Tag Archives: Gayle Gonsalves

Carib Lit Plus (Mid to Late August 2021)

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)

Passings

Jamaican dub legend, Lee Scratch Perry, has passed. He was 85 years old. Details of his life and passing in this Pitchfork article. (Source – twitter)

Book Recs

In Issue 5 of Caribbean Reads’ Passport, in August 2021, Rebel Women Lit recommended five Beach Reads. They are Come Let us Sing Anyway by Jamaican author Leone Ross – “This collection shows her range as she tackles multiple worlds that brush up against the one we know”, Stick No Bills by Trinidad and Tobago’s Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw – “Walcott-Hackshaw shows how memory, bitterness, and pain can help us find power to see the light after tragedy”, The Sun’s Eye by various Caribbean writers, compiled by British editor Anne Walmsley – “It’s a brilliant way to sample the work of many stellar Caribbean writers like Olive Senior and Lorna Goodison (Jamaica), John Robert Lee (St Lucia), Earl Lovelace (Trinidad), Frank Collymore (Barbados), and so many more”, Motherland by Wandeka Gayle of Jamaica – “With characters that are equally as diverse and complex as the themes, we see women taking risks, having unexpected adventures daily, and finding their way as immigrants in their new worlds”, and A Million Aunties by Jamaican writer Alecia McKenzie – “a witty title that plays on the Caribbean’s culture of showing respect to older women who look out for you”. (Source – Caribbean Beat email)

New Books

“Yanique calls on themes from some of the best American, Caribbean and international fiction, using her signature lyrical writing style. This historical fiction travels throughout America, from California and Tennessee to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It explores intimacy through a generational, historical and societal lens. It provides a rare look into post-colonialism in America as well as the divergent experience of being black in America over the last 50 years.” – The St. Thomas Source writing on Virgin Island’s own Tiphanie Yanique’s latest novel Monster in the Middle. Though the book isn’t due out until October 2021, it has reportedly already won The Best American Short Story Prize and The O. Henry Prize. Selections from the book have been published in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Harvard Review, and The Yale Review. Yanique’s previous prizes include the Bocas Prize for Caribbean Poetry, the Forward/Felix Dennis Prize in the UK, the Phyllis-Wheatley Award for Pan-African Literature, among others. (Source – N/A)

***

Celebrated Jamaican writer Kei Miller (latest publication Things I have Withheld) paid it forward on his social media some time ago by spotlighting new and upcoming Caribbean releases in what he described as “a bumper year of exciting publications”, and I thought I’d pay that forward by passing it on. Books mentioned in fiction included Popisho/This One Sky Day by Leone Ross (“a super lush, super expansive feat of imagination”) of Jamaica, How The One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House (“the most gorgeous title ever”) by Cherie Jones of Barbados, Fortune by Amanda Smyth of Trinidad and Tobago (“seriously her best novel yet”), The Bread the Devil Knead (“so present and grounded”) by Lisa Allen-Agostini of Trinidad and Tobago, All The Water I’ve Seen Is Running by Elias Rodrigues of Jamaica, Dangerous Freedom by Lawrence Scott by Trinidad and Tobago, One Day, Congotay by Merle Hodge of Trinidad and Tobago (“everyone is looking forward!”), and Monster in the Middle by Tiphanie Yanique of the US Virgin Islands. Books mentioned in poetry included Mother Muse (“it sounds exciting!”) by Lorna Goodison of Jamaica, Thinking with Trees (“quietly beautiful”) by Jason Allen-Paisant of Jamaica, Like a Tree Walking by Vahni Capildeo of Trinidad and Tobago, Zion Roses by Monica Minott of Jamaica, and No Ruined Stone by Shara McCallum (“get back to reading her right now!”) of Jamaica. Books mentioned in non-fiction included The Gift of Music and Song (“a great resource for anyone interested in Caribbean Women’s Writing”) by Jacqueline Bishop of Jamaica, Invisible to Invaluable co-authored by Carol Russell, and Indo-Guyanese poet Rajiv Mohabir’s Antiman. (Source – Kei’s facebook)

Accolades

Various recipients of Antigua and Barbuda Gospel Media Awards, to be conferred in October, have been announced. They are Clephane ‘Mr. Terrific’ Roberts, a well known media personality, and Everton ‘Mano’ Cornelius, an athlete – both receiving legacy awards for education and athletics, respectively; Guyanese national Malika ‘Nikki Phoenix’ Moffett, a radio host across several stations in Antigua and Barbuda, Mario ‘DJ Bless’ Connor, a disc jockey, Thalia Parker-Baptiste, an activist – receiving impact awards, respectively, for activism, arts, and humanitarian work. These are only some of the announced awardees which includes Jamaicans Onika Campbell, known in Antigua and Barbuda as a former journalist with the Daily Observer newspaper and current honorary consul from her home country, another Jamaican, coach and therapist Jermaine Gordon, and Americans James C. Birdsong Jr. and Lillian Lilly, both singers. Announcement of competitive media awards is also scheduled for the October 22nd event, with music awards scheduled for October 23rd. (Source – The Daily Observer newspaper)

***

Sharifa George has been announced as a 2021 recipient of one of a handful of coveted British Chevening scholarships and will use it to pursue a Masters in strategic marketing. Sharifa was part of the 2017 Wadadli Pen judging pool. The application deadline for the next round of Chevening scholars is November 2nd 2021. (Source – The Daily Observer newspaper)

***

Daughters of Africa and New Daughters of Africa editor Margaret Busby is set to receive the 2021 London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award in September. (Source – personal email invite)

***

Gayle Gonsalves My Stories have No Endings has placed second for the Colorado Independent Publishers Association and CIIPA Education and Literacy Foundation’s award in the Women’s Fiction category. The book was previously a finalist at Canada’s National Indie Excellence Awards. “I was so thrilled to learn of the award. …Special thanks to the cover designer (Lucy Holtsnider) for representing the book at the Awards. I feel blessed that the book continues to find new readers who enjoy Kai’s story. I’m thankful to the Universe for these blessings.” (Source – Gayle Gonsalves’ instagram)

***

Bocas has this amazing contest for young writers and the people get to choose the winner. That’s an inspired approach to the popularization of reading and writing, and both the prize and the young writers, and you, the voters, deserve all the accolades.

Here’s where you go to listen and vote. (Source – Bocas’ twitter)

***

The winners of the BLLF Elizabeth Nunez Award for Writers in the Caribbean and in the US, and honourable mentions have been announced. Main prize winners are both Trinis, Akhim Alexis for writers resident in the Caribbean and Patrice Grell Yuseik for those resident overseas, respectively.

