Tag Archives: Caribbean Cultural Theatre

Mailbox – Caribbean Cultural Theatre

Caribbean Cultural Theatre is a New York based organization involved in the business of organizing and promoting activities in celebration of Caribbean arts – and especially Caribbean literary arts. I’m on their mailing list, and recently this one came in.

“Do you remember title of the first novel or poem by a Caribbean writer you ever read (had to read)?  It most likely happened during primary school. Probably the first time you realized that someone who looked, acted; sounded like you could actually be in a book!
We really would love to know what was the novel, or poem, and why it was so memorable (after all these years)”

I couldn’t think of a SINGLE book. Does calypso count as a poem? Because I grew up listening to tons of those, and now in my grown up years as a writer and workshop facilitator have used calypsos from my childhood like King Obstinate’s Wet You Han, a story in calypso form, when discussing character, setting, atmosphere, dialogue, and more in workshops. I’d been introduced to Caribbean fiction, I think, through Anansi and village/true life and jumbie stories (informally, at home and in school) and short fiction (in school) – I remember this one story about a snobbish girl named Millicent who lorded her privilege over her peers, but I don’t remember much else about her; I remember reading Miguel Street which, I think, my older brother who was already in secondary school at the time, might have been studying; I remember enjoying excerpted stories from Michael Anthony’s Year in San Fernando; I remember reading a Selvon (one with a character named Tiger, not Lonely Londoners which would later become a favourite) over the summer – and really digging the writer – only to have them drop it from the reading list by the time the school year rolled around; and I remember Annie John – I was in Antigua State College by the time I read this one (it wasn’t being taught but outside of class we were discovering this and debating her other book A Small Place) and maybe this was the transformative one because by then I already knew I loved to write but couldn’t even begin to form the words to say I want to be a writer – and though it didn’t happen as it does in movies, a sudden and sharp epiphany, but this story of a girl I recognized from a world I knew by a writer from Ovals, a community right next to and much like my own Ottos community, my consciousness started to turn to the idea of it, that maybe writers could come from where I’m from and tell the stories I had dammed up inside. So maybe allahdat is the answer. Not a SINGLE thing but a progression. I feel like I’m forgetting something crucial but that’s what I have for now.

Anyway, I decided to share E. Wayne – that’s the CCT’s artistic director’s – email here and I figured you could share your stories with him as well. So I decided to ask him what the purpose was. He replied that he wasn’t sure-sure, just that he was “hoping to do something around:
•Life-long learning/reading
•A trajectory of Caribbean (young readers) literature (c. 1950 – present)
•Getting parents introduce kids to Caribbean (young readers) literature (both old and contemporary)
•For our WORDFest (June) or Brooklyn Book Festival (Sept)
•Might be a one-off or a season-long project
•Prob have live, online and archival components”

So, there you have it. If you have a memory to contribute, email him: caribbeantheatre@yahoo.com

Don’t post them here, eh, send them directly to him. Cool? Cool.


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, Fish Outta Water, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my pages –  WordPress, 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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Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Caribbean Plus Lit News

WORD! – A Caribbean Book Fest – Call for Writers

Caribbean Cultural Theatre invites established and emerging writers of published works to participate in the third staging of WORD! – A Caribbean Book Fest at Medgar Evers College -City University of New York on Sunday, June 8, 2014. This coming together of authors and storytellers, readers and literary curious coincides with Caribbean American Heritage Month and is held in Brooklyn, NY – the world’s largest Caribbean meeting place.

Creative writers and poets whose work may include, but not limited to, issues of identities, migration and assimilation, resistance, politics, gender and sexuality, oral narratives and storytelling, language, sports and pastimes in the Caribbean and its Diaspora.  Young writers, first-time published writers, and those writing with a youth focus are especially encouraged to respond.

Interested writers should contact poets@caribbeantheatre.org with a brief outline of published work and/or work to be presented by March 8, 2014.

Geared at positioning the writer’s work as part of a larger conversation on identity, aspiration, heritage and the immigrant experience, WORD! features a mix of workshops on publishing, readings by critically acclaimed and emerging literary talents, stimulating discussion, and performances by electrifying spoken word artists.

