Tag Archives: Olive Senior

Carib Lit Plus (Mid to Late June 2022)

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

OPPORTUNITIES

The Bocas Lit Fest Children’s Book Prize is back. It is given to one outstanding English-language children’s book for young independent readers, written by a Caribbean author. The Prize consists of a cash award of US$1,000, and Caribbean-born authors, resident anywhere in the world, of English-language books which have been published between 1 August 2021 and 31 August 2022 are eligible. The prize is open for entries from 20 June 2022 to 31 August 2022, and the winner will be announced in November 2022. The 2022 prize is administered by the Bocas Lit Fest, and is sponsored by the Wainwright family. Read about this and other opportunities with pending deadlines in Opportunities Too here. (Source – Bocas email)

STAGE

Late Bahamian-American actor and director Sidney Poitier’s life is being adapted for the stage. The source material will be his memoir The Measure of a Man. Poitier spent his youth on Cat Island in the Bahamas before migrating to the US in young adulthood and going on to a stellar career, which includes being the first Black man and only the second Black person to win an Academy Award when he won best actor in 1963 for his performance in Lilies of the Field. Poitier died in January of this year. (Source – The Root)

VISUALS

Barbados has tapped star architect David Adjaye (the Ghanaian-British architect responsible for designing the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C.) to design its Barbados Heritage District as a testament to the island nation’s culture and identity. Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley announced the plan, which is to include a memorial, a global research institute, and a museum that will tell the story of slavery’s impact on Barbados and its inhabitants. The district will also house the Barbados Archives, a massive historical catalogue documenting 400 years of the slave trade in tens of millions of pages of documents. The archive, which includes sales ledgers, ship registers, manumission papers, and other documents, is one of the largest repositories of the British Transatlantic Slave Trade in the entire world. When complete, the center will be the first research institute based in the Caribbean dedicated to the Transatlantic Slave Trade. (It would be remiss of me, however, not to mention the African Slavery Memorial Project of Antigua and Barbuda which has been shared on this site before, including its plans for construction of a museum, also previously mentioned on the site). The first step in the development of the district in Barbados will be the building of the Newton Enslaved Burial Ground Memorial next to the site where the remains of 570 West African slaves were found in low earthen mounds and graves using LIDAR technology in the 1970s. Read more about the memorial which breaks ground in November 2022 here. (Source – friend in real life)

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Barbadian visual artist Sheena Rose will be showing in ‘Holy Water’, an exhibition at the Eric Firestone Gallery in East Hampton, NY. The Zoe Lukov curated exhibition featuring 20 artists and exploring the mundane and mythological aspects of water. The show opens July 2nd and closes July 24th 2022. (Source – artist’s facebook)

EVENTS

Early in June, the organizers of the St. Martin Book Fair observed the 20th anniversary of the festival. Shujah Reiph, founder and coordinator (with Conscious Lyrics Foundation), said, “The journey that we began 20 years ago out of a Creative Writing Program organized by the House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP)not only gave birth to the book fair but to a new generation of St. Martin authors, many of whom contributed with youthful exuberance to the organization of the St. Martin Book Fair. We have had a symbiotic collaboration with HNP from the get-go. And with the University of St. Martin (USM) as
well. Our modest ambition was to have a book fair that would bring the entire family closer to the book and,among other things, show as a lie the saying that if you want to hide something from a Black person, put it in a book.” Activities at the popular event included author and publicist roundtables, readings, masterclass, exhibition, and more featuring Yvonne Weekes, Sharma Taylor, Lasana M. Sekou, Max Rippon, N. C. Marks, Yona Deshommes, among others. (Source – House of Nehesi Publishers email)

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The Antigua and Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra, a youth development non-profit music programme in Antigua and Barbuda is preparing (at this writing) for a musical event featuring movie theme songs. The event is scheduled for July 3rd 2022. Event details here.

(Source – Facebook)

FAREWELLS

I keep changing this sub-head title, not quite knowing what’s a fitting send-off, always wishing I didn’t have the need to include it. This is where we salute the ones who have impacted Caribbean art and culture, and there have been too many of these farewells by COVID and other means – but exacerbated by the pandemic – in recent years.