See the short list below and the long list in the previous Carib Lit Plus. (Source – facebook, initially via Diana McCaulay who is one of the two finalists for the resident writer prize)

***

The Legacy Award nominations – a project of the Hurston Wright Foundation in the US, named for Zora Neale Hurston and Richard Wright – are out, and include, in the fiction category, Book of the Little Axe by Lauren Francis-Sharma, born in the US to immigrants from Trinidad. (Source – Twitter)

***

The Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival Caribbean resident and Caribbean American short story prize short lists have been announced. After the long list posted in the last Carib Lit Plus update, which included Antigua-Barbuda, the territories left standing are Jamaica (1), Trinidad and Tobago (2), Sint Maarten/Saint Martin (1), Guyana (1), Barbados (1), St. Vincent and the Grenadines (1), and Dominican Republic (1) for the prize for America-based Caribbean writers; and Trinidad and Tobago (4), Barbados (1), Jamaica (2), and Dominica (1) for the prize for Caribbean-based Caribbean writers. (Source – Facebook)

Book Publishing/Industry News

Caribbean Reads Publishing is promoting study guides for its titles – and they’re free. (Source – Caribbean Reads on instagram)

***

Past Commonwealth Short Story Prize and Burt Award winner, Trinidad and Tobago’s Kevin Jared Hosein announced earlier this year that his forthcoming book, Devotion (his fourth), sold in a five way auction (wow) and is scheduled for release in August 2022. It will reportedly be released simultaneously in the US and UK, with Bloomsbury and Ecco/HarperCollins, backed by a major marketing campaign. (Now, that’s the dream!) It’s noteworthy that KJH did this all while being resident in TnT, one example that you don’t have to live abroad to make it internationally. For how he did it, we invite you to revisit his facebook post, republished, as ‘Hosein Breaks It Down‘, with his permission on this site. (Source – the author’s facebook)

Conversations

This is the latest addition to the data base of Antiguan and Barbudan Artistes Discussing Art, see who else is featured.

***

Jazz vocalist, instrumentalist, and creator Foster Joseph talks jazz in the August 18 2021 CREATIVE SPACE. Watch

and read. (Source – Jhohadli)

***

Joanne C. Hillhouse of Antigua and Barbuda and Wadadli Pen in conversation with M J Fievre, the Haitian-American author and host of the Badass Black Girl vlog, the second episode of season 5 after Nikki Giovanni (that and other interviews also worth checking out), has been added to the Antiguan and Barbudan Artists Discussing Art data base. (Source – YouTube)

Also ICYMI Hillhouse also has a recent interview with Andy Caul, both added to the Reading Room and Gallery, and has been longlisted for the BCLF short story prize for Caribbean writers resident in the Caribbean, as noted in the last Carib Lit Plus, now added to the Antiguans and Barbudans Awarded page.

Events

The Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival is almost here, September 10th – 12th 2021. This year’s theme: A Tapestry of Words and Worlds. Day 1 – Event 1 – Author’s Note with Tiphanie Yanique of the US Virgin Islands, Andre Bagoo of Trinidad and Tobago, and others; Event 2 – A Calabash of Wonder with contemporary writers of unapologetically Caribbean and African YA and children’s literature such as Barbados’ Shakirah Bourne and others; Event 3 – Laureates of the Caribbean: Our Common Heritage featuring the likes of St. Lucia’s Canisia Lubrin, Jamaica’s Velma Pollard and Tanya Shirley, among others. Day 2 – Event 4 – The Joys of Motherhood with Trinidad and Tobago’s Ayanna Lloyd-Banwo and Lisa Allen-Agostini, and Jamaica’s Diana McCaulay in the line-up; Event 5 – Espiritismo y Superstitions looking at Caribbean mythology; Event 6 – I belong to the House of Music with recent Commonwealth short story award winning Roland Watson-Grant of Jamaica among others talking about how music influences the creative consciousness. Day 3 – Event 7 – Women of the Resistance with Barbados’ Cherie Jones and others; Event 8 – Bards and Badjohns with Jacob Ross, a Britain-based Grenadian writer, Courttia Newland, a British writer of Jamaican and Bajan descent, and others explore masculinity in the region; Event 9 – Beti, which will comb through the thread of Indo-Caribbean womanhood. (Source – BCLF email)

***

Joanne C. Hillhouse from Antigua and Barbuda was invited to participate in the Medellin International Poetry Festival, its 31st iteration, which has been going on all month, virtually, featuring writers from all over the world. Hillhouse’s panel included Ann Margaret Lim of Jamaica and Sonia Williams of Barbados.

See also AntiguanWriter. (Source – me)

***

Jamaica-based Rebel Women Lit continues its Verandah Chats on August 21st with award winning speculative fiction writer Nalo Hopkinson who has Trinidadian roots. You can join from anywhere. Get your tickets here. (Source – RWL email)

You should know about

The Montserrat Arts Council facilitating songwriting masterclasses for local artists. “Local musicians joined more than 50 participants logged on to Zoom for Writers’ Delight – A song writing masterclass. Hosted by Trinidad-born and US-based Darryl Gervais, alongside Montserrat-born and UK-based Vallis ‘Shaker HD’ Weekes, the session ran for a total of five hours. Topics covered included Song Structure, What Makes a Good Song, Writing Better Lyrics, The 7 C’s of Song Writing and much more.” Read all about it here. (Source – Just Write facebook page)

***

That the Opportunities Too page has been updated with opportunities for visual artists and writers alike, deadlines pending.

***

A series of Conversations on Intellectual Property videos have been posted to the Antigua and Barbuda Intellectual Property and Commerce Office Facebook page. Check their video page for presentations by Carol Simpson, head of the World Intellectual Property Office in the Caribbean, parliamentary secretary Senator Maureen Hyman, magistrate Conliffe Clarke, and ABIPCO registrar Ricky Comacho and staffer Colleen Roberts. Beyond that it features eight business owners and their use of intellectual property: Andrew Doumith of ACT and AllMart; Gabby Thomas of The Vanilla Orchid; Debbie Smith of The Pink Mongoose; Terryl Howell also known as Guava De Artist; Writer, trainer, and Best of Books manager, Barbara Arrindell, Monique Sylvester- Rhudd of JMVI; Patrick Joseph of Stooge Co; and Kurt Carter of QuikServe.

This image of Wadadli Pen team member Barbara Arrindell is not from the Conversations series but from a World Intellectual Property zoom event in which she served as a presenter. I have asked but I haven’t been able to find the video for sharing. Sorry. (Source – Facebook)

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.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Carib Lit Plus (Early to Mid August 2021)

Happy Emancipation Day (August 1st 1834).

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)

Philanthropy

How can you help the arts?

For one, the Bocas Lit Fest has a Friends of Bocas initiative, inviting participation from individual stakeholders (regular people). For a contribution, you get access to a whole host of exclusive activities. Our winning Wadadli Pen writer of 2021 was gifted membership access as part of his prize thanks to Bocas, in addition to workshop access to some of our other finalists. Want to get in on the action while supporting the work? Details here.

Passings

Flags are being flown at half mast after the August 9th announcement of the passing of former Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister and National Hero Lester Bird in early August. Bird who was only the country’s second prime minister after Independence, and successor to his father, often referred to as Father of the Nation and National Hero Vere Bird Sr., was also author of two books found in our literary database of books by Antiguans and Barbudans on this site: Antigua Vision – Caribbean Reality: Perspectives of Prime Minister Lester Bryant Bird and The Comeback Kid: An Autobiography of Sir Lester Bryant Bird K.N.H. with Lionel Max Hurst.

***

Milton Benjamin, veteran journalist from Antigua crossed over late in July. His passing in part inspired me to write about Antigua and Barbuda’s media culture in my first CREATIVE SPACE of August which you can read here.

***

Kassav, the Guadeloupe band whose ‘zouk-la’ had the ability to enliven any soca fete I’ve been to has lost co-founder Jacob Desvarieux, also in late July. His passing brought forth an outpouring of tributes, like this one that landed in my inbox from Karukerament.

