Tag Archives: events

Carib Lit Plus Mid to Late September 2020

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.

Re-visiting Swallow

We’ve covered the life and death of King Swallow here on the site but wanted to share this link to an Ode to Sir Rupert King Swallow Philo by Patricia Louisa Tully because it contains details about him not previously noted on this site. Like the fact that he competed for the first time in 1962 and earned the second runner up spot that year. When you’ve been crowned as much as he has, these details of ‘lesser’ moments and triumphs get lost in the wash. But for the young calypso aspirant, there was nothing lesser about it. Tully writes, “that night he was driven home in a car loaded with many gifts.” Read about this and the moments to follow including being the first Calypsonian to play the Radio City Music Hall.


Hope you caught some or all of the Bocas virtual events – I was in and out, but was happy to catch Loretta Collins Klobah and Maria Grau Perejoan launching and discussing The Sea needs No Ornament/El Mar no necesita Ornamento. The discussion of how they approached translation of the works was quite interesting – especially the challenge of capturing the creole – and how they didn’t do a back and forth but a face to face in real time interactive translation process, trading off who led with Spanish to English, English to Spanish making for a very dynamic sort of experience, made more so by bouncing here to there in the wake of hurricane Maria, given that these face to face interactions were in 2017 in Puerto Rico. I would love to read this book, which is already a PEN Award recipient, especially so after hearing virtual readings from the likes of Ann-Margaret Lim of Jamaica and Danielle Boodoo Fortune of Trinidad and Tobago among others.  You may have missed the live but you can catch this and other videos on the Bocas fest facebook page and on their youtube.

And now comes the Brooklyn Caribbean Book Festival, also virtual as so much has to be under the shadow of a global pandemic. The dates are September 28th to October 5th. It’s big with nearly 140 independent publishers and literary organizations already occupying the digital marketplace – including some well known to the Caribbean literary community like Akashic Books, Blue Banyan Books, Caribbean Reads Publishing, and many others. Scheduled authors include some that should be familiar to us here in Antigua and Barbuda – like Tina Chang, Donna Hill, Marlon James, who’ve participated in events here.

Self-care Tips and a Book Rec from Anti-Racist Educator

Dena Simmons is a PhD holding US educator with Antiguan roots who has has continued to educate in these pandemic and social fed-uprising times. See her recent you tube video on six ways to be an antiracist educator, or follow her on twitter where she’s been providing #quaranteaching tips and where you can also sign up for her newsletter. In her most recent newsletter she provides self-care tips which I think we might find useful whether we’re teachers or not. These include 10 minutes of mindful breathing, 30 minutes of movement, 7-8 hours of sleep, eating nutritiously, finding a self-care accountability buddy, and setting boundaries (saying no). Her collective care tips include asking people in our life what they need, checking in with others and being okay to be met with silence, offering a listening ear, going on a physical distance walk with a buddy or agree to call your accountability buddy from respective locations, or ordering someone dinner from afar. Her newsletter typically involves a book rec and this time it’s Thick by Tressie McMillan Cottom which she described as “quick, informative, and delightful.”

Speaking of book recs, I recently finished Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes, award winning African American author and past Wadadli Pen prize donor (her book Ninth Ward), which I described as “A really good and I would say necessary read for anyone trying to understand what we mean when we say Black Lives Matter; or anyone just in the market for a good story.”

New Film, Co-written by an Antiguan-Canadian, debuts at TIFF

Motion, a Canadian writer with Antiguan roots, co-wrote a feature film Akilla’s Escape which had its digital world premiere at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival. Akilla’s Escape, produced Canesugar Filmworks, is co-written and directed by Charles Officer and stars Saul Williams, Saul Williams, Thamela Mpumlwana, Donisha Prendergast, Ronnie Rowe Jr., Olunike Adeliyi, Shomari Downer, Colm Feore, Bruce Ramsay, and Vic Mensa.  Synopsis: “During what is supposed to be a simple, routine handoff, 40-year-old drug trader Akilla Brown is suddenly caught in the middle of a violent robbery. Narrowly making it out alive, he captures one of the thieves, a teenaged Jamaican boy named Sheppard. Under the pressure of the criminals who hired him, Akilla must set things right and retrieve the stolen goods over the course of one arduous night. When Akilla discovers that Sheppard’s gang has ties to the Garrison Army, the same crime organization he fell into as a child, he has to confront his own traumatic origins and becomes compelled to help the boy survive — and possibly even make the escape that he never could. Set in parallel timelines in present-day Toronto and 1990s Brooklyn, Akilla’s Escape illustrates how the oppressive cycle of violence manifests in different generations and just how difficult it is to break.” It is “sensitively rendered neo-noir–meets–coming-of-age story”. (Cameron Bailey)

Akilla’s Escape, which is eligible for the TIFF People’s Choice Award, is part of TIFF 2020’s special Planet Africa 25

2020 Claims Another Antiguan Icon

Antigua and Barbuda has so far this year lost its share (more than, some would say) of artists and writers and journalists (former University Centre resident tutor Edris Bird,  former calypso King, in the case of Edimelo, and Vision Band member Edimelo and Eric Peters, historical writer Keithlyn Smith, who  received an official funeral on September 15th after dying on July 31st 2020, pan builder with Hell’s Gate steel orchestra Eustace Manning Henry, founding member of Harmonites George ‘Macko, Nuni’ Weekes, photographer and writer Timothy Payne); and now 2020 has claimed Selvyn Walter within less than a week of the passing of calypso legend Swallow. Walter, brother of former Premier and national hero George Walter, came to prominence as a politician when he won a seat on the opposition PLM ticket  in 1971. His career in politics was relatively short-lived. He was also known as a businessman and most significantly as a writer and journalist – notably as Daily Observer columnist (Not a Drum was heard) and published author (Bank Alley Tales), and an art collector and archivist.

