Tag Archives: Jhohadli Writing Project

Carib Lit Plus (Mid to Late April 2022)

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).

Accolades

Lisa Allen-Agostini, a Trinbagonian writer based in Trinidad and published by Myriad Press in the UK, is on the just-announced short list for the coveted Women’s Prize for Fiction for her book The Bread the Devil Knead.

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Funso Aiyejina and Merle Hodge are winners of the 2022 Bocas Henry Swanzy Award for Distinguished Service to Caribbean Letters. Born in Nigeria and resident in Trinidad and Tobago since 1989, Funso Aiyejina is a celebrated poet, short story writer, playwright, and scholar — a former Dean of Humanities and Education, and current professor emeritus at UWI, St. Augustine. Aiyejina won the 2000 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book in the Africa region for his short fiction collection The Legend of the Rockhills and Other Stories. As a scholar, he is especially well known for his work on Earl Lovelace, including a biography and film. He is a founding member and former deputy festival director of the Bocas Lit Fest. Hodge, meanwhile, is lauded as one of the first Black Caribbean women to publish a major work of fiction — her classic 1970 novel Crick Crack, Monkey. She is a beloved fiction writer, literary critic, social and cultural activist, and retired lecturer in the Faculty of Humanities and Education at UWI, St Augustine. The Bocas Henry Swanzy Award recognises their crucial parallel work as teachers and mentors of younger authors, and their dedication to nurturing a generation of writers grounded in Caribbean literary tradition and language, exploring the region’s social complexities. The 2022 Bocas Henry Swanzy Award will be formally presented to Funso Aiyejina and Merle Hodge in a virtual event on 30 April, part of the 2022 NGC Bocas Lit Fest. (Source – JR Lee email)

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Commonwealth Writers has announced the longlist of its annual short story prize, 26 in all.

As far as the Caribbean is concerned there are a number of former long and short listed writers – Jamaican Diana McCaulay (‘Bridge over the Yallahs River’), Bahamian Alexia Tolas (‘No Man’s Land’), Barbados-resident Jamaican Sharma Taylor (‘Have Mercy’). The other Caribbean writers on the list are Cecil Browne (‘A Hat for Lemer’) listed as being of both the United Kingdom and St. Vincent and the Grenadines and J. S. Gomes (‘Omolara’) listed as being of both the UK and Trinidad and Tobago. Congrats to them and all writers on the list. Regional winners will be announced on May 23rd and the overall winner on June 21st 2022. (Source – Commonwealth Writers on Instagram)

Misc.

A couple of British Royals (Edward and Sophie – son and daughter in law of Queen Elizabeth II, respectively) did a fly-through of some Caribbean countries, including Antigua and Barbuda. Sharing for two reasons – 1, because we celebrate our artists, always, here at Wadadli Pen, and a number of our artists formed part of the cultural showcase organized for the royal visit. According to this Daily Observer article, a Government House event included youth collective Honey Bee Theatre, fashion designer Shem Henry, Princess Margaret School steelband, writer Brenda Lee Browne (author of London Rocks and other books) and TV and film producer Mitzi Allen of HaMa Productions (The Sweetest Mango and other films and programmes) ; 2, as a sign of the times, the visit was controversial. Two writers captured some of the controversy. Poet Dotsie Isaac Gellizeau wondered – in a poem (‘The Royals are coming’) critical of the visit shared on Observer Radio and in the Daily Observer newspaper – wondered “what’s it all about/what is the point of this so called royal visit…/what does it mean to you or me?” Meanwhile, playwright and novelist Dorbrene O’Marde, in his capacity as head of the Antigua and Barbuda Reparations Support Commission wrote a letter which has been picked up by the international media. It is copied below.

(Source – various including Daily Observer, Facebook, and …it’s just what’s in the air)

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The report of the first round (which ran in 2020) of the CATAPULT Caribbean arts grant has been posted. Read about the partners, beneficiaries, lessons learned, and artists boosted.

“Residencies are literary gold in the timeline of any Caribbean writer. It’s just as true that to access these transformative, alchemical spaces of peer support, financially conducive/sponsored settings, and time to work, the Caribbean writer has always found it overwhelmingly necessary to leave her home.” – recipient of the CATAPULT stay at home residency Shivanee Ramlochan of Trinidad and Tobago, quoted in the report, which you can read here. (Source – Kingston CREATIVE on facebook)

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A reminder that April 29th is the deadline to nominate a writer for the Royal Society of Literature International Writers. To be eligible, recommended writers must not be resident in nor citizens of the UK; and must have published two substantial works of outstanding literary merit (English or English-language translations of works first published in another language). Complete the recommendation form here. (Source – RSL email)

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Summer Edward, founder of the Caribbean children’s lit zine Anansesem, has joined the staff of Kirkus Reviews as the magazine’s newest young readers’ editor. This was actually announced last October. Edward edits picture book and middle-grade book reviews for Kirkus. (Source – email)

Events

After a two-year hiatus, one of Antigua and Barbuda’s biggest events, Sailing Week, returns in 2022. And with it the Reggae in the Park concert on May 3rd.

The reported headliner is former soca monarch for Antigua and Barbuda Tian Winter. But reportedly there will be a venue change – Reggae in the Park will not be at Shirley Heights Lookout; new venue to be announced. (Source – Facebook)

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As previously reported, the Bocas Lit Fest, based in Trinidad and Tobago, takes place April 28th to May 1st 2022. I’m back to share with you the festival guide and programme.

ETA:

Tune in on any of the following platforms:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bocaslitfest
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/bocaslitfest
Website: https://www.bocaslitfest.com

All Festival events are free and open to the online public. Tickets or registration are NOT required, and you don’t need a YouTube or Facebook account to view events on these platforms.

Event recordings will be available on YouTube and Facebook pages for a limited time post-Festival.

And don’t forget that you can order any of the books on the programme from the Festival’s booksellers, Paper Based Bookshop and Metropolitan Book Suppliers!

(Source – Bocas email)

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CariCon 2022 has published its schedule. It includes sessions on copyright and literary contracts, pitching, self-publishing, marketing, social media marketing, book to screen literary adaptations, and getting your books in to libraries. There will be a workshop led by Donna Aza Weir-Soley (Caribbean erotic poetry) and a session titled ‘The Making of a Storyteller’ with Amina Blackwood-Meeks. The various speakers are listed here. The Caribbean Literary Conference is a commercial event and exhibitors are being invited to register. The event is out of the US and it’s not clear to me if it’s online or on site or both, but it’s during Caribbean American Heritage Month, and will be held June 3rd – 5th 2022. (Source – CariCon Facebook)

RIP

To Jamaican poet Ralph Thompson.

Thompson first published in 1987 ‘Florida’ in London Magazine. He subsequently published more than 20 poems in British, US, and Caribbean journals, including The Caribbean Writer and Mississippi Review. His work is represented in The Heinemann Book of Caribbean Poetry (1992), A World of Poetry for CXC (1994), several Observer Arts Magazine anthologies, The Oxford Book of Caribbean Verse (2005), and Writers Who Paint / Painters Who Write (2007). He has published two collections of poetry (The Denting of a Wave and Moving On) and a verse novel (View from Mount Diablo). Thompson was also a businessman and educator. Born in 1928, he died in January 2022. (Source – JR Lee email)

Publications

Speak OUT! is a collection, on the Commonwealth Writers ADDA platform, curated by guest editors Brenda Lee-Browne (of the UK and Antigua-Barbuda), Beatrice Lamwaka, Rifat Munim and Peter Sipeli, from a call for submissions related to Freedom of Expression and its wider subthemes of gender, LGBTQIA+, race/ethnicity, and politics among others. The collection will comprise four issues, each featuring an introduction and six or seven works of fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction, selected and edited by all four editors. This first selectionwas made from the 1130 entries received. Read Issue 1 NOW curated and introduced by Peter Sipeli. It includes Lloyd D’Aguilar of Jamaica (‘Things must change’), Nnadi Samuel and Priscilla Keshiro  of Nigeria (‘Chaos Theory & Non-Binary Worship’ & ‘Dubem’), Andy Winter of Singapore (‘Archipelago’), Meera Ganapathi of India (‘Birds at the Border’), Christina Coates of South Africa (‘Fish nor Fowl’), and Lisa J Latouche of Dominica (‘Atiya Firewood’).

image by Indian artist Rohini Mani/illustration for ‘Dubem’.

