Tag Archives: Joanne C. Hillhouse

Reading Room and Gallery 43

Things I read or view or listen to that you might like too. Things will be added – up to about 20 or so – before this installment in the Reading Room and Gallery series is archived. For previous and future installments in this series, use the search feature to the right. Possible warning for adult language and themes.

VIDEO ESSAYS

“When he left, Marley was despondent, feeling betrayed by the country he had given his life to…”

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“It’s harder than you think it is…” – Lindsey Ellis

POETRY

“Hurricanes that stagger like a betrayed lover barreling through the islands until its rage is spent on the sands of our beaches/littered with masks and plastic bottles” – ‘Archipelagos‘ by Geoffrey Philp

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“I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins.” – from Langston Hughes’ ‘The Negro Speaks of Rivers

FICTION

“When Kali fights Raktavera it seems impossible because every drop of his blood generates new demons. She figures out how to defeat him. She lifts him above the earth, slays him, and drinks his blood. Consuming Raktavera’s blood, Kali goes into a destructive trance. She can’t control herself. She kills.” – from ‘Journey to Ashes‘ by Joy Mahabir

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“In the beginning Leona thought the river was a horrible way to meet men. She thought Nell and I should meet them through normal channels, at church or a coffee shop, and not immediately after they’d tried to end their lives. Over the years, though, she’d accepted that my sister and I weren’t attracted to churchgoing, coffee-shop sorts, that we liked men who’d reached the ends of their ropes, guys who’d been gut-punched by life enough times to know they would be gut-punched several more.” – from ‘The Narrows by Janet Jodzio

REVIEWS

“…all in all I loved this book (both books), and find it consistent with the author’s oeuvre, which I’ve found to have strong, athletic and adventurous females, some element of fantasy, some mystery to be solved or problem to trouble shoot, within a Caribbean setting that just is. It’s very accessible for young readers and I can see it becoming a favourite of a young girl who is in to art, science, and sports, or perhaps just likes a bit of fantasy.” – from Blogger on Book (2021) – Quick Takes III. The Blogger on Books series used to run on this blog and has since moved to Jhohadli. This post is quick takes of the Antigua and Barbuda Review of Books Volume 12 Number 1 Summer 2019, and two Big Cat books How to be a Calypsonian and The Lost Sketchbook (the review of the latter excerpted here)

NON FICTION

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‘Writing forty to fifty short stories annually provided Louis with just enough money to live comfortably as long as he kept tight control over his budget. Maintaining his morale was also a reason for the high productivity: “My system was to have so many stories out that when one came back its failure was cushioned by the chances that were left,” he wrote to author and editor Ken Fowler, “and by the time they returned I had others out.”’ – from Louis L’Amour and the Legend of the West: Beau L’Amour remembers the Life and Work of His Famous Father in Crime Reads

VISUAL ART

Something I made…

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Moko: Caribbean Arts and Letters in 2021 featured the photographic art of Nadia Huggins, a Trinidad-Tobago born, St. Vincent and the Grenadines raised artist and director. The series of images is part of her documentation of the La Soufriere eruption. See more images and read more about her work here.

READING

This was a promotional reading posted to her publisher’s YouTube by Turtle Beach author Barbara A. Arrindell. This book is part of the Caribbean line of Big Cat books and Arrindell is a Wadadli Pen team member.

CREATIVES ON CREATING

It’s crazy to me that this film didn’t get more awards love. Why? See my review of both the movie and the book from which it was adapted.

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“I could work on a song for an hour or two and then I want to jump off to the next one…working on one song I can get bored and fall out of love with it…he has no problem just sitting with one song.” – Anderson.Paak on working with Bruno Mars

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“We Often Have Dope Crew Jackets On My Joints. I Often See Them On Ebay For Big Money.” – ‘Remembering the Iconic Visuals and Creative Process of Spike Lee’s School Daze‘ by Spike Lee

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“Creative writing in an of itself is a form of journalism…if you’re speaking to an issue, you’re speaking to something that has a spine, you’re just altering the delivery method in which someone gets the information.” – Roy Wood Jr. in conversation with Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due

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“We need to know what a particular form does for storytelling so we can make an informed decision about if we want to use it, when we want to use it, or if we want to dismiss it altogether.” – Tiphanie Yanique on Breaking the Rules of Form in LitHub

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“The entry point for me with this particular story though it’s an aquatic adventure set under the sea, the entry point for me was friendhsip.” – Joanne C. Hillhouse at Write the Vision’s Aspiring Authors and Writers Virtual Literary Event, speaking on ‘The Art of Writing Children’s Books?’, speaking at this point on writing Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure

CONVERSATIONS

“The problem with canons is how they squeeze people out, it’s not how they include people.”

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 “But who I am is my father’s son…” – Sydney Poitier, Academy Class of 2014, Full Interview

His story about the slap back he insisted on in ‘In the Heat of the Night’ and the story he tells about the role he turned down pre-fame (when things were so bad he had to take out a street loan against his furniture to pay for his daughter to be born in hospital) have in common his awareness of his responsibility to his character, characters, and community, and determination not to make money his only motivator.

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“Poetry and fiction publishing by Caribbean women has been on-going for decades. Readers should have had more multilingual anthologies available during the last twenty years. We have such a significant number of excellent writers coming from the region and the larger Caribbean world.” – Loretta Collins Klobah in interview (alongside Maria Grau Perejoan) with Plume

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“How come we are so visible, yet we are invisible.” – Edith Oladele of the African Slavery Memorial Society, discussing how she came to an awareness of her connection to slavery and to Africa.

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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Antigua and Barbuda Literary Works Reviewed XIII

This picks up where the previous installments of Antigua and Barbuda Literary Works Reviewed pages left off (use the search feature to the right to dig them up). As with those earlier pages, it features reviews about A & B writings that I come across as I dig through my archives or surf the web. You’re welcome to send any credible/professional reviews that you come across as well. They’re not in any particular order, I just add them as I add them; some will be old, some will be new. It’s all shared in an effort to underscore, emphasize, and insist on Antigua and Barbuda’s presence in the Caribbean literary canon.

Discussion of HaMaFilms’ The Sweetest Mango on the Karukerament podcast. “Cinema and television entertain this superficial vision of the Caribbean man…but with Richard in The Sweetest Mango it’s the other way around. …in most romantic comedies you don’t even know why the lead woman likes the lead man…so when you look at things closely, The Sweetest Mango was really in the Black pop culture trend because it was a romantic comedy, but it was also avante garde because it showed a healthy relationship between two Black characters.” – February 2021

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“But I also really love Joanne Hillhouse’s YA novel Musical Youth which focuses on the experience of children learning about colourism and how colourism is manifested in their communities. And one of the things that we all loved talking about in the book club was how this author chose to show male friendship and it was just wonderful. It was a wonderful read because of so many things….I think I would probably push you more toward Joanne Hillhouse’s Musical Youth because this is not such a well known author and maybe she could stand to use a little bit more recognition.” – Booktuber RunWrightReads of RunWrightReads book club on Musical Youth by Joanne C. Hillhouse – December 2021

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“Caribbean YA just slaps differently, and this book is great reminder of this.

