Tag Archives: canada

Spotlight: Motion

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Spotlight. They’re fairly random and I’m usually inspired to do one if I pull a picture of said author and have the time. Well, I have the time today.


This is Wendy Brathwaite a.k.a. Motion in Poetry a.k.a. Motion. This looks like one of the pictures from the 2014 launch of So the Nailhead Bend So the Story End, an anthology of new writing by Antiguans and Barbudans, in Canada.

A Canadian with Antiguan and Barbudan roots, Motion has quite the impressive resume as a playwright, poet, screenwriter, and emcee. You can find her listed on this site on the local theatre page, the local poets page, and the local fiction page. Motion is as much as spoken word artist as a writer, and it was through her spoken word first hearing her live in 2003 at the Caribbean Canadian literary festival in Toronto and her CD Motion in Poetry that I was introduced to her poetic voice and lyrical skills. This was my first international festival and she was one of the spotlighted artists, celebrated for having won the CBC Poetry Face-off with ‘connect the t.dots’ which can be found in her first book Motion in Poetry (2002). Her second collection is 40 Dayz (2008). There has been several anthologized pieces before and since in addition to her stage productions and performances. I believe she’s also teaching in addition to being a radio personality. A full plate for one of Antigua and Barbuda’s own, currently in the Wadadli Pen spotlight – which is fitting as she is also one of our past donors.

Here’s a vid I found:

And one final one:

I remember Motion wanted to bring one of her plays to Antigua some years ago. I think this would be dope. Hopefully the powers that be and the stars can align to make that happen.

Meanwhile, if you’re interested, past spotlights here on Wadadli Pen are National Youth Theatre, Jamaica KincaidFloree Williams, Tim Hector, the Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival, Dorbrene O’Marde, Sylvanus Barnes, Shakeema Edwards,
Angelica O’DonoghueTina Chang, Gayle Gonsalves, Marie Elena JohnVeronica Evanson Bernard, Kush DavidSwallow, and Vivian Michael.

As with all content on Wadadli Pen, except otherwise noted, this is written by Antiguan and Barbudan writer Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure; also a freelance writer, editor, writing coach and workshop facilitator). If you like the content here follow or recommend the blog, also, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. Thank you.

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Say Cheese


This is Clinton Joseph the Antiguan born poet of great renown in Canada where he resides. Joseph is a founding member of the dub poetry movement in Canada. His publications, recordings, and/or films include Metropolitan Blues, Oral Trans/Missions, Pimps and (Survival) In the City, A Chant for Monk, That Night in Tunisia, Shots on Eglinton. He has performed widely across Europe and the Americas, and his poems are included in a number of anthologies. He’s won the Best Dub Poet Award and the Peter Tosh Memorial Award at the Canadian Reggae Music Awards.

This is a moment from the launch of the first Antiguan and Barbudan collection of its kind, the Dr. Althea Prince edited So the Nailhead Bend, So the Story End which includes writing by 30 Waladlian writers, emerging and established, gone and present, at home and scattered.

You haven’t read it yet?

Well what’re you waiting for.


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Scholarship window closing – take note Antiguans-Barbudans studying in Canada

Hope this isn’t too late I hope for a deserving Antiguan and Barbudan student of the arts in Canada. Note the deadline: May 31st. The clock is ticking.

Applications for the 2013 Madeline Blackman Scholarship are now being accepted. To be eligible for consideration, applicants must be enrolled in a program of studies in The ARTS or in FINE ARTS at an accredited Canadian college or university, must be Antiguan and Barbudan by birth or descent and must be a permanent resident of Canada who, at the time of application, resides in Canada.

The Madeline Blackman Scholarship ($3000) which is administered by the Black Business & Professional Association (BBPA) National Scholarship Fund is awarded annually. The scholarship was established in 2010 in appreciation of Ms Blackman’s many years of dedicated service to the community as Consul General of Antigua and Barbuda in Canada and in recognition of her passion for the arts.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants must be:

 Aged 17 – 30 as of September 1, 2013.

