Tag Archives: M. Nourbese Philip

Carib Lit Plus (Early to Mid September 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)

Opportunities

This is an opportunity to support Haiti relief – Films For Haiti is a September 17th -18th 2021 event – donate. share. watch. Make a donation, access the films, watch the films.

(Source – Karukerament email)

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Opportunities Too has the full schedule of Bocas workshops for 2021; so this is just your reminder that I (Antiguan and Barbudan writer Joanne C. Hillhouse) am scheduled (re-scheduled) to facilitate a workshop on writing children’s literature in October 2021. (Source – Bocas on Facebook)

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As you’ll see if you check our Opportunities Too page, it’s Commonwealth Writers Short Stories submission time and they’ve shared some tips.

(Source – CW Twitter)

Events

You can register for the 2021 Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival events, set for September 10th – 12. (Source – BCLF email)

Accolades

Bocas’ children writing (as in children doing the writing) contest winners have been announced.

David is 8 and Josh is 9. (Source – Bocas email)

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Trinidad and Tobago born, Canada resident M. Nourbese Philip has been named one of two recipients of Canada’s Molson Prize which comes with a $50,000 purse. She is the author of the award winning Harriet’s Daughter and other works like the genre-bending Zong! “NourbeSe Philip is a Guggenheim and Rockefeller Fellow (Bellagio), and in 2020 she was the recipient of PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature.” This is no small victory for a writer who in an interview on the Canada Council website said the biggest thing she has had to overcome is “Canadian racism in its myriad forms.” That same site asked her for advice for up and coming writers to which she responded: “Learn how to trust their gut instincts about their own work—sometimes the critics are wrong; be willing to risk—failure or success; and have someone in your life who loves what you do and will critique your work honestly.” (Source – John Robert Lee email)

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Jamaica’s Musgrave awards are given to people who demonstrate excellence in their respective fields. The 2021 literature recipients are Ishion Hutchinson (gold), Shara McCallum (silver), and Veronica Blake-Carnegie (bronze). They will be awarded in October. Read all about it in the Jamaica Gleaner. (Source – John Robert Lee email)

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The winning stories in this year’s Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival short story competition have been posted. They are ‘Daughter 4′ by Patrice Grell Yursik, winner of the Caribbean-American writers’ prize, and ‘The Wailers’ by Akhim Alexis, winner of the award for writers in the Caribbean. Both are of Trinidad and Tobago. Congrats to them both. (Source – BCLF Facebook)

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Environmentalist Brian Cooper was the Antigua and Barbuda selection for the Global Portrait Project, a mission to paint a person per country involved in conservation work. The artist explains about the project and why Dr. Cooper, originally from the UK and later Trinidad before moving to Antigua in the 1980s, was chosen for this project.

(Source – Antigua and Barbuda’s Daily Observer newspaper)

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Antigua and Barbuda’s Dorbrene O’Marde was one of three recipients of the President’s Award at the St. Martin Book Fair this past June. The other recipients were Deborah Drisana Jack and Fabian Adekunle Badejo, both of St. Martin.

“The Presidents Award is presented to individuals and institutions whose work is noted for its excellence and for combining literary, cultural, and liberation components in the service of progress, of their people or nation, and of humanity,” said Lasana M. Sekou from House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP). O’Marde has written many plays and calypsos, and a couple of books. He has been a leading cultural worker in the Caribbean region for decades. (Source – Nehesi House press release via email)

New Books Reading Material

Allies: Real Talk About Showing Up, Screwing Up, And Trying Again, co-edited by Barbadian writer Shakirah Bourne and Dana Alison Levy just dropped. It includes essays by 17 writers in the teen/YA space on needing an ally, being an ally, and/or showing up for friends and families.

Image is from Shakirah’s instagram, @shakirahwrites
Also congrats to her on her recent nuptials.

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This collection on rejection includes the voices of Caribbean writers like Olive Senior and Colin Grant. Another Caribbean writer Caryl Philips described it as “an important anthology that spans generations, circles the globe, and embraces all forms of imaginative writing. Uplifting and inspiring.” (Source – N/A)

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I do hope that more and more of you are reading my CREATIVE SPACE series spotlighting local art and culture. I’m really enjoying doing it, I’m happy that it’s growing, and that it allows me to keep my hand in journalism which is my background. For the first installment of September 2021, I visited Clarence House within the National Parks. I was interested in the restoration work and the history. Did you know by the way that Nelson’s Dockyard within the National Parks, right below Clarence House, marked its 5th anniversary as a World Heritage site in 2021. I’m glad I got to do something in that space in this year – as I explored in the article the history of the relationship between us, the descendants of enslaved Africans and that space is complicated. Here’s a link to that article and other recent installments of CREATIVE SPACE.