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Thought I would share the tri-annual Antigua and Barbuda Culture department magazine (the January – March 2021 and 2022 editions) here.

cover image: King Swallow (RIP).

Thoughts re 2021 issue: it’s a largely well-produced, glossy, magazine-style cultural digest. There are some minor formatting issues that could (and should) be fixed with tighter proofing but in general a good production covering arts history, arts education, arts business, and artists themselves. It’s the kind of publication that’s been needed for some time, with obvious room for improvement. Especially enjoyed Alvin Livingstone’s insights to teaching visual arts, the interviews with Abi McCoy and Zahra Airall, and beautiful art work by Kendra Davis. As for the somewhat loaded question in the artist Q and A’s “is it the government’s responsibility to ensure that the industry thrives’, I like that though McCoy and Airall had an opposite sides approach – McCoy more artist led with the government playing a supporting role and Airall with the government taking more of a leadership role, both answers rather than being in contradiction with each other land on the point that the arts is not just for “exposure” and should not be treated as such and that the artist needs to continue creating and the government needs to be doing a lot more a lot, more consistently (see my CREATIVE SPACE column #7 of 2022, on pan) to ensure it continues to thrive. Read the entire issue.

The 2022 issue – the other issue in my possession – continues the focus on art history (specifically the first part of a history of pan) and arts issues and art profiles and Q and A’s, getting to know others in my community, are always interesting: e.g. learning more about dancer Susan Shaw, writer Kimolisa Mings, and cover artist Gormie.

As steeped as I am in our culture, there is always discovery and I appreciate that. I would appreciate if the things the artists call for (captured in the interviews especially) are taken to heart. Example playwright Jamian Benta (one of those discoveries-for-me I mentioned), calling for a professional space for the staging of local theatrical productions in this issue. Read the whole issue.

(Source – Department of Culture – Antigua and Barbuda)

Visual Art

Jamaican writer and artist Jacqueline Bishop has been stirring conversation in the art world with her History at the Dinner Table series of ceramic plates. As seen, the art juxtaposes dark images from the enslavement of Africans during Colonialism with colourful flowers against china plates, the epitome of fine dining. Referencing the precious plates once displayed in cabinets largely untouched in Caribbean homes and commenting on a still unreconciled past, the plates, displayed in magogany cabinets, have been acquired by the Fitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge University). The US based artist’s statement reads: “My work focuses on making visible the invisible, in making tangible the ephemeral, in speaking aloud the unspoken, and in voicing voicelessness.” It’s fair to say that this series of plates continues that work. (Source – Jacqueline Bishop social media)

This series is also mentioned in my CREATIVE SPACE column #8 of 2022.

Opportunities

The window of opportunity to nominate a writer to become a Royal Society of Literature International Writer is closing. The submission deadline is April 29th 2022. This is the second year of the RSL International Writers and one of the inaugural RSL International Writers last year was our own Jamaica Kincaid. I have tried to take the time to make nominations this year and last and invite you to do the same. By entering your recommendations, you can possibly win 1 of 5 Digital Events Passes, giving you a year’s access to all RSL events online. Submit nominations online. Your nominees must not be resident in nor citizens of the UK and must have published two substantial works of outstanding literary merit translated or originally published in English. (Source -RSL email)

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Did you know Antigua and Barbuda has a robotics club for children?

Well, now you know and the Splash junior Robotics Club seems from the images on its facebook page to be just what it sounds like: a programme designed to guide children through designing, building, and programming robots.

Here’s the programme pre-registration form. (Source – Facebook)

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Wadadli Pen’s own Joanne C. Hillhouse’s Jhohadli Writing Project 2022 Workshop Schedule.

(Source – Me)

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, The Jungle Outside, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Carib Lit Plus (Early to Mid March 2022)

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).

Opportunities

Events

Bocas Lit Fest has announced that season 7 of its virtual conversation series Bios and Bookmarks returns on March 10th 2022. (Source – Bocas Lit Fest instagram)

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The VI Lit Fest begins online on Friday April 8 th. The line up includes featured speaker Nikole Hannah Jones, who will present on Saturday, April 9th. She will be in conversation with local and regional scholars at the Fest’s Bush Tea Morning Social in the University of the Virgin Islands’ Great Hall beginning at 7:30 a.m. (her presentation starts at 9). Hannah Jones is the woman behind The 1619 Project. (Source – Alscess Lewis Brown on Facebook)

Books

On the heels of being named to the Women’s Prize long list, the paperback edition of Jamaican-British writer Leone Ross’ One Sky Day drops this March. (Source – author’s instagram)

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We love seeing our books out and about. This round-up of recent sightings includes books by Floree Williams Whyte (The Wonderful World of Yohan, Dance on the Moon) and Koren Norton being gifted to the Public Library, Barbara Arrindell’s Turtle Beach being read by mental health advocate Chaneil Imhoff at a local school for World Book Day UK (March 3rd 2022), and a share of The Jungle Outside by Joanne C. Hillhouse shared in a Public Library promo and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure in a social media video promo from Paper Based Bookshop in Trinidad and Tobago. Floree, Barbara, and Joanne are members of Team Wadadli Pen in addition to being authors, and Koren is a former patron. All their books are listed in our Antiguan and Barbudan Writings data base. (Source – Twitter, Facebook)

Accolades

Three Antiguan and Barbudan teachers have been awarded as the top producers in the royal drawing school art certification training course completed in December 2021 – winner Mark Brown, art lecturer at the Antigua State College, and runner-up Shanahan Gillon, art teacher at Pares Secondary, and Carol Gordon-Goodwin, art teacher Princess Margaret Secondary School. The three month course was financed by the Halo Foundation with certification by the Ministry of Education at the G Art Studio in Picadilly. The 23 participants will display their pieces at Government House in April. Brown will travel to London with the Halo Foundation to auction his piece at the Wings of Charity gala – with funds going to assist the most vulnerable in society as well as initiatives for youth. Gillon received cash and Gordon a trophy. (Source – Facebook)

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Two Caribbean writers are among the 16 books longlisted for the 2022 Women’s Prize for Fiction. This One Sky Day by British-Jamaican author Leone Ross and The Bread the Devil Knead by Trinidad and Tobago’s Lisa Allen-Agostini. Here’s the announcement.

This 16 is whittled down from 175 submissions and there will be an additional whittling for a short list of six to be announced on April 27th 2022. (Source – YouTube)

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The Monarch King Short Shirt (Sir Mclean Emmanuel), Antigua and Barbuda’s, and one of the Caribbean’s, best calypsonians, was feted as he marked his 80th birthday on February 28th. Events included a church service and a live broadcast on the ABS TV morning show on location at Shorty’s Beach Bar, the land lease for which was finally handed over to him, after many decades of operation and disputes over his right to operate there, by the country’s prime minister. There is also talk, first raised by former calypso king Progress during the church service, and endorsed by the PM, to add Short Shirt to Antigua and Barbuda’s growing list of national heroes. My favourite part of this week of observance is probably that Dr. James Knight’s documentary, released nearly a decade ago, is now online – the first time I’ve seen it since attending the premiere at the Deluxe Cinema. I have an even deeper appreciation for its narrative structure this time around.

This week’s CREATIVE SPACE is also about Short Shirt. You can read it here. (Source – Daily Observer newspaper)

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. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Carib Lit Plus (Mid to Late February 2022)

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).