***

Jamaican writer Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, associated with the early dub poetry movement, has also passed on the ancestral plane. The Jamaica Observer reports.

(Source – the local news I heard about locally, the others via social media)

Events

Antiguan and Barbudan author and Wadadli Pen founder-coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse will be reading at the Medellin World Poetry Festival (virtually) on Augutst 10th 2021 at 8 p.m. AST. Here’s how you can watch.

***

The Caribbean Style & Culture Awards. See site.

Accolades

ETA: The BCLF list below is of Caribbean writers resident in the Caribbean. Above is the long list of Caribbean writers resident in the Caribbean. It includes 9 writers from Trinidad and Tobago, 5 from Dominica, 5 from Jamaica, 3 from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 1 from Barbados, 1 from Puerto Rico, 1 from St. Lucia, 1 from Guyana, 1 from Grenada, and 1 (Joanne C. Hillhouse) from Antigua and Barbuda. Click images to enlarge.

The Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival’s short story competition has been one to watch. And we’re watching this incredible 2021 long list.

Congratulations to the 22 long listed writers. The wealth is spread on a list that includes 7 writers from Trinidad and Tobago, 5 from Barbados, 3 from the Dominican Republic, 2 from Jamaica, 2 from Guyana, 1 from Dominica, 1 from Puerto Rico, 1 from Haiti, 1 from St. Lucia, 1 from Sint Maarten/Saint Martin, and 1 from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. No your math isn’t wrong, you know how it is in the Caribbean – some writers are from multiple places. (Source – Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival facebook page)

***

Belated congratulations as well to St. Lucia’s Canisia Lubrin, who with The Dyzgraphxst (poetry, McClelland & Stewart) becomes the third St. Lucian to claim the main Bocas prize after Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott (White Egrets, poetry, Farrar Strauss Giroux, 2011) and Vladimir Lucien (Sounding Ground, poetry, Peepal Tree Press, 2015). Other winners of this coveted main book prize and its considerable purse have been the British Virgin Islands current Poet Laureate Richard Georges (Epiphaneia, poetry, Out Spoken Press, 2020), Jamaica’s current Poet Laureate Olive Senior (The Pain Tree, fiction, Cormorant Books, 2016) and, also of Jamaica, Kei Miller (Augustown, fiction, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2017), and Trinidad and Tobago’s Earl Lovelace (Is Just a Movie, fiction, Faber & Faber, 2012), Monique Roffey (Archipelago, fiction, Simon & Schuster, 2013), Robert Antoni – of Trinidad descent and raised in the Bahamas -(As Flies to Whatless Boys, fiction, Peepal Tree Press, 2014), Jennifer Rahim (Curfew Chronicles, fiction, Peepal Tree Press, 2018), and Kevin Adonis Browne (High Mas: Carnival and the Poetics of Caribbean Culture, non-fiction, University Press of Mississippi, 2019.

***

Canada-based Gayle Gonsalves of Antigua and Barbuda was a National Indie Excellence Awards finalist for her latest book My Stories have No Endings. (Source – the author’s social media)

Publications

Barbados’ Shakirah Bourne is now out in the world even as she works on its follow up.

***

New Anansi

The author is from Trinidad and Tobago. I haven’t been able to find more information about it, which is odd. (Source – JRLee email)

***

It occurs to me that I’ve, not by design, reviewed a number of books by Dominica’s Papillote Press – perhaps more than any other Caribbean press, because they proactively reach out with ARCs, no pressure if I can’t read the books right away. I generally have enjoyed their catalogue, what I’ve read of it and thought I’d share my reviews.

Dangerous Freedom by Lawrence Scott – currently reading
Guabancex by Celia Sorhaindo
Home Home by Lisa Allen-Agostini
The Art of White Roses by Viviana Prado-Nunez
Gone to Drift by Diana McCaulay

***

Impact Magazine dropped in May 2021 (I believe). I thought I’d mention it as it describes itself as the newest source of entertainment and lifestyle news from Antigua, the Caribbean and the world at large. (Source – N/A)

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 AmazonWordPress, 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.

Leave a comment

Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Caribbean Plus Lit News, Links We Love, Literary Gallery, The Business

A & B Artistes Discussing Art

Primarily, in this space, I’ll be sharing discussions, in Question and Answer format, of craft, and insights to not only the author/artist’s journey but the story of the arts in Antigua and Barbuda. This is a Work in Progress. The main criteria, so far, for inclusion, apart from the Q & A structure and the arts/art history focus, is that these are interviews not conducted by someone who is part of the artistes’ publishing and/or promotional team, and are interviews that are in the public sphere on a platform independent of the artistes and/or their publishing and promotional team. Beyond that, it’s what I come across and you can also link me interviews that fit the very broad stated criteria by emailing wadadipen at gmail dot com

A

Barbara Arrindell in conversation with Joanne C. Hillhouse for CREATIVE SPACE (2021)

“One of the early writings I did was a play called Dreams…Faces…Reality…and that play was actually performed over 25 times in Antigua and Barbuda… it was used as a tool to help students in the schools understand everything concerning HIV/AIDS.” – Barbara Arrindell with ABS TV (2020)

“Nellie Robinson, Dame Nellie Robinson is listed somewhere in our history as being the first chairperson of the artists association of Antigua and Barbuda, but so is a lady named Elizabeth Pickney…back in 17something… I found one in the 18th century too… we’ve had an artists association here many times and it’s been so far apart that each person thinks of themselves as the first chairperson of… in terms of history, there’s a book called A Brief History of Antigua written by Brian Dyde. Brian Dyde wrote brief histories for about four or five islands around the Caribbean, if it was five, four of them are still in print, guess which one is not in print, the other four were taken on and used in the school systems in the other islands, guess which one they couldn’t even sell one print run for…?” – Barbara Arrindell in conversation with Dorbrene O’Marde, Heather Doram, and Joanne C. Hillhouse on Observer Radio (2017). Read a transcription of the (2017) interview or listen to the interview.

“I don’t really have a routine, I just take advantage of times when I don’t have anything to distract me, when I can get stuck into writing for as long as I want. I like to write with my feet cocked up on a comfortable sofa, and a good view in front of me. We have a small apartment in the old walled city of San Juan, Puerto Rico, which looks out onto a plaza with trees, a few birds singing, passing salsa music, and sounds of people chatting and relaxing. That’s my spot. When I am researching, of course, it’s different: if I’m not working online on the above-mentioned sofa, I’m usually sitting at a table in a research library somewhere in the Caribbean, or in Cornwall.” –  Sue Appleby, author of The Cornish in the Caribbean (2019) 

“If I was to specify what path I’m on and what matters to me the most I think it would be inspiring people…I have a reservoir of information that I could then pass on.”

Sonalli Andrews, graphic designer in conversation with Joanne C. Hillhouse for her column CREATIVE SPACE (2020)

“At the time we did not know we were doing pioneering work in film. There was no pressure to get everything right. It was only after we began doing the film festival circuit did we learned it was not only the first indigenous feature film for Antigua and Barbuda but in fact the Eastern Caribbean. Some intellectuals thought our first film should have had more ‘grit’ dealing with social issues.” – Mitzi Allen in discussion with Karukerament about The Sweetest Mango, written by D. Gisele Isaac, directed by Howard Allen, with Allen as producer and Joanne C. Hillhouse as associate producer. The Sweetest Mango was Antigua and Barbuda’s first feature length film. 2020.