Why did I wait so long to read this beautiful book?!!! In Musical Youth we meet Zahara, she is a bit of a loner, lives with the grandmother because her mother died and she doesn’t have a clue who her father is. She just know he left a guitar for her and she’s been attached to it ever since. Zahara’s first love is music. She spends significant time learning how to play her guitar. That’s until she meets Shaka, a lover of music like herself. She pulled her out of her shell but there are consequences….

The author really knew what she was doing writing this book. It felt real and truly such a great look into the lives of young adults living in Antigua. I did not want the book to end. Zahara is such a likeable character, so too is Shaka and their love story is too cute.

Seriously, this is the YA you are looking for, thank me later.” – Book of Cinz, founder of the #readCaribbean social media meme campaign on goodreads’ and the Book of Cinz book club, review of Musical Youth in 2021

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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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A & B Writings in Journals, Showcases, and Contests (H – N)

This page has grown fairly quickly, so I’m breaking it up in to four pages. For A – G, go here, for O – T, go here, for U – Z, go here. and for books, go here. This is exclusively for creative pieces by Antiguans and Barbudans accepted to established literary journals, festivals (and other notable literary platforms), and contests (not pieces posted only to personal blogs) as I discover (and in some cases, re-discover) them. Primarily, the focus is on pieces accessible online (i.e. linkable) because those are easiest to find; but it is not limited to these. It is intended as a record of our publications and presentation of creative works beyond sole authored books. Naturally, I’ll miss some things. You can recommend (in fact, I welcome your recommendations), but, as with all areas of the site, additions/subtractions are at the discretion of the admin.

HECTOR, LEONARD ‘TIM’ – Excerpt from The Art of Carnival and the Carnival of Art (non-fiction, previously published in The Outlet newspaper) – in Carnival is All We know: an Anthology Celebrating 50 Years of Antigua’s Carnival and the Creativity of Our Writers & Artists (edited by Joanne C. Hillhouse and published as a supplement in the Daily Observer) – 2007

HENRY, E.T.Christmas Stringband GreetingCardChristmas Stringband (visual art – greeting card),

Calypso dancers

‘Calypso Dancers’, and John Bull painting (visual art – painting) John Bull – in Carnival is All We know: an Anthology Celebrating 50 Years of Antigua’s Carnival and the Creativity of Our Writers & Artists (edited by Joanne C. Hillhouse and published as a supplement in the Daily Observer) – 2007

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. Ixie and Izzy in Moko: Caribbean Arts and Letters – December 7th 2021

Excerpt: Grey was a palomino, pale and freckled and blonde, an unusual breed for the island but here nonetheless, as anomalies are everywhere. Perhaps it was their differentness that made them such good companions. The horse had waited patiently through the night. Now, she snuffed and fidgeted, as she rarely did, and when that didn’t get Ixie’s attention, she neighed. Ixie looked over to see a man standing, watching.

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C.  – Presenting on ‘The Art of Writing Children’s Books’ at Write the Vision’s 2021 Aspiring Authors and Writers Virtual Literary Event – October 7th 2021


HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – Ah Write!, She Lives There, She Works, Ghosts Lament, When We Danced, Ode to the Pan Man, excerpt from With Grace, Da’s Calypso (poetry, fiction) – Festival Internacional de Poesia de Medellin (samples ‘Una Oda al Pan Man’ [An Ode to the Pan Man], ‘El Lamento de las Fantasmas’ [Ghosts’ Lament], ‘Ella viva Alla’ [She lives There], ‘Ella Trabaja’ [She Works], ‘El Calipso de Da’ [Da’s Calypso], and ‘Escribo!’ [Ah Write!] also published on the Festival site and ‘El Lamento de las Fantasmas’ [Ghosts’ Lament] and ‘El Calipso Da Da’ [Da’s Calypso] p. 279-282 in the official festival publication ‘Revista Prometeo Numero 115-116’ Agosto de 2021 Revista Prometeo 115-116 (JCH in Revista Prometeo)- August 10th 2021

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C.Times A-Changing (fiction) – CREATIVE SPACE #15 of 2021 in the Daily Observer newspaper

Excerpt: “The already narrow road was made narrower by the line of cars. There were always cars there, even when the bars up and down both sides of the road were officially closed due to Lockdown.”

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C.Antigua, at Night (poetry) – in BIM: Arts for the 21st Century Volume 10 – 2021

antigua-at-night

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C.Carnival Hangover (fiction) – in intersectantigua.com – 2020

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C.  –   reading excerpt from Rhythms (poem, Vol. 18, The Caribbean Writer) and Ode to the Pan Man (poem, Vol. 27, The Caribbean Writer) – (virtual) lit conference and journal launch of The Caribbean Writer – 2020

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – reading excerpts from award winning teen/young adult novel Musical Youth as part of St. Lucia’s Caribcation Caribbean Author Series – 2020

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure read during the Read2Me virtual series out of Trinidad and Tobago  – 2020

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – Grandmother and Child, Waste Not, Weather Patterns (poetry) – Skin Deep magazine Is this the End? (UK) – 2020

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – readers sharing an excerpt from With Grace at the Barnes Hill Reservoir Park Black History Month event (fiction) – 2019

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – Development and Summer One (poetry) – Angles of Light series on Chapel FM (UK) – 2019

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – Ode to the Pan Man during Antigua and Barbuda Independence literary arts showcase (poetry) – 2019

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – excerpt from Musical Youth during Antigua and Barbuda Independence literary arts showcase (fiction) – 2019

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – The Night the World Ended (fiction) – The Caribbean Writer Volume 32 – 2018

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C.A Life in Mas (non-fiction) – Moko: Caribbean Art and Letters – 2018

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. Papa Jumbie (flash fiction)- Akashic Books’ Duppy Thursday series – 2017

Excerpt: “… he choops to heself. Only picknee believe in jumbie. Dead na speak an’ Papa dead long time.”

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C.The Other Daughter (fiction, included in a test question in the Denmark Ministry of Education’s 2019 English Evaluation Written Exam for upper secondary and higher preparatory students. Plus there’s analysis and breakdown on the Danish version of study net – 2019) – Adda (the Commonwealth Writers online literary magazine) – 2017

Excerpt: “The day we went uphill, my corn-rowed head level with Mom’s melon-sized chest, my inquiries about where we were going were met with silence and a determined tug on my arm as I dragged my feet.”