Transitions & Remembrance

I wasn’t going to write about Calvin Holder. This letter I came across in Guyana’s Staebrok News when googling to see if news of his passing was true (it was, February 7th 2022) changed my mind. Mr. Holder was a teacher of mine and one of the mentors along the way to me becoming the writer that I am. His English classes (at the Antigua State College) drew me out, I shared my writing with him and received feedback, I wrote plays for the college drama group he led. After college we lost touch – though we reconnected from time to time, though not in a long time. The writer of the February 21st 2022 letter, Roy Brummel, referenced Mr. Holder’s PhD thesis, Victim and Vehicle: The Political, Cultural and Intellectual Contexts of Martin Carter’s Poetry, which he successfully defended on April 5th 2007: “Calvin had served as a teacher in different parts of the hinterlands and, after graduating from UG, he returned, giving more years before being transferred to work as an education official on the East Coast of Demerara. Calvin migrated to Antigua to teach, but he came back to UG to read for his Masters in English and later completed his PhD at the University of the West Indies, with his thesis being on Martin Carter….I have been informed that Dr. Gemma Robinson of England has written a thesis on Martin Carter, but I don’t know of any Guyanese besides Calvin who has written a PhD thesis on Guyana’s national poet. Therefore, Calvin’s work is very significant. I’ve asked people whether they have knowledge of a Martin Carter biography, and they said no. Assuming there is no Martin Carter biography, the works of Drs. Robinson and Holder are even more important as they are the closest to that biography.” Sounds like a good idea to me. Rest in Peace to Mr. Holder. (Source – a friend)

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Sarah White, who was the co-recipient of the first Bocas Henry Swanzy Award in 2013, has passed. She was described by Bocas as co-founder of New Beacon Books with her partner John La Rose, and “a true and practical friend to generations of Caribbean writers, artists, and activists…Her death is a great loss to Caribbean and Black British publishing and bookselling, writers and readers.” Sarah was born in 1944 and died in 2022. (Source – JRLee)

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On Thursday, February 3, 2022, the Rex Nettleford Foundation celebrated Professor Nettleford’s life and legacy with a viewing of “Renaissance Man” A Documentary of the Life of the late Jamaican professor. Nettleford (full name Ralston Milton “Rex” Nettleford) was a scholar, social critic, choreographer, and vice chancellor emeritus of the University of the West Indies.

(Source – JRLee email)

Conversations

This recent addition to the A & B Artistes Discussing Art page:

Tim Tim Bwa Fik podcast discussion with Rilzy Adams part 2 (2022) – “When writing, where this was concerned, the one thing that I really wanted it to feel like and be like was Antiguan… I was very intentional with everything from the food choices to the music…but I also wanted them for the most part to be not necessarily heartwarming but …my general brand, for everything I write…Antiguan, full of love, and spicy.” She added that while so much of our Caribbean fiction deals with our historical trauma she just wants to write about people meeting, falling in love, and having sushi.

Click here to watch the full Tim Tim Bwa Fik series by podcaster Maëlla K on Apple podcasts. It includes interviews with several Caribbean writers. (Source – WordPress feed)

Training

(Source – Me)

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You can now view ‘The Journey of a Book’, a webinar co-organized by The Antigua and Barbuda Intellectual Property and Commerce Office and the World Intellectual Property Organization, online. The presenters were Antigua and Barbuda’s Barbara Arrindell, Award winning authof of Love after Love Ingrid Persaud, Barbados’ Erica Smith, CEO of COSCAP – a collective management organization, and Brian Wafawarowa of South Africa, chief content and product officer, Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd.

Pictured during the webinar, above, are, left, Ricki Camacho, registrar of Intellectual Property and Copyright, and, right, Ingrid Persaud.

“Own your work and find your voice…voice is the key,” – Ingrid Persaud said during the webinar, held on February 10th 2022, giving the writer’s perspective. Arrindell, an author and bookseller, spoke about practical resources for writers (what we have and what we need in Antigua and Barbuda). Camacho hinted that one of the things writers have been asking for, the ability to legally copyright their writing locally, may be in the works. But don’t take my word for it. Watch the entire video. Follow this link and use this password (&F9+t1&r). Thanks to the organizers for making this available. (Source – Me)

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The Filmmakers Collaborative of Trinidad and Tobago has announced an online workshop with Los Angeles based South African writer/director Phumi Morae. It will cover screenplay titles, loglines, taglines, and short impactful synopses. Dates February 22nd and 23rd 2022. More here. (Source – Ministry of Culture, Trinidad and Tobago on Facebook)

Events

The PEN Out Loud series which has booked a number of Caribbean and/or Caribbean diaspora writers for conversations over the years has Aida Rodriquez who is American of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent coming up on March 22nd 2022.

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After a two-year break due to the pandemic, Antigua’s Carnival is coming back. No, the pandemic isn’t over (at February 17th 2022, our dashboard shows 135 lives lost to date , 76 active cases, 75 isolated, 5 new, and blessedly only one hospitalized, with vaccine numbers around 60 percent) but (keeping in mind that a vaccine is not a get out of COVID unscathed card, we can still get it and transmit it) hopefully we’ll find ways to party safely to avoid a post-fete surge. (Source – Antigua Festivals Instagram)

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‘Dreadness: the Mystic Power, Philosophy and Performance of Shadow 1941-2021’, in celebration of Trinidad calypsonian the Mighty Shadow’s 80th birthday, is a virtual symposium announced for March 3rd and 4th 2022. Organizers are the Groundation Foundation and the University of the West Indies St. Augustine. Go here for details and registration information. (Source – Amilcar Sanatan email on this issue of Tout Moun Caribbean Journal of Cultural Studies)

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The NGC Bocas Lit Fest has been set for April 28th 2022 to May 1st 2022. The events will be live streamed. Stay tuned. (Source – Bocas email)

Accolades

The short list of books for the Bocas Prize has been announced.

They are Cuba: An American History by Ada Ferrer (Cuban-American), Things I have Withheld by Kei Miller (Jamaican), The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, & Dreams Deferred by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein (American of Barbadian descent) contesting for the Non-Fiction prize; Pleasantview by Celeste Mohammed (Trinidad and Tobago), How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones (Barbados), What Storm, What Thunder by Myriam J. A. Chancy (Haitian-Canadian) competing for the Fiction prize; Thinking with Trees by Jason Allen-Paisant (Jamaican), What Noise Against the Cane by Desiree C. A. Bailey (Trinidad and Tobago), Zion Roses by Monica Minott (Jamaican) in the running for the Poetry prize.

The judges will announce the winners in the 3 genre categories on 27 March. These will go on to compete for the overall #OCMBocasPrize2022 of US$10,000, to be announced on 30 April, during the 12th annual NGC Bocas Lit Fest. Each category winner will receive US$3,000. (Source – Twitter)

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Late last year the Antigua and Barbuda JCI Youth Empowerment Programme recognized a number of young people. They are humanitarian award winner and Red Cross volunteer Daniela Mohamed, entrepreneurship award winner and Dadli Dose juice brand owner Kwesi Jarvis, sports awards winner and professional bikini fitness athlete Kimberly Percival, agriculture award winner and beekeeper Jamaul Philip, music award winner and pannist Jah-fari Joseph-Hazelwood, education award winner whose sede project is Eat ‘n Lime Tours Tiffany Azille, mental health activist awardee and associate clinical psychologist Regina A. Apparicio, leadership award winner and history teacher Kamalie Mannix, and culture award winner and translator Alfonsina Olmos.

(Source – Facebook)

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Guyana born British based writer John Agard in late 2021 became the first poet to win the Booktrust Lifetime Achievement Award. “I feel happy that I’ve stuck with this craft since I was a 16-year-old boy writing in a classroom in a Caribbean ex-colony. It’s not just me receiving this award, but all the people that inspired me,” Agard said. Read the full article here. (Source – Repeating Islands blog)

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Jamaican writer Kei Miller (Things I have Withheld) was on the Baillie Gifford Prize long list late last year. The prize ultimately went to Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Industry by Patrick Radden Keefe. The prize recognizes the best in non-fiction. (Source – JRLee email)

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Twenty early-career writers from seven different Caribbean territories have been shortlisted for the 2022 Bocas Emerging Writers Fellowships, to be awarded in two genre categories for poetry and prose. Scheduled to run for a period of six months, and offering tangible support for emerging writers to advance or complete a body of work, the two Bocas Emerging Writers Fellowships will include a cash award of TT$10,000, six months’ mentorship from an established author, participation in an intensive online workshop hosted by the UK literary organisation Arvon, and publication of a chapbook by Peekash Press. From a total of over 100 applicants, the shortlisted writers are, in alphabetical order:

POETRY

Topher Allen (Jamaica)
Xan-Xi Bethel (The Bahamas)
Neala Bhagwansingh (Trinidad and Tobago)
Johanna Gibson (British Virgin Islands)
Ubaldimir Guerra (Belize)
Jannine Horsford (Trinidad and Tobago)
Jay T. John (Trinidad and Tobago)
Gillian Moore (Trinidad and Tobago)
Ruth Osman (Guyana/Trinidad and Tobago)
Allyson Weekes (Trinidad and Tobago)

PROSE

Tracy Assing (Trinidad and Tobago)
Heather Barker (Barbados)
Ayrïd Chandler (Trinidad and Tobago)
Rachael Amanda Espinet (Trinidad and Tobago)
Amir Denzel Hall (Trinidad and Tobago)
Michelle John (Trinidad and Tobago)
Garvin Tafari Parsons (Trinidad and Tobago)
Rajiv Ramkhalawan (Trinidad and Tobago)
Ark Ramsay (Barbados)
Alexandra Stewart (Trinidad and Tobago)

The shortlists were selected by authors Andre Bagoo of Trinidad and Tobago (whose essay collection The Undiscovered Country was the winner of the 2021 OCM Bocas Prize for Non-Fiction) and Ann-Margaret Lim of Jamaica (whose book of poems Kingston Buttercup was shortlisted for the 2017 OCM Bocas Prize for Poetry).