‘I was literally born into the theatre. My parents met each other through the Antiguan drama company “Harambee Open Air Theatre”… and since then they have both always nurtured the love and appreciation for the arts, exposing me to varying types of performances, including visiting ensembles to the island, and performances whenever I traveled. I remember my father taking me to see Cats on Broadway at a young age…it was exciting, and just cemented the fact that that was what I wanted to do with my life … perform and create productions that would make people feel the way I felt as a child sitting in that theatre. My mom then enrolled me in a drama programme called Child’s Play, under renowned Jamaican dramatist and storyteller Amina Blackwood-Meeks.’ – Zahra Airall talking to The Uncaged Phoenix (2018)

Glenroy Aaron participating in a virtual roundtable chaired by issue guest editor Joanne C. Hillhouse on Tongues of the Ocean along with Heather Doram, Emile Hill, Mark Brown, and the now late X-Saphair King (October 2014): “To be honest, I have learned a lot more about the Antiguan aesthetic from this conversation than from my years of observing art in Antigua. I say this because there is so little indigenous Antiguan art to observe, and historic recording of it is also quiet faint. My art is basically an attempt to capture the beauty around me and the moments in which they occur. My techniques and methods continue to evolve as exploring New continues to excite. Forays outside my comfort zone to explore deeper emotions have produced interesting results; with some apprehension as to the commercial viability of such ventures. The balance between creativity and viability is tricky but can be done, as others have found ways to make it work. Themes and scenes indigenous to an artist’s place of birth will ultimately make its way onto an artist’s canvas but considering the fusion of influences and cultures that have existed on the islands for some time now, an Antiguan aesthetic may be a bit difficult to define. Further, holding that many view art as a visual expression of the artist’s thoughts and emotions, we can appreciate that some of these ideas and emotions may not be “local” in scope.” Read in full.

B

“When I climbed down into the landing craft, my sketchbook was out, I was sketching men climbing down the ladder. And when we were on the beach I was drawing the men in the foxholes.” – Ashley Bryan talking about being an artist while doing active duty during World War II on The Story on American Public Media. 2013.

“When I was growing up there was the WPA…a programme the government set up for free schools in art and music for all the communities throughout the United States and my parents with six children…sent us all out to the free classes, so we were all painting and drawing and playing the piano… I was not able to get a scholarship (to art school) because they said it would be a waste to give a scholarship to a black person.” – Ashley Bryan talking to BBC Sounds about his early development as an artist.

Tammi Browne Bannister talking to David DaCosta (December 28th 2016):
“When I was little, I loved reading Aesop’s Fables and was attracted to the humor, the lessons, and the tragedies and of course the way these tales made me think about the characters long after reading. I’ve written a few.” Full interview.

“It took coming here to see that my voice was a voice that needed to be heard.” – Brenda Lee Browne, Real Talk with Janice Sutherland at Phenomenal Woman. 2018.

Mark Brown participating in a virtual roundtable chaired by issue guest editor Joanne C. Hillhouse on Tongues of the Ocean along with Heather Doram, Emile Hill, Glenroy Aaron, and the now late X-Saphair King (October 2014): “I view art making as a human activity which cannot be defined as mine or yours, and this is based on the type of work which I engage in. My work, in my mind, is about responding to stimuli, that act of engaging with my feelings about my environment, religion, identity, sexuality, all of which most, if not every human being faces at some point in life. As a result, for me Antiguan Art, like Art elsewhere, is individual voices singing their own tune. Of course we may use objects specific to our culture [that have] distinct meaning but many times these same objects may have a different name in another culture and [be] used in different contexts, but then it is also specific then to that locale. How else do we explain lending your voice in paint or any other medium to a specific issue in a way that you deem visceral and then later on somewhere else, Google for instance, you discover another artist on the opposite side of the globe exploring the very same idea in very similar ways. To me it is just the act of discovering, in visual format, that which is buried deep within with the ultimate aim of finding out the real reason for my being “here” and at this time.” Read the full discussion here.

Mark Brown (2015) on Popreel, Swedish TV: “The main aim of the Angel in Crisis series was to bring a sort of humanness to people like her (the nun), priests, people who have to bear that burden of conforming to what society expects of them.” Interview begins at 7:35.

Jazzie B. talking with Chris Williams for Wax Poetics (May 14th 2014): “’Keep On Movin’ actually came about lyrically because we were at the Africa Center in Covent Gardens, and we were being put under a lot of pressure by the police. It was due to the fact that other clubs in the area were empty and ours kept being full. Every so often, we would get the squeeze put on us. At one particular moment, they threatened to close us down. The whole concept of this song came from there.” Full interview.

C

A CREATIVE SPACE discussion on the domestic book market looks at which books are selling well and why.

D

“In my current creative phase, I feel so invigorated, so inspired, so playful, and so expressive. As both an artist and a woman, I am exploring new spaces, taking on new challenges, transcending my past, and shaping my future.” – Heather Doram (2020 interview with findyello.com)

Heather Doram on Observer Radio in a discussion which also included Joanne C. Hillhouse, Barbara Arrindell, and Dorbrene O’Marde (October 2017): “My feeling is that I have lived under several administrations and I really do not get the feeling that there is that widespread support for the visual and performing arts…you just use them when you need them…we do not even have a national gallery in Antigua and Barbuda so we the artists are there producing work in sort of isolation. I’ve seen it in many other countries where the national gallery would commission work; this sort of spurs the whole generation and activity of work and then the artists start to feel that sense of involvement and that their art work can actually support them…the same thing I’m sure applies to the literary artist…something like the cultural development division should be that nexus of that sort of leadership, this is where the cradle is…I would really like to see more support for the arts generally.” Read a transcription of the (2017) interview or listen to the interview.

Heather Doram participating in a virtual roundtable chaired by issue guest editor Joanne C. Hillhouse on Tongues of the Ocean along with Mark Brown, Emile Hill, Glenroy Aaron, and the now late X-Saphair King (October 2014): “They were reactive and passionate. They were not satisfied with the realistic interpretation of the Antiguan landscape. They wanted to push boundaries, they wanted to produce work with the visual language of engagement with their audience. Many of their works responded to and explored social, political, gender issues and self. The younger generation sought to explore their roles as messengers in their visual language. I think artists like Mark [Brown], Emile [Hill], and Zavian [Archibald] can be included in this group. They are much more open to expressing themselves and exploring a range of media and techniques in their work.” Read the full discussion here.

E

“Art is not just a commercial transaction. When an artist shows you their work, they’re showing you their soul, their heart, and what’s important to them.” – Debbie Eckert on Sweden’s Popreel (2018) – beginning roughly at 4:30

F

Cray Francis talking with Good Morning Antigua Barbuda (April 5th 2016):
“I felt like I had to write my own stories.”

G

“It’s always a burning passion but it’s not a fruitful burning passion. You do the arts cause you love it and you have something you want to say.” – Gayle Gonsalves (2020) on ABS TV

“I’m a Caribbean poet foremost, I was not born in the BVI. I was born in Trinidad to a BVIslander father and a Trinidadian mother. His mother is Antiguan, her mother is Grenadian. He grew up in Guyana, and I grew up in the BVI. Because of that chain of connections, I think that the vibrations that drive my work are deep in the currents of this sea, those currents that touch each island – I would invoke that famous image of Brathwaite’s from ‘Calypso’, ‘the stone had skidded arc’d and bloomed into islands’.” – Richard Georges in Pree. 2018.

