so this is exciting news and I had to share. They’ll be reading in publication order beginning with At the Bottom of the River (1983), and continuing, I assume, with Annie John (1985), Annie, Gwen, Lilly, Pam, and Tulip (1986), A Small Place (1988), Lucy (1990), The Autobiography of My Mother (1996), My Brother (1997), Talk Stories (2001), My Garden (Book) (2001), Mr. Potter (2002), Among Flowers: A Walk in the Himalayas (2005), See Now Then (2013), Party: A Mystery (2019) – I’ve bolded the ones I’ve read and linked the ones I’ve reviewed. Maybe a chance to read the ones I haven’t? (Source – Karukament newsletter)

***

Of Rivers and Oceans is Dominican author, Anella Shillingford’s second poetry collection after 2019’s Bonfire. It was launched at the Portsmouth Branch Library in September 2022. A press release from the author described the publication as “a celebration of heritage, history, healing, and home.” (Dominicanewsonline.com) (Source – N/A)

***

Young participants in the Antigua and Barbuda Film Academy, a development arm of the Motion Picture Association of Antigua and Barbuda have published a book of stories they worked on during the pandemic. The book is called Love Friendship & Betrayal: An Anthology of Lessons Learned and the authors are Joel Lewis, Noah Yeboah, Destiny Simon, Delicia Howell, Shenika Bentick, and Sheneilla Somerset. Abigail Piper is credited as development editor. The publisher is Dr. Noel Howell’s I & I Books. The authors also acknowledged, in their preface, the contribution of Wadadli Pen founder Joanne C. Hillhouse whose services to the project included workshop facilitation and copy editing. “Once we started the in-person workshops with Ms Joanne Hillhouse, I was re-energized. … I realized that writing is more than physically putting pen to paper. We were able to use all our senses and feelings to create emotions that our readers can relate to. This workshop opened my eyes to various aspects of writing.” wrote Destiny. Shenika also wrote that the workshops, “helped boost my own self-confidence and helped me in writing this story.” Delicia commented on how the process helped her deal with real life issues. “As I developed the plot and addressed these fears, I realized that some of them were my own fears expressed in different situations. This type of self-reflection was new to me and I was able through these fictious characters to better deal with my own insecurities.” The stories were originally intended to be productions but due to the lockdown plans were changed, with participants working with each other remotely to develop their scripts for publication. Sheneilla said, “The zoom meetings and workshops were very helpful and assisted me with the many corrections and rewrites I had to do. I also learned many new things about writing. I had fun creating characters and putting them in situations that created conflict and drama. Receiving feedback from a professional writer was eexciting and encouraging. The critique sessions with my writing partner also helped me to stay focussed and motivated.” The book’s summary focusses on the in-between status of teenagers who are neither teens nor adults but young people dealing with feelings like fear, pain, and loneliness, using the literary arts as a vehicle. These same teens scripted the 2022 short film, also produced by Dr. Howell, Don’t hit me Pickney. Film and book were released during a red carpet event at the Dean William Lake Cultural Centre on October 31st 2022. (Source – me)

ETA – report of the book launch in the Daily Observer –

Accolades

Trini writer, British based, Anthony Joseph was named to the short list of the T S Eliot Prize alongside nine other poets. Per The Guardian, “He is shortlisted for Sonnets for Albert, an autobiographical collection that weighs the impact of growing up with a largely absent father.” The winner will be announced on January 16th 2023. (Source – JRLee email)

***

Jamaican artistes Spice, Koffee, Skillibeng, Popcaan, Shenseea, and Sean Paul are contending for the Best Caribbean Music Award in the UK’s MOBO (Music of Black Origin awards).

Last year’s winner of this award is Shenseea, above right, wearing Antiguan and Barbudan designer Shem Henry, pictured left, whom I wrote about in CREATIVE SPACE.

MOBO is celebrating its 25th anniversary. (Source – Antigua and Barbuda’s Daily Observer newspaper)

***

The winners of Dominica’s Independence Literary Competition are Arrundell Thomas (Dominica between Sentences), English poetry; Ian Jackson (Orvince Gone), short story; and Jules Pascal (Bondye ka Mété), kweyol poetry.

(Source – Nature Island Literary Festival on Facebook)

***

Antiguan and Barbudan writer Gayle Gonsalves has received additional awards for her novel My Stories have No Endings: an Independent Press Award distinguished favourite & Next Generation Indie Book Award grand prize, second place, fiction, and winner, multicultural fiction. See more re recently awarded Antiguans and Barbudans. (Source – Gayle Gonsalves on social media)

***

I thought I had posted the Bocas children’s lit prize long list but maybe that was a fever dream. Here’s the short list.

I write Rhymes: A Novel by Nadine Johnson
Zo and The Forest of Secrets by Alake Pilgrim
The Whisperer’s Warning by Danielle Y C Mclean
The Land Below by Aarti Gosine

(Source – Bocas Lit Fest on Facebook)

***

Twelve young artists from Barbuda participated in the second annual Barbuda Youth Art Workshop and Competition in October 2022; three took home top prizes. Four on scene judges plus viewers via social media weighed in on favourite art works. Kyrollos Greaux (art: Under the Sea – the Big Coral Race) won in the 10-12 age group, Trinity Whyte (art: Postcard from Barbuda) won in the 13-15 age group, and Makaida Whyte (art: The Sound of Music) won the 16-18 age group. Each winner received EC$500.

(Source – Antigua and Barbuda’s Daily Observer newspaper)

***

Jamaica-born Brits (pictured) Yvonne Bailey-Smith’s The Day I feel off My Island and Leone Ross’ This One Sky Day were this year shortlisted for the Diverse Book Awards. It is a UK based awards recognizing books featuring characters not typically or widely represented. (Source – Myriad Editions email)

***

Shabier Kirchner of Antigua and Barbuda has been invited to join the Motion Picture Association of America. While I am not sure if any Antiguans and Barbudans have been a part of the Oscar-voting body in the past, I can say that either way it’s a rare opportunity and Kirchner is one of only 10 cinematographers in the 2022 class.

Kirchner has won awards from the New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, and the British Academy Television Craft Awards for his work on the Small Axe anthology. (Source – Bert Kirchner)

***

Dr. Noel Howell, medical practitioner and filmmaker, who works with the young people of the Antigua and Barbuda Film Academy, while announcing the release of student production Don’t Hit Me Pickney announced that it had received an award as best student production at CommFestt, a film festival in Canada.

See Playwrights and Screenwriters (the Antigua-Barbuda Connection) for this and more productions from Antigua and Barbuda. (Source – Dr. Noel Howell/ABFA/MPAAB)

***

The Antigua and Barbuda Film Academy presented awards to four people at the October 31st 2022 premiere local screening of CommFestt award winning student film Don’t hit me Pickney and launch of book of student stories Love, Friendship, and Betrayal: An Anthology of Lessons Learned – executive produced and published, respectively – by Antigua-born, US-based pediatrician and filmmaker Dr. Noel Howell. Wadadli Pen founder Joanne C. Hillhouse who has worked with the AFA as an editor and workshop facilitator was the night’s first awardee, her plaque for her commitment to the advancement of literacy in Antigua and Barbuda.

Meanwhile, for their contributions to the development of film production in Antigua and Barbuda, producers and former heads of the Motion Picture Associstion of Antigua and Barbuda Howard Allen, Dr. Alvin Edwards, and Bert Kirchner were awarded as well. Kirchner is the country’s film commissioner and is responsible for bringing a number of film and commercial productions to Antigua and Barbuda. Dr. Edwards, an ophthamologist, has been involved in production of high profile arts events like Romantic Rhythms in addition to producing films like Once in an Island and publication of its companion book. Allen is part owner with his wife of HaMa, Antigua and Barbuda’s pioneering filmmakers and still the most prolific producer of features (The Sweetest Mango, No Seed, Diablesse, The Skin, Deep Blue). The event was hosted by the Motion Picture Association of Antigua and Barbuda of which the Film Academy is a part. (Source – me)

***

November 1st was Antigua and Barbuda’s 41st anniversary of Independence, and at that day’s Ceremonial Parade a number of national awardees were announced as per normal. They included members of the arts community. I don’t have the full list (at this posting and I have never understood why the official list is so hard to find) but per reporting in the Daily Observer newspaper, among them are calypsonian Oliver ‘Destroyer’ Jacobs and pannist Patrick Johnny Gomes. Jacobs, a veteran of the field both on stage and with his pen is now GCH – meaning Grand Cross, the Most Precious Order of Princely Heritage, and Gomes is MH – Most Precious Order of Princely Heritage.

(photo credit Nathaniel Edwards/Facebook)

Jacobs, whose respected position within the Antigua and Barbuda calypso fraternity translated in to classics but not crowns told Observer that this honour is “not for me alone, it’s for all the calypsonians who never won a crown and kept on going.”

(Destroyer back in 2007, I believe, accepting a National Vibes Star Project award)

(Source – Daily Observer newspaper)

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and The Jungle Outside). All Rights Reserved. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Carib Lit Plus (Early to Mid October 2022)

A reminder that the process with these Carib Lit Plus Caribbean arts bulletins is to do a front and back half of the month, updating as time allows as new information comes in; so, come back, or, if looking for an earlier installment, use the search window. (in brackets, as much as I can remember, I’ll add a note re how I sourced the information – it is understood that this is the original sourcing and additional research would have been done by me to build the information shared here – credit and link back if you use).

Accolades

Cuban born Ada Ferrer’s Cuba: An American History is on the Cundill History Prize 2022 shortlist.

Already a Pulitzer Prize winner for history, Cuba “provides us with a front-row seat as we witness the evolution of the modern nation, with its dramatic record of conquest and colonization, of slavery and freedom, of independence and revolutions made and unmade.” (Source – Literary Hub email)

Events

The annual Antigua and Barbuda Conference takes place October 13th and 14th 2022. This is the full programme. It will be virtual. I don’t have link-up information at this writing (October 11th 2022), sorry. (Source – email from the project assistant)

***

Two dozen acclaimed Caribbean writers will be in residence at the British Library on October 29 for a day-long programme of stories, poems and music. There will be other events in Leicester, Norwich, Leeds, and Belfast.

Click this link for more and to book tickets if you are in the UK. (Source – Bocas email)

***

The Bridgetown International Arts Festival (in Barbados) is produced and curated by artists. It’s a space to display new and contemporary work in the performing and visual arts. Artists can share new work, build their own audiences, and develop collaborations.

Go to the social media links to register or for more information. (Source – N/A)

***

The Dominica Antigua Connection presents its first ever Kweyol in the Park on November 6th 2022, 12 – 10 p.m., on the Department of Environment grounds. It has been advertised as a day of music, cuisine, dance, art, and various cultural presentations. (Source – Daily Observer newspaper/Antigua and Barbuda)

Opportunities

There’s still time to get your submissions in for the annual Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

Prize info here. (Source – N/A)

***

Antiguan and Barbudan young scientists Teyanna Nathaniel, Deshini Charles, Leyla Reid, and Ethan Bailey will be among participants from 180 other countries facing off in Geneva, Switzerland in what’s described as a major robotics competition. From the Daily Observer, “Every year, FIRST Global invites nations to compete in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math)-themed game that is focussed on addressing various challenges facing the planet, including the 14 Grand Challenges of Engineering, in an effort to foster understanding and cooperation among students 14 – 18.” This year’s theme is Carbon Capture. The event runs from October 13 – 16. (Source – Daily Observer newspaper/Antigua and Barbuda)

***

The October session of the Jhohadli Writing Project workshop has been rescheduled to October 21st 2022 which means more time to register. This and other opportunities in Opportunities Too.

(Source – Me)

Books

The Stranger Who Was Myself by Barbara Jenkins “is the kind of story best read in solitude to propel the beauty of its prose and of its wisdom from off its pages to land straight into your heart. One is sure to emerge a better mother (for the women who read it), a more astute observer and a kinder human when the last page of this novel is turned. The places, people, architecture, community, societies and culture were so wonderfully recalled and accurately outlined in stunning detail, it’s easy to believe that Barbara’s entire life and memory were preparing her for the act of writing this memoir, proving that the best storytellers, in fact, are born and not bred. This is a must for lovers of memoir or those who are seeking a first foray into the genre.” It is published by Peepal Tree Press. (Source – Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival on Facebook)

***

US based Antiguan and Barbudan writer and artist Iyaba Ibo Mandingo has released a second edition of his last book Fu Yuh Tongue Heavy Laka 56. ““It has been four years since its original release. My baby sister Nicole lost her battle to cancer three days after the book signing. I tried, in her memory, to push on, but eventually the weight of the ‘whys’ took a toll on my enthusiasm, and a project I believed in with my everything slowed to a halt”. (Mandingo in an instagram posting) Despite the lag, the book is now getting a new berth. Mandingo described it as “more than a collection of poetry of thirty years of poetry. The first third is a look back at the work from the first poem in an Iowa jail, to my ‘Mykus’ reflecting on the fifty-five days with homeland security after my 9-11 poem. The rest of the book is my discovery of the joy of writing in my native tongue.”