“Caribbean Lit is in good hands,” remarked Lim of the fellowship applications. “Good, serious writers from the Caribbean, unafraid of subjects traditionally ‘taboo’ in their countries, are writing their truths, and doing so beautifully and as well as any international poet or fiction writer…. The voices are not stilted or affected. They are bold, true, and indeed shaped by skill and attention.”

“These writers all demonstrate a mastery of language in service of an artistic vision or point of view,” added Bagoo. “Their writing samples provide glimpses of a future in which Caribbean literature is bolder, more exhilarating than ever.”

The call for fellowship applications asked for writers working in innovative, genre-crossing forms, exploring themes of individual and personal identity, and ideas of belonging, displacement, and home.

The two successful fellows, selected from the shortlists, are expected to be announced in late March 2022, and will present their work in progress during the 2022 NGC Bocas Lit Fest, running from 28 April to 1 May.

The fellowships are made possible by generous donations from Canisia Lubrin, winner of the overall 2021 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature; Dionne Brand, winner of the 2019 OCM Bocas Prize in the fiction category; Christina Sharpe, judge for the 2022 OCM Bocas Prize in the fiction category; and Allyson Holder, Friend of the Bocas Lit Fest. (Source – Facebook)

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Motion, Wendy Braithwaite, a Canadian writer of Antiguan and Barbudan descent, is a Canadian Screen Awards nominee for her writing on the drama series, ‘Coroner’. From Motion’s Facebook: “Wow! So much of our heart and souls went into this one! To see Ruby (played by talented Avery Grant) on screen. To write a story inspired by the culture. To integrate the sounds and the artwork of our artists in this city. To tell a story about art, family, legacy and a courageous girl – young, creative and Black. To work with an awesome room of writers, and create/collabo once again with visionary Charles Officer! 10 Canadian Screen Award noms for Coroner, and 2 for this special episode – DRAMA SERIES, BEST WRITING and DRAMA SERIES, BEST DIRECTING!” Motion’s nomination is for the episode ‘Eyes Up’. (Source – Facebook)

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Shouting out artrepeneur Barbados’ Nikisha Toppin, winner of the MicroPitch Best Female Entrepreneur Award at Micro Pitch Caribbean with her business Elaine’s Caribbean Crochet – “a registered social enterprise that provides Caribbean crochet artists with the knowledge, tools and resources needed to help their businesses be sustainable”.

Image from @elainescaribbeancrochet instagram

MicroPitch is a combination of entrepreneurship trainings and a business plan competition that gives entrepreneurs and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) of the Caribbean region the opportunity to boost their business by offering them capacity building and a platform to present (“pitch”) their business plans, solutions or ideas to a jury and audience, receiving personalised and instant feedback. Other finalists (more in the entrepreneur lane) are Jamaica’s Venice Irving, winner of the MicroPitch Export Award with her business Happy Teachers and Kavelle Hylton, winner of the MicroPitch Jamaica Award with her business STEM Builders Learning Hub; Dominica’s Jodie Dublin Dangleben, winner of the MicroPitch Best Entrepreneur Award with her Jaydie’s Naturals; Belize’s Miguel Huertas, winner of the MicroPitch Audience’s Favourite Award with his business Apilife and Mark Jacob, winner of the MicroPitch Belize Award with his business DML Foxtail Bamboo Straw; and Haiti’s Joseph Kendy Jules, winner of the MicroPitch Haiti Award with his business Haispot. (Source – N/A but finalists pulled from Micropitchcb Facebook)

Books

Rise up, Sista by Kristine Simelda came out late last year. It tells the story of a Jamaican reggae artist and a British rocker who meet in London in 1963, sparking a powerful story of friendship and cultural revolution. . It is dedicated to the life of Nelly Stharre, a Dominican reggae artist who passed away in 2015 and explores the amazing diversity of music written and broadcast during the 1960s and beyond—rhythms that served as a uniting force during times of change and political unrest. The book was published by Simelda, an American who has lived in Dominica since the mid-1990’s, River Ridge Press.

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Horizon, Sea, Sound: Caribbean & African Women’s Cultural Critique of Nation by Andrea A. Davis was released in January 2022. Calling for new affiliations of community among Black, Indigenous, and other racialized women, and offering new reflections on the relationship between the Caribbean and Canada, Davis articulates a diaspora poetics that privileges our shared humanity. In advancing these claims, she turns to the expressive cultures (novels, poetry, theater, and music) of Caribbean and African women artists in Canada, including work by Dionne Brand, M. NourbeSe Philip, Esi Edugyan, Ramabai Espinet, Nalo Hopkinson, Amai Kuda, and Djanet Sears. Davis considers the ways in which the diasporic characters these artists create redraw the boundaries of their horizons, invoke the fluid histories of the Caribbean Sea to overcome the brutalization of plantation histories, use sound to enter and reenter archives, and shapeshift to survive in the face of conquest. The book will interest readers of literary and cultural studies, critical race theories, and Black diasporic studies. (Source – Twitter)

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Rohan Balkin and The Shadows by Juleus Ghunta with illustrator Rachel Moss was an end of year Caribbean Reads release.

Rohan Bullkin is haunted by sinister Shadows that fuel his fear of reading. He hates books so much that he often rips their pages. But when the Shadows become intolerable, Rohan accepts an offer of friendship from a special book. This marks the beginning of a remarkable journey during which he not only learns how to conquer Shadows but also develops a love of books and life. (Source – Caribbean Reads email)

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You know we’re all about promoting Antiguan and Barbudan books via our book lists, including Antiguan and Barbudan children’s literature. You know that we also promote Caribbean literature. Here’s a new one (or new to us), Jako Productions’ listing of St. Lucia Children’s Books. Just scrolling through it, I’m fascinated by Talking Talia Tattles or Tells – do I know the difference between tattling and telling? do you? this may be a book not just for children; lots of adventure tales – go Wyetta; love the use of the French creole – sak sa…sa ka fet…did I use those right?; the folklore – compere lapin to soucouyan… who looks as frightful as I remember from childhood tales in Antigua (my mother’s family is French creole from Dominica). Anyway, check out the listing of books for children and #readCaribbean (Source – Jako Productions email)

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This is book news more than books, and the news is that American author of Haitian descent Roxane Gay has a new (new in 2021) imprint and a fellowship programme to provide opportunities to publish and/or learn the business, respecitively, to underrepresented voices. Read the announcement in this article in Poets & Writers, and then do your research. (Source – Poets and Writers email)

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US based Trinidad and Tobago author Danielle Y. C. McClean’s The Whisperer’s Warning is the second book in her Secrets of Oscuros series after the Burt Award winning The Protector’s Pledge. It is illustrated by Rachel Moss and published by Caribbean Reads Publishing. Twelve-year-old JV has discovered that he’s one of a select few entrusted with preserving the balance between the world’s natural and unnatural realms and is now more driven than ever to know who his birth parents are. But there’s another mystery in the usually quiet village of Alcavere that he can’t ignore. He and his friends, Carol and Riaz, have received a cryptic warning from a supernatural being who dwells in the Oscuros Forest, launching them into a high-stakes mission. (Source – BCLF email)

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The second book in Jamaican writer Marlon James’ Dark Star Trilogy Moon Witch Spider King landed in February. It follows on National (US) Book Award Finalist Black Leopard, Red Wolf. In Black Leopard, Red Wolf, Sogolon the Moon Witch proved a worthy adversary to Tracker as they clashed across a mythical African landscape in search of a mysterious boy who disappeared. In Moon Witch, Spider King, Sogolon takes center stage and gives her own account of what happened to the boy, and how she plotted and fought, triumphed and failed as she looked for him. It’s also the story of a century-long feud—seen through the eyes of a 177-year-old witch—that Sogolon had with the Aesi, chancellor to the king. It is said that Aesi works so closely with the king that together they are like the eight limbs of one spider. Aesi’s power is considerable—and deadly. It takes brains and courage to challenge him, which Sogolon does for reasons of her own. Moon Witch, Spider King delves into Sogolon’s world as she fights to tell her own story. James is a US-based author whose many accolades include the Man Booker Prize (only one of two Caribbean authors to claim that coveted prize) for A Brief History of Seven Killings. (Source – BCLF email)