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Cuban-American writer Achy Obejas released a new book this September. It is Boomerang/Bumeran, a bilingual poetry collection exploring themes of identity, sexuality, and belonging. (Source – author email)

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Cover reveal. This one won’t be out until August 2022 with Peepal Tree Press. Synopsis: Gay men search for sex, adventure, pleasure, self-realisation and love in Woodbrook, Trinidad.

(Source – Nature Island Literary Festival’s Facebook)

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I ‘discovered’ and wrote about the new Department of Culture – Antigua and Barbuda publication in the Carib Lit Plus Mid to Late February 2021 edition. I lost track after that but I just came upon issue 3 and want to commend them for keeping it going, and (having been involved in my share of local publications that have come and gone) express hope that they do keep it going.

Content includes a tribute to late former director Vaughn Walter – “a man who personified culture”, DIY Craft with DOC head of craft Sylvanie Abbott, a music focused article on copyright, features on music artists Andrew Dorsett and Zamoni, the behind the scenes of a local documentary – Own It, an interview with Pan-o-Grama founder Nevin Roach; then they have some listicles – one on the Top 150 Antigua and Barbuda Soca Songs by DJ Illest, who, judging by the list prefers midtempo tracks.

I went further back to find Issue 2.

Scrolling through this one, I find Antiguanisms, a recipe for bread pudding; articles about the role of government in the development of pan by Stafford Joseph, copyright (so, this seems to be a series), coverage of a craft exhibition, ‘Stamp 268’, organized by Culture, a history of Halcyon, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021, and reflections by Gilbert Laudat on dance in Antigua and Barbuda. Featured artists include cover artist Guava (Ron Howell) and pannist Alston M. Davis. This edition’s listicle is by bookstagrammer Lalabear, a teacher named Lakiesha Mack, who shared her top 5 Caribbean books. Since it’s only 5 and this is primarily a lit arts site, I’ll share them: Tea by the Sea by Donna Hemans of Jamaica, The Girl with the Hazel Eyes and The Vanishing Girls by Callie Browning of Barbados, whom she identifies as her favourite author, Where there are Monsters by Breanne McIvor of Trinidad, and How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones of Barbados. (Source – initially lalabear’s post about her listicle which sent me looking for the article and ended with me finding both issues of Fu Arwe Ting)

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Witness in Stone by Barbados poet laureate Esther Phillips actually debuted in April 2021 (sorry to be so late, Esther).

John Robert Lee, creator of the Caribbean lit bibliography featured on this site, with Caribbean writers George Lamming and Esther Phillips at a BIM literary event in 2008.

From the summary on the site of publisher Peepal Tree: “Esther Phillips’ poems are always lucid and musical; they gain a rewarding complexity from being part of the collection’s careful architecture that offers a richly nuanced inner dialogue about the meaning of experience in time. Not least powerful in this conversation are the sequence of poems about Barbadian childhoods, poems of grace, humour and insight. When Barbados chose Esther Phillips as its first poet laureate it knew what it was doing: electing a poet who could speak truth, who could challenge and console her nation – and all of us.”

Esther is also the editor of BIM: Arts for the 21st Century, a new edition of which dropped in June 2021. (Source – publisher site)

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 April 2020

N.B. I usually try to upload all content in a single post but that’s not possible this time. There’s other stuff I need to add to this but, in light of some time specific items, I’m posting the incomplete version. I will have to add remaining items a bit at a time. So come back for updates throughout the month of April. Who knows, that may be the new posting protocol for this series. After all what is this COVID-19 period of life about if not making adjustments. – JCH, Wadadli  Pen founder, coordinator, and blogger

PSA – COVID-19 Response update (Antigua and Barbuda)

Antiguanice.com, a long time Wadadli Pen patron, has a regularly updated data base of COVID-19 advisories for Antigua and Barbuda. It includes curfew guidelines and information re the emergency food assistance programme. It’s important during this time to remember to err on the side of caution; too many people are still out here being too reckless. This is serious and the sooner we comply, the sooner we can beat this thing and smell the sweet perfume of freedom. So #stayhome, social distance (including standing six feet apart, not letting people in to your home and on the flip side not going in to people’s homes), wash the reusable bags you take to the shop, disinfect/sanitize everything, including labels/packaging on delivered or bought items, counter tops and yourself regularly, etc. And to quote the Antiguanice April 4th 2020 newsletter, “to summarise:

You CANNOT go the beach (as it says above it will be there waiting for you when this is all over)
You CANNOT go for your usual daily walk
You CANNOT take your dog for a walk
You CANNOT meander around the roads where you live”

The world is in a strange, disorienting place. Let’s keep our eye on the ball. Stay home. Keep busy. Create. Connect. Do what you can to keep your spirits up. This too shall pass.

