Tag Archives: Grace Nichols

Reading Room and Gallery 34

Here I share things I like that I think you might like too. But not just anything. Things related to the arts – from the art itself to closer examination of the art to the making of the art…like that. There have been 33 installments in this series before – use the search window to the right to find them; and there’ll be more additions to this installment before it too is closed – so come back.

MISC.

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Keanu Reeves: Reading From Paul Gauguin’s ‘Noa Noa’

REPORT

“I didn’t know much about publishing, so I reached out to several local writers who had been published but didn’t get much response. It was only when Rosalind Carrington replied that I was able to gain some traction. She would introduce me to Sharon Miller and these two women were the only ones who gave me the time of day. So many people just didn’t even respond! So I am grateful, everyday, that they did,” she details. In the course of editing her novel with the mentorship she received, she would come to realise that though she had the basic novel idea down in words, it was her craft of writing that needed something more. She explains further, “People think that in writing — well we all learn to write, so a writer simply puts words to paper, crafts a story and then goes out there, gets published and wins an award right?” she says with a laugh. “There probably should be another word for what we do — but it’s not as simple as ‘writing’ implies. It’s a different craft altogether; a very solitary profession that requires hours and hours of work and a certain disposition. As a writer you not just have to be able to tolerate solitary confinement but also somehow enjoy it.” – re Celeste Mohammed. Read more.

FICTION

‘“Micah, you know you white too, right?”
“I tell you to stop that shit. I not white.”
Keisha snorted.
Micah’s face got a little redder despite his tan “You know is the expats I talking about Keisha – the foreign kinda white, the rich peoplekinda white. Acting like if the place belong to them.”’ – Ayanna Gillian Lloyd

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“When time come for food to share, she take out she KFC and start to eat.” – from The Cook by Lisa Allen-Agostini in New Daughters of Africa, presented as the Bocas Lit Fest

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“Climbing the tree was easy, the sequence of steps and grips was like recalling a once-forgotten language. As I maneuvered along the branch to my old window, surprised it could still bear my weight, the backyard lights next door came on. I stopped moving, the pillowcase of pills swinging to a silence. The justice let out two of his goldendoodles to pee. Every summer when I was a boy, the justice and his wife had paid me twenty dollars a week to walk their dogs. Then he gave me the clerking position. Everything in my life had been handed to me.” – The First Bed by Matthew Socia

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‘It feels cold at first but that is the wind on the waves. Take a deep breath and fall to me.’ – from Part 4 of Paul Andruss’ The House by the Sea

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“The next letter, an H, took a few weeks to appear, made by juxtaposing the calf of our fire chief with the pinkie finger of the oldest woman in town. Some accused them of copycatting, writing on their skin in marker for the attention it would bring, but those who saw in person knew the sheen of the marks in the light—the matte finish of a coffee bean—and all soon admitted it was authentic.” – The Marks by Chris Haven

Antiguan and Barbudan fiction and poetry here and here.

POETRY

“Some days the body is a clenched fist. At other times it is a door knob leading out.” – Enzo Serin, Haiti, reading from forthcoming book ‘When my body was a clenched fist’, poem ‘Born to Triggers’

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INTERVIEWS

“I have always loved the image-making power of poetry.” – Grace Nichols. Read her full interview with Jacqueline Bishop: Nichols 1, Nichols 2, Nichols 3, Nichols 4

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‘I get a lot of questions from people that are How did this person do this thing? And I’m like, “Well, in chapter blah, blah blah, they said they were going to do this thing that way.” One thing I’ve noticed is that people tend to not read accurately. People read fast these days, so they don’t catch all the details, and I tend to write in a lot of detail.’ – N. K. Jemison

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‘We can’t know how long the book, or any of us, will live but … “something remains”’

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‘John Robert Lee: Papillote Press, “the small and invaluable Papillote Press,” has made a significant mark in small press publishing regionally and internationally with the important authors you have published and the awards that some of the books have garnered. As a result, are you overwhelmed by manuscript submissions, budgetary and other constraints? Have you set yourself a tight selection policy and publishing schedule?

Polly Pattullo: I am essentially a one-woman band, so I do have some difficulty in making sure that manuscripts don’t pile up. I am well aware how frustrating it is to have to wait for a response, and I would hate to have such a reputation.

Even so, I welcome manuscripts – in a way you can never have too many, because you might miss a gem and I always ask someone else to get a second opinion.

It is very much a labour of love and I think I am a bit choosy, but you have to be true to yourself.’ – read the full interview

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“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.” – Rowan Ricardo Philips

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“Who are our most important writers today?