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Sabine, the first short story collection from Hazel Simmons-McDonald, St. Lucia-born linguistics professor emerita, first head of the UWI Open campus, and poet, was published in December 2021. The book presents a deft exploration of class, of how values are shaped by religion, and of the tensions that undergird family life. She makes a place for voices hitherto not heard and creates characters who closely guard the secrets of their hearts but who through her narrative dexterity come to experience moments of truth and clarity of memory. Sabine is published by UWI Press. (Source – JRLee email)

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Co-founder of gender activist group Intersect Antigua and Barbuda Sarah Gresham has created a free online library. The purpose, to share reading recommendations from the Intersect team on each theme of the Caribbean Feminist Stories project. Access podcasts, articles, videos, blog posts, and books that illuminate the themes Resilience in the Face of Natural Disasters, Critical Green Theory, and Black in Environment! As the weeks progress, more resources will be added. (Source – Twitter)

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Ana Portnoy Brimmer’s To Love an Island came out in late December 2021. Portnoy Brimmer is a poet and organizer from Puerto Rico. To Love An Island begins with the aftermath of Hurricane María and spans the summer insurrection of 2019 and subsequent earthquakes in Puerto Rico. It was originally the winner of the YesYes Books 2019 Vinyl 45 Chapbook Contest. (Source – N/A)

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A Lantern in the Wind: A Fictional Memoir was released in 2021 by Hansib. It was written by Ameena Gafoor and offers rare insight in to Muslim life in Guyana. Additionally, her description of being an immigrant in London is a relatively rare revelation of the female experience. Ameena Gafoor is the Founder of The Arts Forum Inc; the Founding Editor of The Arts Journal; and author of Aftermath of Empire: The Novels of Roy A.K. Heath (2017). She has received two National awards as well as recognition from the Guyana Indian Commemoration Trust and the Guyana Cultural Association of New York for her outstanding contribution to the literary arts of Guyana and the Caribbean. She has also received an award from Caribbean Voice for her social work with Support for Vulnerable People through The Gafoor Foundation. Her critical articles are published in selected Journals. (Source – Hansib email)

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One Day, One Day, Congotay by Trinidad and Tobago’s Merle Hodge is described, on the website of publisher Peepal Tree Press, as ‘A novel, like George Elliot’s Middlemarch that celebrates the small, hidden lives that make the world a better place. Like any richly documented historical novel, it has much to say, by implication, about the present’. It was released in January 2022. (Source – JRLee email)

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St. Lucian writer Mac Donald Dixon’s A Scream in the Shadows launches this month. It is a crime story set in the rural Caribbean where traditional allegiances and a flawed criminal justice system provide a backdrop to the rape and murder of a young girl. When her father is accused of the crime, her brother joins the police to try and clear their father’s name. While the suspect languishes in jail on remand, the young detective makes some alarming discoveries. (Source – Jako Productions email)

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Olympic swimmer and Atlantic rower from Antigua and Barbuda Christal Clashing has written a water-based photo-illustrated (coffee-table-ish) book of fiction entitled Yemoja’s Anansi: A Short Story. It has been added to Antiguan and Barbudan Writings and Antiguan and Barbudan Fiction Writings here on the blog. Read about it in CREATIVE SPACE and Blogger on Books; also check our interview on my AntiguanWriter YouTube channel. (Source – Me)

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, The Jungle Outside, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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The Beginnings of Education for Black People in the British West Indies – Historical Notes (Antigua and Barbuda)

These are historical notes written and shared by Wadadli Pen team member and amateur historian/historical storyteller Barbara Arrindell via the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda’s and other social media with her encouragement that the knowledge be passed on. The was first shared in 2017 and resurfaced in May 2021 due to the interest around the observance of the first ever Vigo Blake Day. I am now getting around to posting it in 2022. Not through lack of priority but time; the good thing is this information is timeless. It is still of community interest for Antiguans and Barbudans but is also information worth knowing for Caribbean and other history buffs. Particularly those with interest in the evolution of education as a form of protest and society building in the Caribbean. Especially since the school in Bethesda is heralded by the keepers of its flame as the start of education for Black people in the British West Indies.

VIGO BLAKE -HEAD SLAVE ON BLAKE’S ESTATE changed our history

Image taken from a video by Petra Williams and The Spectator which also chronicles local culture and history.

In late 1812, Mr. & Mrs. Thwaites were visiting Lyon’s estate to worship there. After the service ended they heard children singing hymns. Following the sound they found an old man with a number of the estate children gathered around him. He was teaching them hymns and what he knew of the catechism.  This recognition that enslaved black adults could know enough of the teachings of the church  to pass it on to others led to a slight shift in the way the HART sisters expected education of the masses to unfold in Antigua.

[You can read a previous article by Barbara Arrindell on the Hart sister here]

The Thwaites spread the word. They wanted all enslaved black children and free black and white children in the vicinity who were being instructed by fellow slaves or free black men to gather with their teachers at Lyon’s on 13th February 1813. (204 years ago) More than 500 children turned up. Many of the teachers could not read but they taught whatever they knew.  They had memorised poetry and bible verses and even the alphabet. The Hart sisters wanted the children and adults to learn more.  Every other Sunday they gathered for reading and writing classes and the number of students grew. One Sunday afternoon as the Thwaites made their way from Lyon’s to their home in English Harbour they again noticed a peaceful rising with only grass and a few trees which seemed perfect for their dream school and possibly their home.

Vigo Blake, the head man (head slave) at Blake’s Estate, encouraged them to speak to those in charge and seek permission to use the land. He promised that if permission was granted he would get some of his fellow enslaved men to construct the schoolhouse for them in their spare time. Permission was sought and granted.  Vigo and his men started work and were instantly joined by men, women, and children from other estates who devoted their evening hours and early morning hours to building. In six weeks the 44ft. by 16ft. building with its roof made of the trash of sugar cane was ready.

On May 29th 1813, the first schoolroom built for the purpose of educating slaves [enslaved people] in the West Indies opened its doors. Many of the day students were enslaved people who were maimed or too old and fragile to contribute significantly to the wealth of the estate, Many were allowed to roam with little restriction. They were taught, so that they could teach others. In the evenings however,  two to three hundred people would make their way to the building called Bethesda. 

The earthen floor led to a challenge with chigoes for students and teachers. At the end of each night they painstakingly tried to remove all chigoes to prevent them from burying themselves into their skin and causing bigger problems. A few years later, at Hope Estate, not far away, another school room was constructed. A hurricane claimed that one but in 1821 a larger, stronger structure was built. This time it was financed by the Church Missionary Society. 

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[This is a separate Barbara Arrindell posting which I have decided to share as an addendum to the article above. It too is part of the liberation education conversation]

Pictured are participants in my Jhohadli Writing Project/Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project on a field trip to the public statue commemorating the life of Prince Klass/King Court/Kwaku Takyi. The statue is the work of Sir Reginald Samuel.

October 20th should be a date known to all Antiguans and Barbudans for two reasons. On that day in 1736 a man was killed and on that day in 1818 a man was born. The first we believe was born a free man on the African continent ..the other was born when most Antiguan and Barbudan Black men were enslaved people. One, Kwaku Takyi, Prince Klass died trying to gain freedom for his people; The other, John Buckley, dedicated his life to emancipating his people from mental slavery. He at one time had more students enrolled in the school in Green Bay than the school presently accomodates. He and his wife also had 11 of their own to provide for at home. John Buckley was also the first Black Man, this man born during slavery on this island of Antigua, to be ordained as a Moravian Minister… the first in the world. It would be meaningful if our churches island wide (all denominations) could take a moment on Sunday 20th October to remember both of these freedom fighters. (Even just a moment of silence in their memory) It would be nice if all teachers would take a moment on Monday to tell their students about them. It would be even better if every citizen and resident would speak about these men on October 20th. Raise a toast to their memory at Sunday dinner. October 20th is a day for heroes. We will only know how great we can be if we remind each other of all that our ancestors have accomplished FOR US .. Will you fan the flame?