Fu Yuh Tongue Heavy Laka 56 has been added to the Poetry page and the main data base of Antiguan and Barbudan writers. The previous edition was issued in 2018. (Source – Author DM)

***

Trinidad and Tobago writer and editor Andre Bagoo has two new collections out since summer this year: The Dreaming, which is a collection of stories, and Narcissus, a poetry collection. From publisher of The Dreaming, Peepal Tree Press: “At one level, Andre Bagoo’s stories have the very real virtue of taking the everyday lives of his gay Trinidadian characters utterly for granted in their searches for sex, adventure, pleasure, self-realisation and all the enrichments of loving contact. There’s a neat balance between a highly enjoyable sharpness of perception and a relaxed and engaging personal voice, and room for humour in several of these stories. …The narrator of several of these stories is a writer who wants to focus on the personal satisfactions and inner dramas of these lives as the truth about gay experience. But at the back of his mind are the stories of the brutal murders of gay men reported with coy innuendo in the press. …Bagoo’s stories offer a witty and acutely drawn portrait of contemporary Trinidad in all its intersections of race, class and gender politics.” Narcissus, meanwhile, is described as “In this powerful collection, Bagoo examines the varied dynamics of the body and mind with the narcissism of the soul, while fully embracing the work of art as a critical reflection on the human condition.” The Broken Sleep publication is his sixth collection. (Source – Andre Bagoo on Twitter)

***

English literary critic, novelist, and biographer Miranda Seymour earlier this year published I used to Live Here Once: The Haunted Life of Jean Rhys about the famed Dominican writer (author of Wide Sargasso Sea). It is published by W. W. Norton & Company.

(Source – Papillote Press via instagram)

***

Three authors launched their trio of books in Montserrat this summer. Titles above. (Source – N/A)

***

Dominican writer Celia Sorhaindo has a new book after her critically acclaimed poetry collection Guabancex. Her Radical Normalization was published by Carcanet Press in September 2022.

(Source – JRLee email)

***

I mentioned in the previous Carib Lit Plus that there was a new Penguin edition of New Daughters of Africa as of August 2022. I’ve since finished reading the book (the original Myriad edition published in 2019) and uploaded a review to Bloggers on Books in addition to talking about it in my CREATIVE SPACE column (Headlined: Claiming Our Space by Telling Our Stories)

Also, as seen above, CREATIVE SPACE which is my art and culture column currently platformed in the Daily Observer newspaper, made the front page for a second straight week – here’s the previous front page article. (Source – Me)

Arts and Culture

October is Black History Month in the UK and a project called The World ReImagined has been part of this year’s rollout. Quoting from KnowYourCaribbean on instagram “a community of Artists, Activists, Community Workers, Historians, Educators, Poets and all round kick ass committed believers – come together to change the world and how we view ourselves.” One of the more visible projects is the commissioning and scattering across the English landscape of 103 globes with artistic interpretations (including by some Caribbean-resident artists) of Black people’s legacies of slavery, resistance, resilience, and revolution.

The website includes a map allowing you to locate the marble looking art installations while also adding to the public knowledge of the history of Black people. It is an opportunity for learning. (Source – Know Your Caribbean on instagram)

***

It’s October and Trinidad and Tobago writer and editor, and founder of the Caribbean Books Foundation, which platforms books by Caribbean writers, has, for another year running, branded it Caribbean Folklore Month. The calendar includes Jumbie Night, October 9th 2022; plus folklore features, book launches, author interviews, and book reviews. With the growing influence of America’s Halloween in the region, Caribbean Folklore Month is a reminder that we have our own traditions. The month in its premiere year, 2021, featured douens, papa bois, soucouyant, and more. You can get involved by sharing what’s posted by the Caribbean Folklore social pages and others, you can post about your folklore experiences and tag them. You can even read my jumbie story “Papa Jumbie” (published by Akashic Books online) or my zombie story “Zombie Island” (published in Interviewing the Caribbean), share the video of you reading it – I’d enjoy that as long as you credit and tag me. Use the hashtags #CaribbeanFolkloreMonth #JumbieNight (and if you’re reading one of mine #gyalfromOttosaAntigua). You can create a folklore video, artwork, event or celebration around a folklore theme. You can buy, read and recommend books on Folklore and share your reviews – Authors will appreciate this. If you are a Caribbean author or writer, you can add a folklore character or theme to your next novel or story.

Marsha Gomes-McKie’s newest title.

(Source – Marsha Gomes-McKie social media)

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and The Jungle Outside). All Rights Reserved. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Carib Lit Plus (Early to Mid September 2022)

A reminder that the process with these Carib Lit Plus Caribbean arts bulletins is to do a front and back half of the month, updating as time allows as new information comes in; so, come back, or, if looking for an earlier installment, use the search window. (in brackets, as much as I can remember, I’ll add a note re how I sourced the information – it is understood that this is the original sourcing and additional research would have been done by me to build the information shared here – credit and link back if you use).

News

African American actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, daughter of Jamaican designer Ivy Ralph, has won her first Emmy, long overdue after decades in the entertainment industry, for her supporting role on the hit comedy Abbott Elementary. She had words of wisdom for all the dreamers.

Sharing just as much for that reminder “don’t you ever, ever give up on you”, as for the original Dreamgirls’ Caribbean bona fides. (Source – Twitter)

***

News of the passing of Britain’s queen, Elizabeth the second, has ignited conversation around the world – certainly it is dominating chatter on western media. There are, of course, the expected condolences, the unfortunate gossip, but as the conversation continues, a re-examination of the relationship between Britain and Commonwealth countries (in this case those in the Caribbean where the relationship was marked by the enslavement of Africans to build British wealth over hundreds of years including colonisation, both on the Continent and in the Caribbean, that continued thereafter in to the late monarch’s reign). It is this latter discourse that landed two prominent Caribbean writers and activists – Jamaican dub poet Mutabaruka and Antiguan and Barbudan writer Dorbrene O’Marde, both active in the push for reparations – in the segment below on the US’ Democracy Now!

Tl; dw? Mutabaruka sums it up with this assertion of what they expect of the new king, Charles: “He must understand how we feel as African people in this part of the world.” (Source – YouTube)

Opportunities

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is now open for submissions. The prize is £2500 pounds for regional winners and £5,000 overall. Winning stories will also be published online and in a special print collection. Judges are looking for “memorable stories, well written stories, stories from places they haven’t heard from before.” The prize is open to any one from a Commonwealth country who is over 18. Previously published stories are not accepted. (Source – Commonwealth Writers on instagram)

See other Opportunities with deadlines here.

Events

Bocas has been marking Trinidad & Tobago’s Independence 60th anniversary celebrations with a series of activities this September, spanning Independence Day, August 31st 2022 to Republic Day, September 24th 2022. Still to come (at this writing) are Voices of History (September 15th 2022), featuring newly commissioned writing telling the stories of “lost voices”; Letters to the Future (September 15th 2022) by 2021 NGC Youth Writer of the Year Harmony Farrell, fiction writer Rashad Hosein, and poet Ronaldo Mohammed; and Coming and Going, a conversation with Barbara Jenkins (The Stranger who was Myself) and Ira Mathur (Love the Dark Days) moderated by Andre Bagoo whose latest book The Dreaming also landed in September. (Source – Bocas email)

***

The Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival is live this year after two years online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Events will also stream on their YouTube. Here’s the line up:

Friday 9th September 2022 – 6 p.m. – I belong to the House of Music
Saturday 10th September 2022 – 4 p.m. – The Caribbean Pantheon: Goddesses and the Divine in Caribbean Spirituality
Sunday 11th September 2022 – 1 p.m. – Black Powerful – How One Trinidadian Man changed the Landscape of Language Forever
Sunday 11th September 2022 – 4 p.m. – Laureates of the Caribbean – The Rum Bar Lime

Register here. (Source – BCLF email)

Books

I’ll mention the 2021 Perito Prize Anthology for two reasons. One, I have a story in it and I have blogged about the book, which was an interesting read. Also, the deadline for this year’s prize is October 1st, and there’s a cash prize for the winner plus publication for the top entries (not sure if there’s a fixed number). Check it out and see if it’s for you and check out our Opportunities Too page so you don’t miss any submission deadlines. (Source – me & The Practicing Writer Newsletter email)

***

Canada-based, Trinidad-born Dionne Brand’s latest book Nomenclature collects eight volumes of her previous works, from 1982 to 2010. It, also, includes a new poem “Nomenclature for the Time Being”. The other big news for the multi-award winning writer is that she is now heading the new publishing imprint at Knopf Canada, Alchemy. Brand’s accolades include the Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry and the Trillium Book Award for her 1997 collection Land to Light On. Her collection thirsty won the 2003 Pat Lowther Award. In 2009, she served as the poet laureate of Toronto. Her novel What We All Long For won the City of Toronto Book Award in 2006. She won the 2011 Griffin Poetry Prize for Ossuaries and in 2017, she was named to the Order of Canada. Her latest books include the novel Theory and the poetry collection The Blue Clerk, which was a finalist for the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry. (Source – JR Lee email)

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The Bread the Devil Knead, shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2022, is available in audio book, narrated by the author Trinidad and Tobago writer Lisa Allen-Agostini.

Photo of Lisa Allen-Agostini by Margaret Busby.

The recording was done locally at Future Crab Studios Ltd, is available on Audible, and can be sampled here. (Source – Lisa Allen-Agostini social media)

Accolades

Former West Indies cricket captain, and Antiguan and Barbudan, Richie Richardson, and St. Vincent soca artiste Beckett will receive honorary doctrates at the University of the West Indies Five Islands campus, in Antigua, on October 8th 2022. (Souce – Daily Observer newspaper)

***

Martinique-born director Euzhan Palcy will receive the Governor’s Award from the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences in November 2022. She is one of four recipients.

“The Academy’s Board of Governors is honored to recognize four individuals who have made indelible contributions to cinema and the world at large,” said Academy President David Rubin. “Michael J. Fox’s tireless advocacy of research on Parkinson’s disease alongside his boundless optimism exemplifies the impact of one person in changing the future for millions. Euzhan Palcy is a pioneering filmmaker whose groundbreaking significance in international cinema is cemented in film history. Diane Warren’s music and lyrics have magnified the emotional impact of countless motion pictures and inspired generations of musical artists. Peter Weir is a director of consummate skill and artistry whose work reminds us of the power of film to reveal the full range of human experience.” (Oscars.org)

Palcy’s films include César Award winning (for best first film) Sugar Cane Alley, which also won the Silver Lion award at the 1983 Venice Film Festival, a first for a Black director; A Dry White Season, the first major Hollywood film directed by a Black woman; and musical fairytale Siméon. She’s also directed a number of documentaries and television projects. (Source – N/A)

***

Congrats to the winners of the Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival Elizabeth Nunez short story prize, Bahamaian Alexia Tolas and Yvekia Pierre of Haiti. The latter is the winner of the prize for a Caribbean writer inthe US and the former is Caribbean-based.

Alexia shared her joy on social media: “It’s a winner! I’m so excited and thankful to the organizers and judges for this year’s Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival 🥰. This story is near and dear to my heart – a story nearly five years in the making. It’s changed a lot over time, and sometimes I felt she’d never work, but knowing that someone laughed, someone’s gut pinched, and someone’s arm hair stood up makes it worth the while. I’m honored, and I can’t wait to share this story of love, obsession, and cuckoo soup with you all 😊.” (Source – Alexia Tolas on Facebook)

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and The Jungle Outside). All Rights Reserved. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Filed under Caribbean Plus Lit News, Links We Love, Literary Gallery, The Business

Carib Lit Plus (Mid to Late June 2022)

A reminder that the process with these Carib Lit Plus Caribbean arts bulletins is to do a front and back half of the month, updating as time allows as new information comes in; so, come back, or, if looking for an earlier installment, use the search window. (in brackets, as much as I can remember, I’ll add a note re how I sourced the information – it is understood that this is the original sourcing and additional research would have been done by me to build the information shared here).