I don’t think this is a useful question for a creative writer to consider (at least not for me). What’s more crucial for me to think about is: How can I do my best work yet?” – Thomas Glave

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“Anancy, for example, is the kind of figure who endures in the imagination because he represents many conflicting aspects of the self in one vessel – he is often selfish and greedy, so in that regard offers a cautionary tale of the baser aspects of our nature. And yet, here is this tiny creature who routinely outwits others with far more power and who often is the cause of so much that happens in the stories, good and bad. The twinness in his nature is where his appeal lies for me.” – Bocas winner Shara McCallum interviewed for the Jamaica Observer’s Bookends by Jacqueline BishopShara Book 1Shara Book 2Shara conclusion

NON FICTION

“I write, seeking an art that will last as the shadows lengthen, one that braids the lyric to the political without sounding like a jeremiad from the sidewalk or a piece of propaganda that will live only for a moment. I seek a political, nuanced, understanding, beautiful, blood-incarnadined art that brings all of us, no matter our differences, to life.” – Gabrielle Bellot

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“The story of why my own family came to be in the Caribbean had been blurred over time: it was something to do with the British, something to do with slavery, but that was all that was shared. Decades later the Guyanese-American journalist Gaiutra Bahadhur published the seminal book Coolie Woman, which brought much insight, but there have been few other notable works. Guyana doesn’t feature in the history books or the school curriculum in Britain. Consequently, when I tried to explain to my schoolfriends where my family was from – ‘What Ghana?’, ‘No, Guyana in South America’, ‘What like Ossie Ardiles?’, ‘No, he’s Argentinian’. When the Falklands War began in 1982, there were even more questions to navigate.

This is astonishing when you think that the British had such a role to play in that nation’s birth and how central that colony was to the United Kingdom’s industrial wealth and growth in the nineteenth century. Unlike the Caribbean islands of Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad, it is possible that Guyana’s unique geography (being attached to the South American mainland) has rendered it and its history all but invisible from the collective British consciousness. Perhaps fittingly, it was the inspiration for Conan Doyle’s The Lost World.” – The Forgotten World: How Scotland Erased Guyana from Its Past by Yvonne Singh

CREATIVES ON CREATING

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“I’ve learned to listen to them when they argue with me.” – C. S. Marks

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“I lay my head on the pillow at night purposefully with a scene in my mind so that my subconscious will work out the kinks. I often pop awake with ideas. Or maybe I don’t, but when I sit to write, more ideas still happen to flow.” – C. Hope Clark

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“You have to leave room for the story to grow unexpectedly.” – Cecelia Ahern

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“People say, I write for myself, and it sounds so awful and so narcissistic, but in a sense if you know how to read your own work—that is, with the necessary critical distance—it makes you a better writer and editor. When I teach creative writing, I always speak about how you have to learn how to read your work; I don’t mean enjoy it because you wrote it. I mean, go away from it, and read it as though it is the first time you’ve ever seen it. Critique it that way. Don’t get all involved in your thrilling sentences and all that . . .” – Toni Morrison

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“I am writing this now on a laptop in central Mexico, in a region where my ancestors lived for centuries. My office is a leather equipal table and chair on a covered terrace. On either side of me, a Chihuahua snoozes. Next door a palm tree rattles like a maraca, and down in the town center a church bell gongs the hour.” – re Sandra Cisneros. Read more.

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“I was one of a number of writers invited to Finland in the late 1980s as part of a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Finnish book. The trip really resonated with me, even though it didn’t occur to me at the time that I might use small details I picked up during my time in Finland in a novel. But of course, given the nature of the celebration itself, it makes sense that I did, and I’ve now generally come to be more aware, whenever I travel, that something I see or feel might make its way, in a transformed form, into my fiction.” – Meg Wolitzer discusses the writing of The Wife

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‘The Southern writer Rosemary Daniell once looked at me as we sat on a panel at an early Atlanta Book Festival and murmured with wonder, “Hmm, a writer with a happy childhood.” Well, of course, it was not all happy. We all have our own bag of rocks, and a writer of color in this country has more than her share. But it was my childhood.’ – Tina McElroy Ansa

DISCUSSING ART

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“She’s still being sexually abused but now she also has three children to watch and a farm to keep, and he’s just brutally beating her constantly.” – the Margos discuss movie vs. book, The Color Purple (Alice Walker)

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Discussions of Antiguan and Barbudan art by the artistes can be found here.

Discussion of Antiguan and Barbudan art by critics can be found here.

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, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, 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.

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What’s up for ABILF 2010? UPDATED!!!

The Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival is around the corner, back after a one year hiatus. The festival was held for the first time in 2006. It attracted numerous authors including

(Photo by Susan Noyce)

(pictured left to right) Dr. Althea Prince (author of Loving this Man), Elizabeth Nunez (author of Prospero’s Daughter), Verna Wilkins (founder of Tamarind publishers), Nalo Hopkinson (author of Brown Girl in the Ring), Marie Elena John (author of Unburnable), and me, Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend).

This year’s line-up includes John Agard, Jason Cole, Zee Edgell, Lorna Goodison, Bernice McFadden, Macka Diamond, Grace Nichols, Elizabeth Nunez, Verna Wilkins, and me. I believe I’m on a panel (and need to get to planning what I’m going to do or say 🙂 ) and I should be working the children’s tent with other members of the Cushion Club.

