Tag Archives: Caribbean news

Carib/World Arts News


To The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.

Check out this video on her early years among other things in the Reading Room and Gallery, and my own picks for favourite Aretha music.


On the passing of Nobel Laureate, Man Booker Winner; and House for Mr. Biswas, Miguel Street et al Trinidadian Author V. S. Naipaul.

“In many ways embodying the contradictions of the postcolonial world, Mr. Naipaul was born of Indian ancestry in Trinidad, went to Oxford University on a scholarship and lived the rest of his life in England, where he forged one of the most illustrious literary careers of the last half-century. He was knighted in 1990.” – from his obituary in The New York Times

“If you are offended by his remarks, then be doubly aware: he would push as many of your buttons as he could perceive, just to have fun watching you lose your mind. The book of his collected interviews is uproarious just for that alone.” – Kirk Meighoo. Read his full commentary at Caribbean News Now.

‘On the other hand, you almost wanted him to fade, not because his star was too bright, but because it had become incandescent with shame. He was an embarrassment as much of riches as of vile, venomous bigotry. In an example of misogyny so blatant as to almost seem comical, Naipaul argued that women could not write as well as men—and that, so as to avoid wasting his time reading the products of such inferior minds, he had learnt to tell from the first few paragraphs of any book the gender of its author. With a blend of demented pride, blunt honesty, and self-flagellation, he told his authorized biographer, Patrick French, just how he had beaten and bruised Margaret Gooding, the Anglo-Argentine lover he met in 1972. “I was very violent with her for two days with my hand; my hand begun to hurt,” he was recorded as telling French in The World Is What It Is (2008). “She didn’t mind it at all,” he continued. “She thought of it in terms of my passion for her. Her face was really bad. She couldn’t appear in public. My hand was swollen. I was utterly helpless,” he added, somewhat surprisingly. “I have enormous sympathy for people who do strange things out of passion.”’ – Gabrielle Bellot. Read her full commentary on the enigma that was V. S. Naipaul at Lit Hub.

Big Up to

“Internationally renowned dub poet Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze was honoured with the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Jamaica Poetry Festival, in association with the National Library of Jamaica (NLJ).

The event took place at the Jamaica Poetry Festival, at the Louise Bennett Garden Theatre on Sunday, August 12, 2018.” Read more.


If you were a fan of the Blogger on Books series on this site, remember, the series has continued over on my Jhohadli blog; latest installment The Nakedness of New by Switzerland based Antigua born poet Althea Romeo Mark.


Here’s some additional reading, the August edition of the Poui Con-texts journal: POUI Con texts 2018 August

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

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Out of Jamaica: DRP Summer Series 2014

This just in to our in box:


June 23, 2014

The Drawing Room Project Season of Literature Continues

Following their magnificent inaugural Writers’ Retreat with Christine Craig at Country Thyme,  Highgate St Mary [Jamaica].  The Drawing Room Project (DRP) returns to Kingston [Jamaica] to host The DRP Summer Series 2014 on 5th, 6th and 13th of July.  This series of workshops in Poetry and Fiction is aimed at beginner to early career writers, . Jamaican writers Mel Cooke, Sharon Leach and Lenworth Burke are mentors for this series.
Mel Cooke leads the first session; Voicing Our Times.  Participants will grapple with social subjects and write about them in personal ways.  They can anticipate new poems that are  poignant and skilfully crafted. The poet and journalist’s first collection, Eleven Nine, was published in 2008 by Blouse and Skirt Books and his spoken word album Seh Sup’m: Live from Kingston, in 2013.  Cooke has also been published in the Jamaica Journal, Jubilation!: Poems Celebrating 50 Years of Jamaican Independence, Peepal Tree Press,  and So Much Things to Say, Akashic Books.
People. Not Characters ! will be led by Sharon Leach, winner of a Musgrave Bronze Medal in 2012 and author of the award winning collections What You Can’t Tell Him: Stories, 2008 and Love It When You Come, Hate It When You Go, 2014.  Leach is renowned for her gritty characters and participants will find this workshop particularly enriching to lift their prose off the page and give them life in the minds of readers.
Lenworth Burke leads the final cohort of fiction writers in Sculpting The Draft, where those participants stuck on their first or second drafts will be guided through the editing process to make the tough cuts and polish their story into a distinct finish.    Burke was the winner of the Jamaica Observer Literary Awards  for Fiction in 2000 and was long-listed  for the Boca Lit Fest’s Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize in 2013. His short stories and poems have been published in several anthologies including Focus 1983; So Much Things To Say ; and in the Bearing Witness series from the Jamaica Observer
This is the third major project by the DRP which is providing writers with a space to grow and engage in a supportive creative process.   Writers of both poetry and fiction stand to benefit from participating in all three workshops which address key elements of craft.
The Drawing Room Project is a voluntary association founded by Millicent A. A. Graham and Joni Jackson, who are both fellows of The Calabash International Literary Festival Trust Writers Workshops.  For more information contact the group at drawingroomproject@gmail.com


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