OPPORTUNITIES

The Bocas Lit Fest Children’s Book Prize is back. It is given to one outstanding English-language children’s book for young independent readers, written by a Caribbean author. The Prize consists of a cash award of US$1,000, and Caribbean-born authors, resident anywhere in the world, of English-language books which have been published between 1 August 2021 and 31 August 2022 are eligible. The prize is open for entries from 20 June 2022 to 31 August 2022, and the winner will be announced in November 2022. The 2022 prize is administered by the Bocas Lit Fest, and is sponsored by the Wainwright family. Read about this and other opportunities with pending deadlines in Opportunities Too here. (Source – Bocas email)

STAGE

Late Bahamian-American actor and director Sidney Poitier’s life is being adapted for the stage. The source material will be his memoir The Measure of a Man. Poitier spent his youth on Cat Island in the Bahamas before migrating to the US in young adulthood and going on to a stellar career, which includes being the first Black man and only the second Black person to win an Academy Award when he won best actor in 1963 for his performance in Lilies of the Field. Poitier died in January of this year. (Source – The Root)

VISUALS

Barbados has tapped star architect David Adjaye (the Ghanaian-British architect responsible for designing the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C.) to design its Barbados Heritage District as a testament to the island nation’s culture and identity. Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley announced the plan, which is to include a memorial, a global research institute, and a museum that will tell the story of slavery’s impact on Barbados and its inhabitants. The district will also house the Barbados Archives, a massive historical catalogue documenting 400 years of the slave trade in tens of millions of pages of documents. The archive, which includes sales ledgers, ship registers, manumission papers, and other documents, is one of the largest repositories of the British Transatlantic Slave Trade in the entire world. When complete, the center will be the first research institute based in the Caribbean dedicated to the Transatlantic Slave Trade. (It would be remiss of me, however, not to mention the African Slavery Memorial Project of Antigua and Barbuda which has been shared on this site before, including its plans for construction of a museum, also previously mentioned on the site). The first step in the development of the district in Barbados will be the building of the Newton Enslaved Burial Ground Memorial next to the site where the remains of 570 West African slaves were found in low earthen mounds and graves using LIDAR technology in the 1970s. Read more about the memorial which breaks ground in November 2022 here. (Source – friend in real life)

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Barbadian visual artist Sheena Rose will be showing in ‘Holy Water’, an exhibition at the Eric Firestone Gallery in East Hampton, NY. The Zoe Lukov curated exhibition featuring 20 artists and exploring the mundane and mythological aspects of water. The show opens July 2nd and closes July 24th 2022. (Source – artist’s facebook)

EVENTS

Early in June, the organizers of the St. Martin Book Fair observed the 20th anniversary of the festival. Shujah Reiph, founder and coordinator (with Conscious Lyrics Foundation), said, “The journey that we began 20 years ago out of a Creative Writing Program organized by the House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP)not only gave birth to the book fair but to a new generation of St. Martin authors, many of whom contributed with youthful exuberance to the organization of the St. Martin Book Fair. We have had a symbiotic collaboration with HNP from the get-go. And with the University of St. Martin (USM) as
well. Our modest ambition was to have a book fair that would bring the entire family closer to the book and,among other things, show as a lie the saying that if you want to hide something from a Black person, put it in a book.” Activities at the popular event included author and publicist roundtables, readings, masterclass, exhibition, and more featuring Yvonne Weekes, Sharma Taylor, Lasana M. Sekou, Max Rippon, N. C. Marks, Yona Deshommes, among others. (Source – House of Nehesi Publishers email)

***

The Antigua and Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra, a youth development non-profit music programme in Antigua and Barbuda is preparing (at this writing) for a musical event featuring movie theme songs. The event is scheduled for July 3rd 2022. Event details here.

(Source – Facebook)

FAREWELLS

I keep changing this sub-head title, not quite knowing what’s a fitting send-off, always wishing I didn’t have the need to include it. This is where we salute the ones who have impacted Caribbean art and culture, and there have been too many of these farewells by COVID and other means – but exacerbated by the pandemic – in recent years.

Renowned Antiguan and Barbudan pannist Victor ‘Babu’ Samuel has died. He passed on June 28th 2022, two years after a stroke diminished his capacity to function. Babu is one of our country’s most celebrated pan arrangers – notably for his work with one of the winningest pan orchestras, Halcyon (video link to an upload of the 1990 panorama tune arranged by Babu on the Halcyon Orchestra facebook page). He has also been a key figure in pan development through his work with the National Youth Pan Orchestra. His work bringing pan to the Police Marching Band was also acknowledged just this year. Babu was also well known as a pan soloist – regrettably I have not been able to find video of a Babu performance (and once again bemoan our failure to capture and catalogue the vibrancy of our Culture as a matter of intent/purpose). The last time I saw Babu was just before COVID at Carnival, a year in which Halcyon – again one of Antigua’s winningest pan orchestras – had to opt out of panorama due to lack of funds (at least that’s what he said to me when I asked him as we passed each other on Market Street during the Carnival parade). I don’t have a recent interview with Babu (whom I profiled years ago for a limited run newspaper column I called Vintage – there’s a lot from my archives that I need to dig through and share and this is one of them) but credit to Petra the Spectator for posting this interview with him in 2021.

Credit also to rival band Hell’s Gate for recently organizing Play one for Babu, fundraising concerts that were also a celebration of the art form that Babu loved so much. Catch the vibes (image borrowed from Hell’s Gate’s facebook page).

(Source – Observer Media by Newsco Ltd facebook page)

***

Lynn Sweeting of the Bahamas is known to us here on the Wadadli Pen blog. I posted an interview with her in 2012. She was committed to amplifying female Caribbean voices, our art and our words, and did via the Womanspeak journal.

Some of Lynn’s poetry has been shared by her friend Nicolette Bethel who edited and published the online Tongues of the Ocean literary journal. You can read her eulogy and the poems here. And like Lynn wrote in one of those poems, remember

“Fear is the meaning of their favorite song,
but not the meaning of yours.
Love up your own self fearlessly.”
(from ‘Wheelbarrow Woman’, Tongues of the Ocean, 2009)

The last Womanspeak was published in 2018 and I know at least one was in the works after that and had to take a pause, and maybe now a full stop, in light of everything. (Source – Nicolette Bethel on Linkedin)

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Antigua and Barbuda is mourning the passing of prominent son Gordon ‘Banks’ Derrick. Though he is best known for his contributions in sports administration (as president of the Caribbean Football Union and general secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association) and business, I add him here for the reason Cricket Association head Leon ‘Kuma’ Rodney said.

“Banks was not only known in football, but he was a Carnival man and came out of one of the better organised promotion groups, DSC Promotions, and there was a Mas’ troupe as well in Xtreme. He was chairman of the soca monarch when, I think, we had one of the biggest soca monarch shows ever in Antigua under the chairmanship of his buddy, Neil Cochrane.”

Signature DSC events included pre-Carnival fetes before pre-Carnival fetes (not including calypso tents) were their own cottage industry, notably Calypso Spektakula, which launched in the mid-1990s. He chaired the Party Monarch committee during its upsurge (between 2005-2007) to the head of the pack as far as popularity of main show Carnival events are concerned. He’s also a former chair of the Independence committee and co-founder of one of the original all-inclusive party mas bands, a pressure point between mas’ past and current flavours, Xtreme mas, which first hit the road in the late 1990s. I remember, I was there, for Spektakula limes and that first year of Xtreme. Banks’ death caught the community by surprise, prompting former West Indies cricket legend and fellow Antiguan and Barbudan Sir Vivian Richards to say, “It’s just some sad news today and I am going to agree with the rock group that sang ‘I don’t like Mondays’ because it’s a punch that hits you where it hurts.” (Source – Observer Radio 91.1 FM)

BOOKS

Puerto Rican writer Xavier Navarro Aquino in January 2022 released his debut novel Velorio with Harper Collins press. Velorio–meaning “wake”–is a story of strength, resilience, and hope; a tale of peril and possibility buoyed by the deeply held belief in a people’s ability to unite against those corrupted by power.

***

Fashanu Henry-Giddings has published her book Reading is Fun & Andre and the Bully. It’s her first book and it’s been added to the Children’s Literature and Antiguan and Barbudan Writing listings here on the blog. Congrats to her and to illustrator Anderson Andrews. (Source – email)

ACCOLADES

A street in Harlem has been renamed for founder of the Antigua Progressive Society Bishop James P. Roberts Sr. He worked as an elevator operator while pursuing studies at night after migrating to the US. He and 22 fellow Antiguans (Barbudans were later brought in) founded the group in 1934 during the Great Depression, to provide support for new immigrants. The Society has owned the brownstone at 12 West and 122nd Street where it is still headquartered since 1964. (Source – Daily Observer newspaper)

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Canada based Jamaican writer and current poet laureate Olive Senior has received an honorary doctor of laws from Canada’s York University. “Nothing has prepared us for the moment, but we can seize it with courage and curiosity,” Senior said during the convocation ceremony. (Source – author’s twitter)

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The Antigua Film Academy, the educational arm of the Motion Picture Association of Antigua and Barbuda, has had a short film, ‘Nobody hit me Pickney’, accepted to the Commffest Film Festival, September 15 – 22 2022, in Toronto, Canada. The script was reportedly developed by the Academy students during their two-week theory workshops and filmed over a period of time. Dr. Noel Howell, filmmaker and head of the Film Academy told the Daily Observer that the mix of practical and theory is part of the AFA’s summer workshops. The workshop’s 2022 dates are July 11 – 22. (Source – Daily Observer newspaper)

***

Canadian writer and producer of Antiguan-Barbudan descent Motion (Wendy Brathwaite) and Andrew Trotman-Burrows who is of Guyanese descent are two of only three people selected for the inaugural CBC-BIPOC TV & film showrunner catalyst programme. The other is Tanzania-born Ian Iqbal Rashid who is of Indian descent. The Showrunner Catalyst offers a high-level professional coaching opportunity, designed through an anti-racist and equity-focused lens, and provides participants with additional tools and support systems necessary to reach a showrunner level in the Canadian film and television industry. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, BIPOC TV & Film and the Canadian Film Center have made an initial commitment of three years to the program, with the opportunity to renew. (Source – BIPOC TV & Film on Linkedin)

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and The Jungle Outside). All Rights Reserved. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, Caribbean Plus Lit News, Links We Love, Literary Gallery

Carib Lit Plus (Early to Mid May 2022)

A reminder that the process with these Carib Lit Plus Caribbean arts bulletins is to do a front and back half of the month, updating as time allows as new information comes in; so, come back, or, if looking for an earlier installment, use the search window. (in brackets, as much as I can remember, I’ll add a note re how I sourced the information – it is understood that this is the original sourcing and additional research would have been done by me to build the information shared here).

Opportunities

Remember to check the Opportunities Too page for even more opportunities.

Keir Alekseii of Trinidad and Tobago is an associate literary agent with the Azantian Literary Agency and is open for queries. She is seeking YA & Adult SFF and YA contemporary. She is ONLY open to receiving queries from writers who identify as belonging to a marginalized or underrepresented group such as (but not limited to) BIPOC, LGBTQ+, immigrants, ND, folks who speak English as a second language, and DIS people. (Source – Culture246 Literary Arts emails)

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The 2022 Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival Short Fiction Story Contest has been announced. There is no theme. A US$1750 cash prize is attached, plus a bespoke trophy from Safa Iman woodworks, a recording on the BCLF Cocoa Pod podcast, books courtesy of Akashic Books, circulation of story in several partner literary magazines and publications, press opportunities, and BCLF merch. The contest has two streams with Katia D. Ulysses and Ifeona Fulani juding the prize for Caribbean-American Writer’s and Tanya Batson-Savage and Ayesha Gibson judging the prize for Writers in the Caribbean. Submit by July 1st 2022. Details here. & read about other opportunities for writers and other artists here on Wadadli Pen. (Source – BCLF instagram)

Events

These are some images from the third installment of Stamp 268, May 14th 2022. It is “a buy local family-friendly event” – according to a facebook post by the Antigua and Barbuda Department of Culture. I chose these two images as a reminder that food is culture. Each one of the named items (raspberry jam, tamarind stew, guava cheese, and especially ashum, i.e. parched corn crushed to dust) were treats, along with tamarind balls, fudge, sugar cake (made of burnt grated coconut), suckabubby – more popular than imported American treats – for children of my generation (i.e. those of us who came of age in the 70s and 80s). The tray women, found around schools and along sidewalks in St. John’s city, would have one or all of these – plus children raided any trees loaded with guava, tamarind, raspberry etc used to make them. How could we ever go hungry? (Source – Khan Cordice, culture director, on Facebook)

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Professor Alison Donnell delivered the 15th Edward Baugh Lecture on May 9th 2022 at University of the West Indies (Mona). Her focus: The Missing Mid Century West Indian Woman Writer and Another Quarrel with History. Donnell is head of the school for literature, drama, and creative writing at East Anglia. She referenced specifically Jamaica’s Ada Quayle – nee Kathleen Woods (The Mistress), Guyana’s Edwina Melville (his is the Rupununi: A Simple Story Book of the Savannah Lands of the Rupununi District, British Guiana & various short stories), and Grenada-born and Barbados-raised Monica Skeete (Time Out) among the forgotten writers of the period under study. (Source – YouTube)

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The Antigua Sailing Week committee has reported that “the fans came out in their numbers to dance and sing along under the stars in historic dockyard” for the return after a long absence (due to COVID-19 protocols) of Reggae in the Park.