“As far as my poetic horizons go, I try to let the tides tug me along, and trust that they will take me where I’m meant to go. I thought I’d write a book of poems and then move on to spend some time experimenting with fiction, but poems seem to keep coming. I think I have to trust that.” – Richard Georges in Caribbean Beat. 2017.

Linisa George reads and talks about ‘In the Closet’, which was the Antigua and Barbuda Poetry Postcard  for the UK series featuring works from the Commonwealth in time for the 2012 Commonwealth Games. “I’ve always been a poet…” she says, then explains the journey toward stepping in to that power. Link.

H

“Even the idea of taking on an internship as a writer, because he’s an aspiring writer, is a luxury…you have to be able to support yourself in order to do an internship that can help you figure out this writing thing sometimes; so all of the things you need to feed the life that will allow you to do the creative thing is sometimes the biggest challenge.” – Joanne C. Hillhouse on taking on her first personal intern; just one of the things discussed in this conversation with Diaspora Kids Lit

Joanne C. Hillhouse in conversation with Haitian-American writer M J Fievre for her Badass Black Girl vlog: “I do write from a specific place…it doesn’t matter if I’m writing speculatively or not, there is something that grounds me… my writing is grounded very much in real life Antigua, even when I’m writing fantasy.”

Joanne C. Hillhouse in conversation with Andy Caul of ACalabash: “To write those kids in Musical Youth, I reached back to my own teen-hood when I had my group of friends and I used to play the guitar. I used to go to guitar lessons, to play guitar in the choir. We went to fetes, Carnival, talent shows, walk-a-thons, the beach, we walked from school together. We had our clique. We had shared experiences. And I know in the reviews, they particularly commented on the Black joy in Musical Youth. And I appreciated that because that, in a way, was a joyful existence. The thing that people misunderstand about Caribbean life and Caribbean people is that while it can be very hard, marked by poverty and other things, it’s not just that. It is just life. It is love and laughter and we have some of the most inappropriate sense of humor when it comes to some of the darkness and the things that we joke about and the things that we find funny. So, yes, there’s poverty. Yes, there is political victimization. Yes, there is all the narratives but there’s also friendship, laughter, fun, music and all that stuff. I did not feel like I was writing against anything. It felt like I was just writing what was true.”

“I wanted her to be blacker, I wanted her to be on the dark-skinned side of the spectrum and I wanted her to be natural, have natural (hair) …because part of it for me …in the world of children’s picture books we don’t see enough people at the darker end of the spectrum, especially as characters that children can feel affection for and love and recognize themselves in.”

Joanne C. Hillhouse in conversation with Trinidad writer-artist Danielle Boodoo Fortune in a World Book Day chat that involved audience questions.

“The Boy from Willow Bend is by any measure growing up in abject poverty and in an abusive situation, and yet there is laughter and yet there is love and yet there is hope and yet there is dreaming and fancifulness because that is life. Life is not just one thing. It’s a myriad of things, and so that’s what I try to capture of this young boy coming of age in Antigua in this particular time.” Joanne C. Hillhouse is the first National Public Library Author of the Month in January 2021

“For me they were people first and, of course, I had to research just how the world of the underwater would move, what I would need to know about arctic seals, what I would need to know about jellyfish, what I would need to know about sea turtles. So there was a lot of research in that regard. But in terms of the voices of the characters, they were children. They wanted to play and explore the ship, and, of course, Dolphin the Arctic Seal wants to get back home so he can tell his own adventuring grandmother about his own Caribbean sea adventure.” Joanne C. Hillhouse in 2020 self-made video on her own platform but with audience submitted questions for the #Catapultartsgrant (specifically a Catapult Caribbean Creative Arts Online grant). She answered questions submitted via social media about story, craft, theme in Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure and all her books

“Songs are universal and you don’t even have to know the lyrics sometimes to feel it.”  –  Joanne C. Hillhouse discussing Musical Youth with gender advocacy group Intersect (2020)

“The first storytellers I knew were the calypso writers the Shelly Tobitts of the world,these were the people that taught me how to tell a story and how to tell Antiguan stories in particular.” – Joanne C. Hillhouse, ABS TV (2020)

Joanne C. Hillhouse interview on Caribbean Literary Heritage (June 2018): “Honestly, the first thing that flashed in to my mind is Antiguan and Barbudan calypso and Paul Keens Douglas – especially Tanty and Slim at the Oval – on the radio. Neither of which qualify as reading but which were foundational to my introduction to Caribbean literature. It’s there in Antigua and Barbuda’s King Obstinate’s Wet You Hand – a song which was fun and funny to me as a children and which I’ve used as an example of scene building and character description in my workshops, or in the way he knits the story of Anansi stealing the birds’ feathers into another of his songs – songs that did what Calypso did which was be bold-faced and satirical and reflective of our lives and our truth (especially the truths we didn’t dare speak) while bearing our unique brand of humour and matter of factness about life’s tragedies. It’s there in the writings of Shelly Tobitt – named for Romantic era poet Percy Bysshe Shelley; though I wouldn’t see the connection until college. A romantic idealist in his own right, or so his lyrics would suggest, as a child Shelly, the calypso writer and frequent collaborator of Antigua and Barbuda’s best calypsonian and inarguably one of the best the region has ever produced the Monarch King Short Shirt (who Dorbrene O’Marde writes about in his Bocas longlisted biography Nobody Go Run Me), was to me a poet who used the frustrations of the people to comment on economic, social, and political issues in a way that was deeply and enduringly philosophical, with melodies that captivated. So, the calypsonians and the oral tradition (including the jumbie stories) would have been my first reading of Caribbean writing.” Full interview.

“When Heather was culture director…I remember her starting a national collection where she commissioned pieces featuring Antiguan and Barbudan icons…what has become of that? What has been the continuity with respect to that national collection?… things like that, like you can have someone with a good idea start something… but there was no continuity, so if there’s no continuity it’s like you’re starting from scratch every time someone gets fired up and passionate about something so that’s the whole point…if you have that continuity then this person’s efforts will connect with that person’s efforts and we’ll have progression instead of starting from scratch every time…one of the things I do on the Wadadli Pen website is I have a project where I record the books that are put out and the plays and the songs that are put out by Antiguan and Barbudan creatives and there’s no shortage of stuff in the last 10 or so years, there’s a lot of people just feeling inspired and doing their own thing… there is stuff happening independently by artistes who feel inspired and creative but not by any system that’s giving them foundation or supporting their efforts.” – Joanne C. Hillhouse in conversation with Heather Doram, Dorbrene O’Marde, and Barbara Arrindell on Observer Radio (2017). Read a transcription of the (2017) interview or listen to the interview.