The festival headliner will be Pam Grier, star of Foxy Brown and author of the memoir, Foxy, which I had the opportunity to read and review for the Daily Observer newspaper. I’ll have lots to report, I’m sure, from the dinner and a movie fundraiser (looking forward to that…but what shall I wear :-))

Here’s the festival programme:

Program

Thursday, November 4, 2010

10 a.m.-Noon    Multipurpose Cultural Centre, St. John’s

Children’s Reading Convocation

With John Agard, Grace Nichols, Jason Cole, Dawne Allette, Verna Wilkins and other children’s authors

 2:30-4 p.m.   Multipurpose Cultural Centre, St. John’s

Workshop on Encouraging Young Children to Read

For primary school teachers, with Verna Wilkins

 8 p.m.  Halcyon Cove by Rex Resort

An Evening of Poetry

Featuring Esther Phillips, Lorna Goodison, Grace Nichols, John Agard, and Carolyn Matthew-Nation, in conjunction with the Antigua & Barbuda Young Poets Society

Friday, November 5, 2010

9 a.m-5 p.m.   Siboney Lounge, Halcyon Cove

Youth Day
Students selected from Antigua & Barbuda’s secondary schools meet with visiting authors 

3:00-3:30  p.m.   Halcyon Cove

Short Story Contest Award Presentation

Presented by the Friends of the Antigua Public Library 

3:00-5:00  p.m.   Halcyon Cove

The What, How, When and Why of Book Publishing

Publishing is a very mysterious industry, or is it? Be a part of the conversation with the people in the know.  This session will delve into the nuts and bolts of how to get your book published, and what to work towards once in it is in the marketplace.

With Linda Duggins from Hachette Books, Verna Wilkins from Tamarind Books, and Antiguan authors Floree Williams

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Friday, November 5, 2010
DINNER AND A MOVIE FUNDRAISER

Featuring Pam Grier and the film “Jackie Brown”
6-10 p.m.

Sandals Grande Antigua

Tickets: $250 EC per person,

includes movie, dinner, wine and a signed copy of Ms. Grier’s new book
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Saturday, November 6, 2010

9:00-11:00 a.m.  Festival Village, Anchorage Inn

Students’ and Teachers’ workshops with CXC curriculum authors Zee Edgell, Lorna Goodison and Joanne Hillhouse

 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Festival Village, Anchorage Inn

Workshops with Visiting Authors

  • 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.  Main Tent

Bringing Out the Poet in You

It is often said that poetry, more than any other writing, springs from the soul. Hear how some noted Caribbean poets opened their souls and gave rise to published works that inspire others.

With John Agard, Esther Phillips, Grace Nichols, Carolyn Matthew Nation 

  • 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.  Conference Room

Is Self Publishing the Way to Go?

The publishing world was always very limited, especially for Caribbean authors.  Now with the advent of electronic publishing, Kindle and e-books, and publishing on demand, it is easier for local authors to bring their words to print.  Hear how some authors successfully created their own books and brought them to market.

With Floree Williams and  Marcel Marshall

  • 1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m.  Main Tent

Creating a Novel from an Idea

Intrigue, romance, interesting lifestyles, and day-to-day emotional conflicts create novels that readers enjoy. How do writers keep readers coming back again and again?  Where do they get their ideas and then how do they build a story around them?  Get insight into the writing process from these successful novelists.

With Bernice McFadden, Elizabeth Nunez, Macka Diamond, and Zee Edgell

  • 1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m.  Conference Room

Writing for Children

You may be reading with your children, watching them play, or just having imaginings—and it occurs to you that maybe you could create a children’s book.  What goes into the process, and what makes the idea into a selling proposition?

With John Agard, Verna Wilkins and Jason Cole

  • 3:30-5:00 p.m.  Main Tent

Our Lives, Our Stories, Our Voices

What is that drive that makes one write about oneself and others? Does everyone have a story within waiting to be published? This panel invites us to the table for a heart-to-to heart on the art of telling our stories and the importance of getting them published.

With Pam Grier, Grace Nichols and  Macka Diamond

Children’s reading activities – Western Union Children’s Tent

  • 11:00 a.m.-12 noon  Joanne Hillhouse
  • 12 noon-1:00 p.m.  Jason Cole and magic
  • 1:00-2:00 p.m.  Sharon James
  • 2:00-3:00 p.m. 
  • 3:00-4:00 p.m.  John Agard and Grace Nichols

 Author readings and book signings –Anchorage Inn Lobby

  • 11:00 a.m.-12 noon —   Bernice McFadden
  • 12 noon-1:00 p.m.  —  Macka Diamond
  • 1:00-2:00 p.m. —  Grace Nichols
  • 2:00-3:00 p.m. – Floree Williams and Marcel Marshall
  • 3:00-4:00 p.m.  —  Elizabeth Nunez
  • 4:00-5:00 p.m. – Zee Edgell
  • 5 p.m.  – Pam Grier

Sunday, November 7, 2010

6-10 p.m.  Splash Antigua Events Centre

Literary Festival After Sunset Party

Featuring Jamaican artiste Macka Diamond and local performers

Admission: $35 in advance, $40 at the door

For more, visit the festival website http://antigualitfest.com

ABILF co-founder Joy Bramble, left, pictured with honoree Dame Gwendolyn Tonge, host of the long running ABS TV show Cooking Magic and related cook book, and government minister (and one helluva cook) Hilson Baptiste

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