Reported local bookings for the event were Ibis the Livest, Exorcist International Sound System, The Strays, Anu Collective, Kenne Blessin and Arlen Seaton, and the headliner was Romain Virgo out of Jamaica. Yes, we reported in a previous Carib Lit Plus update that local singer Tian Winter, best known for soca but adept at other genres, would headline but that quickly unraveled thereafter. Both sides (ASW and Tian Winter’s camp) have publicly acknowledged communication misfires resulting in Winter seemingly withdrawing from the event. That (in particular concerns about the treatment of local v. imported talent) and the venue (also changed from the previous announcement from Shirley’s Heights Lookout to Nelson’s Dockyard proper) stirred online chatter. But, per the ASW release, all’s well that ends well and ASW itself was set to wrap (at this writing) with the last of the week’s race’s on May 6th 2022. The curtain comes down, May 7th, Dockyard Day. (Source – ASW press release)

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The Media Institute of the Caribbean and the Association of Caribbean Media Workers have teamed up for the Caribbean Media Summit Inaugural Launch. Date: May 5th 2022 in commemoration of World Press Freedom Day 2022. Theme: Journalism Under Digital Siege. If you’re here before the event, register here. If not, and you’re still interested, here’s the MIC webpage and facebook page. (Source – email)

Publications

Tangle is the first poetry collection by Rochelle Ward (Faizah Tabasamu). It was released late in 2021 by House of Nehesi Publishers in St. Martin. Ward’s poetry has previously appeared in Where I See the Sun – Contemporary Poetry in St. Martin. (Source – N/A)

***

The latest edition of My CREATIVE SPACE art and culture column, which runs every other Wednesday in the Daily Observer newspaper (extended edition with Extras on my Jhohadli blog), spotlighted visual artist and award winning commercial director Lawson Lewis.

Read the extended edition with Extras of CREATIVE SPACE: CRAFTING WINNING COMMERCIAL ART and catch up on previous installments of the series while you’re there. (Source – Me)

***

Research Librarian at the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda Myra Piper receives a copy of The Colour Box from Dan Waite,  written by his mother Barbara Waite. The book is  fictional  with historical facts, surrounding the lives of Anne and Elizabeth Hart in Antigua. It has been added to the Antiguan and Barbudan Writings and Antiguan and Barbudan Fiction databases. (Source – Facebook)

New Music

Antigua and Barbuda’s Asher Otto released a new EP (Before It’s Too Late) earlier this year. It has six tracks. Preview here.

***

New music is forthcoming from Canadian pannist of Antiguan-Barbudan descent Joy Lapps.

‘Sharifa The Great’ is the first single from Joy’s forthcoming Album: Girl In The Yard set to drop on July 8th, 2022. Joy, a tenor steel pan player, composed all the songs on the album which is funded in part by the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts and The Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings. “Sharifa is my big sister’s middle name and she’s slender and she’s small but she’s like a force to be reckoned with,” said Joy, explaining the inspiration for the pre-release track. (Source – YouTube)

Misc.

Bocas’ storytime children’s channel (referenced below) also features How to be a Calypsonian by Antigua-based writer Desryn Collins. This reading by children of Trinidad and Tobago. (Source – YouTube)

***

New podcast – Know Your Caribbean. This first episode focussed on Gangsta Stories or stories of rebellion, including the 1736 revolt planned by King Court/Prince Klaas. (Source – KYC on Instagram)

***

Bocas Lit Fest has been running April 28th to May 1st (if you missed it, you can go to the Bocas channel on YouTube to catch up). But this update is about the Bocas Storytime children’s channel launched during the same period. It includes content for and by children including this video of a guided art session with illustrator of my book The Jungle Outside Danielle Boodoo Fortune of Trinidad and Tobago, home of Bocas.

Remember to like the video and subscribe to the channel. ETA: Antiguan and Barbudan writer Barbara A. Arrindell was one of among several writers from across the reason selected to present excerpts from written works – published or unpublished. She presented an excerpt from an unpublished work entitled ‘Scholarship Child’.

(Source – Bocas Lit Fest)

RIP

The Virgin Islands has mourned the passing of Eugene ‘Doc’ Peterson, described as a cultural icon. A veterinarian by trade, he also was reported to be, among other things, a vocalist and musician, author, and radio talk show host. (Source – writer Apple Gidley’s email and blog)

***

Katie McConnachie, a Los Angeles native who moved to Antigua in 1985, after a career that involved painting special effects for Hanna Barbera Productions in Hollywood (her dad John Stephenson was the original voice actor of the Mr. Slate character on Flinstones got her an initial interview in 1978 and she would go on to work on popular shows like Scooby-doo and The Smurfs). She was known for wildlife, and especially marine, art – including prints and paintings, book illustrations (Shadow on the Moon and other books), and the Wyland marine mural on the island of Grenada. She was a member of the Ocean Artists Society. Through her Seahorse Studios, she provided for years graphic design services for businesses and the yachting community of which she was a part. She died of cancer in April. (Source – Daily Observer newspaper)

Accolades

I debated where to put this – opportunities, accolades, or maybe misc. – but went with accolades to celebrate the 300 recipients of the 2022 Catapult Caribbean Arts Grant. The awardees are currently being rolled out by the Catapult Arts page on instagram. I’ve written about my participation – as a grantee – in the mixer where recipients got to learn more about each other and, as importantly, each others’ arts. Andrea Dempster, co-founder of Kingston Creative, one of the administrators of the grant, explained, in this article, “The CATAPULT Covid-19 Relief Arts Grant, is now in its second year and since late 2020 it has delivered over half a million US dollars ($81 million JMD) to 1,535 artists from the Caribbean, in the form of cash grants or capacity-building support. …This year, by offering relief grants to 300 creatives of $500 USD each, CATAPULT helped a community of artists from 23 Caribbean islands to further their practice by completing stalled arts projects or purchasing equipment.” She noted the particular vulnerablity of Caribbean artists. “We operate in a region where many countries have neither a dedicated national Arts Fund nor the resources to provide adequate support for the arts community, especially in the event of a pandemic. Some of these Covid-19 relief grants were necessary to just cover living expenses, food and rent for talented artists who were in dire straits due to the impact of two years of lockdown and loss of income.” But it wasn’t just a hand out, it was a lift up for artists who often feel devalued and unseen. “Some artists expressed that the grant not only helped them financially, but also served as a symbol of validation for their artistic practice.” ETA: May 13th 2022 is #CATAPULTday, so be sure to search for it across your social media. (Source – Me)

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No, this isn’t a sports site (though it’s hardly the first time we’ve shared sports news – sports can be artful) but in this case, I’m sharing because I looked at this picture and thought, LEGENDS. You don’t have to be a cricket buff, to know the man on the left, Sir Vivian Richards, who was named one of the top 5 cricketers of the 20th century. He was the second Antiguan called up to the West Indies Cricket Team and would go on to be a fierce batsman and, as leader, the only captain never to have lost a test series. He was for a long time Antigua and Barbuda’s only living national hero and the national stadium is named for him. To the right, is another man who needs no introduction, the first Antiguan to be called up to the WINDIES team and a deadly fast bowler, Sir Andy Roberts. Want to know more about these men, read books like Hilary McD. Beckles’ A Spirit of Dominance: Cricket and Nationalism in the West Indies and watch documentaries like director Stevan Riley’s Fire in Babylon about the 70s and 80s period when WINDIES dominated international game. Since those days, there’ve been dashed hopes and frustrations both in terms of the team’s performance and in terms of the ascendance (or the unfair non-ascendance) of Antiguans and Barbudans to the team. The man in the middle, Rahkeem Cornwall, is an example, in the eyes of Antiguans and Barbudans of frustrated opportunity as he fought to jump through and over hoops and hurdles to earn a spot – his weight (or what ESPNcricinfo.com describes as his “uncommon” bulk) was the official reason (per the same ESPN profile, he needed a dietician and extra attention before he could be considered for the senior WINDIES side). But he has performed since being called up to the team in 2019 (being named Domestic Cricketer of the Year by Cricket West Indies that same month) and, per the local T-20 tournament from which this photo is taken, continues his winning ways. (Source – Daily Observer newspaper)

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Cuban born academic Ada Ferrer has been awarded a 2022 Pulitzer Prize in history for Cuba: An American History. Her third book, it is previously the recipient of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in History.

(Source – Twitter)

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Winners at the Island Innovation Awards ceremony were announced and among them several individuals and projects from the Caribbean. Some we think will be of interest to our readership. Such as winner of the Future Island Leader Award, Life in Leggings founder Ronelle King of Barbados – “In 2016, i founded a movement…a cyber feminist campaign…a space for Caribbean women to speak about their experiences of sexual violence and raise awareness about the pervasive rape culture in the region…the hashtag then evolved in to a grassroots organization…I invite you to learn more about our work by visiting our website.” Such as master ceramist at Wine to Water, creator (15-years ago) of the ceramic water filter, which filters out water bourne diseases while saving money and positively impacting the environment, Redhames Carela of the Dominican Republic, winner of the Island Innovator Award. Scaling Smart, Solar, Energy Access Microgrids in Haiti won Sustainable Energy Initiative of the Year, Cayman’s Gina Ebanks-Petrie director of the department of environment there won the Women #SDG Leadership Award, Island Green Living of St. John in the US Virgin Islands was named Sustainable Company of the Year, Reach Within: Getting to the Root of Childhood Trauma of Grenada won the COVID-19 Response Award, and the Barbados-based CARICOM Development Fund won the Green Finance and Investment Award. Barbudan GO in Antigua’s sister island was a finalist for the Resilient Island Award. You can watch the full awards announcement below.

(Source – Island Innovation email)

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The UK-based Society of Author Awards has announced the shortlists for its various prizes and there are a couple of Caribbean writers in the mix. Jamaican Roland Watson-Grant is short listed for the Tom-Gallon Trust award given for a single published short story, ‘The Disappearance of Mumma Dell‘, which you’ll remember was regional winner of the 2021 Commonwealth short story prize. Trinidad and Tobago’s Celeste Mohammed continues to have a breakout year – after winning both the Rebel Women Lit’s readers’ award and the Bocas prize – with her short listing for the McKitterick Prize given to a first time novelist over 40. Her novel Pleasantview is published by Jacaranda, itself a prize winner back in 2020 for small press of the year at the British Book Awards. (Source – Commonwealth Writers twitter post)

***

Celeste Mohammed, lawyer turned writer of Trinidad and Tobago, has collected the coveted Bocas Prize, essentially the Caribbean book of the year prize for her novel Pleasantview.

She had previously been shortlisted as the fiction winner alongside non-fiction winner Kei Miller (Things I have Withheld) and Jason Allen-Paisant (Thinking with Trees), both of Jamaica. Her win was announced Saturday 30th April 2022 during the Bocas Literary Festival, every second of which can be viewed online. This past February, I reported in CREATIVE SPACE that she had been voted as the readers choice winner in the Rebel Women Lit awards – that’s right, this means that her debut book is both a popular win and a criticial win/awards darling, which is the writer’s (any writer’s) dream. (Source – Twitter)

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. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Carib Lit Plus (Mid to Late January 2022)

A reminder that the process with these Carib Lit Plus Caribbean arts bulletins is to do a front and back half of the month, updating as time allows as new information comes in; so, come back, or, if looking for an earlier installment, use the search window. (in brackets, as much as I can remember, I’ll add a note re how I sourced the information – it is understood that this is the original sourcing and additional research would have been done by me to build the information shared here).