Renowned Antiguan and Barbudan pannist Victor ‘Babu’ Samuel has died. He passed on June 28th 2022, two years after a stroke diminished his capacity to function. Babu is one of our country’s most celebrated pan arrangers – notably for his work with one of the winningest pan orchestras, Halcyon (video link to an upload of the 1990 panorama tune arranged by Babu on the Halcyon Orchestra facebook page). He has also been a key figure in pan development through his work with the National Youth Pan Orchestra. His work bringing pan to the Police Marching Band was also acknowledged just this year. Babu was also well known as a pan soloist – regrettably I have not been able to find video of a Babu performance (and once again bemoan our failure to capture and catalogue the vibrancy of our Culture as a matter of intent/purpose). The last time I saw Babu was just before COVID at Carnival, a year in which Halcyon – again one of Antigua’s winningest pan orchestras – had to opt out of panorama due to lack of funds (at least that’s what he said to me when I asked him as we passed each other on Market Street during the Carnival parade). I don’t have a recent interview with Babu (whom I profiled years ago for a limited run newspaper column I called Vintage – there’s a lot from my archives that I need to dig through and share and this is one of them) but credit to Petra the Spectator for posting this interview with him in 2021.

Credit also to rival band Hell’s Gate for recently organizing Play one for Babu, fundraising concerts that were also a celebration of the art form that Babu loved so much. Catch the vibes (image borrowed from Hell’s Gate’s facebook page).

(Source – Observer Media by Newsco Ltd facebook page)

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Lynn Sweeting of the Bahamas is known to us here on the Wadadli Pen blog. I posted an interview with her in 2012. She was committed to amplifying female Caribbean voices, our art and our words, and did via the Womanspeak journal.

Some of Lynn’s poetry has been shared by her friend Nicolette Bethel who edited and published the online Tongues of the Ocean literary journal. You can read her eulogy and the poems here. And like Lynn wrote in one of those poems, remember

“Fear is the meaning of their favorite song,
but not the meaning of yours.
Love up your own self fearlessly.”
(from ‘Wheelbarrow Woman’, Tongues of the Ocean, 2009)

The last Womanspeak was published in 2018 and I know at least one was in the works after that and had to take a pause, and maybe now a full stop, in light of everything. (Source – Nicolette Bethel on Linkedin)

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Antigua and Barbuda is mourning the passing of prominent son Gordon ‘Banks’ Derrick. Though he is best known for his contributions in sports administration (as president of the Caribbean Football Union and general secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association) and business, I add him here for the reason Cricket Association head Leon ‘Kuma’ Rodney said.

“Banks was not only known in football, but he was a Carnival man and came out of one of the better organised promotion groups, DSC Promotions, and there was a Mas’ troupe as well in Xtreme. He was chairman of the soca monarch when, I think, we had one of the biggest soca monarch shows ever in Antigua under the chairmanship of his buddy, Neil Cochrane.”

Signature DSC events included pre-Carnival fetes before pre-Carnival fetes (not including calypso tents) were their own cottage industry, notably Calypso Spektakula, which launched in the mid-1990s. He chaired the Party Monarch committee during its upsurge (between 2005-2007) to the head of the pack as far as popularity of main show Carnival events are concerned. He’s also a former chair of the Independence committee and co-founder of one of the original all-inclusive party mas bands, a pressure point between mas’ past and current flavours, Xtreme mas, which first hit the road in the late 1990s. I remember, I was there, for Spektakula limes and that first year of Xtreme. Banks’ death caught the community by surprise, prompting former West Indies cricket legend and fellow Antiguan and Barbudan Sir Vivian Richards to say, “It’s just some sad news today and I am going to agree with the rock group that sang ‘I don’t like Mondays’ because it’s a punch that hits you where it hurts.” (Source – Observer Radio 91.1 FM)

BOOKS

Puerto Rican writer Xavier Navarro Aquino in January 2022 released his debut novel Velorio with Harper Collins press. Velorio–meaning “wake”–is a story of strength, resilience, and hope; a tale of peril and possibility buoyed by the deeply held belief in a people’s ability to unite against those corrupted by power.