Selvyn Walter

As with all content on Wadadli Pen, 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/Perdida! Una Aventura en el Mar Caribe, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on 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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A & B Arts Round up – July 19th 2019 —>

If you missed activities from the last round up, you can catch up with at least two of them in the CREATIVE SPACE series over on my Jhohadli blog – go here for Antigua Dance Academy’s Earth Rising and here for the Antigua-Barbuda launch of regional journalist Wesley Gibbings’ Passages at the Best of Books.


August 17th 2019 – 59775614_329036067810776_4410562896208068608_n

August 15th – 16th 2019 – The 14th Annual Antigua-Barbuda Conference and Distinguished Lecture (a joint project of the University off the West Indies Open Campus – Antigua and Barbuda, The Antigua and Barbuda Studies Association, and the Antigua and Barbuda Youth Enlightenment Academy). This year’s theme is Aft the Ecological and Politica Storms: Whither Barbuda’s Development. Venue – the UWI Open Campus, between Queen Elizabeth and Sir Sydney Walling highways. Confirmed participants are Glenn Sankatsing, keynote speaker and author of Quest to Rescue Our Future (“Quest to Rescue Our Future chronicles the path of humanity, diagnoses our present misfortunes, identifies the dangerous trends and maps the desirable and feasible futures. Most importantly, it locates the transformative social forces that are still intact – the moral reserves of humanity – and delves into the strategy and actions that can shape a different version of humanity), Conference organizer Paget Henry, Valerie Knowles Combie from the University of the Virgin Islands, editor of The Caribbean Writer literary journal Alscess Lewis-Brown, psychologist and poet Elaine Olaoye, Bernadette Farquhar whose specialities are French and linguistics, Antigua and Barbuda’s press secretary Lionel ‘Max’ Hurst, Anique John (law/social justice), Hourglass Investment CEO Norris Morris Harris, and a special panel consisting of secondary school students). For more information contact: Paget Henry (paget_henry@brown.edu), Janet Lofgren (janetlofgren@gmail.com), Zane Peters (zane.peters@open.uwi.edu), or Schuyler Esprit (schuyler.esprit@dec.uwi.edu)

July 31st 2019 – 64851874_353543768693339_5104058999066591232_n

July to August 2019 – Antigua’s Carnival


July and August – sessions to be held on July 22nd – 26th & August 12th – 16th 2019 – flyer and registration form copied below-contact me at jhohadli at gmail dot com for more information or to submit registration form: JSYWP Registration Form 2019

As with all content on Wadadli Pen, unless otherwise indicated, this is written by author and Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse. All rights reserved.

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Mailbox – Word!

Caribbean Cultural Theatre’s Caribbean Lit Fest is coming up in June – Caribbean American Heritage Month – and will celebrate Caribbean Literary Classics, Old and New!

The afternoon-long program in New York has activities for book lovers of all ages of readings, author signings and discussion, as well as film screenings based on the work of Caribbean literary pioneers. It promises new venues, new programs, new writers (including Antigua and Barbuda’s Cray Francis), and new stories.

In the tri-state area? Go here for the breakdown.

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A & B Arts Round-up April 25th 2017 —->

Saturday 9th December 2017 – Lypstick Production – annual pre Christmas concert fundraiser event. Contact information: 776-1924/728-6647 Lyp1911@hotmail.com

Saturday 13th May, 2017 –Wadadli Stories flyer Wadadli Stories Book Fair – 10am to 8pm, St. John’s City. N.B. the results of the 2017 Wadadli Pen Challenge will be announced at this event and the winners awarded.

May 4th – May 7th 2017 – Emile Hill Solo Art Exhibition, South Point Restaurant and Lounge – New artwork from Emile Hill, Antiguan Artist; also featuring the work of another talented local artist! This exhibition features new paintings, found art and sculptures inspired by Nature, or re-purposing materials found in Nature. All pieces will be available for sale.

April 26th 2017 – World Intellectual Property Day Open House and Mini Fair at the Antigua and Barbuda Intellectual Property and Commerce Office, Hewlett House, St. John’s, Antigua; 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

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A & B Arts Round-up March 22nd 2017 –>

Saturday 13th May, 2017 – Wadadli Stories Book Fair – 10am to 8pm, St. John’s City. N.B. the results of the 2017 Wadadli Pen Challenge will be announced at this event and the winners awarded.

April 8th 2017 – Antigua Barbuda Horticultural Society 8th Annual Flower and Garden Show will be held at the Agave Gardens, Friars Hill Road.

March 24th 2017 – TOSTEM ’emancipation stories’ Museum Project fundraiser: BOX HAN TICKET Dishes from Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon, e.g. Ndole, Roast Fish,Ayamase, Mbongo Chobi, Jollof Rice, Moinmoin AND MORE….. TICKETS: AT THE MUSEUM Long Street, CAROLYN PERRY Community Development, ALTHEA CARTY, ABIGAIL TEAGUE, CHANTELLE TOMLINSON, MARIA BRADSHAW, JOY LAWRENCE, SEKOU LUKE, OR FROM Edith Oladele  AT THE EXHIBITION AT THE PUBLIC LIBRARY 3RD FLOORPRINCE KLAAS EXHIBITION Programme cover. TEL: 771959 OR 7827707 (include image)


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