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C.Little Prissy Palmer (flash fiction) – The Machinery – 2017

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – The Bamboo Raft and Election Season (poetry), and Zombie Island (fiction) – Interviewing the Caribbean Vol. 2 No. 1 – 2016

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – Game Changer (fiction) – Moko: Caribbean Arts and Letters, Vol. 9 – 2016

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – When we Danced (also winner of the Caribbean Writer’s 2014 Flash Fiction Prize) (flash fiction) and Election Season ll (poetry) – The Caribbean Writer Volume 29 – 2015

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – What’s in a Name? (fiction) – BIM: Arts for the 21st Century Volume 7 – 2015

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C.Children Melee (poetry) – Moko: Caribbean Arts and Letters Issue 3 – 2014

Excerpt: “Peanuts roasting
 Music pumping
 Obsti prancing about in pigtails”

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – To Market, Snapshot (flash fiction) – Susumba’s Book Bag Issue 1 – 2014

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – Civi-li-za-tion (poetry) – Artemis Volume XXl- 2014

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C.Summer 1 (poetry, also published in Tongues of the Ocean) & Something Wicked (fiction, Story of the Week) – The Missing Slate – 2013/2014

Excerpt (from Something Wicked): “Essie is flamboyant as ever; her full and curvy frame hugged up by a red bustier straight out of a burlesque show, black leather pants, and dangerously (sexy, she would say) red heels that still only bring her up to Claudette’s chin. Claudette is also in black, tall and svelte in a black strappy ankle-length maxi dress, black combat boots and a black beaded cloche hat someone like Louise Brooks might have worn during the jazz era; her red-red lip stick and the red beading in the fitted cap, the only pop of colour. Essie had given the whole get-up an eye roll when she’d picked her up. Claudette had done her own mental eye roll at the way her friend, enviably comfortable in her own skin, still doesn’t get the concept of size-appropriate clothing.”

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – Carnival Blues (fiction, also published as Something Wicked in The Missing Slate), Is Like a Like It (screenplay excerpt), Music and Ode to the Pan Man and On Seeing Euzhan Palcy’s Rue Cases Nègres  (poetry) – The Caribbean Writer Volume 27 – 2013

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – All Fall Down (fiction) and Feather in Her Ear, Another Garden, Prison for Two, and Corporal Punishment (poetry) – Womanspeak: a Journal of Art and Writing by Caribbean Women Volume 7 – 2013

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C.The Cat has Claws (flash fiction) – Akashic Book’s Monday’s are Murder online noir series – 2013

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C.  – Caribbean Woman (poetry, subsequently published in Dancing Nude in the Moonlight: 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings – 2014) – The Columbia Review – 2013

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – She Works (national contest selection 2009), She Lives There, and Development (also published in Tongues of the Ocean) (poetry, all subsequently published in Dancing Nude in the Moonlight: 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings – 2014) – Womanspeak: a Journal of Literature and Art by Caribbean Women Volume 6 – 2012

Excerpt (She Works):
“A thin row of cane stalks marks
The boundary of the land
She carries a bath heavy with clothes in her hands”

HILLHOUSE JOANNE C. – Mango Season (poetry, subsequently published in Dancing Nude in the Moonlight: 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings – 2014) – The Caribbean Writer Volume 26 – 2012

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – Differences (poetry, subsequently published in Dancing Nude in the Moonlight: 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings – 2014) – Theorizing Homophobias in the Caribbeean: Complexities of Place, Desire, and Belonging – 2012

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C.Teacher May (fiction, subsequently published in Dancing Nude in the Moonlight: 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings – 2014) – Poui: Cave Hill Journal of Creative Writing Number XII – 2011

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – At Sea (flash fiction, subsequently published in Dancing Nude in the Moonlight: 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings – 2014) – Munyori – 2011

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – Ghosts Lament (poetry, subsequently published in Dancing Nude in the Moonlight: 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings – 2014) – SX Literary Salon – 2011

Excerpt: “…as someone beats a pan; a skanking Marley jam…”

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – Somebody (fiction; subsequently published in Dancing Nude in the Moonlight: 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings – 2014) – St. Somewhere – 2010

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C.Scenes from a Caribbean Childhood (poetry) – Anansesem – 2010

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – Country Club Kids (fiction) and Tongue Twista (poetry,  both subsequently published in Dancing Nude in the Moonlight: 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings – 2014) – The Caribbean Writer Volume 24 – 2010

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – AfterGlow (fiction) – Tongues of the Ocean – 2009; subsequently published in So the Nailhead Bend, So the Story End – 2012 and Dancing Nude in the Moonlight: 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings – 2014

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – Venus Ascending (poetry, subsequently published in Dancing Nude in the Moonlight: 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings – 2014) – Mythium: the Journal of Contemporary Literature and Cultural Voices – 2009

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. The Arrival , Prospero’s Education , and Da’s Calypso (poetry, all subsequently published in Dancing Nude in the Moonlight: 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings – 2014) – Calabash – 2008

Excerpt from Da’s Calypso:

“He na min school pon
Shakespeare,
but he understan’ well
de ingenuity o’
wan pun,
weave imagery o’
everyday life
inna song –”

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – Friday Night Fish Fry (fiction, subsequently published in Dancing Nude in the Moonlight: 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings – 2014) – published in Sea Breeze and read at the Breadloaf Writers Conference – 2008

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – Cold Paradise and Portent (fiction) and Benediction before the Essences: A Prayer, Caribbean Sunset, Caribbean Spirit, The Sea (poetry, all subsequently published in Dancing Nude in the Moonlight: 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings – 2014) – Women Writers – 2008

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – Soca Night (fiction, subsequently published in Dancing Nude in the Moonlight: 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings – 2014) and excerpt from Oh Gad! (fiction, a novel subsequently published by Simon & Schuster, 2012) – in Carnival is All We know: an Anthology Celebrating 50 Years of Antigua’s Carnival and the Creativity of Our Writers & Artists (edited by Joanne C. Hillhouse and published as a supplement in the Daily Observer) – 2007

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – Rhythms (fiction) and Ah Write! (poetry, later published, 2010, in PEN America: a Journal of Writers and Readers) (both subsequently published in Dancing Nude in the Moonlight: 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings – 2014) – The Caribbean Writer Volume 18 – 2004

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – Martin, Dorie, and Luis: a Love Story (fiction, subsequently published in Dancing Nude in the Moonlight: 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings – 2014) – Jamaica Observer Literary Arts – 2004

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – Philly Ramblings 8 (poetry, subsequently published in Dancing Nude in the Moonlight: 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings – 2014) – Ma Comère: Journal of the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars Volume 3 – 2000

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – Bitter Memories (fiction) and Hope Springs Eternal and Old People (poetry, subsequently published in Dancing Nude in the Moonlight: 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings – 2014) – Collective Soul – 1998

HILLHOUSE, JOANNE C. – reading excerpts from unpublished manuscript Closed for Repairs (fiction) and Second Middle Passage and Apocalyptic Dance (poems) while a participant in the Caribbean Fiction Writers Summer Institute at the University of Miami – 1995

Excerpt: “A sister pimping her soul
A baby with a gun in his hand
Love gone cold”