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Fashanu Henry-Giddings has published her book Reading is Fun & Andre and the Bully. It’s her first book and it’s been added to the Children’s Literature and Antiguan and Barbudan Writing listings here on the blog. Congrats to her and to illustrator Anderson Andrews. (Source – email)

ACCOLADES

A street in Harlem has been renamed for founder of the Antigua Progressive Society Bishop James P. Roberts Sr. He worked as an elevator operator while pursuing studies at night after migrating to the US. He and 22 fellow Antiguans (Barbudans were later brought in) founded the group in 1934 during the Great Depression, to provide support for new immigrants. The Society has owned the brownstone at 12 West and 122nd Street where it is still headquartered since 1964. (Source – Daily Observer newspaper)

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Canada based Jamaican writer and current poet laureate Olive Senior has received an honorary doctor of laws from Canada’s York University. “Nothing has prepared us for the moment, but we can seize it with courage and curiosity,” Senior said during the convocation ceremony. (Source – author’s twitter)

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The Antigua Film Academy, the educational arm of the Motion Picture Association of Antigua and Barbuda, has had a short film, ‘Nobody hit me Pickney’, accepted to the Commffest Film Festival, September 15 – 22 2022, in Toronto, Canada. The script was reportedly developed by the Academy students during their two-week theory workshops and filmed over a period of time. Dr. Noel Howell, filmmaker and head of the Film Academy told the Daily Observer that the mix of practical and theory is part of the AFA’s summer workshops. The workshop’s 2022 dates are July 11 – 22. (Source – Daily Observer newspaper)

***

Canadian writer and producer of Antiguan-Barbudan descent Motion (Wendy Brathwaite) and Andrew Trotman-Burrows who is of Guyanese descent are two of only three people selected for the inaugural CBC-BIPOC TV & film showrunner catalyst programme. The other is Tanzania-born Ian Iqbal Rashid who is of Indian descent. The Showrunner Catalyst offers a high-level professional coaching opportunity, designed through an anti-racist and equity-focused lens, and provides participants with additional tools and support systems necessary to reach a showrunner level in the Canadian film and television industry. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, BIPOC TV & Film and the Canadian Film Center have made an initial commitment of three years to the program, with the opportunity to renew. (Source – BIPOC TV & Film on Linkedin)

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, Oh Gad!Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and The Jungle Outside). All Rights Reserved. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Reading Room and Gallery 45

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.

CREATING

Antiguan and Barbudan June Ambrose shouted out at about 4:51. Janet Jackson discussing her videos.

***

Dancers acting out the movements that become the motions of the animated characters in the movie Encanto‘s presentation of “We don’t talk about Bruno?”

MISC.

A colonial era British tourism video showing some of what life was like (through that particular gaze, of course) in 1950s Antigua.

CREATIVES ON THE BUSINESS

“The rights! Are mine! OMG, that feels so good.” – Trinidad and Tobago writer Liane Spicer on the bumpy publishing journey of a bestselling books

CONVERSATIONS

“There’s a piece that I did that I call ‘8-8-21’ that I wrote after teargas Sunday last year. I call it ‘Freedom 8-8-21’…it starts by saying, I think, ‘Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose. When the youth are protest ready, they become revolutionary’. And it goes on from there and it just kind of encapsulates the entire Sunday, everything that happened that Sunday. Because I happened to be there. That was my personal experience. I was caught up in it. I was gassed as well… that piece means a lot to me not only because it was my experience but also it’s history, it’s chronicling what happened that day.” – Dotsie Isaac, in conversation with Joanne C. Hillhouse for her art and culture column CREATIVE SPACE

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 “I think art has to be able to go to a place that’s messy, a place that’s uncomfortable.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Piton Noire discusses Commonwealth winning short story ‘The Disappearance of Mumma Dell’ by Jamaican writer Roland Watson-Grant.

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“It was really hard to always focus on what was to my immigrant mind like already kind of a luxurious activity…I felt frankly super exposed when we were all in the house and my children realized that my writing was just walking around the house a lot.” – Edwidge Dandicat on Writing Home: American Voices from the Caribbean

POETRY

“as if they were beacons/for the men who leave their self-control, unused, under their mattresses” – from ‘Ole Jezebel‘ by Karolyn Smith in Rebel Women Lit’s online magazine

ESSAYS

Great Art Explained – Jean-Michel Basquiat

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“The text opens with, ‘On the balcony of vigilance I sit’ which Lewis makes into ‘I sit on the balcony, alert.’ Two lines later, the poem reads ‘my lips are cracked like the trunk of a palm tree overlooking the river’ which Lewis turns into ‘like the roots of the palm tree.’ The latter image makes no sense, it fails to capture his contrast of the texture of cracked lips to the harsh trunk of a palm tree.” – from ‘Western Poets kidnap Your Poems and call them Translations’ by Mona Kareem in PoetryBirmingham.com

PRESENTATIONS

Mac Donald Dixon reading from his novel A Scream in the Shadows.