RIPs

Eduardo Pyle, leader of the Antigua and Barbuda soca monarch band and longstanding member of the calypso monarch band in over two decades of involvement in culture and the arts, has died. “For Eduardo, what mattered most was the delivery of the most impeccable quality of the music during our annual summer festival,” said chairman of the festivals commission Maurice Merchant. (Source – Newsco’s Daily Observer)

Events

The Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival’s menu of programmes includes a reading group, Unruly Islands: Uprising and Revolts, in collaboration with the the Center For Fiction. See their website for information on this and other programmes. (Source – BCLF email)

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Antiguan and Barbudan writer and bookseller, and Wadadli Pen team member, Barbara Arrindell is one of the resource people for an upcoming seminar entitled ‘The Journey of a Book’. Click here to register. (Source – email)

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I mentioned, in the late November 2021 Carib Lit Plus that the BCLF short story awards event was upcoming. Now here’s the video.

“Well, the thing is publishers respond to readers, to the market, and, so this is really a job for all of us. For the writers and the readers. And it’s a job for the readers to bring that attention because if the publishers see that there are readers for our work…it begins with us.” – Elizabeth Nunez, sharing this excerpt from the video, from the author for whom the BCLF short story prizes are named, to remind us all to #buyCaribbean #readCaribbean (Source – N/A)

Publications

We’ve mentioned Sea Turtles before but St. Kitts-Nevis writer Carol Mitchell has two other Big Cat books – Kay and Aiden’s The Tram Bell and The Stolen Trumpet. A graphic novel series based on the adventures of a pair of twins.

Illustrations are by London artist Alan Brown. Mitchell, in addition to being an author, is a publisher (Caribbean Reads Publishing). (Source – N/A)

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Catching up on some late 2021 releases. Like this one from Antigua and Barbuda.

Written by former aerodome superintendant Growing with VCBIA: VC Bird International 1965-2008 is the story of Antigua and Barbuda’s former international airport “beginning with the first airplane of the historic Lindberg of Pan Am fame, which landed pretty close to what would become our present airport, this avid aviator carries us on a journey …Starting with the Americans who sought to establish air and sea bases throughout the region for World War II activities which were then converted to civil airport use controlled by local government….Throughout the book the theme of building and growing is emphasized.” (from a review by Makeda Mikael in the November 26th 2021 edition of the Daily Observer). This one was added to the Antigua and Barbuda Writings and Antigua and Barbuda Non-Fiction databases late last year. (Source – Newsco’s Daily Observer)

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Belonging: Fate and Changing Realities is Herman Ouseley’s (Lord Ouseley’s) compelling account of his extraordinary life experiences. This vivid memoir describes how he coped with all challenges and, along the way, learnt how to develop methods to convince and persuade powerful people to use their influence to help eliminate the adverse effects of institutional discrimination, prejudice and bigotry. Over nearly six decades dedicated to public service, he became a ‘somebody’ at times, as he challenged the ‘great and the good’ in pursuit of equality and cohesion. He reflects upon contemporary Britain, knowing that there is still a struggle to achieve responsible and accountable leadership. The release date is listed as September 2021. Published by Hansib. (Source – Hansib email)

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Get Up!: A Collection of Inspiring and Encouraging Commands is the latest book from relatively new Antiguan and Barbudan author Stancel C. Roberts who last year released An Island Girl’s Inspiration from Above. Both are motivational books. Roberts is a staff auditor with the government, and also, per her linkedin, a motivational speaker and lecturer at the Antigua State College. (Source – N/A)

Shout Outs

To Peepal Tree (producer) and Malika Booker (host) of New Caribbean Voices podcast. It’s been keeping me company this night in January with conversations with writers like Anton Nimblett and the several poets (Tanya Shirley, Ishion Hutchinson, Vladimir Lucien featured) featured in the rare poetry collection unearthing the experiences of British West Indians fighting in the first World War. I have written in CREATIVE SPACE about some of our experiences in World Wars 1 and 2 and think not nealry enough is known or understood about our role in these major battles (Hollywood white washes the Black and Brown people from their historical war films). But we were there.

Published in 2018, this book was a collaborative project, co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, BBC Contains Strong Language, and the British Council.

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To two Antigua-Barbuda sites of interest which are in the running for the top Caribbean attraction as voted by readers of USA Today (you can vote too, by the way). Normally we don’t do tourism-centric posts around here but the two named sites (Nelson’s Dockyard and Wallings Nature Reserve) have historical and/or cultural value and have been covered either on this blog or on my own Jhohadli blog. Specifically, CREATIVE SPACE #4 of 2019 – What’s happening at Wallings?, and Nelson’s Dockyard: On Becoming a World Heritage Site and CREATIVE SPACE #18 of 2021 – Clarence House and the Complicated Landscape of Our Colonial Past.

“Image 33: Nelson’s Dockyard 2” P. 55, The Art of Mali Olatunji: Painterly Photography from Antigua and Barbuda by Mali Olatunji and Paget Henry.

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Ben Fox, founder at Shepherds.com who invited me to write a book recs post, subject of my choice. I used the opportunity to share some of my favourites from the CODE Burt Award for teen/young adult Caribbean literature. Click The Best Teen/YA Caribbean novels for readers everywhere to see which five I picked and why. (Also see what books I read – and reviewed – in 2021). (Source – Me)

Accolades

One Caribbean book which made it on to the Women’s Prize 2022 favourite books read, broken down by year of publication, as chosen by their readers, is Monique Roffey’s The Mermaid of Black Conch. (Source – Women’s Prize email)

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In addition to being a politician, Antigua and Barbuda’s Selvyn Walter was an art collector, writer (including popular column series like Not a Drum was heard and the book Bank Alley Tales), and founding member of the Grays Green based Halcyon Steel Orchestra which marked its 50th anniversary in 2021., and his creative pursuits are being recognized (posthumously) by the Sunshine Awards Organization. The US-based awards was founded in 1989 by Gilman Figaro Snr. Past awardees from Antigua and Barbuda are, in 1992, King Progress for best political commentary (Heaven Help Us), in 1999, female vocalist of the year Althea ‘Singing Althea’ Williams (Violence), in 2002, calypso monarch King Short Shirt named to the Hall of Fame, in 2003, soca artists Burning Flames (Children Call Een), in 2004, calypsonian Paul ‘King Obstinate’ Richards named to the Hall of Fame, in 2008, Rupert ‘King Swallow’ Philo, now deceased, named to the Hall of Fame in 2008 after winning best party calypso, best engineered recording, and best calypso in 1989 (Fire in the Backseat) and best social commentary in 1997 (CDC), in 2011, pannist Aubrey Lacua Samuel, in 2012, Dr. Prince Ramsey for music production and Rawdon Edwards for contribution to the performing arts, and, in 2015, Antigua State College principal Dr. Alister Francis (posthumously) for education. Other 2021 Sunshine Awardees are Barbados’ Ian Estwick, Nigeria’s Oluyinka Olutuye, Trinidad and Tobago’s Shakuntala Thilsted and Ainsworth Mohammed, St. Thomas’ Verne Hodge, and legendary Guadeloupean band Kassav. (Source – Newsco’s Daily Observer)

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A Trinbagonian writer has landed on the UK Observer’s list ‘Introducing our 10 Best Debut Novelists of 2022‘. “The class of 2022 reminds us that the novel is a form without limits or rules,” the publication writes of the list that includes Ayanna Lloyd Banwo’s When We were Birds, forthcoming in February from Hamish Hamilton. She and her book are described as “an important new voice in fiction, at once grounded and mythic in its scope and carried by an incantatory prose style…When We Were Birds is both a love story and a ghost story – the tale of a down-on-his-luck gravedigger and a woman descended from corbeau, the black birds that fly east at sunset, taking with them the souls of the dead.” She describes the Bocas Lit Fest in Trinidad as a turning point in her writing, an awakening followed by the MA programme at University of East Anglia in the UK where she has lived for the last five years. (Source – Facebook)

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The winners of the Caribbean Readers’ Awards 2021 have been announced. This is the second year of the Rebel Women Lit book club’s awards initiative; 500 votes were counted. Trinidad and Tobago’s Celeste Mohammed’s Pleasantview won best novel (adult); Jamaica’s poet laureate Olive Senior’s Pandemic Poems won best poetry collection; Curaçao’s Radna Fabias’ Habitus won best translation; Jamaica’s Kei Miller’s Things I have Withheld won best non-fiction book; and ‘Bomber and the Breadfruit Tree‘ was adjudged best RWL magazine piece. Congrats to all. (Source – RWL Facebook)

Opportunities

From Short Story to Novel Part 2 with Sharma Taylor is the first Bocas workshop of the year on January 29th 2022. Sharma’s first novel, What a Mother’s Love don’t Teach You, drops this year. She has been hugely successful as a short story writer winning the 2020 Wasafiri Queen Mary New Writing Prize, the 2020 Frank Collymore Literary Endowment Award, and the 2019 Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize; being twice shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and being a finalist for the 2020 Elizabeth Nunez Award for Writers in the Caribbean. Sharma will share her experience, tools and techniques in transferring the craft and technique of short-form fiction to a successful novel, building your career as an emerging writer. This seminar is suitable for writers who participated in Part 1 last year, as well as new participants.  Register here. (Source – Bocas email)

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Consider this one an opportunity to pay it forward. April 29th 2022 is the deadline to recommend writers for the Royal Society of Literature’s International Writers Programme, which is supported by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society and the International Authors Forum. The RSL, founded in 1820, is the UK’s charity for the advancement of literature. Nominate writers for the International Writers Programme who are not resident in, nor citizens of, the United Kingdom, have published two outstanding works of literary merit (written or translated in to English). Twelve writers will be selected. Last year’s selectees were Don Mee Choi, Annie Ernaux, David Grossman, Jamaica Kincaid, Yan Lianke, Amin Maalouf, Alain Mabanckou, Javier Marías, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Claudia Rankine, Olga Tokarczuk and Dubravka Ugrešić. Make your nominations here. (Source – RSL email)

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The Poetry Channel on You Tube has extended an invitation to poets worldwide to contribute to the channel run by Indran Amirthanayagam (email him at indranmx@gmail.com). He hosts contemporary poets reading their work and wishes to present an archive of essential poems and without any language limitation. So you might hear poems in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Tamil, Uzbek, Haitian Creole and Arabic. The channel also features an occasional series called Speaking With Poets, which already includes programs with Mervyn Taylor and Martin Espada. If you would like to be featured, send poetry videos (one poem per video) – you can record yourself and send or the host can set up a zoom meeting. Indran Amirthanayagam also edits The Beltway Poetry Quarterly with Associate Editor Sara Cahill Marron, and welcomes poetry submissions. (Source – JRLee email)

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“I was nervous at first to do the exercises and to read my first draft out loud, but it was fun in the end.” – US based participant in the Jhohadli Writing Project, my (Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator, and author Joanne C. Hillhouse) workshops currently being offered online. This workshop series being offered once a month throughout 2022 is ideal for writers with works in progress. The identified participant said the January 2022 session helped, “Strengthened my pages.” Register on a month by month basis or for several months at a time. See Opportunities Too for Jhohadli Writing Project and Other Opportunities. (Source – Me)

News

Bocas, Trinidad and Tobago’s literary festival and related programmes, many of which have reach across the Caribbean, is under new management. Nicholas Laughlin replaces Marina Salandy-Brown as festival and programme director, while she steps in to the role of president of the board of directors. Laughlin, a poet, editor of the arts and travel magazine Caribbean Beat and co-director of the arts collective Alice Yard has been working alongside Salandy-Brown from the start, crafting the festival programme every year and leading the programming of the new virtual festivals since 2020.   Additionally, after a rigorous, multi-stage recruitment process, Jean-Claude Cournand is the new Chief Executive Officer. Cournand has been responsible for areas of Bocas Lit Fest youth programming since 2013 and through a partnership between Bocas and the 2Cents Movement, which he co-founded and managed, strategically helped to introduce the nation’s youth to spoken word and performance poetry. The huge popularity of the First Citizens National Poetry Slam is the culmination of their joint efforts. Read more here. (Source – JRLee email)

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Issue 13 of Cacique magazine features Antiguan-Barbudan (by way of Dominica) designer Miranda Askie. Cacique is the inflight magazine of InterCaribbean Airways. The issue which also includes an interview with Barbados’ Cherise Harris (known around these parts as illustrator of my children’s book With Grace) and book recommendations by Caribbean Reads publisher and author Carol Mitchell. It can be read in full online. And remember, you can also read my Miranda Askie feature in this 2021 edition of CREATIVE SPACE. (Source – linkedin)

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St. Lucian Poet John Robert Lee has posted an article on ways to revitalize and upgrade his country’s institutions and programmes to Jako Productions’ blog. Some interesting – and perhaps familiar – points. A Creative Arts Centre where cultural products are sold and which can also serve as an event space and restaurant, gallery, cafe, and artists meeting space. National gallery (Long overdue!) with retail space. Enhancement of library spaces and services. Supported and well maintained heritage spaces which can serve as cultural hubs. Strengthening of the government printery to produce cultural material. A vibrant performing arts space with creative arts training and certification opportunities. Needed as well, in addition to in-school instruction, is more public education (through traditional and social media channels) in the arts. There are, he points out, many practitioners who could be drawn on to serve as educators in their respective disciplines; it, and these other suggestions, just require a bit more initiative on the part of the powers that be. “The CDF needs to become more pro-active, more creative in their thinking, more truly supportive of the arts, and that across generations.” (Source – Jako Productions email)

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, 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 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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Carib Lit Plus (Early to Mid November 2021)

A reminder that the process with these Carib Lit Plus Caribbean arts bulletins is to do a front and back half of the month, updating as time allows as new information comes in; so, come back, or, if looking for an earlier installment, use the search window. (in brackets, as much as I can remember, I’ll add a note re how I sourced the information – it is understood that this is the original sourcing and additional research would have been done by me to build the information shared here).