HOLDER, ZURI – The Scary Night (fiction, 2011 award winning Wadadli Pen story) – Anansesem (the Wadadli Pen special issue) – 2011

HUNT, SIENA K. MARGRIE – Nuclear Family Explosion (fiction, 2004 award winning Wadadli Pen story) – Anansesem (the Wadadli Pen special issue) – 2011

HUNTE, JOSEPH ‘CALYPSO JOE’ – Bum Bum (calypso lyrics – 1970 Carnival road march tune)  – Carnival is All We know: an Anthology Celebrating 50 Years of Antigua’s Carnival and the Creativity of Our Writers & Artists (edited by Joanne C. Hillhouse and published as a supplement in the Daily Observer) – 2007

ISAAC, D. GISELE – Excerpt from In Search of a Road (fiction, unpublished-in-progress novel) – Carnival is All We know: an Anthology Celebrating 50 Years of Antigua’s Carnival and the Creativity of Our Writers & Artists (edited by Joanne C. Hillhouse and published as a supplement in the Daily Observer) – 2007

ISAAC-GELLIZEAU, DOTSIE – Home (poetry) – national contest selection (no word of announced publication) – 2009

Excerpt:”Her soul and heart rejoiced
Upright and locked position”

JACKSON, ANNETTAUnlearning Anti-Blackness – in intersectantigua.com – 2020

“It is Sunday, May 4th, 2014 and I am in my bathroom with blue handle scissors cutting off 6 years’ worth of permed hair from my head. My afro is like a mushroom and my face looks like a boy. I had been growing my hair out for a few months and my biological mother had been washing my scalp with red stripe and aloe. I got tired of battling with the two textures, so I cut it off.”

JACOBS, OGLIVIER ‘DESTROYER’ – Message from Gorkie (calypso – from his album The King and The Patriot) – Carnival is All We know: an Anthology Celebrating 50 Years of Antigua’s Carnival and the Creativity of Our Writers & Artists (edited by Joanne C. Hillhouse and published as a supplement in the Daily Observer) – 2007

JAMES, S. E. – (fiction) Excerpt from the chapter Carnival in her book Tragedy on Emerald Island – Carnival is All We know: an Anthology Celebrating 50 Years of Antigua’s Carnival and the Creativity of Our Writers & Artists (edited by Joanne C. Hillhouse and published as a supplement in the Daily Observer) – 2007

JARDINE, AKILAH – (fiction) Excerpt from the chapter Blue Devils in her book Living Life the Way I Love It – Carnival is All We know: an Anthology Celebrating 50 Years of Antigua’s Carnival and the Creativity of Our Writers & Artists (edited by Joanne C. Hillhouse and published as a supplement in the Daily Observer) – 2007

JARDINE, ARTHUR ‘BUM’ (youngest member of Brute Force, the first recorded steelband) – The Man and His Pan and My Travels with Brute Force (non-fiction from memoir in progress The Man, His Pan, and The Conflict), Pan Rhapsody and Song for Fundu (poetry) – Carnival is All We know: an Anthology Celebrating 50 Years of Antigua’s Carnival and the Creativity of Our Writers & Artists (edited by Joanne C. Hillhouse and published as a supplement in the Daily Observer) – 2007

JARVIS-GEORGE, TAMEKA Woman to Woman (fiction) – Tongues of the Ocean (special issue – Artists and Writers of Antigua and Barbuda edited by Joanne C. Hillhouse) – 2014

JARVIS-GEORGE, TAMEKA Ugly (poetry) – featured in/providing narrative structure for film of the same name

JARVIS-GEORGE, TAMEKA – Dinner (poetry) – featured in/providing narrative structure for film of the same name

JENNINGS, HUDLE – (visual art – illustration for Shakeema Edwards’ The Curse of the Kumina and for Devra Thomas’ Sand and Butterflies (2011 Wadadli Pen art and fiction) – Anansesem (the Best of Wadadli Pen special issue) – 2011

JOSEPH, CLIFTON – That Night in Tunisia  – performed in the documentary Dark Arts in the Plastic Hallway – 2009

JOSEPH, CLIFTONI Remember Back Home & Slo Mo (poetry) – performed at the Words Aloud 4 Spoken Word Festival in Canada – 2007

Excerpt: “It wasn’t all bright smiles, sea sand, sun and
fun/Back home had its share of oppression in the sun/
Back home had its share of dreams burnt in the sun”

JOSEPH, JAMALReturning to Natural Roots (visual art) – intersectantigua.com – 2020

KINCAID, JAMAICA2021 Langston Hughes Festival – Evening Ceremony Honouring Jamaica Kincaid – 2021

KING, X-SAPHAIRTurmoil Within and  Strength through Pain (visual art – painting) – Tongues of the Ocean (special issue – Artists and Writers of Antigua and Barbuda edited by Joanne C. Hillhouse) – 2014

KINSELLA, MARIE – ‘Drum Man @ Boy’, ‘Two Pan Drummers’, and ‘The Joy of Pan’ (visual art – painting) – Tongues of the Ocean (special issue – Artists and Writers of Antigua and Barbuda edited by Joanne C. Hillhouse) – 2014

LAKE, EDGAR O. – Little Richard’s Second Coming (poetry) – Calabash – 2007

Excerpt: ‘But, the Faithful wait for the King of Pommade, Tuti
The Monarch of Mascara, pre-Pink Floyd, Tuti-Fruti
He’s turned his back on Hollywood – protesting!
He’s the King of Rock-and-Roll – will take it back –
“This Little Light of Mine – Say What?”
The tired Daughters of the Carolinas toss their curls
Little Richard’s seen the fork in the road – and took it

Praise his name!’

LAKE, EDGAR O.Walcott Reads to Brodsky’s Godmother (poetry) – Calabash – 2007

LANGLEY, CHARLESBlack Woman Cry (poetry) – Tongues of the Ocean (special issue – Artists and Writers of Antigua and Barbuda edited by Joanne C. Hillhouse) – 2014

LAWRENCE, LISCIA – The Day I saw Evil (fiction, Wadadli Pen award winning story) – Anansesem (the Wadadli Pen special issue) – 2011

LAVELLE, ARDIS – PreSchool Days (poetry, 2011 Wadadli Pen award winning story) – Anansesem (the Wadadli Pen special issue) – 2011

LI, DENISE – Carnival 1988 (visual art – drawing) – Carnival is All We know: an Anthology Celebrating 50 Years of Antigua’s Carnival and the Creativity of Our Writers & Artists (edited by Joanne C. Hillhouse and published as a supplement in the Daily Observer) – 2007

LI, SARAH ANN – Lucky Dollar (fiction, 2005 Wadadli Pen award winning story) – Anansesem (the Wadadli Pen special issue) – 2011

LIBURD, EDISON – ‘Mysteries and Contradictions’ – Caribbean Writer 29(visual art, cover art) – The Caribbean Writer Volume 29 – 2015