 Admitted to or enrolled in a full-time undergraduate program


Selection Criteria:

High Academic Achievement

Financial need

Recognized community contribution



Applications must be received at the BBPA office no later than Friday May 31, 2013 at 4:00 pm. Completed application forms must be addressed to:


The Board of Trustees

BBPA National Scholarship Fund

675 King Street West, Suite 210

Toronto, Ontario M5V 1M9


Applicants are advised to clearly indicate on their application forms if they are Antiguan and Barbudan by birth or by descent

For application forms and additional information, please contact the BBPA office at 416-504-4097 or visit the web site: http://www.bbpa.org/




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‘Silent Music’ Participates in Market Incubator @ CaribbeanTales 2012

UPDATE! UPDATE! Melissa Gomez, the Antiguan and Barbudan producer of the documentary film Silent Music, reports that not only did her film debut to a full house, it also walked away with the award for Best Documentary at Caribbean Tales 2012. Of the response to the film, she said, “Instead of misunderstanding my motivations for telling such a personal story (one of my fears) – it appears that the audience fell in love with my parents, the main characters of the film. What more could I ask for??” Of receiving the award, she said, “Words can’t explain how amazing it feels for the first response to this labor of love to have been so positive.”

This September 12th 2012 update comes courtesty producer Melissa Gomez:

Last week was a busy one for Silent Music at CaribbeanTales in
Toronto! The week began with an introduction to the CaribbeanTales Maket
Incubator program with a focus on the importance of telling Caribbean stories
and on perfecting the art of “TIFF’ing” (who knew “to TIFF” was a verb??) at
the Toronto International Film Festival, which is taking place concurrently
with the CaribbeanTales Film Festival.

Then followed three intense days of the CaribbeanTales Market Incubator
where I honed the “perfect pitch” for the film, pairing up with mentors in the
film industry and finessing the business plan for marketing and distribution.
Wednesday’s highlights included the opening launch gala of the 2012
CaribbeanTales Film Festival with the screening of the British-Barbadian
documentary, “The Story of Lovers Rock”. Next up were two intense days of
TIFF’ing with Sales & Industry pass in hand, while the culmination of the
incubator happened on Sunday: the ultimate pitch to a panel of industry
professionals at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. The guest list included
representatives from Berlinale, NFB (National Film Board of Canada), Telefilm Canada,
CBC, and Ventana Sur – no pressure there!

To put the icing on the cake, in the midst of the incubator and TIFF
networking awesomeness, and in anticipation of the September 15th
World Premiere, Silent Music was featured in an interview on CHYR (Toronto)
radio and in this week’s edition of “Share”, a local Toronto newspaper
aimed at the Caribbean Diaspora (yep – that’s me on the front cover!) –

All in all – many new friends and several amazing films and experiences
later – I can’t think of a better way to have kicked off the countdown to the
World Premiere of Silent Music: just 4 days left!

CaribbeanTales is just starting to heat up, so be sure to check out the full
calendar of CaribbeanTales 2012 events at: http://caribbeantales-events.com/

Tickets to the World Premiere of Silent Music are available (but not for
long!) at: http://tickets.harbourfrontcentre.com/calendar/view.aspx?id=18889


6:00PM on Saturday 15th September 2012 (Q&A with Director to
Harbourfront Center
Toronto, Ontario

Silent Music is the first feature-length documentary
directed and produced by Melissa A. Gomez. The film follows Melissa, a hearing
daughter of deaf parents, on a very personal journey as she investigates the
silence and lack of communication that define her Antiguan family. Through
difficult confrontations and unexpected revelations, the film celebrates the
love of family while also forcing both Melissa and the audience to answer a
difficult question for themselves: ‘Are some secrets best left hidden?’

“Characterised by a disarming balance of the coy and a commitment
to honesty and openness, Silent Music, seemingly effortlessly, but with great
determination and compassion, walks a well judged line between the universal
and the particular, the ordinary and the extraordinary, the filmmaker’s own
life and that of her subjects.”

