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).
The Environmental Awareness Group in Antigua and Barbuda has re-shaped its floating classroom series in to tools for the classroom, specifically a publicly available video series (beginning with the one below focussed on the Antiguan Racer Snake) and companion workbook/booklet. The ‘Into the Wild’ series is sponsored by the Sandals Foundation, produced by Chaso Media Services, with theme song by G’Eve and DJ Quest. It is worth viewing, even if you’re not in the classroom.
(Source – Daily Observer newspaper)
Carib Lit Plus covered the Antigua and Barbuda participation in the 2020 Dubai Expo in November 2021. Still no update that I have seen re lit arts (as with CARIFESTA or other opportunities to show the full spectrum of arts representation – and I don’t like that) but some arts and artists I love (like Miranda Askie) have gotten their shine and I like it for them. This latest post showing an artist capturing the Heather Doram designed national dress popped in my timeline and I had to share.
Expo 2020 is a World Expo being hosted by the United Arab Emirates in Dubai, October 2021 – March 2022, pushed back by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Expo’s theme is ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’. (Source – Maria Blackman PR on Facebook)
Learned tonight (February 6th 2022) of the passing of a great one, children’s book writer and illustrator Ashley Bryan, 98. I was fortunate to meet and interview Mr. Bryan who at the time visited his ancestral home, Antigua, on the regular. The New York native’s parents were from here and he had had quite the storied life, including being on the frontlines of D-Day during World War 2, an experience he captured in one of his more recent books Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey from WWII to Peace. His award winning children’s books (Beautiful Blackbird etc) have been favourites of mine that I have used in readings and workshops here in Antigua and Barbuda – and his Dancing Granny is even performed by the youth drama group in my book Musical Youth. I believe (or hope) that the US knows what a treasure they had in him and am happy that I was personally able to discover his work. You can find him here on the blog in Meeting Ashley Bryan, Carib Lit Plus (February 2020), the Count to 10 with me book tag, Bestselling Black Caribbean Children’s Picture Books, and, of course, Antigua and Barbuda Children’s Literature. There are personal and intangible things from my conversation with Ashley Bryan that have stuck with me and I will remember him, and one of the ways that you can is by go and finding and reading his books, beginning with the ones found in our Antiguan and Barbudan Writing database.
This NPR obit. summarizes Ashley Bryan’s life but I just wanted to make sure, because the mainstream outlets won’t necessarily say this, that we know he was one of ours in addition to being one of the greats of children’s literature, creating specifically beautifully Black images and stories, in a space where we still need to say #weneeddiversebooks because there are not nearly enough. (Source – Twitter)
Are you all caught up on the Tim Tim Bwa Fik romance writing podcast series interviewing Caribbean authors? It has so far interviewed in two parts BVI’s Eugenia O’Neal, Trinidad and Tobago’s N G Peltier, Barbados’ Callie Browning, and from Antigua and Barbuda me (Joanne C. Hillhouse) and Rilys/Rilzy Adams. Here is the site link. And remember to check the Wadadli Pen Reading Room and Gallery for more conversations. (Source – Twitter)
100 + Voices for Miss Lou: Poets, Tributes, Interviews, Essays, edited by Opal Palmer Adisa and published by the UWI Press. Ms. Lou refers to Louise Bennett, 1919-2006, a beloved Jamaican writer who in verse and engaging storytelling popularized the embrace of the local vernacular in literature. She is described as the Mother of Jamaican Culture. Palmer Adisa has also recently published the authorized biography of former Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller Portia Dreams. The book is illustrated by Jamaica’s Wayne Powell. Simpson-Miller was the country’s first and to date only female Prime Minister. “She wanted to share her life with children because she wanted to inspire them …this book is about her childhood…and how she became who she became,” Palmer Adisa told the hosts of Sunrise on Jamaica’s CVM TV.
(Source – google search)
Karian Christian and Sonalli Andrews collaborated on a colouring and activity book, Children of the Soil, a jumbo sized book with 100 pages of content, to fill a gap she saw in culturally relevant content for children. Her January 2022 release has been added to the growing list of children’s literature from Antigua and Barbuda.