Happy Independence, Antigua-Barbuda

November 1st 1981 was Independence Day in Antigua and Barbuda which makes this our 40th birthday. The 2021 Independence season was launched on 22nd October, scaled down, as was last year due to the ongoing pandemic – and our vaccinate rate still not at the levels required – but still including a number of arts activities: e.g. festival of choirs, pan competition, and student art mural unveiling at Antigua Recreation Grounds.

This art adorns the southwall of the ARG. It is not a single mural but a series of images – more a montage on the theme of national iconography – completed over a two week period by students and art teachers from the Sir Novelle Richards Academy, All Saints Secondary School, Glanvilles Secondary School, Trinity Academy and St. Mary’s Secondary School. The initiative was sponsored by State Insurance and Paint Plus and spearheaded by the Ministry of Education.

Independence season ends November 1st with the ceremonial parade which is typically followed by the food fair but, while, local local food cravings are high at this time, we will have to go searching for our fix as gatherings of the size of the food fair are still off the menu. ETA: The National Awards were announced during the ceremonial parade and, in the arts, Halcyon Steel Orchestra is one of the recipients. They receive the institutional honour – the most precious order of princely heritage (gold) for contribution to culture through the development and advance of steelband and steel pan music.

(Source – Facebook)

Independence related: check out my special Independence themed CREATIVE SPACE (written for the Daily Observer newspaper Independence issue) and the related playlist which is on my AntiguanWriter YouTube channel. Another list in the issue is by veteran media broadcaster Dave Lester Payne.

Opportunities

The last Bocas workshop for the 2021 season takes place this November 27th, plus there are two noteworthy fellowships for emerging writers, one from Bocas and one from UWI among other opportunities with upcoming deadlines in our Opportunities Too database. Don’t forget to check in with the page from time to time, so you don’t miss anything. Here’s the link.

Wadadli Pen News

Wadadli Pen is legally incorporated as a non-profit, something I’ve wanted for some time and activated when I pulled our team together a few years ago (2016) to work with me toward laying a foundation for this project I started way back in 2004. It is no longer a project. It is a non-profit. I need to let it settle and then, with my partners, figure out what happens next. But this is a major goal achieved. Thanks to Henry and Burnette, and especially E. Ann Henry for the pro bono legal assistance and to Juneth Webson for her financial contribution to the registration process. (Source – in house)

Accolades

Derron Sandy is the 2021 winner of the First Citizens National Poetry Slam in Trinidad and Tobago – it was his fifth go at the prize. His winning presenation was an ode to food vendors during lockdown restrictions entitled ‘The Real Warlords’. Past two-time back-to-back champion Alexandra Stewart placed second with Michael Logie coming in third (they won TT$20,000 and $10,000, respectively). Derron’s prize is TT$50,000. More in TnT Newsday. (Source – N/A)

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The shortlist for the first Bocas Lit Fest Children’s Book Prize has been announced and it includes a member of the Wadadli Pen family, past patron and judge, (and, as the owner of Caribbean Reads publishing, publisher of two of my books), featured here on the blog several times over the years, US-based Nevisian writer Carol Mitchell. Mitchell’s summer 2021 release Chaos in Castries, book 5 in her Caribbean Adventure Series, is one of three short listed books.

It features characters familiar to readers of the long running series in a new-to-them Caribbean setting where they meet new people and have new adventures with historical resonance. “When Mark’s mother sends him and Chee Chee to St. Lucia to experience the cultural festival of Jounen Kwéyòl, Mark is thrown into another action-packed, time-travel adventure with one of the festival dancers. Mark and his new friend Danielle get caught in the middle of a cultural struggle between the British and the Afro-Caribbean people at a time when participating in creole festivals could land you in big trouble. Many of the events in Chaos in Castries take place in the Derek Walcott square, a public square located in Castries, St. Lucia. It was established in the 1760s and was named Columbus Square in 1892. In 1993, it was renamed to honour Nobel Laureate Sir Derek Walcott who received the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature.” (book summary) The book is illustrated by Mitchell’s longtime collaborator Ann-Catherine Loo.

The other shortlisted books includes one of the hottest trending books since its 2020 release, and especially so since receiving the boost of being named to Oprah Magazine’s best Caribbean books for your 2021 reading list and winning the Rebel Women Lit’s Reader’s Choice award for best middle grade/tween novel earlier this year, When Life gives you Mangoes by Jamaican-British writer Kereen Getten. “Inspired by the author’s childhood experiences, When Life Give You Mangos is a celebration of island life as well as a rich, lyrical mystery.” (book summary)

The other shortlisted book A Different Me A Better You, like Chaos in Castries (Caribbean Reads), is publishedby an indie press based in the Caribbean region, Blue Banyan of Jamaica. Mangoes is published by Delacorte Press, a division of America’s Random House and Pushkin Press in the UK. Janet Morrison, a Jamaican and veteran media worker, is a BBC award winning playwright, who collected her most recent prize, the Jean D’Costa Prize at Jamaica’s Lignum Vitae Awards, for Better You. Its five short stories “is a celebration of difference where five young heroes share their dreams of dancing, adventure and being seen for who they really are, and we are all a little better to know them.” (book summary)

The winner of the US$1000 prize will be announced on November 28th 2021. (Source – Facebook)

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Writing Gender into the Caribbean by Patricia Mohammad (Hansib Books) is the 2021 winner of the Barbara T. Christian Awards from the Caribbean Studies Association. It is described as “vital scholarship”. (Source – Paper-Based Books bookshop in TnT on Twitter)

(New or New-ish) Books

Little John Crow by Ziggy Marley, Orly Marley, and Gordon Rowe (illustrator) dropped this November. In it, Little John Crow, a young vulture growing up in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, is abandoned by his animal friends and must come to terms with what it means to be part of a community when you are a vulture.

(Source – Akashic Books on Twitter)

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Crucian Fusion by Apple Gidley is a collection of fact and fiction that speaks to the rich history as well as present day St Croix. Provoked by thoughts, good and bad, the essays tell of nearly nine years on island. The short stories are based on historical events and the Census of 1846. (Source – author email)

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I missed this one back in June, Caribbean American Heritage Month, but I’m posting right in time for you to add to your Christmas list. It’s Yahoo! Sports, yes Yahoo! Sports’, listing of must-read Caribbean books. On the list, Barbadian author Callie Browning’s The Girl with the Hazel Eyes, Jamaican author Maisy Card’s These Ghosts are Family, Alexia Arthurs’ How to Love a Jamaican, Trinidadian Caroline Mackenzie’s One Year of Ugly, Elizabeth Acevedo, an American of Dominican (Sp.) descent’s Clap When You Land, Trinbagonian Tracey Baptiste’s The Jumbies, Maika and Maritza Moulite, born in the US to Haitian immigrants’ Dear Haiti, Love Alaine, Bermudian Florenz Webbe Maxwell’s Burt Award winning Girlcott, Virgin Islander Cadwell Turnbull’s The Lesson, and TrinBajan Londoner Ingrid Persaud’s Love after Love. (Source – N/A)

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Guyanese born, UK based Pauline Melville released The Master of Chaos and Other Fables in summer 2021. (Source – JR Lee email)

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My Time at the Door by Dean Fenton has been aded to the Antiguan and Barbudan Writing and Antiguan and Barbudan Poetry databases. This is his second book and was released in summer 2021. (Source – social media)

Community

Trinidad and Tobago born Canadian poet M. Nourbese Philip is protesting the Italian translation of her book Zong! An online petition has been set up calling for the destruction of the work and a public apology. The author explains her grievance on her website, and brings receipts. Apparently, the book’s publisher Wesleyan University Press sold translation rights to Benway Series Press without the author’s knowledge for $150. “WUP did not inform me that the rights had been sold nor did they put me in touch with the translator Renata Morresi or Benway Series Press,” the author writes, also calling out the Canada Council which funded the translation. “…and yet no one thought it necessary to consult with me, the Black and African-descended author of the said work, which engages with the transatlantic slave trade and which, as plainly stated on the cover—as told to the author by Setaey Adamu Boateng—involved Ancestral voices.” Beyond this, Philip takes issue with the actual translation which reportedly changes the organizational structure of her poems, and argues that this is in breach of the international translator’s code. She said her concerns have been ignored by all parties; though with one seemingly positive outcome (so far): “In response to these events WUP has changed its policies concerning informing authors of sale of licenses and has set a minimum fee of $500 for print runs under 1,000 books.” Review all and support the author’s cause if so moved by signing the petition or sharing. (Source – JR Lee email)

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I just googled Blackout Cultural Park and Fitzroy Brann and couldn’t find anything to speak of, not even in the waybackmachine and that didn’t sit right with me. So, google, this one’s for you. Brann is primarily renowned for his work in sports development and when he died in 2019, that’s what was highlighted. But I remember some of the first regular poetry sesssions I participated in as a local writer when I, and others, like Dotsie Isaac Gellizeau, who shared some of her first works there (usually through her sister’s voice as she was still hesitant to use her own), was at Blackout. It was a long trek out of town but we gathered there on a weekend night, many a weekend night, Fridays, I think, to discover and share our stories – it’s there that I started slowly gaining confidence as a writer in a public space. Blackout was Fitzroy Brann. As someone noted in this article by his daughter Mickel, Brann “was a community activist, a sports enthusiast and an ardent lover of culture and the arts.” Blackout Cultural Park and those open mic literary nights (which in addition to poetry, included singing, instrumental solos, and comedy as people felt inspired) in the (I think) late 90s/early aughts deserve a paragraph in the story of the evolution of Antiguan and Barbudan literary arts. Those scenes don’t last forever and I remember we migrated from Blackout to Traffic, a club in town, after a time, and then that fizzled and other things popped off and fizzled (Expressions etc.), and on like that. (Source – Daily Observer newspaper)

***

In the last CREATIVE SPACE, I referenced a death in the Antigua and Barbuda media fraternity, and perhaps for the first time in this space did some very minor mask, social distancing, and vaccine activism. It’s become such a fraught space and Wadadli Pen is not the space for my personal missions. But, I’ve found a loophole, because Wadadli Pen is a place for creative, and especially literary arts, and this article I’m about to link comes by way of lithub.com – a valuable literary arts resource. The article is an excerpt from the 2021 book The Plague Cycle: The Unending War Between Humanity and Infectious Disease by Charles Kenny. I’d like to share this part (because too often I hear people say, I’m good as though we don’t exist in a world with other people, as if our actions don’t affect other people):

It isn’t just the vaccine deniers and their unfortunate children who’d be harmed: some people really can’t be given vaccines and they’d suffer the consequences from circulating infections. When she was two, Ashley Echols had a kidney transplant. As part of the transplant procedure, children are given drugs that suppress their immune response so that the body doesn’t reject the transplanted organ. As a result, she couldn’t complete the standard vaccination regimen. Had Ashley taken the chickenpox vaccine in her weakened state, she might have contracted chickenpox from it. And because of her suppressed immune system, the condition would have been life-threatening. But in June 2017, eleven-year-old Ashley was exposed to a child with chickenpox in Atlanta. So she was rushed to the hospital emergency room to be injected with immunoglobulin. Camille Echols, Ashley’s mother, shared the story on Facebook. She ended her post saying “She has been through so much already. And this was avoidable.”