MARTIN, COLIN ‘WANGA’ – selected images (visual art – costumes: Bush Doctor, reminiscent of the old time medicine; Calabash and Can Cup, one time household utensils; Cane Cutters, referencing the sugar plantations that once dominated; Can Can and Hot Pants, referencing past fashions; and Perry Grey Ghost, referencing an old time folk character) from Reveller’s Mas Troupe’s 2003 presentation ‘Ole Time Something Come Back Again’ and ‘Spirit of Carnival’ (designed for 2005 Antigua Carnival Queen finalist Kimmorna Otto, to her ReggaeSoCalypso theme) – in Carnival is All We know: an Anthology Celebrating 50 Years of Antigua’s Carnival and the Creativity of Our Writers & Artists (edited by Joanne C. Hillhouse and published as a supplement in the Daily Observer) – 2007

MCDONALD, HILDA – Dawn and Evensong – KYK-OVER-AL No. 22: Anthology of West Indian Poetry, edited by A. J. Seymour (p. 47) – 1957

MEADE, SHANNONI, Atlas (fiction) – intersectantigua.com – 2020

MEADE, SHANNONMy Old Foe (poetry) – intersectantigua.com – 2020

MEDICA, HAZRADiscretely Antiguan and Distinctly Caribbean  (non-fiction) – Tongues of the Ocean (special issue – Artists and Writers of Antigua and Barbuda edited by Joanne C. Hillhouse) – 2014

Excerpt: “Near twenty years ago and entirely by chance, I discovered my first Antiguan novel.”

MEDICA, HAZRA – The Greeting (fiction) – Poui: Cave Hill Journal of Creative Writing XIII- 2012

MEDICA, HAZRA Ode to a Night in Ale – finalist in the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest – 2010

MEDICA, HAZRAThe Banana StainsHighly Recommended in the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association Short Story Contest – 2008/9

Excerpt: “I see my father motioning for me to come to him. His face is grim- the inspector had not been kind to him. On the drive home I think of Mr. Massiah and his stained clothing. Mr. Massiah has calloused hands. His hands make me think of the banana trunk in my dream.”

MENTOR, KEILLIA Mongoose in a Hole (fiction, 2011 award winning Wadadli Pen story) – Anansesem (Wadadli Pen special issue) – 2011

MERANTO, JENNIFER – ‘Carnival Mask’ (visual art – photography) – originally shot 1996; silver prints  – in Carnival is All We know: an Anthology Celebrating 50 Years of Antigua’s Carnival and the Creativity of Our Writers & Artists (edited by Joanne C. Hillhouse and published as a supplement in the Daily Observer) – 2007

MINGS, KIMOLISALittle Red Hoodie (fiction) – Tongues of the Ocean (special issue – Artists and Writers of Antigua and Barbuda edited by Joanne C. Hillhouse) – 2014

NANTON, ERROL ‘BUMPY’ – ‘Dance of the Masks’ and selections from Dynamics’ 2007 mas which revisited the best of Antigua’s Carnival over 51 years (visual art – costumes; 2001’s presentation ‘Dance of the Masks’  grew out of Nanton’s fascination with the tribal masks of Africa) – Carnival is All We know: an Anthology Celebrating 50 Years of Antigua’s Carnival and the Creativity of Our Writers & Artists (edited by Joanne C. Hillhouse and published as a supplement in the Daily Observer) – 2007

NICHOLAS, NNEKANaima and Forgiveness (fiction) – in intersectantigua.com – 2020

NICHOLSON, KEMAL OSMELMa Belle (fiction, 2006 Wadadli Pen short story award winner) – Anansesem (the Wadadli Pen special issue) – 2011

NICHOLSON, LIATekin’ Ahn Dey (fiction, 2004 Wadadli Pen short story award winner) – Anansesem (the Wadadli Pen special issue) – 2011

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, Oh Gad!, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and The Jungle Outside). All Rights Reserved. Please do not repost artist images without permission and credit. If you enjoyed this post, check out myJhohadli  page and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen, my books, and my freelance writing-editing-coaching-workshop services. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Carib Lit Plus (Mid to Late October 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).

Books

Joanne C. Hillhouse’s The Jungle Outside, by Harper Collins international, will have an ebook purchase option come December. (Source – in house)

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Lisa Allen-Agostini’s The Bread the Devil Knead, by UK indie Myriad, is now available to buy at bookstores in the US and Canada. (Source – author Instagram)

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Danielle Legros Georges’ translation of Ida Faubert’s Island Heart launched in 2021. Original publication was in 1939. It was Faubert’s first book. Both writers are Haitian. (Source – N/A)

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Voices Monologues and Plays for Caribbean Actors is a resource for theatre students, edited by Yvonne Weekes, lecturer at the University of the West Indies (Cave Hill campus).

“A theatre graduate came into my office and told me that he had to prepare a three-minute audition piece for an NCF local folk concert, a production that commemorates the 1937 riots in Barbados.

“I gave him a text of monologues which I had purchased several years earlier. A week later he returned the book and with great dejection stated that none of the monologues spoke to him as a young Caribbean performer.”

Dr Weekes added: “That same week David Edgecombe, a lecturer in Theatre at the University of the Virgin Islands, and I were discussing the state of Caribbean theatre. Ironically, he was lamenting the scarcity of scholarly and creative new works being produced by Caribbean playwrights and academics.

“These incidents prompted me to take up the challenge of producing an actor’s resource in order to provide historical, rich, dramatic monologues for research and exploration of their Caribbean identity.”

Barbados Today

The book is published by St. Martin’s House of Nehesi. The author hopes to get the book on to the Caribbean Examination Council syllabus. (Source – Facebook)

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Pictured left to right are Ronan Matthew, Joanne C. Hillhouse, and Gayle Gonsalves, all Antiguan-Barbudan writers, holding their books at the Best of Books. Matthew’s book is the 2021 release Ruby’s Dream: The Story of a Boy’s Life. A Blogger on Books review of which you can read here.

In the memoir or ripped from real life fictions of Antigua and Barbuda’s publishing history, I can’t think of another book that quite occupies the space this book does because of the author’s racial make-up and place in society – and I would have been interested in more of this aspect of it.

(Source – in house)

***

By Carol Mitchell and Heidi Fagerberg of Caribbean Reads Publishing, this 96 page colouring book, aptly titled Colour My World, is for children who are just learning to colour. The images celebrate the Caribbean region and correspond to curriculum objectives.

(Source – Facebook)

Events

Best of Books bookstore, Antigua, hosted Windward author, resident in Montserrat Marguerite Jennifer Joseph in October 2021 to promote her book Lady Under the Stairs. Summary (per Amazon): Two families connected through centuries of slavery and life after slavery in the Caribbean. The McKenzie’s were the plantation owners and the Charles’ their loyal house servants. Lilianne Charles a mere teenager had her life pulled apart after one brief encounter with a McKenzie. She ends up in a mental asylum, where she remained for almost a quarter of a century abandoned by the people who she thought had loved her. Follow this heart-wrenching story as Lily and her family journeys through the tropical plantation to the asylum in the Caribbean and then to the British countryside and back to the Caribbean, where Lily is finally reunited with all the people she had lost. The book was released in June 2021. (Source – Facebook)

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The ninth edition of the Bocas Poetry Slam Finals.