Joanne C. Hillhouse talking to The Culture Trip (July 2017): “in The Boy from Willow Bend, Vere’s mother leaves Antigua for better economic and personal opportunities in the U.S., and Vere himself leaves at the end; in Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Selena and her sisters move to Antigua from the Dominican Republic for better opportunities, and at some point one of the sisters moves away from there as well; in the story, ‘The Other Daughter’, the title character moves to the US for educational purposes. I don’t know if it holds significance to me (there are many stories in which people don’t leave) so much as being a reflection of the reality that movement is a part of the Caribbean existence—whether it’s to seek higher education, economic opportunities, or a different kind of life—the Caribbean diaspora (i.e. the number of Caribbean people no longer resident in here or in the Caribbean country of their birth) is significant. We are a region of small islands with intelligent and talented people, sometimes the desired opportunities to recognize our full potential or even the cover needed to brave the economic storms stirred up in bigger places isn’t there. So, it’s just a reflection of the reality, I think (but just one part of the reality that I write).” Full interview.

Joanne C. Hillhouse in the Meet the Writer series at Grab Life by the Lapels: “I just enjoy experimenting within the story writing form, short and long. Much of what I write is character driven and distinctively Caribbean with (I like to believe) universal resonance – because I do believe the stories that are about the human condition can cross over without having to be diluted.” Full interview. 2016.

Joanne Hillhouse in conversation with book blogger Geosi Gyasi (2015): “I don’t think about it like that. I just tell the story. Sometimes the protagonist is a child, sometimes a teen, sometimes an adult, sometimes an old person, sometimes a jelly fish named Coral. The writing is always character first, not audience. During the editing process that’s when I’m challenged, often by the assigned editor, to think about things like can the target age group for this picture book understand abstract thinking, do I maybe need to be more literal, more detailed, more specific, provide clearer resolution, like that.” Read the full interview.

Joanne C. Hillhouse on Popreel, Swedish TV (2015): “The characters come to me; they don’t always reveal their stories fully, so for me writing is a journey of discovery. I can’t always see where it’s going but I’m kind of wandering my way through it and trying to figure out what is it all about.” Interview starts here at 8:50.

“When I was growing up, I didn’t know any writers from here, from Antigua, until I discovered Annie John, Jamaica Kincaid; the writers from here that I knew, and I have great respect for them, were the calypso writers, people like Shelly Tobitt and Marcus Christopher, because when I was coming up, calypso was the literature that I would hear that had some relevance to my community, the other literature that we read was mostly from America or from Britain. So it was a while before I could wrap my mind around this idea that this was what I was called to do.” – Joanne C. Hillhouse (2015) on Bookworm, Swedish radio 

Joanne C. Hillhouse talking to M. J. Fievre at the Whimsical Project (November 21st 2014): “Calypso, the calypso at that time, sang the things people were afraid to say and reflected the concerns and reality of the folk, authentically, in their voice, in a way that stirred spirits. I think there’s a part of me that strives for that in my writing.” Full interview.

Joanne C. Hillhouse talking to Commonwealthwriters.org (2014): “I use a lot of detail, a lot of specificity in rendering the world, and I write from a very character-driven place – Who are they? What do they want? What is their truth (don’t compromise on telling their truth)? Why should we care?” Full interview.

Joanne C. Hillhouse is interviewed by Jamaican publisher-writer for Susumba (2013): “Honestly, I think it comes down to the material. I see publishing as the end game not the first step. Develop your craft, read a lot, experience life, write; these are more important. And when you’re ready do your research… take your shot, and don’t give up.” Full interview.

Emile Hill participating in a virtual roundtable chaired by issue guest editor Joanne C. Hillhouse on Tongues of the Ocean along with Heather Doram, Mark Brown, Glenroy Aaron, and the now late X-Saphair King (October 2014): ‘Ok so I’m a bit of a texter (cell phone, social media etc.) and on more than one occasion I’ve found myself engaged in several conversations, all completely different subject matter and all requiring a different “Emile” to deal with each of them. And I think, in this day and age, this happens to most persons at some point in time. The series I’m working on presently deals with the “multi-sidedness” of human interaction and relationships. It’s caused me to ask myself some questions, looking at whether this is a means of masking the true self and why? Is Survival a reason? What makes us accommodate each other so, switching faces? Is the face we see real, fake (and sometimes, does it even matter)? With regards to the Antiguan and Barbudan aesthetic, I think that every artist’s contribution is one that continues to make up the grand tapestry of who we are and so I think it fits simply as a local artist’s perspective on things… another thread in the tapestry.’ Read in Full.

73297806_1482817935189902_5047018221308215296_n“I wanted to bring the element of sound to my piece. If you saw my design in a room (by itself), I wanted you to hear the waves crashing on the shores…that’s why I did the ruffles on the bottom (and the peplum at the waist).” – Nicoya Henry, winner of the 2019 A & B Independence fashion competition, interviewed for CREATIVE SPACE

I

‘Fortunately, I have had the opportunity to tell other types of stories. For HaMa Films I wrote “No Seed”, which is a political drama (set on the fictional island of St. Mark) that mirrors the political reality of Antigua & Barbuda. It shows the dark side of “paradise,” where money, greed, manipulation, self- interest, and even murder are played out. I have also written “Considering Venus”, the story of a relationship between two women – one gay, the other straight – that is set in New York and Antigua. It acknowledges what was taboo (in 1998): not only same-sex love but same-sex love among Caribbean people. It speaks to how the relationship affects the families of each woman and what people are prepared to sacrifice – or embrace – to find emotional fulfillment. It is my absolute best work!’ – D. Gisele Isaac being interviewed by the Karukerament website about writing The Sweetest Mango, one of two films produced by HaMa Films Antigua, which she wrote, the other being No Seed – Antigua and Barbuda’s first and second feature length films. 2020.

“No it was not difficult getting started because I was always writing” – D. Gisele Isaac on ABS TV. 2020. Full interview below.

J

Foster Joseph, jazz vocalist and musician, in conversation with Joanne C. Hillhouse for CREATIVE SPACE

Clifton Joseph talking with Andy Williams: ‘…the first person to really encourage me into the writing/performing arts was an older man in my village of New Winthropes in Antigua, Mr. Murray, probably, visually, the most black, blackest person in “Blizzard” as we called our home on the northern coast of the island. I think I was around ten years old and in addition to singing the Antiguan calypso songs we heard on the radio, Mr. Murray would actually pay me a penny, or sometimes two-pence (we were still using the British colonial currency at the time) to make up my own “calypso” verses. The only snippet I remember from then are three lines: “in January they called me clinky, then in February they start to call me sebassie, and in June they start to call my cousin boone”…I have to give Mr. Murray maximum props for sparking that early interest in writing and performing.’ Full interview.

Clifton Joseph talking with Ian Ferrier (2007): “Hip Hop, Dub Poetry, Dancehall, Reggae all sort of come out of the same African inspired, Caribbean, American, emphasis on words, rhythm, repetition; all of those things pull from the same pool of stylistic influences.”

TamekaJ

Tameka Jarvis-George interviewed about her comic series August by Jump magazine: “I wrote to escape everything I didn’t like and anything that made me uncomfortable. I love my fictitious world.” Full interview. 2018.

K

Shabier Kirchner’s Love Letter to Antigua, an interview with Penelope Bartlett on Criterion Collection: “We are very proud people and yet we are so underrepresented on-screen by ourselves. I think Ousmane Sembène said it best: If we continue consuming images solely from abroad, and telling the stories of other people or absorbing others’ perspective of us, we will eventually lose our identity—and I truly believe that. The Caribbean is my home. Our people are the most interesting to me, and I just want to share the truth of who we are through local eyes.” Full interview. 2020.