You can read the whole article here. (Source – LitHub newsletter)

Readings + Events

The Bocas lit fest has a series of virtual conversations with authors known as Bios & Bookmarks. Season Six kicks (or, depending on when you’re reading this, kicked) off with author Barbara Lalla. Tune in November 14th 3 p.m. AST via the Bocas facebook page. I have to say between the book awards, fellowships, workshops, conversations, and, of course, the literary festival, while I would like to see more…resonance… in underserved parts of the Caribbean, Bocas is doing a impactful work developmentally and promotionally re lit arts in the broader Caribbean region.

***

The first British Virgin Islands literary festival was held this November, 2nd to 13th. It was a semi-virtual collaboration between the H. Lavity Scoutt Community College and the BVI department of culture. Announced writers included Andre Bagoo (TT), Amanda Choo Quan (TT), Amilcar Sanatan (TT), Anthony Anaxagorou (UK), Cadwell Turnbull (USVI), Canisia Lubrin (SLU), Des Seebaran (TT), Eugenia O’Neal (BVI), Tiphanie Yanique (USVI), Tami Navarro (USVI), Traci O’Dea (US), Raymond Antrobus (UK), and BVI poet laureate Richard Georges (BVI). Activities included a series of workshops, film screening, and panels. (Source – JR Lee email)

***

Patricia Tully will be having a signing of her book Pioneers of the Caribbean, co-authored with Ingrid Lambie. Venue is the Best of Books, St. Mary’s Street, Antigua, on November 20th 2021. This book was one of the Wadadli Pen 2021 Challenge prize.

(Source – Best of Books on Facebook)

***

Jamaica Kincaid is the honoured guest at the City College of New York’s 2021 Langston Hughes Festival on November 18th 2021, and here’s where you can get tickets to view online. The Festival describes the Ovals, Antigua born writer’s work – which includes novels Annie John, Lucy, Autobiography of My Mother, Mr. Potter, and See Now Then – as “original and essential” and I (Ottos, Antigua writer Joanne C. Hillhouse) am one of the people slated to speak on the writer and her work. For my other recent appearances, go here.

Here we are together at the 2015 US Virgin Islands Literary Festival at which she was the keynote speaker and I was a presenter.

Other speakers at the event will be Linda Villarosa, an American author and journalist, and former executive editor of Essence magazine; Laura K. Alleyne, a Trinidad born, award winning poet and author; American musician of Ecuadioran descent Helado Negro; and professor of french and Africana studies Kaima L. Glover. (Source – in house)

***

Guyanese writer Imam Baksh is part of the IWP panel discussion series alongside Salha Obaid of the UAE and Candace Chong Mui Ngam of Hong Kong. The topic, Imagination <> Computation. The time, Friday 5th November 12 – 1 p.m. CST. The stream can be viewed at the Iowa City Public Library, The Library Channel. Read more about Baksh (Children of the Spider) and other IWP writers-in-residence for 2021 here. (Source – Twitter)

***

Dominica-UK’s Papillote Press continues its reading series featuring its authors, the latest installment ‘What do I know’ by Dominica’s Celia Sorhaindo (watch the video in our Reading Room and Gallery). The Bocas longlisted poetry collection Guabancex, where this poem and others in which Sorhaindo processes life after hurricane Maria can be found, has amassed many positive reviews including one by me. For Sorhaindo, it was life changing – both the 2017 storm and the collection. A Papillote release quotes her as saying, “Hurricane Maria was a very traumatic time. We saw the worst side of nature, and the best and worst sides of human nature, and went through incredible mental and physical challenges. Writing the poems for this chapbook was a therapeutic exercise, a way of trying to make sense of, work through and process all that happened.” (Source – publisher email)

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, 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 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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Carib Lit Plus (Mid to Late September 2021)

A reminder that the process with these Carib Lit Plus Caribbean arts bulletins is to do a front and back half of the month, updating as time allows as new information comes in; so, come back, or, if looking for an earlier installment, use the search window. (in brackets, as much as I can remember, I’ll add a note re how I sourced the information – it is understood that this is the original sourcing and additional research would have been done by me to build the information shared here)

Misc.

I don’t know how to write this. I just learned of the passing from COVID of a past Wadadli Pen patron. In life, they didn’t want public credit and I don’t want to break trust with them now. So I will say, in their memory, thanks and walk with God. Gone too soon. Because this wasn’t an old smadee (for those who think youth will protect them and they don’t need to think about others). I guess I’m going there… stop playing with this COVID (double figures – 20+ people – dead in 108 square mile Antigua from one disease in one month? That we know of? Hospital so stressed that people can’t access any kind of non-COVID lab testing except for emergency surgery, other services impacted as well? and we still playing?!) Wear the mask. Social distance. Sanitize. and most importantly #getvaxxed (just as we have for polio, rubella, small pox etc). And please don’t be selfish, if COVID is in your home don’t take it out in to the community – tap home. (Source – Facebook)

***

I didn’t think I’d be writing about Lil Nas X on this site but here we are. I was listening to a book vlog on booktube matching songs from his new album with books, and when the vlogger said Dominica (actually she said Dom-in-ik-a not Dom-in-eek-a as it’s actually pronounced but) my radar went up (I have a radar for all things Caribbean). So I wondered, wait, does this kid shaking up the industry and societal norms have Caribbean roots? Yes, yes, he does. Per Loop, his dad Robert Stafford is from Dominica. Okay, but what’s the ‘Dominica’ connection to the song? The song is pretty bleak after all, not a sign of the nature isle in sight. But, again, according to Loop, though not named ‘Dominica’ exists in the artist’s mind in opposition to the bleak reality in the song. ‘He explained that he choose to name the track Tales of Dominica “because I feel like Dominica is like that beautiful place.”’ So, there you have it, that’s why there’s a Lil Nas X song in this round up – catchy beat, melancholic lyrics, my kinda song.

(Source – Booktube)

Events

The Kingston Culture Forum.

Register here. (Source – Twitter)

Accolades

What a charmed journey this book (Love after Love by Ingrid Persaud) has had. Keeping up with the awards has been a challenge. This one is from June.

Opportunities

My next workshop will be with the Bocas lit fest and its focus will be writing children’s lit. Register from anywhere.

Go here to register. (Source – Bocas)

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Barbados-based, multi award winning writer Sharma Taylor, whose first novel recently sold at auction and is forthcoming in 2022, is for the first time offering writing courses and you can register from any where in the world.

(Source – email from Ayesha Gibson-Gill, Barbados Cultural Officer – Literary Arts + from the author )

See other Opportunities and Opportunities Too.

New Books

No Ruined Stone by Jamaican writer Shara McCallum was published by Peepal Tree Press this past July. It is described as “a story of slavery and colonialism, challenging the historical archive’s sheer, unyielding wall by going not over or around it, but fearlessly through”. Specifically, “her poems imagine the what-if-that-almost-was of Scotland’s best-loved Bard, following Burns into the life he might have lived as a plantation overseer in Jamaica—then seeing his enslaved granddaughter back to Scotland to claim a life reserved for white women.” – Peepal Tree Press (Source – John R. Lee email)

***

West Indies cricket legend and sports commentator Michael Holding of Jamaica dropped a new book this past summer, a timely book. “Through the prism of sport and conversations with its legends, including Usain Bolt, Adam Goodes, Thierry Henry, Michael Johnson, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Makhaya Ntini, Naomi Osaka and Hope Powell, Michael Holding explains how racism dehumanises people; how it works to achieve that end; how it has been ignored by history and historians; and what it is like to be treated differently just because of the colour of your skin.” Ironic that the book has a ringing endorsement from Piers Morgan but maybe a testimony to how good it is. Especially as the book seems to be a part of the conversations around #BlackLivesMatter – specifically the 2020 uprising fuelled by the murder of George Floyd in the US. “Rarely can a rain delay in a cricket match have led to anything like the moment when Holding spoke out in the wake of the #BlackLivesMatter protests about the racism he has suffered and has seen all around him throughout his life. But as he spoke, he sought not only to educate but to propose a way forward that inspired so many. Within minutes, he was receiving calls from famous sports stars from around the world offering to help him to spread the message further.” This birthed Why We Kneel, How We Rise, in which Holding shares stories from some of the world’s most iconic Black athletes. “To say I was surprised at the volume of positive feedback I received from around the world after my comments on Sky Sports is an understatement,” Holding is quoted on the site of publisher Simon & Schuster as saying. “I came to realise I couldn’t just stop there; I had to take it forward – hence the book, as I believe education is the way forward.” Holding’s previous books are his autobiography No Holding Back and Whispering Death: the Life and Times of Michael Holding written with Tony Cozier. (Source – Twitter announcement from Kingston Bookshop initially, additional information from S & S website)

Arts news

Local designer Kevon Moitt partnered with Digicel to release a documentary (‘Own It – Our Festival; My Passion’) on his creative journey this past summer. Moitt told the Daily Observer (p. 3 of its August 4th 2021 issue), “I find that we don’t have much documentation in regards to Carnival, culture, designers, and designing processes, so I thought that being in the industry and having so much involvement in it that I needed to start the documentation process.” The doc is available in two parts on YouTube.

Part 1 begins here.

(Source – Facebook)

***

This isn’t arts news but it is news worth knowing and there is at least one artist involved.

The Environmental Awareness Group in Antigua and Barbuda has a new executive that includes (top to bottom) mindfulness coach Chloe Johnston, Inland Revenue deputy Jermaine Jarvis, data processing controller at the Antigua Public Utilities Authority Kerri Gore, Lawson Lewis – an artist and filmmaker I mentioned back in April when he won a regional prize for one of his commercials, civil engineer Phikwe Goodwin, lawyer Rushaine Cunningham, private sector project engineer Stanley Barreto, previous president Tahambay Smith, and sustainable tourism minister with the Ministry of Tourism Vashti Ramsey-Casimir. It’s interesting to see the continuing changing face of the EAG – the country’s main environmental advocacy group, started back in 1988 – and that sounds like a good mix of capabilities, and it’s certainly a youthful looking line-up. (Source – Antiguanice on twitter)

Environment-related,

check out the two latest editions of my column CREATIVE SPACE, spotlighting marine culture in Antigua and Barbuda.

***

Papillote Press out of Dominica has announced a “glittering new website” which it says is mobile and user friendly. The new website was done by Dominica-based designer Petrea.

***

It is not yet known if a virtual option was considered nor when CARTIFESTA will return, and hosted by whom, as the Caribbean continues to struggle with the fallout from COVID-19 and its myriad variants including sharp economic decline, an overwhelmed healthcare sector, personal loss for those who have lost people to the pandemic, cancellation of other cultural markers like Carnival and beach days, and social turmoil. (Source – facebook)

Related PSA: Please inform yourself using verifiable and credible fact-based sources; and then, hopefully, get vaxxed. Meanwhile, care about the people around you enough to wear a mask, socially distance, sanitize, and seriously, think about getting vaccinated. (JCH)

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 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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Carib Lit Plus (Early to Mid September 2021)

A reminder that the process with these Carib Lit Plus Caribbean arts bulletins is to do a front and back half of the month, updating as time allows as new information comes in; so, come back, or, if looking for an earlier installment, use the search window. (in brackets, as much as I can remember, I’ll add a note re how I sourced the information – it is understood that this is the original sourcing and additional research would have been done by me to build the information shared here)

Opportunities

This is an opportunity to support Haiti relief – Films For Haiti is a September 17th -18th 2021 event – donate. share. watch. Make a donation, access the films, watch the films.

(Source – Karukerament email)

***

Opportunities Too has the full schedule of Bocas workshops for 2021; so this is just your reminder that I (Antiguan and Barbudan writer Joanne C. Hillhouse) am scheduled (re-scheduled) to facilitate a workshop on writing children’s literature in October 2021. (Source – Bocas on Facebook)

***

As you’ll see if you check our Opportunities Too page, it’s Commonwealth Writers Short Stories submission time and they’ve shared some tips.

(Source – CW Twitter)

Events

You can register for the 2021 Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival events, set for September 10th – 12. (Source – BCLF email)

Accolades

Bocas’ children writing (as in children doing the writing) contest winners have been announced.