The copyright for the Vigo Blake article belongs to its author Barbara Arrindell who wrote: Please feel free to share this information. We learn so that we can teach others. This was first published on this Facebook page in Feb 20172021. The copyright for the addendum on Kwaku Tayki and John Buckley also belongs to its author Barbara Arrindell who wrote: Feel free to share this.

Minor edits only for punctuation – any notes from me in italics or square brackets.

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.

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Carib Lit Plus (Mid to Late January 2022)

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).

RIPs

Eduardo Pyle, leader of the Antigua and Barbuda soca monarch band and longstanding member of the calypso monarch band in over two decades of involvement in culture and the arts, has died. “For Eduardo, what mattered most was the delivery of the most impeccable quality of the music during our annual summer festival,” said chairman of the festivals commission Maurice Merchant. (Source – Newsco’s Daily Observer)

Events

The Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival’s menu of programmes includes a reading group, Unruly Islands: Uprising and Revolts, in collaboration with the the Center For Fiction. See their website for information on this and other programmes. (Source – BCLF email)

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Antiguan and Barbudan writer and bookseller, and Wadadli Pen team member, Barbara Arrindell is one of the resource people for an upcoming seminar entitled ‘The Journey of a Book’. Click here to register. (Source – email)

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I mentioned, in the late November 2021 Carib Lit Plus that the BCLF short story awards event was upcoming. Now here’s the video.

“Well, the thing is publishers respond to readers, to the market, and, so this is really a job for all of us. For the writers and the readers. And it’s a job for the readers to bring that attention because if the publishers see that there are readers for our work…it begins with us.” – Elizabeth Nunez, sharing this excerpt from the video, from the author for whom the BCLF short story prizes are named, to remind us all to #buyCaribbean #readCaribbean (Source – N/A)

Publications

We’ve mentioned Sea Turtles before but St. Kitts-Nevis writer Carol Mitchell has two other Big Cat books – Kay and Aiden’s The Tram Bell and The Stolen Trumpet. A graphic novel series based on the adventures of a pair of twins.

Illustrations are by London artist Alan Brown. Mitchell, in addition to being an author, is a publisher (Caribbean Reads Publishing). (Source – N/A)

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Catching up on some late 2021 releases. Like this one from Antigua and Barbuda.

Written by former aerodome superintendant Growing with VCBIA: VC Bird International 1965-2008 is the story of Antigua and Barbuda’s former international airport “beginning with the first airplane of the historic Lindberg of Pan Am fame, which landed pretty close to what would become our present airport, this avid aviator carries us on a journey …Starting with the Americans who sought to establish air and sea bases throughout the region for World War II activities which were then converted to civil airport use controlled by local government….Throughout the book the theme of building and growing is emphasized.” (from a review by Makeda Mikael in the November 26th 2021 edition of the Daily Observer). This one was added to the Antigua and Barbuda Writings and Antigua and Barbuda Non-Fiction databases late last year. (Source – Newsco’s Daily Observer)

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Belonging: Fate and Changing Realities is Herman Ouseley’s (Lord Ouseley’s) compelling account of his extraordinary life experiences. This vivid memoir describes how he coped with all challenges and, along the way, learnt how to develop methods to convince and persuade powerful people to use their influence to help eliminate the adverse effects of institutional discrimination, prejudice and bigotry. Over nearly six decades dedicated to public service, he became a ‘somebody’ at times, as he challenged the ‘great and the good’ in pursuit of equality and cohesion. He reflects upon contemporary Britain, knowing that there is still a struggle to achieve responsible and accountable leadership. The release date is listed as September 2021. Published by Hansib. (Source – Hansib email)

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Get Up!: A Collection of Inspiring and Encouraging Commands is the latest book from relatively new Antiguan and Barbudan author Stancel C. Roberts who last year released An Island Girl’s Inspiration from Above. Both are motivational books. Roberts is a staff auditor with the government, and also, per her linkedin, a motivational speaker and lecturer at the Antigua State College. (Source – N/A)

Shout Outs

To Peepal Tree (producer) and Malika Booker (host) of New Caribbean Voices podcast. It’s been keeping me company this night in January with conversations with writers like Anton Nimblett and the several poets (Tanya Shirley, Ishion Hutchinson, Vladimir Lucien featured) featured in the rare poetry collection unearthing the experiences of British West Indians fighting in the first World War. I have written in CREATIVE SPACE about some of our experiences in World Wars 1 and 2 and think not nealry enough is known or understood about our role in these major battles (Hollywood white washes the Black and Brown people from their historical war films). But we were there.

Published in 2018, this book was a collaborative project, co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, BBC Contains Strong Language, and the British Council.

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To two Antigua-Barbuda sites of interest which are in the running for the top Caribbean attraction as voted by readers of USA Today (you can vote too, by the way). Normally we don’t do tourism-centric posts around here but the two named sites (Nelson’s Dockyard and Wallings Nature Reserve) have historical and/or cultural value and have been covered either on this blog or on my own Jhohadli blog. Specifically, CREATIVE SPACE #4 of 2019 – What’s happening at Wallings?, and Nelson’s Dockyard: On Becoming a World Heritage Site and CREATIVE SPACE #18 of 2021 – Clarence House and the Complicated Landscape of Our Colonial Past.

“Image 33: Nelson’s Dockyard 2” P. 55, The Art of Mali Olatunji: Painterly Photography from Antigua and Barbuda by Mali Olatunji and Paget Henry.

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Ben Fox, founder at Shepherds.com who invited me to write a book recs post, subject of my choice. I used the opportunity to share some of my favourites from the CODE Burt Award for teen/young adult Caribbean literature. Click The Best Teen/YA Caribbean novels for readers everywhere to see which five I picked and why. (Also see what books I read – and reviewed – in 2021). (Source – Me)

Accolades

One Caribbean book which made it on to the Women’s Prize 2022 favourite books read, broken down by year of publication, as chosen by their readers, is Monique Roffey’s The Mermaid of Black Conch. (Source – Women’s Prize email)

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In addition to being a politician, Antigua and Barbuda’s Selvyn Walter was an art collector, writer (including popular column series like Not a Drum was heard and the book Bank Alley Tales), and founding member of the Grays Green based Halcyon Steel Orchestra which marked its 50th anniversary in 2021., and his creative pursuits are being recognized (posthumously) by the Sunshine Awards Organization. The US-based awards was founded in 1989 by Gilman Figaro Snr. Past awardees from Antigua and Barbuda are, in 1992, King Progress for best political commentary (Heaven Help Us), in 1999, female vocalist of the year Althea ‘Singing Althea’ Williams (Violence), in 2002, calypso monarch King Short Shirt named to the Hall of Fame, in 2003, soca artists Burning Flames (Children Call Een), in 2004, calypsonian Paul ‘King Obstinate’ Richards named to the Hall of Fame, in 2008, Rupert ‘King Swallow’ Philo, now deceased, named to the Hall of Fame in 2008 after winning best party calypso, best engineered recording, and best calypso in 1989 (Fire in the Backseat) and best social commentary in 1997 (CDC), in 2011, pannist Aubrey Lacua Samuel, in 2012, Dr. Prince Ramsey for music production and Rawdon Edwards for contribution to the performing arts, and, in 2015, Antigua State College principal Dr. Alister Francis (posthumously) for education. Other 2021 Sunshine Awardees are Barbados’ Ian Estwick, Nigeria’s Oluyinka Olutuye, Trinidad and Tobago’s Shakuntala Thilsted and Ainsworth Mohammed, St. Thomas’ Verne Hodge, and legendary Guadeloupean band Kassav. (Source – Newsco’s Daily Observer)

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A Trinbagonian writer has landed on the UK Observer’s list ‘Introducing our 10 Best Debut Novelists of 2022‘. “The class of 2022 reminds us that the novel is a form without limits or rules,” the publication writes of the list that includes Ayanna Lloyd Banwo’s When We were Birds, forthcoming in February from Hamish Hamilton. She and her book are described as “an important new voice in fiction, at once grounded and mythic in its scope and carried by an incantatory prose style…When We Were Birds is both a love story and a ghost story – the tale of a down-on-his-luck gravedigger and a woman descended from corbeau, the black birds that fly east at sunset, taking with them the souls of the dead.” She describes the Bocas Lit Fest in Trinidad as a turning point in her writing, an awakening followed by the MA programme at University of East Anglia in the UK where she has lived for the last five years. (Source – Facebook)