Shabier Kirchner talking to Caribbean Beat magazine about his film Dadli: “While I was shooting this test footage, there was no agenda. I wasn’t looking for a main character. We weren’t recording sound, so there weren’t any interviews. I was just walking around shooting things that were interesting. It wasn’t until many months later that we realised there was this boy who kept appearing in the footage. So Tiquan became the force behind the narrative. After we had an idea of what we wanted the film to be, we tracked him down and interviewed him.” Full interview. 2019.

(Shabier) Kirchner: That’s Antigua’s old sugar factory. It’s been abandoned for many years; I used to go there as a kid. It was like Tarkovsky’s Stalker. You could completely lose yourself there, let the imagination would run wild. I always loved that place. Visually, I’ve been shooting it for years, and I knew I had to shoot it on 16. It’s a coincidence that Tiquan was talking about running away from home and finding a place where he could just let loose. It wasn’t that specific place for him, but I’m assuming it was similar. What he described was what the sugar factory was for me.” Full interview. 2018.

JamaicaJamaica Kincaid talking with the BBC (in an interview which also included Jacob Ross and Claire Adam, 2018): “I didn’t know I wanted to tell stories. I knew I wanted to write and I thought I wanted to write about my mother and me, and a lot of my writing is about mother and daughter. But really I could early on see before any critic, I may have pointed it out to critics, that I was really writing about imbalance of power. And the mother country and the domestic mother is quite intertwined. If you really give a cursory and then thoroughly investigation into colonialism, you will see how much the colonial world has to do with the domestic and the domestic is almost always the female domain.” Full programme.

Jamaica Kincaid talking with Mother Jones (January/February 2013): ‘I think I was trying to understand how, short of an accident—you know, you pick up the phone, he says, “Your mother is dead. Her car. The Earth fell”—I never expected the everyday to suddenly become an accident. Suddenly you go downstairs and the pine floor is a gravel pit. I was trying to understand how the everyday suddenly becomes the unexpected.’ Full interview.

L

Natasha Lightfoot talking with Renee Goldthree for Black Perspectives (April 4th 2016): “In the UWI archives, there was an almanac for the West Indies in the nineteenth century, and it contained an entry in the year 1858 for Antigua. The entry mentioned that there had been a riot and that the island’s jails were completely full, but it also claimed that the riot was nothing of any political significance. The entry suggested that the rioters were basically rabble in the streets causing trouble—and not at all political. That entry raised my antenna so to speak. I thought that the way the entry was written was a sign that whatever had occurred was very political: there had been a riot in the streets for several days and the jails were full of rioters. I wanted to figure out what happened and why.” Full interview.

JoyLapps1Joy Lapps talking with Joanne C. Hillhouse (December 2nd 2012): “I think that my strengths lie in composition and writing lyrics for music composed by others and by myself. My inspiration comes from my lived experience and some things I read about or see on the news, my spirituality and love of God, falling in love with my husband, the everyday challenges of life…etc.” Full interview.

N

JWyze
Jelani ‘J-Wyze’ Nias, author of Where Eagles Crawl and Men Fly, talking about following his path to publication: “The biggest wall I encountered, not that there weren’t others, but the biggest was my own fear. And once you get through that fear/feeling of will people understand this, will people accept this, are people gonna see my vision, once you go through that then everything else tends to be a lot more easy to deal with.”  – Watch the video.

O

Dorbrene O’Marde in conversation with Heather Doram, Joanne C. Hillhouse, and Barbara Arindell on Observer radio’s Big Issues (2017): “We’re definitely not doing enough…you talk to groups today and mention Tim Hector …in schools, the name is not know; what he does has not been heralded…my interactions with young people…points to this particular void…history clearly is the subject of interest here, that we know who we are…the decisions about where we’re going will be made on the basis of that knowledge…if you understand the history of how we came to own these lands…then we wouldn’t behave the way we’re behaving, for example, with our land…” Read a transcription of the (2017) interview or listen to the interview.

Dorbrene O’Marde talking with Judd Batchelor at Batchelor of Arts Theatre Online (2016): “And one of the comments I made -which seemed to rattle some of the young writers, was the total absence of socio political concerns in this region, at this particular point in time when there is so much need for concern and there is so much need for understanding the post-colonial independence bind that we find ourselves in, that our leaders find themselves in that we as persons trying to inform leadership have not really clarified for ourselves. And my view of the role of the artist is to help in that clarification.” Full interview.

P

Rupert Littleman Pelle, final interview, with the Cultural Development Division Research Department (2021): “I never believe I write a good song until I hear somebody criticize it. If I write a song and we can’t sit down in a group and discuss the song, and add and subtract, something wrong with the song, something definitely have to wrong with the song. And you can’t just change a line in a song like that. You write a song and somebody take it and they change a line can destroy the whole song. Because you na know what is leading up to the second verse or the third verse that have to do with the line in the first verse that you interfere with.”

Althea Prince talks about her research and her writing with A Different Booklist bookstore in Canada: “We need to hear from women about their experiences, their creative journeys, so The Black Notes brought together older and younger women. The contributors include some young girls who are just reaching the age of maturity. The book seeks to bring together the two generations. We have then the viewpoint – not a complete cross-section of those, but as far as I was able – of those women and girls from the African-Canadian community. So the same objectives: the same business of giving equity, giving voice, allowing space for these voices to express their creativity. Some of it is non-fiction, some of it is fiction and some of it is poetry.”

Rowan Ricardo Philips talking with Deadspin about his tennis themed book The Circuit: a Tennis Odyssey: “Carribeans love racket sports. My dad played a lot, so I started out going to his matches and serving as a terrible ballboy. The only thing we watched as a family on television was tennis, Breakfast at Wimbledon was big in my house. I had forgotten about those days, but I am fond of them. I never would’ve written the book without it. Here’s a good example: My dad rarely calls with breaking news, but one day he rang me up and said, ‘Turn on the TV, there’s a tennis poem being read on the air.’ It was Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated encapsulating his time at one of the big tournaments. Dad wanted to make sure I saw my personal Venn Diagram becoming one circle.” 2019.

R

Paul ‘King Obstinate’ Richards: “We’re prophets; a lot of things we write about comes true.” (King Obstinate on calypso, September 2013)

S

“…my little house is my own piece of paradise and it’s very conducive to creativity because it’s so peaceful and quiet. Singles’ Holiday and Sweet Lady are set on the island, and I’ve also developed a writing career over there. I wrote a TV series called Paradise View, which was shown on Antigua TV. When I last left the island, the people at the check-in desk were asking when they would get to see more. I’m now working on another show called Maisie and Em, which I describe as Golden Girls set in the Caribbean.” – UK writer Elaine Spires who made Antigua a home away from home speaking to Write’s Editing Services on the impact of island living on her writing

“They were great times – with the most amazing, talented, creative, strong, wonderful women. Their writing and innovative theatre pieces were daring and searingly truthful and just blew me away. I was honoured to be asked by Zahra Airall one of the founder members of Women of Antigua to write a piece for their show When A Woman Moans. I wrote the first Maisie and Em sketch which I performed as Em with my great pal Heather Doram taking the role of Maisie. Heather is an internationally famous artist and actress who has since become a TV host. The sketch brought the house down which was rewarding and humbling and so I was invited to write for them again the following year. It was a thrill and honour to be a part of it.” – Elaine Spires speaking with The Publish Hub

“One of our goals was to have the Cultural Division of Government fully support this organization and work alongside us and our artists. A fraction of that goal has been achieved as the Festivals Division recently came on board to sponsor our signature event, The Ink Project.” – Spilling Ink, for CREATIVE SPACE. 2020.