(Source – N/A)

Obit.

The Antigua and Barbuda media community is mourning the sudden, sad, and unexpected death of former ABS TV/radio journalist and public relations officer for the ministries of Health and Agriculture, Debbie Francis. Debbie died of COVID-19. A PAHO Media Award winning journalist, she was much loved as evidenced by the outpouring of grief (from friends, family, and former media colleagues) throughout local social media when news broke on October 17th 2021. The COVID death count in Antigua and Barbuda is at 95 people (that’s nearly 100 people in the year and seven months since COVID sent the country in to an ongoing state of emergency in March 2020) per the last dashboard (uncertain if this accounting is before or after Debbie’s death). There’s been spiking in recent weeks. Debbie was reportedly still due to receive her second shot of the vaccine. She was a mother of one in her early 50s. RIP, Debs. Everyone else, please, wear your masks, social distance, sanitize, and #getvaxxed (Source – ABS TV via Instagram)

Congrats

To Foward Prize winner for best single poem Nicole Sealey. She was born in St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands and raised in the US. The other winners are British-Nigerian filmmaker Calem Femi for best first collection and Brit Luke Kennard, best collection.

It is worth noting that former Forward Prize winner Shivanee Ramlochan of Trinidad and Tobago was a member of the five-person judging panel.

(Source – Twitter)

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To past Wadadli Pen finalist (back when he was 10), Mjolnir Messiah, who won Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Top Honours for graduating secondary students in Antigua and Barbuda in 2020. The former St. Joseph’s Academy Student passed 21 subjects with 16 grade ones and give grade twos. (Source – ABS TV/radio Facebook)

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To the Jamaican National Award winners which includes reggae icons like Lt. Stitchie, now Rev. Dr. Cleveland Aman Laing, and 199 others. Full list here. (Source – Twitter)

Video

I want to make sure that you visit and subscribe to both the Wadadli Pen YouTube Channel and my (Joanne C. Hillhouse) AntiguanWriter YouTube Channel. Subscribing, hitting the notification beell so you don’t miss new content, liking, commenting, sharing, all helps the algorithms work in favour of both channels – driving up views. But we’re not just asking you to do us a favour; we believe you’ll find the content in both places interesting if arts is your thing. Here’s a teaser.

The Wadadli Pen YouTube Channel has four playlists:
Wadadli Pen Reading Room and Gallery (all video content from the Reading Room and Gallery series here on Wadadli; most recent addition is this Promises No Promises music video)

Wadadli Pen 2021
Wadadli Pen Winning Submissions
Book Event, Independence 2020

At AntiguanWriter, you’ll find the following playlists:
#TheWritingLife (most recently uploaded video is my interview with ZDK radio ahead of my Bocas Lit Fest Workshop)

Projects
CREATIVE SPACE (this is the playlist for my art and culture column which runs every other Wednesday; look out for a playlist to accompany the Independence edition of the series this November)
Book Chat
Writers
Books
Wadadli Youth Pen Prize (this content has largely been moved to the new Wadadli Pen YouTube Channel)
Muse-ic (I haven’t uploaded this playlist in years – I do share #music #everyday on my facebook and twitter)
Zahara Playlist #MusicalYouthbook (this is a character playlist for main character Zahara from my book Musical Youth)
Shaka’s Playlist #MusicalYouthbook (this is a character playlist for main character Shaka from my book Musical Youth)
Highlights of Oh Gad! Book Club Discussion (this is a local book club promo event I held when this novel debuted)

Chosen at random:

Two other recent posts from AntiguanWriter.

and two from Wadadli Pen.

(Source – in house)

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 August 2021)

A reminder that the process with these Carib Lit Plus Caribbean arts bulletins is to do a front and back half of the month, updating as time allows as new information comes in; so, come back, or, if looking for an earlier installment, use the search window. (in brackets, as much as I can remember, I’ll add a note re how I sourced the information – it is understood that this is the original sourcing and additional research would have been done by me to build the information shared here)

Passings

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

Book Recs

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

New Books

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

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

Accolades

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

Book Publishing/Industry News

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

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

Conversations

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

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

and read. (Source – Jhohadli)

***

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

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

Events

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

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

See also AntiguanWriter. (Source – me)

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

You should know about

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

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

***

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

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

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

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Reading Room and Gallery 41

Things I read that you might like too. Things will be added – up to about 20 or so – before this installment in the Reading Room and Gallery series is archived. For previous and future installments in this series, use the search feature to the right. Possible warning for adult language and themes.

CREATIVES ON CREATING

“It’s not gory for the sake of it; I mean, it has to be set in reality.” – Sara Bennett, VFX supervisor, The Old Guard

***

“Baobab trees are hollow which is why you cannot measure their rings to access their age. You must look at their breadth and at 20 feet this one is estimated to be 300 years old. I film at a distance, then close up, and then walk around it and then from in it. In it, there is an opening to see the hollow. big enough to go inside but I would never dare enter. It feel empty. I left there feeling a tightness around my throat which my friend told me is what happens when spirits attach themselves to you. Later that night he sent me a song by Miles Davis to listen to and I cried. I felt so much grief and it didn’t feel wholly mine.” – La Vaughn Pelle, USVI, blog 1, Catapult Stay at Home Residency

POETRY

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?” – Poem 133: The Summer Day by Mary Oliver

***

“The stories my mother told were always too frightening for us…” – Legends by Edwidge Dandicat

REPORTS

“The impact of negativity is magnified when we talk about it, no matter what we say. We breathe life into poor decisions, bad ideas, and evil people by discussing them over and over again.” – Joseph Brodsky explains Perfectly how to deal with Critics and Detractors in Your Life by James Clear

***

“Contemporary artist Sheena Rose was born in 1985 in Bridgetown, Barbados, where she also currently lives and works. A Fulbright Scholar who holds a BFA from Barbados Community College and MFA from the University of North Carolina, Rose’s work is equally rooted in her Caribbean heritage as it is in her efforts to challenge any preconceived notions and definitions of said heritage.” – Sheena Rose: Dramatically Removing the Landscape by Heike Dempster in Whitewall

STORIES

“This discovery was further evidence that Latham was ‘no angel’.” – from OBF Inc by Bernice McFadden, one of three stories read in this August 2021 edition of Selected Shorts

***

“As they continue searching, notice that they look like miners with rubber gloves and torches attached to the bands on their heads – all they are missing are pickaxes. When the doctor eventually comes in, don’t be surprised that she is one of the most beautiful women you’ve ever laid eyes on. If you are overweight and have lost your vagina in your hairy under-legs, the white doctor chosen to examine you will look like a human Barbie. That is simply the luck you are born with.” – How to find Your Vagina (An Instruction Manual) by Maham Javid (story was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize)