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 “No matter what you are, what you do in life, if you have a dream, stick to your dream, pursue your dream…and just be you, be original, and someone will relate to it, and it will take you very far in your life.” – Andre Leon Talley

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Kendel Hippolyte delivers the Sir Derek Walcott lecture during Nobel Laureate Week in St. Lucia. “I don’t want you to come away from this word journey thinking of the poets. What they feeling and expressing is not particular to them. Is not because they’re poets that they feel all this. What they’re experiencing is what all of us have experienced; some days more, some days less intensely. But these experiences are common to all of us who live here. That’s why we recognize them so immediately. Poets have the gift of finding and weaving together the words that describe it but what they’re describing is ours; spontaneously, intrinsically ours, each one of us.” – Kendel Hippolyte

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Jail Me Quickly is a sequence of five poems written by Martin Carter and published in New World Fortnightly in 1964 and again in 1966.
The poems are:
Black Friday 1962
After One Year
What Can a Man Do More
Where are Free Men?
Childhood of A Voice
Dr Gemma Robinson offers insights into this period of Martin Carter’s writing with a general overview of the sequence and a detailed look at aspects of each poem. Readers are Konyo Addo, Jasper Adams, Stephanie Bowry, Stanley Greaves and Lloyd Marshall.

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 “I thought I had died and gone to heaven because they were what I imagined publishers to be respectful thoughtful helpful with a terrific marketing team…” – 2019 Margaret Laurence Lecture with Olive Senior

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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Carib Lit Plus (Early to Mid January 2022)

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

Happy New Year! And let’s hope it truly is happy.

Milestones

Celebrated St. Lucian poet Kendel Hippolyte, named as you’ll see below as the person tapped to deliver the Sir Derek Walcott memorial lecture during poet laureates’ week, is being feted for another reason this January – a birthday milestone. Hippolyte turned 70 (three score and 10) on January 9th 2022.

Wadadli Pen’s Joanne C. Hillhouse who also celebrated her remarkably non-milestone birthday this month, January 5th, is pictured with Kendel HIpplyte at their first meeting, at the Congrès International des écrivains de la Caraïbe in 2013.

“Kendel Hippolyte was once described as “perhaps the outstanding Caribbean poet of his generation.” Besides being honored with the St. Lucia Gold Medal of Merit for his contribution to the arts, he joins Derek Walcott, Vladimir Lucien, and Canisia Lubrin as one of only four St. Lucians to win an OCM Bocas Prize, the English-speaking Caribbean’s most prestigious literary award. Note, however, Hippolyte won the poetry prize, while the other three won both the poetry and overall prize.”

Click here to read three poems by fellow Lucian poet John Robert Lee dedicated to Hippolyte on this occasion. (Source – Jako Productions)

Farewells

Antigua and Barbuda media veteran and Rastafari elder King Frank I has been laid to rest in an official state-funded funeral held at the Sir Vivian Richards national stadium.

There were five pages of coverage of the funeral in the Daily Observer including reporting of performance of Farewell to a King by the Nyabinghi Theocracy Order. Francis was credited for activism that has led to Rastafari being more integrated into society. Frank I’s children Jomo Hunte St. Rose, and daughters Malaika and Denise Francis, the latter also a media worker, paid tribute to their dearly departed dad. Denise invoked her father’s well known sign off: “We know Jah will continue to guide, continue to keep fit, and to always be a good sport.” Read that full article here:

In an article in the subsequent issue, head of the Reparations Support Commission, of which King Frank I was a part, Dorbrene O’Marde, is said to have indicated that the Commission will be seeking some way to honour him. “We have lost an example of steadfast commitment to a cause…we have lost a proud proclaimer of the fact that although he was not born in Africa, Africa was born in him…” O’Marde was quoted as saying, during the ceremony, of his friend of more than 60 years. Read in full:

(Source – Daily Observer newspaper)

Events

The Sir Derek Walcott Memorial Lecture (mentioned immediately below) is only one of a full week of activities which began on January 10th 2022 in celebration of Nobel Laureates Week in St. Lucia. The Windward island has two such Laureates – Walcott for Literature and Sir Arthur Lewis for Economics. The full listing of activities can be found here. (Source – Jako Productions)

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Bocas Award winning St. Lucian playwright and poet Kendel Hippolyte will deliver this year’s Derek Walcott Memorial Lecture January 18th 2022.

Read about him here.