WORD! – A Caribbean Book Fest

A celebration of Caribbean culture, thought, letters and a good story! Now in its third year, this afternoon-long program for readers of all ages highlights the range and diversity of work emanating from the Caribbean and its Diaspora in all the official languages of the region (Dutch, English, French; Spanish) and related native languages.


2013 Featured Writers included:

Writers for Young Readers

Summer Edward (Trinidad & Tobago)     Zetta Elliott (St. Kitts)

Devon Harris (Jamaica)                                  Tracey Pierre (Haiti)

Shabana Sharif (USA/Guyana)                   Clyde Viechweg (Grenada)

Ibi Zoboi (Haiti)


Fiction Writers

Elsie Agustave (Haiti)                                      Lynn Grange (Trinidad & Tobago)

Petra Lewis (Trinidad & Tobago)                Monica Matthew (Antigua & Barbuda)

Bernice McFadden (USA/Barbados)        Elizabeth Nunez (Trinidad & Tobago)

Sandra Ottey (Jamaica)



Keisha Gay Anderson (Jamaica)                 Carmen Bardeguez-Brown (Puerto Rico)

Etaniel Ben Yehuda (USA/Trinidad)          Anna Ruth Henriques (Jamaica)

Deborah Jack (St. Maarten)                         Rosamond King (USA/Trinidad/Gambia)

Hermina Marcellin (St. Lucia)                      David Mills (USA/Jamaica)

Ras Osagyefo (Jamaica)                                 Jason S. Price (Belize)

The Comapany

Caribbean Cultural Theatre is a theatrical immersion experience presenting the work of Caribbean based and/or influenced writers, performers and other practitioners that both entertains and enlightens and honours a balanced rendering of Caribbean culture and the Caribbean-American experience.

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Filed under Caribbean Plus Lit News

The Caribbean Cultural Theatre Gives Thanks

Throughout the year, the NY based Caribbean Cultural Theatre features numerous wordsmiths as part of its Poets and Passion: Celebration of the Word Series. Included among these in 2011 were Escape from a Leper Colony Author Tiphanie Yanique , The Book of Night Women author Marlon James  , Angel author Merle Collins , Anna In Between author Elizabeth Nunez , Sections of an Orange author Anton Nimblett, The River’s Song author Jacqueline Bishop, Hear their Echoes author Yolaine St. Fort, and others. What an amazing line-up.

Someday, I hope to be part of this series as well. Perhaps next year when my new book Oh Gad! comes out (?) Speak your hopes and dreams into reality, right? The Caribbean Cultural Theatre continues to do just that with a lot of support from partners, patrons, media, writers, fans , and others. In the spirit of thanksgiving, they took the time out to say thanks. And since we support the Caribbean literary arts wherever it bears fruit, we’re happy to share their gratitude with you:

Dear Friend,

It’s been a bumpy ride this year, but we made it.   Older, stronger and hopefully wiser. We made it!  Thank you for coming along for the ride.

Thanks for the encouragement and warmth of those we lost along the way: Dawn Bennett, Anthony Bonair, Learie Corbin and Marco Mason.

Thanks to the investment of our funders, sponsors and Friends who supported a vision of culture that entertains as it inspires.

Thanks to the insight of partners throughout New York metropolitan area for being open to presenting and promoting the complexity of our experiences on page, screen, and stage.

Thanks to the curiosity of audiences who have engaged us in the bitter-sweet narrative of a people’s struggle and aspiration.

Thanks to the passion of practitioners and the dedication of volunteers committed to Tellin We Own Story.

Join us for the journey in 2012!

Give Thanks

E. Wayne

Caribbean Cultural Theatre

Caribbean Research Center – Medgar Evers College (CUNY)

1150 Carroll Street, Room 313 – 315,

Brooklyn, NY 11225-2210

TEL: 718-783-8345 / 718-270-6218 / 917-202-0696

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Filed under Caribbean Plus Lit News, Literary Gallery