***

“Cecile rarely smiled, or made conversation, but when you’re watching her scale and bone fish there is no need to say a word. You just stand in awe, and watch a master at work. Cecile is the person who thought to charge people extra for scaling and boning in the early days, back when things used to change in Chattel Lane.” – A Hurricane and the Price of Fish by Shakirah Bourne in Adda

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“It was quiet like Sunday afternoon, that storm.” – ‘Rain’ by Maria Govan, the Bahamas (Catapult Stay at Home Residency recipient)

***

“On the day my dead brother came home I awoke to the smell of salty broth, mushrooms swelled with water and heat, the tang of sugared limes. My mother entered my bedroom, pulled me from sleep with cool fingers. He’s home, she said. Who? Your brother. When she said his name, I pushed away the thought of the boy I had once known, glasses round and thick, framing eyes whose lashes I never stopped envying, a checkered shirt or perhaps his Manchester United polo, a missing canine that had never grown in. Instead, I rolled over and said, My brother is dead. Let me sleep. Patiently, my mother peeled back the covers, waited for the February air to work its way under my pajama shirt. He’s in the living room, she said. He needs a change of clothes. Give him something of yours.” – Fish Stories by Janika Oza, 2020 Kenyon Review Short Contest Winner

CONVERSATIONS

“The next book is always the one that I’m writing about, the thing that I’m writing next.” – Joanne C. Hillhouse in conversation with Diaspora Kids Lit, which gave a five star goodreads review to her 2021 children’s book release The Jungle Outside

***

“What I wish and what I’m trying to find is the space and time to finish…something.” – Joanne C. Hillhouse on the Badass Black Girl vlog

***

“I’ll be honest with you: I’m still figuring that out. I think that the story finds its medium in a lot of ways. And some of it is beyond my control, although some of the choices are intentional, but when I’m writing, I’m not thinking “it’s going to be this genre or that sub-genre.” I’m just trying to get the story out. I’m trying to commune with the characters and hope that they will trust me to tell their stories. And then, as the story is taking shape, then I get a sense of what it is trying to become, whether it’s trying to be a short story (because I love writing short stories as well); a novel, and if I’m willing to make that commitment to the long form; or a children’s book.” – Joanne C Hillhouse being interviewed for ACalabash

***

“Yes, I’m competitive, but it’s for myself. I want to make sure I’m always reaching for greatness. I haven’t gotten there yet, but I’m never going to stop reaching for it.” – Black Women’s Stories Are the Hardest to Get Made: The Gina Prince-Bythewood Interview, Indie Wire

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“Each of the characters’ stories were written on their own, before I spliced them together and rewrote the whole story.” – Ingrid Persaud and Jacob Ross in conversation

***

“Democracy is both fragile and also enduring.”

***

“When I was finding my voice as a writer, Alice Walker meant so much to me because I learned courage from her. She was a feminist when Black women wanted to kill her because she was a feminist. She was writing about spousal abuse when we had no word for that. She was called a man hater. When the book Colour Purple came out, she wrote about how she almost had a nervous breakdown, the hate was so extreme. Then she had the nerve to write about female genital mutilation. So, she really means a lot to me because of her courage. She just wouldn’t stop.” – Marita Golden

***

“It’s been really amazing, for example this year, especially during the summer, during the protest, to see people reconsider Haiti’s role in fighting white supremacy at its very beginning, the revolution and all those issues coming up in terms of what’s happening in the contemporary…Haiti suffered punishments for this revolution.”

V is for Voices in conversation, in 2020, with Haitian writer Edwidge Dandicat on Instagram.

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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Filed under Caribbean Plus Lit News, Links We Love, Literary Gallery

Reading Room and Gallery 40

Things I read that you might like too. Things will be added – up to about 20 or so – before this installment in the Reading Room and Gallery series is archived. For previous and future installments in this series, use the search feature to the right.

BLOGS

June was Caribbean American Heritage Month, prompting the return of the #readCaribbean and #CaribAthon hashtags around social media. Over on my other blog Jhohadli, I participated with some recommendations.

REPORTS

“Like any journalism, film criticism often displeases those being written about. And, like any journalists, film critics must have the support of their publications when that displeasure, usually coming from people far more powerful than any journalist, is made known — especially when that publication claims to report on the industry those powerful people inhabit,” the statement reads. “It is appalling that, in this instance, Variety chose to side with that power rather than supporting its writer.” – a report on the criticism of the response to criticism of criticism in The Wrap.

***

“James uses vibrant colors and draws on Ethiopian Christian iconography in her work, an influence evident in the wide, almond-shaped eyes of the people she depicts.” – Antigua-descended, Bronx-artist Laura James work discussed in Fordham News’ Behind the Cover: Together We Rise by Laura James

“In an effort to fight conoravirus fears, Antigua-rooted artist Laura James posted a painting powered message of hope on Facebook …” – read more about it in the NY Daily News.

***

“I knew I wanted magic and I knew I wanted magical realism.” – Leone Ross discusses her new book Popisho/This One Sky Day with Alicia O’Keeffe in The Bookseller. Read in full.

STORIES/SHORT FICTION

“He remembered a time before, when his mother’s breath smelled of almonds and her neck smelled of roses and cinnamon. She used to hold him in her arms and he used to breathe her in. A long time ago.” – from Cam and the Maskless by Lisa Allen-Agostini in About Place Journal Vol. II Issue II Pandemic Blues

***

How to Marry an African President by Erica Sugo Anyadike – Wasafiri Magazine

“Your husband is no longer the authoritarian figure he was, tall, forbidding, back ramrod straight. His shoulders droop now, he falls asleep at the dinner table. Still he is respected and revered. What he says counts and he has crowned you his political heir.” – How to Marry an African President by Erica Sugo Anyadike

***

“Carnival is much more than a show.” – Mario Picayo’s It Takes a Village read by Chef Julius Jackson

***

“When she wakes up, she is alone on the back of a float, pieces of her costume missing and other pieces askew, and the mas yard is all but abandoned.”

This is an audio recording of my (Joanne C. Hillhouse) story Carnival Hangover as prepared for posting on the intersectantigua.com platform. It is read by Nneka Nicholas. Pay attention to the trigger warning.

INTERVIEWS/CONVERSATIONS

“I can’t think of any one favorite poem now. At present, I love the poetry of Dionne Brand, who is in many ways different from me politically. You know, she is an activist, LGBT, and we get on well, we talk well, I love her work. Somebody would want to know, how come I, kind of a conservative Christian, and this activist LGBT connect but we admire each other’s work. Our connection is the literature and writers we look to. I admire the vision and movements of her poetry.” – John Robert Lee in conversation with Andy Caul

***

“I like to think of myself as a superhero.” – Ibtihaj Muhammad in conversation with Jewell Parker Rhodes (and vice versa)

***

“I remember just really resenting how much my little body was policed as a child.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on the birth of her feminism in this conversation on Bookshelfie.