Writing Gender into the Caribbean: Selected Essays 1988 to 2020 by Patricia Mohammed. Patricia Mohammed is Emerita Professor of Gender and Cultural Studies, University of the West Indies, and the new book is a compilation of critical published and unpublished essays on and inspiring feminism and social thinking in the Caribbean. It centres both intersectionality and Caribbean-American feminist/gender/queer analyses with extensive research, literary creativity, and sensual intelligence; and exposes the complexities of feminism, developmental thought, gender awareness, sexual physiologies and Caribbean perspectives of gender experiencing drastic transformations throughout her extensive research and literary writings. The book is the recipient of the Barbara T. Christian Literary Award and Mohammed the recipient of the Caribbean Studies Association Lifetime Achievement Award, both in 2021. The Barbara T. Christian Literary Award is given to the best book published within the most recent three-year period which explicitly and innovatively examines topics of race, gender, sexuality, class and intersectionality. The CSA Lifetime Achievement Award recognises outstanding achievements by a living scholar in academic leadership relating to the multi-disciplinary field of Caribbean Studies. ‘Leadership’ refers primarily to foundational or superior contributions in research and scholarship, but also considers teaching and mentoring, organisational or centre development, as well as contributions to the Caribbean Studies Association. By instituting a Lifetime Achievement Award, the CSA intends to recognise and honour the role and lifetime work of scholars who have contributed significantly and consistently to its field of study, and who have by virtue of their professional persona and intellect helped to expand not only the field’s boundaries, but also achieved greater public acknowledgement of and understanding for Caribbean Studies as a field of intellectual engagement and for the Caribbean region as a space of valuable and significant contributions to humanity. (Source – Hansib email)
Foreign Body: What if it happens to You? by British-Trinidadian writer Laurene is a 2021 Hansib release. Summary (excerpted): A tale so bizarre which occurs infrequently as a medical anomaly, Marcia’s cryptic pregnancy produces a son for her apparently infertile husband, Marcus. Results from DNA tests only cause further confusion that reverberates within the medical establishment as well as in the family. The question is asked: “Who is the mother of this baby?” The events and family history also have ramifications for the doctor dealing with the exceptional situation, who becomes personally involved as the story builds to its climax. (Source – Hansib email)
Antiguan and Barbudan award winning (and 2020-2021 Caribbean Readers Awards finalist for Birthday Shot) author Rilzy Adams has penned 23 books of fiction – maybe more by the time you read this. Her popular series of self-published romances added six titles in 2021 by my count – Deeper, Love Scammed, Surrender, Treble, Before We Fall, and Just For Tonight. She reports that she has signed with Nubian Audio for audiobook versions of Go Deep, Deeper, ATE, Surrender, and Treble. Adams is a two time Wadadli Pen finalist. (Source – Twitter)
An award has been named in the memory of Barbadian-Canadian writer Austin Clarke. The inaugural winners are
Winner: “Perfect Little Angels” by Vincent Anioke
Runners Up: “The Upper Bright World” by Zilla Jones and “Playing Possum” by Ian Gillespie
Winner: “Same Ocean” by David Ly
Runner Up: “Shelter” by Erin Soros
Read about them here. (Source – N/A)
Jewell Parker Rhodes is not Caribbean but she is a past Wadadli Pen patron and we stan. She has recently picked up an Audiofile Earphones Award for her story ‘Paradise on Fire’. Listen here. (Source – N/A)
Guyanese writer Imam Baksh was a University of Iowa International Writers Programmes writer-in-residence late in 2021. Before that, Baksh was a two-time Burt Award finalist. (Source – N/A)
Beyonce Ambrose of Antigua and Barbuda was named by Vogue as one of ‘10 Breakout Models of Spring 2022‘. Ambrose is the daughter of cricketing icon Curtly Ambrose.
Lina Cruz of the Dominican Republic and América Gonzalez of Venezuela are also on the list. (Source – Facebook)
Diana McCaulay of Jamaica is the inaugural winner of the Watson, Little Prize for an extract from her in-progress novel Roots of Stone. The Prize is a celebration of the agency’s 50th anniversary and is dedicated to writers over 50 years of age. She was plucked from 430 entries from 20 countries. Watson, Little is a literary agency established in 1971. (Source – N/A)
The Calabash International Literary Festival will not be held in 2022, given the current uncertainties in the world. But it is still very much alive. Signs of life, its 2021 receipt of the Madame C J Walker Prize from the Hurston Wright Legacy Awards. The award is for supporting Black literature which Calabash has definitely done since it was founded by Justine Henzell, Kwame Dawes, and Colin Channer in 2001.
Calabash will be back in 2023. (Source – Twitter)
This one is not in the arts lanes and it’s also late since the award was presented late last year but it’s in the realm of youth development, so not off brand for us here at Wadadli Youth Pen Prize – even if it is football related. Something that jumped out at me was what the winning community hero, coach Arnold ‘Keagan’ James said about putting back in to others what had been put in to him.
(Source – ABS TV)
News of Celeste Mohammed winning best novel in this year’s Caribbean Readers Awards, and other outcomes, were already shared with you in the last Carib Lit Plus. But I’ve since written about it in my CREATIVE SPACE column and I thought I’d share that too. Here you go.
(Source – me)
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.