– Christopher Laird, CEO of Gayelle: The Channel

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What Happens in Canada…

My trip October 2011 to Canada was quite stimulating and not just because of the brisk weather, or gastronomic adventures, the opportunity to catch up with old friends, or even the day spent at Niagara …no the good vibes began with  Telling Our Stories, an Evening Showcasing Antigua and Barbuda’s Writing. For me, it was a sigificant night and not just because I dread readings.  But I’d upped the ante by deciding to read, for the first time, ever, from my forthcoming book Oh Gad! – my first with a major American publisher, my first full length novel … a lot was riding on the audience’s response to the reading. Not least of which whether an audience would be able to connect with this world and these characters that have consumed my writing life these past several years, through more drafts than I can remember, and more rejection (and finally acceptance) than I like to think about. Now, I look back on that night fondly because there was so much love and acceptance in that room; I shared Ah Write and Da’s Calypso,  two sections from Oh Gad! plus The Arrival and Scenes from a Caribbean Childhood before ending with From Ottos. The mood was good, the response was good, and Oh Gad! had made its debut. Here are some highlights:

The event was held in the William Doo Auditorium at the University of Toronto; here is a partial of the audience.

She was mistress of ceremonies on this night but Wendy Brathwaite is Motion in Poetry every day of the week.

From the event programme:Wendy “Motion” Brathwaite is an award-winning poet, emcee and playwright. Motion spans the realms of music, theatre and spoken words, composing works for stage and screen. Lauded by NOW Magazine as a “multi-talented, truthful artist,” her published works include Motion in Poetry and 40 Dayz. Tune in to her latest words, sounds and drama at motionlive.com.

A phenomenal lady and our Consul General in Canada, Janil Greenaway.

Here she is again, welcoming everyone to what would prove to be an entertaining night.

D. Gisele Isaac, she wears many hats but she was there as author of Considering Venus, a reading which made the book feel as fresh as if it had come out yesterday and not, wow, 12 years ago.

Gis' reading.

From the event programme: Hon. D. Gisele Isaac-Arrindell is speaker of the House of Representatives in Antigua and Barbuda. She is the Executive Director of the Board of Education and a UWI Lecturer for the Cave Hill Undergraduate Programme at the Antigua State College. She is a graduate of St. John’s University, New York where she obtained an M.A. in Government & Politics with a concentration in International Relations. She has a B.Sc., summa cum laude, in Journalism with a concentration in Literature. She’s an active member of the Tyrells Roman Catholic congregation; President of the Professional Organisation for Women in Antigua & Barbuda (POWA). She writes a weekly column, “Agender,” in the Daily Observer newspaper. She was featured in “Women West Indies” TV documentary series, 2006. She’s the 2005 recipient of the CMA/PAHO National and Regional Award for “Best Feature in Health Journalism” and the 2004 recipient of the UNESCO award for contributions to literacy & literary arts. She’s a benefactor of the “Young Explorer Wadadli Youth Pen Prize” literary competition. She is author of Considering Venus, a novel, (Seaburn, NY, 1998). She is passionate about calypso music, reading, writing on social issues and watching Law & Order.

Jelani 'J-Wyze' Nias (and to his left Althea Prince) was one of my favourites of the evening.

For a hint of what I’m talking about checking this clip of J-Wyze’s Mr. Lucky.

From the event programme: Jelani “J Wyze” Nias is the quintessential hype man & emcee. Once a key member of the Soul Controllers, he has a radio background that includes 10 years as the dynamic voice of the Trauma Unit (Flow 93.5 fm) as well as stints in community & internet radio. J Wyze also has an unrelenting dedication to the community, which has earned him numerous awards including the “Arts Starts Upcoming Community Artist Award”, “Factor Demo Grant”, and “Toronto Arts Council Writers Grant”. Born to a jazz musician father who has toured North America, and Europe with greats like Toots and the Maytals, and a mother who still sings in an inspirational gospel choir, J-Wyze wanted to be an entertainer for as long as he could remember. After immigrating to Canada from Antigua via Bermuda in 1989 at the age of 12, J Wyze began performing at spoken word events in the mid 90s. He was winner of a Sears Drama Festival acting awards/scholarship, SLAM Poetry competition and is a published poet & writer.

From the event programme: Award winning author, Dr. Althea Prince teaches sociology at Ryerson University. During 2002 to 2005, she was Managing Editor of Canadian Scholars’ Press & Women’s Press. Her work in Community Education includes Creative Writing Workshops for youth in Antigua, and in Canada. In 2011, Dr. Prince served as ‘Writer-in-Residence’ at Newcomer Women’s Services, Toronto; and in September 2011, she was appointed Writer-in-Residence with the Toronto District School Board. Her awards include ‘The First Annual Award for Literary Excellence’ in 2007 from The Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival.