***

“I’m proud of this. I’m proud that I keep getting asked about the food… the challenge was to find different ways to make food beautiful, accessible, interesting, magical, multilayered.” – Leone Ross of Jamaica and Britain in conversation with American author Amber Sparks about her book Popisho/This One Sky Day.

***

“I wasn’t able to kind of bring out those nuances enough but I hint at them. The idea that the urban gay person has access to a culture and support network that the rural Indian boy…does not have. …and it really does seem to spin on socio economic factors.” – Trinidad born author Ingrid Persaud in conversation with Grenada born author and editor Jacob Ross about her book Love After Love.

***

“We have a governor who is attempting to sell the magic and again, they push it away; again, society says we will not have it.” – Jamaican writers Leone Ross and Marlon James in conversation about Ross’ new book – Popisho in the US; This One Sky Day in the UK.

***

“My journey is my own and once I’m learning from it and growing from it, then it’s a success.” – Cherie Jones, Barbadian, author of How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House, during the US Embassy celebrates World Book and Copyright Day with a Writers Book Chat featuring Cherie Jones ‘Inspiring Eastern Caribbean Female Writers’

***

“The beautiful thing about the creative arts, isn’t it, if you’re doing the thing you’ve always done, then you’re not really creating. For me, as challenging as these new endeavours are, because I always like to experiment, you’re always trying to discover the boundaries not only of your talent, of the ideas that are in your mind, of your potential, of your ability to imagine the world…. as a writer, you don’t get to see the side work as much, but I feel that we do that as well…it’s always about challenging yourself, push your boundaries technically but also express, …for me the things that I’m trying to understand, or the things that I’m trying to explore.” – me (Joanne C. Hillhouse) in conversation for World Book and Copyright Day with artist and award winning poet Danielle Boodoo Fortune, of Trinidad and Tobago, who has illustrated my books Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure and The Jungle Outside. We discuss the process of creating together.

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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Mark the Date

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March 30, 2021 · 2:04 pm

A Little Christmas Present for You (From the Mailbox)

I haven’t shared a lot From the Mailbox since I started doing the Carib Lit Plus series incorporating a lot of stuff received in the mailbox(es) but I so enjoyed the interview below from Myriad Publications’ October 2020 mailing – an installment of its My Bookish Life series…this one with Canada based Jamaican poet (most recent poet laureate of Jamaica) Lorna Goodison, that I thought I’d share it in full (hope Myriad doesn’t mind – I’ll link you their website). Consider it a present to the loyal readers of the blog. Merry Christmas.

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My Bookish Life with…
LORNA GOODISON

Every week we’re talking to one of our writerly or bookish friends, getting a little insight into their daily lives.
This week we’re joined by Lorna Goodison, author of nine collections of poetry, three collections of short stories and an award-winning memoir. Her first-ever collection of essays, Redemption Ground (Myriad), interweaves the personal and political to explore themes that have occupied her working life.



Have you been writing during these strange times, and are you generally managing to stay creative?
My husband Ted and I returned from London on March 9th and went straight into self-isolation. Except for my recent visit to see relatives in Jamaica, we’ve been at home in Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia ever since. For the first six weeks I mostly read books I’d been meaning to read and re-read for a while. I fell asleep many nights reading sections of William Wordsworth’s Prelude and Derek Walcott’s Another Life, hoping some of the pastoral settings in those poems would find their way into my anxious dreams. But then I began to feel uncomfortably full of words and images and that for me is always a signal that I should start paying attention to my own work. Since then I’ve written seven or eight new poems, and I’ve done extensive revisions to a new collection that I hope will be out in 2021. I’ve also done a few small watercolours, so I guess I am managing to stay creative.

Do you have advice for anyone feeling creatively, or mentally, squashed right now, and what’s helping you to focus?
Everyone I know is simply doing the best they can to keep going through these dread times. Some days are more difficult to get through than others, and at the end of those really difficult days I tend to feel as if I’ve completed a heroic set of tasks if I manage to make lunch and dinner, do laundry, write a poem, watch some TV, listen to music, speak to friends or family on the telephone, and eventually fall into bed having managed to wash up and change into pyjamas. Yay! Made it through another day. I recommend lashings of gratitude as an antidote to feeling mentally squashed. Gratitude and sending cards and letters and emails and such to anyone you think might be in need of a word of kindness right now.

What are your small daily comforts?
Small daily comforts include sitting by the seaside if the weather is reasonable and just breathing in the clean salt air. I like to cook, and so most days I try to make something delicious that will fill the house with good smells and cause us to look forward to dinner. We have an excellent fish shop in the town of Sechelt, and the couple who run it are good friends of ours. Most evenings we are blessed to have really fresh fish. I miss Jamaican food, so most mornings I make myself some green banana porridge with coconut milk. Very comforting. Maybe I’ll try to write a cookbook.

Do you have a good view from your window?
It’s a toss up between the view of the front yard where Ted grows gorgeous roses, and there is a wonderful marble carving – titled the Apuan Buddha done by Canadian sculptor Kent Laforme – and the back yard which faces the sea. The sea where we sometimes see whales go by, and where seals come and keep me company when I sit down by the shore to write. Both views are amazing.

What are you looking forward to, either in the world of writing and books or the wider picture?
I am looking forward to hugging and hugging and hugging everyone that I have not been able to hug, especially my son, Miles. Kisses too. Looking forward to giving and receiving hugs and kisses. I am also looking forward to going to the theatre, to museums and art galleries, to being able to give readings of my work and to attend readings and performances by writers and artistes I admire, like the wonderful writers in New Daughters of Africa, edited by my dear friend Margaret Busby, and published by Myriad.

With thanks to Ted Chamberlain for the photo of Lorna’s desk.

*

The email asks, what does your bookish life look like right now and, honestly, this week has been a struggle. I lost traction on a client edit when my computer went in to the computer doc – reinforcing the fact that after only a year, I need a new one (and these manufacturers are slipping or maybe they’re doing exactly what they want by making and selling computers with a half life at best). I couldn’t focus enough to read much of anything, so I managed only a few pages (or maybe the same page over and over) of my book in progress. Faye Kellerman’s Cold Case (which I am mostly sure is a re-read). But, perhaps because writing pulls me in when I’m spiraling, I filled almost an entire notebook with words after not writing consistently for many months (beyond inch by inch edits to my short story collection in progress). I don’t know what it is yet, if anything, as I’ve had false starts before, but these characters have been doing what characters do when they mean to stick around. Fingers crossed. By the way, this happened in the week that news dropped that my book Musical Youth, a Burt award winning title, was named by Kirkus Reviews, which previously gave it a starred review, as one of the top 100 indie books they reviewed this past year, and one of its top (much shorter list) indie romances.

This blog is maintained by Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator, and author Joanne C. Hillhouse. Content is curated, researched, and written by Hillhouse, unless otherwise indicated. Do not share or re-post without credit, do not re-publish without permission and credit. Thank you.

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