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The winners of the Caribbean Readers’ Awards 2021 have been announced. This is the second year of the Rebel Women Lit book club’s awards initiative; 500 votes were counted. Trinidad and Tobago’s Celeste Mohammed’s Pleasantview won best novel (adult); Jamaica’s poet laureate Olive Senior’s Pandemic Poems won best poetry collection; Curaçao’s Radna Fabias’ Habitus won best translation; Jamaica’s Kei Miller’s Things I have Withheld won best non-fiction book; and ‘Bomber and the Breadfruit Tree‘ was adjudged best RWL magazine piece. Congrats to all. (Source – RWL Facebook)

Opportunities

From Short Story to Novel Part 2 with Sharma Taylor is the first Bocas workshop of the year on January 29th 2022. Sharma’s first novel, What a Mother’s Love don’t Teach You, drops this year. She has been hugely successful as a short story writer winning the 2020 Wasafiri Queen Mary New Writing Prize, the 2020 Frank Collymore Literary Endowment Award, and the 2019 Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize; being twice shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and being a finalist for the 2020 Elizabeth Nunez Award for Writers in the Caribbean. Sharma will share her experience, tools and techniques in transferring the craft and technique of short-form fiction to a successful novel, building your career as an emerging writer. This seminar is suitable for writers who participated in Part 1 last year, as well as new participants.  Register here. (Source – Bocas email)

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Consider this one an opportunity to pay it forward. April 29th 2022 is the deadline to recommend writers for the Royal Society of Literature’s International Writers Programme, which is supported by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society and the International Authors Forum. The RSL, founded in 1820, is the UK’s charity for the advancement of literature. Nominate writers for the International Writers Programme who are not resident in, nor citizens of, the United Kingdom, have published two outstanding works of literary merit (written or translated in to English). Twelve writers will be selected. Last year’s selectees were Don Mee Choi, Annie Ernaux, David Grossman, Jamaica Kincaid, Yan Lianke, Amin Maalouf, Alain Mabanckou, Javier Marías, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Claudia Rankine, Olga Tokarczuk and Dubravka Ugrešić. Make your nominations here. (Source – RSL email)

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The Poetry Channel on You Tube has extended an invitation to poets worldwide to contribute to the channel run by Indran Amirthanayagam (email him at indranmx@gmail.com). He hosts contemporary poets reading their work and wishes to present an archive of essential poems and without any language limitation. So you might hear poems in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Tamil, Uzbek, Haitian Creole and Arabic. The channel also features an occasional series called Speaking With Poets, which already includes programs with Mervyn Taylor and Martin Espada. If you would like to be featured, send poetry videos (one poem per video) – you can record yourself and send or the host can set up a zoom meeting. Indran Amirthanayagam also edits The Beltway Poetry Quarterly with Associate Editor Sara Cahill Marron, and welcomes poetry submissions. (Source – JRLee email)

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“I was nervous at first to do the exercises and to read my first draft out loud, but it was fun in the end.” – US based participant in the Jhohadli Writing Project, my (Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator, and author Joanne C. Hillhouse) workshops currently being offered online. This workshop series being offered once a month throughout 2022 is ideal for writers with works in progress. The identified participant said the January 2022 session helped, “Strengthened my pages.” Register on a month by month basis or for several months at a time. See Opportunities Too for Jhohadli Writing Project and Other Opportunities. (Source – Me)

News

Bocas, Trinidad and Tobago’s literary festival and related programmes, many of which have reach across the Caribbean, is under new management. Nicholas Laughlin replaces Marina Salandy-Brown as festival and programme director, while she steps in to the role of president of the board of directors. Laughlin, a poet, editor of the arts and travel magazine Caribbean Beat and co-director of the arts collective Alice Yard has been working alongside Salandy-Brown from the start, crafting the festival programme every year and leading the programming of the new virtual festivals since 2020.   Additionally, after a rigorous, multi-stage recruitment process, Jean-Claude Cournand is the new Chief Executive Officer. Cournand has been responsible for areas of Bocas Lit Fest youth programming since 2013 and through a partnership between Bocas and the 2Cents Movement, which he co-founded and managed, strategically helped to introduce the nation’s youth to spoken word and performance poetry. The huge popularity of the First Citizens National Poetry Slam is the culmination of their joint efforts. Read more here. (Source – JRLee email)

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Issue 13 of Cacique magazine features Antiguan-Barbudan (by way of Dominica) designer Miranda Askie. Cacique is the inflight magazine of InterCaribbean Airways. The issue which also includes an interview with Barbados’ Cherise Harris (known around these parts as illustrator of my children’s book With Grace) and book recommendations by Caribbean Reads publisher and author Carol Mitchell. It can be read in full online. And remember, you can also read my Miranda Askie feature in this 2021 edition of CREATIVE SPACE. (Source – linkedin)

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St. Lucian Poet John Robert Lee has posted an article on ways to revitalize and upgrade his country’s institutions and programmes to Jako Productions’ blog. Some interesting – and perhaps familiar – points. A Creative Arts Centre where cultural products are sold and which can also serve as an event space and restaurant, gallery, cafe, and artists meeting space. National gallery (Long overdue!) with retail space. Enhancement of library spaces and services. Supported and well maintained heritage spaces which can serve as cultural hubs. Strengthening of the government printery to produce cultural material. A vibrant performing arts space with creative arts training and certification opportunities. Needed as well, in addition to in-school instruction, is more public education (through traditional and social media channels) in the arts. There are, he points out, many practitioners who could be drawn on to serve as educators in their respective disciplines; it, and these other suggestions, just require a bit more initiative on the part of the powers that be. “The CDF needs to become more pro-active, more creative in their thinking, more truly supportive of the arts, and that across generations.” (Source – Jako Productions email)

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.

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Carib Lit Plus (Mid to Late December 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).

Christmas

The latest CREATIVE SPACE is the story of Christmas in the Caribbean. Read it here and share. And check out the CREATIVE SPACE Christmas playlist here.

(Source – me)

Accolades

The Caribbean Writer award winners for volume 35 have been announced. St. Lucian Cecilia Valasse was the Cecile de Jongh literary prize winner for a writer whose work best expresses the spirit of the Caribbean for ‘Castor Oils Seeds’. Antigua-born, Virgin Islands-raised Elaine Jacobs won the Marvin E Williams prize for an emerging writer for ‘Going away without Shoes’. St. Lucian McDonald Dixon, ‘Beloved Country’, Virgin Islander Clarissa Gillard, ‘A Muted Conversation between Races and Social Injustice’, David O’keefe, ‘Caribbean Blues’, and Jamaican Rohan Facey, ‘Not Ordinary Days’ were all short listed for this prize. Short listed for the Canute A. Brodhurst prize for best short fiction were Dominica’s Yakima Cuffy, ‘Truths about Coconuts’, and Canada-based Trinidadian Priya Ramsingh, ‘Pies for Lunch’. The winner is Grenadian Claude C. Allick for ‘The Replacement’. The Vincent Cooper literary prize to a Caribbean writer for exemplary writing in nation language goes to Sherese Francis, who is Dominican and Barbadian American, for ‘SomNuh/Mbulist (Patois Possession). Shortlisted was Eassah Cortez Diaz for ‘No Soy de Aqui; Ni de Alla’. (Source – press release)

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Antigua and Barbuda’s Jamaica Kincaid has been named an inaugural fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. The RSL International Writers programme was announced last year as part of RSL 200, a five-year festival launched in 2020 with a series of major new initiatives and 60 new appointments championing the great diversity of writing and writers in the UK. The programme is a new award recognising the contribution of writers across the globe to literature in English, and the power of literature to transcend borders to bring people together. At a time of rising nationalism, RSL International Writers celebrates the many ways in which literature can shape a future world. A life-long honour, new writers will be invited to join the RSL’s International Writers each year forming an ever-expanding global community of authors. While the RSL is the UK’s charity for the advancement of literature, we recognise and seek to celebrate the power of literature to bring us together, beyond borders and across cultures. They invited public recommendations of writers (I actually made a nomination) and the inaugural 12 RSL International writers are: Don Mee Choi, Annie Ernaux, David Grossman, Jamaica Kincaid, Yan Lianke, Amin Maalouf, Alain Mabanckou, Javier Marías, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Claudia Rankine, Olga Tokarczuk and Dubravka Ugrešić. They’re now inviting new nominations of witers not resident in nor citizens of the UK, who have published at least two works of outstanding literary merit. submit by 29th April 2022 here.