This was a treat, a live performance by Joy Lapps, including an original song befitting the occasion, the 30th anniversary of Antigua and Barbuda's Independence.

From the event programme: Joy Lapps began playing the steel pan in 1997 at Malvern’s Church of the Nativity under the direction of Vince Cato. As she realized her love for the instrument, her solo career soon came alive, earning her the title “Princess of Pan”. Her efficiency with the tenor pan and her diverse performance range have led to greataudience receptions, and flattering recognition from seasoned professional pannists. Joy performs primarily as a soloist and with her jazz trio, quartet or to an even larger musical ensemble. Joy has released three CDs of various gospel and Christmas songs. Thankful for the opportunity to record great songs written by other artists, Joy is currently focused on writing and arranging new music for her ensembles.

and me.

From the event programme: Joanne C. Hillhouse is the author of Oh Gad! – a novel scheduled for publication in 2012. A University of the West Indies graduate and international fellowship recipient to the Breadloaf Writers Conference at Middlebury College in Vermont, Hillhouse also participated in the Caribbean Fiction WritersSummer Institute at the University of Miami. There she began work on her first book, The Boy from WillowBend, which is on Antigua and Barbuda’s schools’ reading list. In addition to her second book, DancingNude in the Moonlight, Hillhouse has published in African, Caribbean, and American journals. She’s beenannounced as the 2011 recipient of the David Hough Literary Prize by the Caribbean Writer andpreviously won a UNESCO Honour award for her contribution to the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda. That contribution includes her Wadadli Youth Pen Prize project –http://www.wadadlipen.wordpress.com. Joanne C. Hillhouse is a freelance writer and editor. For more visit http://www.jhohadli.com

For a comprehensive report on the Canada Independence anniversary celebrations; see this report.



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Independence celebration in Canada connects home and the Diaspora

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – A stimulating experience, a good mix of genders and generations, a satisfying experience overall; all phrases that have been used to describe the two-day programme organised by, and targetting, Antiguans and Barbudans residing in Canada.

The event, held at the University of Toronto, was part of the Antigua & Barbuda Consulate’s programme of activities marking the 30th anniversary of Antigua & Barbuda’s Independence. Read the rest at Daily Observer.

I’ll share pics soon as they become available.


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Telling Our Stories, In Canada…and other Activities to Mark the 30th Anniversary of Antigua and Barbuda’s Independence

, Pass it on to your friends in Canada.

For more info email info@antigua-barbuda-ca.com  You can also visit the official website of the Consulate General of Antigua and Barbuda in Canada.

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Received this in the mail

…from Antiguan-Canadian poet, Motion:

to a White Boy Song debuts @ Summerworks 2011!


& Co-created by Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu

Written & Co-created
by Motion

Choreographed & Co-created by M​eryem Alaoui

Dancing to a White Boy Song features 3 actors, 3 stories and 3 art forms…a
multidisciplinary theatrical creation exploring the issues of youth,
immigration, culture and the tensions of ‘otherness’, told through the eyes,
voices, and bodies of 3 characters through poetry, movement and visual imagery.


Inspired by personal stories and experiences
of African youth, Dancing to a White Boy Song takes its audience through
a physical, emotional and mental journey exploring the metaphor of what it means
to “dance to the beat of the other”; how we come to define ourselves and relate
to one another in our diverse multicultural society.

Dancing to a White Boy Song is running from August 5-13, 2011 as part of the 2011
SummerWorks Festival:



Friday August 5th @

Sunday August 7th @

Tuesday August 9th @

Thursday August 11th @

Friday August 12th @

Saturday August 13th


As a special offer, if you purchase 5 tickets
in advance, we will give a complimentary ticket as a thank you.

Simply purchase your tickets on-line at https://www.artsboxoffice.ca or in person at the Arts Box Office (located at Theatre Passe Muraille
16 Ryerson Avenue, One block North East of Bathurst & Queen) or by phone at
416-504-7529. Once purchased, e-mail our producer, d_crawford@sympatico.ca with your name and
the date you are attending, and your complimentary ticket will be available at
the box office on the night of the performance.

Thank you again for
supporting SummerWorks and Dancing to a White Boy Song. You can visit us
on-line at www.dancingtoawhiteboysong.com

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