Tune in online at
Facebook: @NobelLaureateFestivalSaintLuciaFacebook
Youtube: @cdfsaintluciaNTN
Flow Channel 122UWITV
Flow Channel 105

(Source – Facebook)

Accolades

Antiguan-Canadian writer Tanya Evanson’s Book of Wings has been named to the 2022 Canada Reads long list. Read about it here. (Source – Author’s facebook)

It has also been added to Antiguans and Barbudans Awarded.

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This round up of 2021 book prize winners includes several Caribbean writers: namely, Barbadian Cherie Jones, a finalist for the Woman’s Prize for Fiction for How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House; and Jamaican Maisy Card, a finalist for the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, part of the Los Angeles Time Book prize, for These Ghosts are Family. (Source – email)

Publication News

Jamaican Poet Laureate Olive Senior’s Hurricane Watch: New and Collected Poems lands at the end of January 2022. From Carcanet.

(Source – Twitter)

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You know that Wadadli Pen team member Floree Williams Whyte’s latest book dropped in December and she features in the first CREATIVE SPACE of 2022.

(Source – Me)

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There were seven book publications out of St. Lucia in 2021, according to Jako Productions. “These included two memoirs (My Journey, and You Left Me Broken), two commentaries on St. Lucian Art and culture (The Reign of Terra, and Dance Footprints), a children’s book (The Reunion: The adventures of Froggy-T & Bunnie), a book of poetry (Ear to My Thoughts), and a commentary on St. Lucian politics (No Man’s Land: A Political Introspection of St. Lucia). Added to this list is Scream, a murder mystery novel by McDonald Dixon, a leading St. Lucian poet and novelist, to be launched this month.” (Jako Productions). The post also singled out multi-award winning St. Lucian poet Canisia Lubrin for commendation. (Source – Jako email)

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The latest issue of Moko: Caribbean Arts and Letters has landed. Issue 20’s theme is Thanksgiving and it includes as its cover image ‘Daylight’ by Stefan Rampersad/Alexander Phoenyx, part of the Trinidad and Tobago artist’s Caribe Arch series.

Poets featured in the issue are Jason Allen-Paisant, Fawzia Muradali Kane, and Edythe Rodriguez. The issue includes reviews of Celeste Mohammed’s Pleasantview, Shara McCallum’s No Ruined Stone, Lisa Allen-Agostini’s The Bread the Devil Knead, Bermudan poet Nancy Anne Miller’s contribution to Moko’s One Poem One Poet series. The fiction consists of winners of the Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival short fiction prize of 2021 Patrice Grell Yursik (Daughter 4) and Akhim Alexis (The Wailers); and new stories in the “sky islands” speculative fiction universe curated by Fabrice Guerrier including his own ‘Magic Mangoes’, alongside ‘Ixie and Izzy‘ by Joanne C. Hillhouse (she, of Wadadli Pen and Antigua and Barbuda) and ‘Rock, Feather, Shell’ by Celeste Rita Baker. The issue is edited by Andre Bagoo. (Source – twitter)

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As part of its mission, non-profit The Antigua and Barbuda Humane Society has released a colouring book, All Creatures Great and Small, as part of its mission to create a more animal-friendly environment by promoting care. The assembly and printing of the books was funded by King’s Casino Antigua. The Amatos family, meanwhile, donated boxes of crayons, among other items, to be paired with the books. The books are intended for distribution to pre and primary schools; and some are on sale in the Humane Society’s merchandise shop. For more information on this initiative and to donate towards future initiatives, call 268-461-4957. (Source – the Daily Observer newspaper)

Site Updates

Writers continue to be added to the Antiguan and Barbudan Writers (+Artists) on the Web, the Antiguan and Barbudan Fiction and Antiguan and Barbudan Writing, and the Caribbean Writers Online data bases. An addition too to Reading Room and Gallery 42 and the Opportunities page. The addition of a new Antigua and Barbuda Literary Works Reviewed. (Source – me)

Shout Outs

To the Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival BCLF Cocoa Pod on Apple podcasts. Congrats to them on the continued growth which has included, in addition to the popular literary festival, the short fiction story contests named for acclaimed writer Elizabeth Nunez, and now this podcast described as “a Caribbean storytelling experience in which writers of Caribbean heritage narrate their own stories. …rich with the rhythm, pitch and intonation of the one who wrote it.” We are informed, re the BCLF initiatives for writers (the festival, podcast, and interviews), that they are open to receiving author press kits/bios/links and, also, review copies or ARCs (new releases). 