Wadadli Pen Challenge 2020 – Update

The judging team (consisting of Floree Williams Whyte, Glen Toussaint, and Danielle Boodoo-Fortune) have decided on the winners. I have been prepping the winning story posts and working out prize distribution, preparatory to following up with the partners (Barbara Arrindell, Devra Thomas, Margaret Irish, and Floree) and patrons. Things have changed drastically since the 2020 Challenge launched in January. We don’t know which patrons will be able to honour their commitments, we haven’t worked out how recipients will receive their prizes and when, though I anticipate we will, in the short term, proceed with the announcements – virtually. We just need to work out the details. I am excited to report that the judges were pleased with this year’s submissions and unanimous about the choices made. That said, there are surprises this year, as the breakdown is different than any past Challenge, and the winning pieces are startlingly relevant. We love to see it. And we’ll keep you posted.

Bocas launches Bios and Bookmarks: an Online Series with Caribbean Authors

The programme which premiered on @bocaslitfest’s Instagram Live (which has quickly become the COVID-19 era virtual concert hall) features readings with familiar and new Caribbean authors across the region and diaspora. As  noted in their email, it’s an opportunity “to get to know the faces behind the words and what’s on their bookshelves. It’s also an opportunity to share comfort, laughter and insights to help get us through these uncertain times.” We, of course, asked a follow up about bookings (as, no doubt, this will be of interest to authors local and beyond), and Nicholas Laughlin, Bocas’ programme director explained, “in this first phase we’ll be focusing on writers with new/recently published books, alongside writers longlisted for this year’s OCM Bocas Prize. Many authors with new books are finding it challenging to promote their titles at the moment, with launches and readings cancelled, bookshops closed etc. We’re trying to lend some support over the coming months by organising these online events, until circumstances allow festivals and launches to resume.” Read about it here.

Books that Made us #MyCaribbeanLibrary

Another great initiative out of Bocas, which, as we have reported elsewhere in this edition of the Carib Lit Plus series (a coalescing of all of the Caribbean lit news coming to my inbox, social media, ear, and elsewhere) has been postponed, is the 100 Caribbean Books that made us series. I actually remember a similar thread over at the unfortunately dead Caribbean Literary Salon (I remember Earl Lovelace coming out on top in that conversation). Who or rather which book or books will rise to the top this time – though it’s less a competition, more an opportunity to share. And share you must if you want to see books that have moved you included. Don’t lament the absence of Antiguan and Barbudan books, for instance, if you don’t weigh in with your selections. I know I plan to discuss my faves on my youtube channel – though as with the Reflecting on Seminal Works sub-head below, I’ll need to think on it. So think on it and weigh in, here’s the link.

Caribbean Reads Book Shelf

Caribbean Reads Publishing (publishers of my own Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure and its Spanish language edition Perdida! Una Aventura en el Mar Caribe, and of my Burt Award winning teen/young adult novel Musical Youth) is one of several publishers/authors who have gotten (more) active online. I say more active as virtual launches, blog tours, not to mention booktube, authortube, and all the rest of it is not new; but it’s getting some miles on it in this lockdown period as people practice social distancing, and under stay at home orders, find ways to beat boredom. The arts, once again, to the rescue. Check out this chapter from the Caribbean Reads online reading series, and when you’re done that one, look for more, and when you’re done purchase the books add them to your home library, gift them to others, pass them on, and support the authors in our community.