T

“What I’d like to see really is, to be honest, is not just for Halcyon but steelband in general, especially at Carnival time apart from panorama, the bands, they not that important. …You know before time steelband used to dominate the road and be an integral part of the whole Carnival thing. Now apart from panorama, after panorama, nobody waan here no pan again. …steelband will have to move to a next level, they will have to amplify the bands an’ dem.” – George ‘Scenty’ Thomas, former captain of Halcyon Steel Orchestra, on the occasion of the Grays Green band’s 50th anniversary, 2021

W

Amber Williams-King talking to the Toronto Arts Foundation: “The reality is that the voices, experiences and identities of those who are not a part of the dominant culture are often erased and disappeared away. As a Black femme who grapples with suicidal ideation, disability and the medical industrial complex, imagining myself in the future has, at times, been almost impossible. Art offered me the space to name these parts of myself, connect with others, and help build a world that does not thrive on the absolute destruction of me and my people.”

PHOTO credits: Pictures of Joanne C. Hillhouse and Joy Lapps are from the 2011 event Telling our Stories at the University of Toronto – event photo; of Tameka Jarvis George is from the 2006 Wadadli Pen/Museum literary showcase Word Up! – event photo/Laura Hall; of Jamaica Kincaid is from the 2014 University of the Virgin Islands literary festival – event photo; of Jelani Nias is a screen grab from a televised interview.

As with all content on Wadadli Pen, except otherwise noted, this is written by Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, Fish Outta Water, and With Grace). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out http://jhohadli.wordpress.com Please note that, except otherwise noted, images on this site also need to be cleared if you wish to use them for any purpose. Thanks.

Leave a comment

Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, A & B WRITINGS, Caribbean Plus Lit News, Links We Love, Literary Gallery, The Business

Author Spotlight: Gayle Gonsalves

Gayle Gonsalves.

Gayle Gonsalves.

 

Author’s Bio:           

Gayle Gonsalves’ stories have appeared in The Bluelight Corner, In the Black and So the Nailhead Bend, So the Story End. Painting Pictures and Other Storiesis her debut book, featuring eight short stories.

In the past, she had a column on female issues at the Guyana Chronicle; she was the editor at Caribarena and a judge at the Annual Independence Literary Festival. Gayle has a Bachelor of Arts degree from York University in Toronto, Canada, where she lives and writes.

51Gjsm2PZbL._SL500_AA300_ (2)

Book Synopsis:

Painting Pictures and Other Stories features eight stories of discovery, betrayal, and passion. The book depicts the emotional turmoil that results from decisions: a little girl who migrates to Canada on a hot August day is flabbergasted to discover there’s no snow; a graphic designer leaves her husband each morning to meet her lover; an inconsolable heartbreak leads a woman to the brink of sanity as she desperately wanders city streets seeking answers in dark places; a young woman gives a touching eulogy to the woman who raised her; a wife is torn between her love for her husband and his brother; a college graduate moves across the country to keep a secret and recover from the lover who abandoned her, only to meet him again; a young woman experiences the joy of first love, its passionate awakening, and the moment when it’s questioned; and three women bond while shopping for dresses for their fictional weddings.

Note About the Book:

In her own words: “This book features a variety of stories that I wrote over a long time span. Clarissa’s Letter is the first story I wrote, albeit it slightly resembles its original form but the thread and the theme are there. My first published story was Tamarind Stew, and it holds a very special place for me because it solidified my dream of being a writer, and it was truly gratifying to see my work in print. Then there were years when I didn’t write and upon my return to creative writing, I re-found my voice, with a more mature sound, and in new stories. They came to life in several pieces in the book such as Painting Pictures and A Good Woman.

“One of my creative writing teachers once said, ‘writers write to be read,’ and I found the publication of this book brought those words back to life.”

 

Other Publications:

Short Story Publications: Tamarind Stew in The Bluelight Corner edited by Rosemarie Robotham, 1998

A Good Woman in In the Black, edited by Althea Prince, 2012

Jumbies Don’t Sleep in So the Nailhead Bend, So the Story End, edited by Althea Prince, 2013

Gayle reading at the launch of So the Nailhead Bend, So the Story End in Canada.

Gayle reading at the launch of So the Nailhead Bend, So the Story End in Canada.

Books:

Painting Pictures and Other Stories, 2014

 

An Antigua launch of Painting Pictures is expected to take place at the Best of Books in late June on the evening of July 5th 2014.

Read Gayle’s guest blog at my personal writing site, Jhohadli.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

In the Black – after the launch

In the Black is a late 2012 collection out of Canada. It launched recently, twice. As part of publisher Insomniac’s Fall release and during a special community launch at A Different Booklist.

I’m reading it right now and I’m liking it, but as one of my stories ‘Man of her Dreams’ is in it, I’m not technically an unbiased source. But so far I’m really liking a little something about almost everything. I’ll share my faves in Blogger on Books when I’m done. I did find one solitary reader review which declared it “a diverse” collection with “a good selection”. Said reader review singled out poems by Dwayne Morgan (“very to the point”) and George Elliot Clarke (“very powerful and vivid”) for special mention. I know it’s only one fan but I was tickled to see that she mentioned my story as well and Althea Prince’s Push (for both the language and emotions) though, full disclosure, my niece during a reading exercise using the book picked Motion’s lovely Locks and Love over mine. The point is that as you read you’ll find your own personal favourites, whether you like your fiction with a little or a lot of drama, comedy, romance, sadness, joy, or something else; whether you like your poetry old school or new, traditional or dub or inflected with the rhythm of hip hop. Point is with In the Black, Althea Prince continues to be one of Antigua and Barbuda’s most prolific while at the same time putting out material that says something, that means something. Check earlier works like Being Black, Feminisms and Womanisms,  Ladies of the Night, Loving this Man, and the Politics of Black Women’s Hair (see my thoughts on some of these in the first Blogger on Books). The same week as the launch, she was part of an elite group of writers receiving the Caribbean Canadian literary awards – others were Earl Lovelace, Olive Senior, Ramabai Espinet, Nalo Hopkinson, Dwayne Morgan, Jody Nyasha Warner, and another Antiguan Dr. Carl James.

Althea’s always in good company.

She’s also got a serious network of quality African Canadian writers whom she managed to tap for her freshly pressed collection.

Some, like Catherine Bain, George Elliott Clarke (described as a pioneering scholar for works like Directions Home: Approaches to African Canadian Literature and the poetry collection Blue),

and Dwayne Morgan were new discoveries for me; others like

Clifton Joseph (whose work I’ve previously shared with you here)

and Motion were familiar favourites – and no less enjoyable because of it.

From Gayle Gonsalves to Mansa Trotman to Djanet Sears to Jelani J’Wyze Nias, it’s so far proving to be an interesting (and fun) read.

The writers have represented:

Do you have your copy?

Be sure to save some dollars for another forthcoming collection from Prince, this one featuring new Antiguan writing. That too should be launched before the end of the year.

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, 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.

Leave a comment

Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, Caribbean Plus Lit News, Literary Gallery