Events

Some CREATIVE SPACE news. Antiguan and Barbudan artist Heather Doram had her first full art show since 2006 on December 18th 2021 at Henre Designs Studios in Belmont – a small, fully vaxxed event.

More images and context in this CREATIVE SPACE Coda. It’s been added as a web exclusive to CREATIVE SPACE 2021. And, heads up, you can still catch the interview with mental health advocate Chaneil Imhoff which was the previous full CREATIVE SPACE and check back next Wednesday for the last CREATIVE SPACE of 2021 here. (Source – me)

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Anderson Reynolds book signing in St. Lucia for December 17th and 18th. The books include No Man’s Land, My Father is No Longer Here, The Stall Keeper, The Struggle for Survival, and Death by Fire – all published by St. Lucian publisher, Jako Books. (Source – Jako Productions email)

Opportunities

This is the 2022 schedule for my Jhohadli Writing Project creative writing workshops. Email antiguanwriter@gmail.com if you’d like to be added to the mailing list or have questions. (Source – me)

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There is a call for submission of fiction and poetry on gender based violence in the Caribbean for a forthcoming Peepal Tree publication. Details here. This and other opportunities are listed in Opportunities Too here on the Wadadli Pen blog. (Source – Twitter)

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Did you catch Caribbean Books Foundation celebration of Caribbean Folklore all October? How about their author of the month series? Well, that’s just some of what they’re doing that might be of interest to the Caribbean literary community. “In our continued efforts to promote Caribbean literature, Caribbean writers, and Authors, we’re beefing up our book launch section with a monthly list of books coming out the following month from Caribbean writers.” So add them to your mailing list if you are a Caribbean writer with a book coming out. The list posts the 15th of every month and will include both self-published and traditionally published books. “We will also follow the book launch and post the actual launch on our Social Media networks and Weekly Blog.” They also do author interviews (I have one of these forthcoming with Dance on the Moon author Floree Williams Whyte for my CREATIVE SPACE art and culture series) and book reviews (as do I btw in my Blogger on Books series). To get your forthcoming book listed by the Caribbean Books Foundation, email caribbeanbooksfoundation@gmail.com, your country, book cover, book name (if it’s a part of a series, publisher information, genre, target age group), author name or pen name, blurb or short book summary of 200-250 characters, release date, and pre-order links (max. 2). Caribbean Books Foundation is a registered non-profit in Trinidad and Tobago founded by Marsha Gomes-McKie. (Source – CBF email)

Film

Caribbean Loop recently did an article entitled ‘Antiguan Films that should be added to Your Must-See List’ that led off with the country’s first feature length film, HAMAfilms’ The Sweetest Mango, on which I served as associate producer. Written by D. Gisele Isaac, the romantic dramedy is also “the first indigenous film for the Eastern Caribbean”. There are three other HAMA films (No Seed, on which I was production manager, also written by Isaac; Diablesse, co-written by Allen and Jermilla Kirwan who starred in this and The Sweetest Mango; and The Skin, written by Howard and Mitzi Allen) on the list; all produced by the husband (Howard, also the director) and wife (Mitzi) that make up HAMA. Nigel Trellis’ Working Girl makes the short list. He was writer, producer, and director of the film about a teenage girl struggling with multiple problems including a dying mother. Short film Dadli by rising star Shabier Kirchner (featured earlier this year in my art and culture column CREATIVE SPACE), award winning for his cinematography on Steve McQueen’s Small Axe series and tapped to make his directorial debut with Kei Miller’s Augustown. Read the article and find out where and how you can view the films. See also my CREATIVE SPACE on Antigua and Barbuda films from 2020 and the Antigua and Barbuda film data base on this site. (Source – facebook)

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Poetry is an Island, a film about the poetry of Derek Walcott, Nobel Laureate from the Caribbean, and specifically St. Lucia, is actually a few years old but I’m only learning of it after news of an online screening (during an event called Curfew Cinema). While I missed the viewing window, I looked up the movie anyway and you can see the trailer below, and this is the link to the website. The director (and producer with Aruban Rebecca Roos) is Ida Does out of Suriname.

(Source – JRLee email)

Books

Jamaica’s Poet Laureate Olive Senior has a newish collection, Hurricane Watch, dropping in January 2022. It is collected (previously published) and new works.

(Source – Twitter)

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In case you missed it, Floree Williams Whyte’s latest Dance on the Moon is in the marketplace.

And here’s a preview of my interview with her for the first installment of CREATIVE SPACE for 2022.

(Source – me)

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Rohan Bullkin and the Shadows is the latest from Jamaican writer Juleus Ghunta (Tata and the Big Bad Bull), once again with Caribbean Reads Publishing. The illustrator is Rachel Moss. “Rohan Bullkin is haunted by sinister Shadows that fuel his fear of reading. He hates books so much that he often rips their pages. But when the Shadows become intolerable, Rohan accepts an offer of friendship from a special book. This marks the beginning of a remarkable journey during which he not only learns how to conquer Shadows but also develops a love of books and life.” (synopsis) (Source – Caribbean Reads email)

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‘Willow’, a story earmarked for my short story collection in progress has been previewed in new publication The Perito Prize’s 2021 anthology. Find information on it on my updated Books page. (Source – me)

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

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Jhohadli Writing Project 2022 Schedule

The Jhohadli Writing Project is the workshop umbrella of award winning writer (and Wadadli Pen co-founder and coordinator) Joanne C. Hillhouse.

Remember to see Opportunities Too and Opportunities here on Wadadli Pen blog for more opportunities for writers and other artistes.

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is researched and/or written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, DancingNude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure and its Spanish language edition). All Rights Reserved. If you share this list, give credit; if you appreciate the service, help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to this and my author site to keep up with future updates. Thanks and Good Luck.

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Jhohadli Writing Project for Wadadli Pen @ the Botanical Gardens

Saturday 28th August was the last of the summer workshop sessions planned for the Wadadli Pen 2021 long listed writers, facilitated by me through my Jhohadli Writing Project. While three previous sessions took place via zoom, this was an in-person session. I actually had planned initially to use the Public Library but after receiving a no from them for a Saturday session, I decided to move things over to the Botanical Gardens. And it worked out better, I think; lots of fresh air and space to distance, lots of writing, and lots of natural inspiration.

This is one participant evaluation after a zoom session; others are expected (will share when they come in). But, in the meantime, follow this blog and/or my Jhohadli blog to connect to future workshop opportunities. Anything here is non-profit (so will require patronage) and the Jhohadli Writing Project over on my personal blog is not-non-profit (requiring payment by individual participants and/or patronage, e.g. a contribution in this instance from G. Linton, to cover some or all of my time for prep and delivery of workshops, and related expenses).

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.

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A & B Arts Round up – March 25th 2019 —>

April 30th 2019 – Reggae in the Park celebrates its 10th anniversary during the Annual Sailing Week activities. Headliners are Christopher Martin and Junior Kelly. Local talent will be DJ’s Jime and Illist, and musical artistes LCD-The Band and Blakk Gold.

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–>April 27th 2019 – InternationalDanceMusicandFolkloreFestivalevents

For more details, go here.

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April 26th 2019 –

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April 24th 2019 – 54516026_2153534838221705_606143662128103424_n.jpg

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April 7th 2019 –

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March 31st 2019 – Voting deadline – #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda

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March 31st 2019 – 54518303_2307441705946617_3976696943622488064_n

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Between now and summer – for summer youth writing camp –

teaser flyer 2

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Ongoing –

Every Saturday 10:30 a.m. – 12 noon – Cushion Club Reading Club for Kids – University of the West Indies Open Campus (Antigua and Barbuda) – Queen Elizabeth Highway

Every Saturday (?) –

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As with all content on Wadadli Pen, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (founder and coordinator of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize, and author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Oh Gad!, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings, Musical Youth, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure). All rights reserved. Subscribe to this site to keep up with future updates.

 

 

 

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Jhohadli Writing Project – Latest News

Why did you register for this workshop?
I was curious. I also thought I could learn new things which I did.

What was your favourite/least favourite activity?
I enjoyed everything at the workshop especially the discussions.

Would you recommend this workshop?
Yes, most definitely. There is a lot to learn and the facilitator did a great job of explaining what I didn’t understand.

Promo July August 2018

The Q & A above excerpt a recent Jhohadli Writing Project evaluation – redacted to exclude any information specific to the participant.

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, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page Jhohadli or like me on Facebook. Help me 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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