Interviewing the Caribbean

Interviewing the Caribbean is a literary journal founded five years ago by Jamaican writer Opal Palmer Adisa. The journal is now published by the University of the West Indies Press and has for its current issue a co-editor in Jamaican writer Juleus Ghunta. The theme of the current is Caribbean Childhood: Trauma and Triumphs Pt. 2 (Pt. 1 included the 2018 poem Damarae and an interview with Wadadli Pen finalist Rosie Pickering). This issue has as its cover image the cover (used courtesy of publisher Little Bell Caribbean) of the children’s picture book With Grace by Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator and author Joanne C. Hillhouse, who is also interviewed in the issue. Interviewing the CaribbeanThe artist is Cherise Harris of Barbados. The issue is dedicated to another Barbadian, one of the leaders of Caribbean letters Kamau Brathwaite who died in 2019. The issue consists of, among other things, art by Jamaica’s Elpideo Robinson (Nature’s Shelter); essays by Anansesem Caribbean children’s lit journal founder and former editor Trinidad’s own Summer Edward (The Nature of Belonging: Making a Home for Children’s Literature in the Caribbean’s Literary Landscape) and Caribbean Reads publisher Carol Ottley-Mitchell (Reflecting the Realities of Caribbean Children); interviews with Jamaican scribes Olive Senior, Kei Miller, and Tanya Batson-Savage (also a publisher); creative works and interviews by Jamaica’s Pamela Mordecai, Tanya Shirley, and A-dZiko Simba Gegele, Barbados’ Linda M. Deane, Trinidad’s Marsha Gomes-McKie, Yvonne Weekes, and Antigua and Barbuda (and Wadadli Pen’s) Barbara Arrindell who shares a story entitled ‘Scholarship Child’.  Interviewing the Caribbean will  be accepting submissions for its Winter 2020 issue between June and September 2020. A tribute issue for Kamau Brathwaite is also in progress; submissions currently being accepted.

IC call kamau

Caribbean PEN Winner

Tobagonian M. Nourbese Philip has won the PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature. The US$50,000 award is conferred on a living author whose body of work represents the highest level of achievement, and is of enduring originality and consummate craftsmanship. The African-Canadian author published her first book in 1980. Read about Philip and other 2020 PEN winners.

Reflecting on Seminal Works of the Last 20 years

I’ve been trying to prompt this discussion on my facebook page – what singular Antiguan-Barbudan/Caribbean work of the last 20 years has most touched or transformed you personally while also moving the culture either through its creative innovation, topicality, or just plain brilliance. I’m talking the work that you would put in a national collection or a time capsule as something that should not be lost to memory and time. I was prompted to raise this question by an article entitled The African-American Art Shaping the 21st Century in the New York Times that posed this question to top African American artists. Billy Porter chose his own TV show Pose, playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney chose a dance piece Grace by Ronald K. Brown – a 2000 production by the Alvin Ailey dance company, choreographer Kyle Abraham chose D’Angelo’s Black Messiah, Oscar winning Moonlight director Barry Jenkins chose Solange’s 2016 album Seat at the Table, The Daily Show correspondent Jaboukie Young-White, meanwhile, chose Jenkins’ Moonlight, author and academic Jesmyn Ward chose Outkast’s last big album so far Speakerboxxx/The Love Below released in 2003, writer Ta-nehesi Coates chose Kendrick Lamar’s good kid/m.A.A.d City (do you notice a pattern with writers choosing music? I find that very relatable).  I wanted us to reflect on it but from a local and regional (Caribbean) mindset – because that’s what we do here. Heads up, I posed this question to the subject of my next CREATIVE SPACE column, so check there soon for (spoiler alert) her answer. If you’re reading this, what’s yours? Answer in the comments.

Congrats to the 2020 Bocas Lit Prize Finalists

It’s quickly become the Caribbean prize to aspire to because of its prominence (associated with Trinidad and Tobago’s Bocas Literary Festival), sizable purse (US$10,000 main prize) in  a region with limited prizes of any type, and the pedigree of writers who’ve claimed the prize thus far (first poetry and main winner was Nobel Laureate the late Derek Walcott of St. Lucia and last year’s poetry prize winner – and current Wadadli Pen judge – TnT’s Danielle Boodoo Fortune). This year, the ones who’ve been tapped are poetry prize winner Richard Georges of the BVI for his third collection Epiphaneia; in fiction Haitian-American writer Edwidge Dandicat for her short fiction collection Everything Inside; and in non-fiction Tessa McWatt, originally from Guyana, resident in the UK, for her meditation on race, identity, family, and migration, Shame on Me. The winner will be announced on May 2nd 2020 online as the Bocas Lit Fest has been postponed due to COVID-19.

PENDING DEADLINE (AT ORIGINAL WRITING OF THIS POST) – International Writers programme Fall Residency and Other Opportunities

The annual programme typically runs from August to November in the US; the application deadline is April 7th 2020. It’s open to writers between 21 and 65 who have a publishing record. More details and other opportunities can be found on the Wadadli Pen blog’s Opportunities Too page. The blog’s main Opportunities page is also being constantly updated.

As with all content yadda yadda yadda…just credit the source, okay?

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