David is 8 and Josh is 9. (Source – Bocas email)

***

Trinidad and Tobago born, Canada resident M. Nourbese Philip has been named one of two recipients of Canada’s Molson Prize which comes with a $50,000 purse. She is the author of the award winning Harriet’s Daughter and other works like the genre-bending Zong! “NourbeSe Philip is a Guggenheim and Rockefeller Fellow (Bellagio), and in 2020 she was the recipient of PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature.” This is no small victory for a writer who in an interview on the Canada Council website said the biggest thing she has had to overcome is “Canadian racism in its myriad forms.” That same site asked her for advice for up and coming writers to which she responded: “Learn how to trust their gut instincts about their own work—sometimes the critics are wrong; be willing to risk—failure or success; and have someone in your life who loves what you do and will critique your work honestly.” (Source – John Robert Lee email)

***

Jamaica’s Musgrave awards are given to people who demonstrate excellence in their respective fields. The 2021 literature recipients are Ishion Hutchinson (gold), Shara McCallum (silver), and Veronica Blake-Carnegie (bronze). They will be awarded in October. Read all about it in the Jamaica Gleaner. (Source – John Robert Lee email)

***

The winning stories in this year’s Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival short story competition have been posted. They are ‘Daughter 4′ by Patrice Grell Yursik, winner of the Caribbean-American writers’ prize, and ‘The Wailers’ by Akhim Alexis, winner of the award for writers in the Caribbean. Both are of Trinidad and Tobago. Congrats to them both. (Source – BCLF Facebook)

***

Environmentalist Brian Cooper was the Antigua and Barbuda selection for the Global Portrait Project, a mission to paint a person per country involved in conservation work. The artist explains about the project and why Dr. Cooper, originally from the UK and later Trinidad before moving to Antigua in the 1980s, was chosen for this project.

(Source – Antigua and Barbuda’s Daily Observer newspaper)

***

Antigua and Barbuda’s Dorbrene O’Marde was one of three recipients of the President’s Award at the St. Martin Book Fair this past June. The other recipients were Deborah Drisana Jack and Fabian Adekunle Badejo, both of St. Martin.

“The Presidents Award is presented to individuals and institutions whose work is noted for its excellence and for combining literary, cultural, and liberation components in the service of progress, of their people or nation, and of humanity,” said Lasana M. Sekou from House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP). O’Marde has written many plays and calypsos, and a couple of books. He has been a leading cultural worker in the Caribbean region for decades. (Source – Nehesi House press release via email)

New Books Reading Material

Allies: Real Talk About Showing Up, Screwing Up, And Trying Again, co-edited by Barbadian writer Shakirah Bourne and Dana Alison Levy just dropped. It includes essays by 17 writers in the teen/YA space on needing an ally, being an ally, and/or showing up for friends and families.

Image is from Shakirah’s instagram, @shakirahwrites
Also congrats to her on her recent nuptials.

***

This collection on rejection includes the voices of Caribbean writers like Olive Senior and Colin Grant. Another Caribbean writer Caryl Philips described it as “an important anthology that spans generations, circles the globe, and embraces all forms of imaginative writing. Uplifting and inspiring.” (Source – N/A)

***

I do hope that more and more of you are reading my CREATIVE SPACE series spotlighting local art and culture. I’m really enjoying doing it, I’m happy that it’s growing, and that it allows me to keep my hand in journalism which is my background. For the first installment of September 2021, I visited Clarence House within the National Parks. I was interested in the restoration work and the history. Did you know by the way that Nelson’s Dockyard within the National Parks, right below Clarence House, marked its 5th anniversary as a World Heritage site in 2021. I’m glad I got to do something in that space in this year – as I explored in the article the history of the relationship between us, the descendants of enslaved Africans and that space is complicated. Here’s a link to that article and other recent installments of CREATIVE SPACE.

***

Cuban-American writer Achy Obejas released a new book this September. It is Boomerang/Bumeran, a bilingual poetry collection exploring themes of identity, sexuality, and belonging. (Source – author email)

***

Cover reveal. This one won’t be out until August 2022 with Peepal Tree Press. Synopsis: Gay men search for sex, adventure, pleasure, self-realisation and love in Woodbrook, Trinidad.

(Source – Nature Island Literary Festival’s Facebook)

***

I ‘discovered’ and wrote about the new Department of Culture – Antigua and Barbuda publication in the Carib Lit Plus Mid to Late February 2021 edition. I lost track after that but I just came upon issue 3 and want to commend them for keeping it going, and (having been involved in my share of local publications that have come and gone) express hope that they do keep it going.

Content includes a tribute to late former director Vaughn Walter – “a man who personified culture”, DIY Craft with DOC head of craft Sylvanie Abbott, a music focused article on copyright, features on music artists Andrew Dorsett and Zamoni, the behind the scenes of a local documentary – Own It, an interview with Pan-o-Grama founder Nevin Roach; then they have some listicles – one on the Top 150 Antigua and Barbuda Soca Songs by DJ Illest, who, judging by the list prefers midtempo tracks.

I went further back to find Issue 2.

Scrolling through this one, I find Antiguanisms, a recipe for bread pudding; articles about the role of government in the development of pan by Stafford Joseph, copyright (so, this seems to be a series), coverage of a craft exhibition, ‘Stamp 268’, organized by Culture, a history of Halcyon, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021, and reflections by Gilbert Laudat on dance in Antigua and Barbuda. Featured artists include cover artist Guava (Ron Howell) and pannist Alston M. Davis. This edition’s listicle is by bookstagrammer Lalabear, a teacher named Lakiesha Mack, who shared her top 5 Caribbean books. Since it’s only 5 and this is primarily a lit arts site, I’ll share them: Tea by the Sea by Donna Hemans of Jamaica, The Girl with the Hazel Eyes and The Vanishing Girls by Callie Browning of Barbados, whom she identifies as her favourite author, Where there are Monsters by Breanne McIvor of Trinidad, and How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones of Barbados. (Source – initially lalabear’s post about her listicle which sent me looking for the article and ended with me finding both issues of Fu Arwe Ting)

***

Witness in Stone by Barbados poet laureate Esther Phillips actually debuted in April 2021 (sorry to be so late, Esther).

John Robert Lee, creator of the Caribbean lit bibliography featured on this site, with Caribbean writers George Lamming and Esther Phillips at a BIM literary event in 2008.

From the summary on the site of publisher Peepal Tree: “Esther Phillips’ poems are always lucid and musical; they gain a rewarding complexity from being part of the collection’s careful architecture that offers a richly nuanced inner dialogue about the meaning of experience in time. Not least powerful in this conversation are the sequence of poems about Barbadian childhoods, poems of grace, humour and insight. When Barbados chose Esther Phillips as its first poet laureate it knew what it was doing: electing a poet who could speak truth, who could challenge and console her nation – and all of us.”

Esther is also the editor of BIM: Arts for the 21st Century, a new edition of which dropped in June 2021. (Source – publisher site)

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 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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Carib Lit Plus (Early to Mid August 2021)

Happy Emancipation Day (August 1st 1834).

A reminder that the process with these Carib Lit Plus Caribbean arts bulletins is to do a front and back half of the month, updating as time allows as new information comes in; so, come back, or, if looking for an earlier installment, use the search window. (in brackets, as much as I can remember, I’ll add a note re how I sourced the information – it is understood that this is the original sourcing and additional research would have been done by me to build the information shared here)

Philanthropy

How can you help the arts?

For one, the Bocas Lit Fest has a Friends of Bocas initiative, inviting participation from individual stakeholders (regular people). For a contribution, you get access to a whole host of exclusive activities. Our winning Wadadli Pen writer of 2021 was gifted membership access as part of his prize thanks to Bocas, in addition to workshop access to some of our other finalists. Want to get in on the action while supporting the work? Details here.

Passings

Flags are being flown at half mast after the August 9th announcement of the passing of former Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister and National Hero Lester Bird in early August. Bird who was only the country’s second prime minister after Independence, and successor to his father, often referred to as Father of the Nation and National Hero Vere Bird Sr., was also author of two books found in our literary database of books by Antiguans and Barbudans on this site: Antigua Vision – Caribbean Reality: Perspectives of Prime Minister Lester Bryant Bird and The Comeback Kid: An Autobiography of Sir Lester Bryant Bird K.N.H. with Lionel Max Hurst.

***

Milton Benjamin, veteran journalist from Antigua crossed over late in July. His passing in part inspired me to write about Antigua and Barbuda’s media culture in my first CREATIVE SPACE of August which you can read here.

***

Kassav, the Guadeloupe band whose ‘zouk-la’ had the ability to enliven any soca fete I’ve been to has lost co-founder Jacob Desvarieux, also in late July. His passing brought forth an outpouring of tributes, like this one that landed in my inbox from Karukerament.

***

Jamaican writer Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, associated with the early dub poetry movement, has also passed on the ancestral plane. The Jamaica Observer reports.

(Source – the local news I heard about locally, the others via social media)

Events

Antiguan and Barbudan author and Wadadli Pen founder-coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse will be reading at the Medellin World Poetry Festival (virtually) on Augutst 10th 2021 at 8 p.m. AST. Here’s how you can watch.

***

The Caribbean Style & Culture Awards. See site.

Accolades

ETA: The BCLF list below is of Caribbean writers resident in the Caribbean. Above is the long list of Caribbean writers resident in the Caribbean. It includes 9 writers from Trinidad and Tobago, 5 from Dominica, 5 from Jamaica, 3 from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 1 from Barbados, 1 from Puerto Rico, 1 from St. Lucia, 1 from Guyana, 1 from Grenada, and 1 (Joanne C. Hillhouse) from Antigua and Barbuda. Click images to enlarge.

The Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival’s short story competition has been one to watch. And we’re watching this incredible 2021 long list.

Congratulations to the 22 long listed writers. The wealth is spread on a list that includes 7 writers from Trinidad and Tobago, 5 from Barbados, 3 from the Dominican Republic, 2 from Jamaica, 2 from Guyana, 1 from Dominica, 1 from Puerto Rico, 1 from Haiti, 1 from St. Lucia, 1 from Sint Maarten/Saint Martin, and 1 from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. No your math isn’t wrong, you know how it is in the Caribbean – some writers are from multiple places. (Source – Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival facebook page)

***

Belated congratulations as well to St. Lucia’s Canisia Lubrin, who with The Dyzgraphxst (poetry, McClelland & Stewart) becomes the third St. Lucian to claim the main Bocas prize after Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott (White Egrets, poetry, Farrar Strauss Giroux, 2011) and Vladimir Lucien (Sounding Ground, poetry, Peepal Tree Press, 2015). Other winners of this coveted main book prize and its considerable purse have been the British Virgin Islands current Poet Laureate Richard Georges (Epiphaneia, poetry, Out Spoken Press, 2020), Jamaica’s current Poet Laureate Olive Senior (The Pain Tree, fiction, Cormorant Books, 2016) and, also of Jamaica, Kei Miller (Augustown, fiction, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2017), and Trinidad and Tobago’s Earl Lovelace (Is Just a Movie, fiction, Faber & Faber, 2012), Monique Roffey (Archipelago, fiction, Simon & Schuster, 2013), Robert Antoni – of Trinidad descent and raised in the Bahamas -(As Flies to Whatless Boys, fiction, Peepal Tree Press, 2014), Jennifer Rahim (Curfew Chronicles, fiction, Peepal Tree Press, 2018), and Kevin Adonis Browne (High Mas: Carnival and the Poetics of Caribbean Culture, non-fiction, University Press of Mississippi, 2019.

***

Canada-based Gayle Gonsalves of Antigua and Barbuda was a National Indie Excellence Awards finalist for her latest book My Stories have No Endings. (Source – the author’s social media)

Publications

Barbados’ Shakirah Bourne is now out in the world even as she works on its follow up.

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New Anansi

The author is from Trinidad and Tobago. I haven’t been able to find more information about it, which is odd. (Source – JRLee email)

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It occurs to me that I’ve, not by design, reviewed a number of books by Dominica’s Papillote Press – perhaps more than any other Caribbean press, because they proactively reach out with ARCs, no pressure if I can’t read the books right away. I generally have enjoyed their catalogue, what I’ve read of it and thought I’d share my reviews.

Dangerous Freedom by Lawrence Scott – currently reading
Guabancex by Celia Sorhaindo
Home Home by Lisa Allen-Agostini
The Art of White Roses by Viviana Prado-Nunez
Gone to Drift by Diana McCaulay

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Impact Magazine dropped in May 2021 (I believe). I thought I’d mention it as it describes itself as the newest source of entertainment and lifestyle news from Antigua, the Caribbean and the world at large. (Source – N/A)

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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