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To Rebel Women Lit which while counting votes for the Caribbean Readers Awards, to be announced January 9th 2022 after voting closed at the end of 2021, has concurrently announced its Book Club Reading List for the year. The list is not exclusively Caribbean but includes Caribbean reads like Things I have Withheld by Kei Miller, Cereus Blooms at Night by Shani Mootoo, Skin Folk by Nalo Hopkinson, and The Dreaming by Andre Bagoo. (Source – RWL email)

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To my Jhohadli blog and specifically this round up post of recent publications and more. (Source – me)

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To New Caribbean Voices, a podcast on spotify, hosted by Malika Booker. It includes interviews with and readings by contemporary Caribbean authors. (Source – JR Lee email)

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To the Wadadli Music Scene blog, a project of jazz musicians Khadijah Simon and Foster Joseph, both of Antigua and Barbuda. The goal is to document stories related to Antigua and Barbuda’s music history. (Source – Foster Joseph who was interviewed in 2021 for CREATIVE SPACE)

Opportunities

Two Wadadli Pen team members, Barbara A. Arrindell and Joanne C. Hillhouse went on ABS TV on January 12th 2022 to discuss creative writing. Watch here.

Both are offering workshops. See flyers below.

(Source – me)

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The Catapult Creative Arts grant is back. The COVID-19 relief programme for Caribbean artists saw funds paid out for residencies, salons, and other arts activities. The new application cycle opens January 3rd 2022 closes January 14th 2022. Apply here. And, yes, you can apply again even if you are a past grant recipient. (Source – Repeating Islands)

Remember to check Opportunities Too for this and other arts opportunities with pending deadlines.

News

As I blogged recently 2019 Independence fashion show winner Nicoya Henry has yet to receive her government promised scholarship to study in Trinidad. My thoughts expressed in this CREATIVE SPACE Coda. (Source – me)

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Antiguan and Barbudan author Joan Underwood has been delivering live tips from her book Manager’s First Aid Kit on the Mornin’ Barbados show since October 2021. The four month stint was every Wednesday, each episode focus on a challenge covered in a chapter of the book and offering up practical challenges and solutions. See episodes missed in this playlist from Underwood’s YouTube channel. (Source – Underwood email)

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Antigua and Barbuda’s Cultural Industries Mapping Project announced in November 2021 that it received 430 responses to its survey.

The company chosen to create the National Cultural Information System/Cultural Portal is COMPUSULT LTD. Keep track here. (Source – Facebook)

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Antigua and Barbuda has a new culture minister. Michael Browne, the former minister of education whose cabinet appointment was withdrawn while he fought a charge which shall not be named, is to be re-appointed, having beat the charge, but under a different portfolio. Darryl Matthew who added education to culture and sports after Browne’s dis-appointment, is the outgoing minister of culture. Actually, it’s called creative industries these days, more fully creative industries and innovation – under which falls culture, carnival, independence, the one nation concert, V. C. Bird celebrations, visual arts, graphic arts, decorative arts, performing arts, musical arts, happiness and unity, innovatiion, and the UNOPS. This is according to an article in the Daily Observer. No specific reference to literary arts but google says UNOPS is the United Nations Office of Project Services. (Source – Daily Observer newspaper)

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

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Carib Lit Plus (Mid to Late December 2021)

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

Christmas

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

(Source – me)

Accolades

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

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

Events

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

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

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

Opportunities

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

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

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

Film

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

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

(Source – JRLee email)

Books

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

(Source – Twitter)

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

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

(Source – me)

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

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

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

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Wadadli Pen Challenge – Who Won What in 2021?

Listed below are the names of the finalists and the prizes they won, thanks to our patrons, in the 2021 edition of the annual Challenge initiative of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize, a programme launched in 2004 to nurture and showcase the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda. Here’s our press release announcing the winners. As for this year’s winning entry, you can also read or listen to Why We Chose It.

The awards were held virtually (for a second year in a row in deference to COVID-19 safety protocols) on May 30th 2021, hosted by Barbara Arrindell, Wadadli Pen partner and manager of longtime awards host The Best of Books bookstore. Congratulations to all.

Schools Prize Winner (for most submissions): St. Anthony’s Secondary School

Prizes – 12 Collins Caribbean School Dictionary; 6 copies of Social Studies Atlas for the Caribbean; 6 copies of Social Studies Atlas for the Caribbean workbook; 3 copies of You can write Awesome Stories by Joanne Owen (from Harper Collins UK); Barron’s SAT Premium Study Guide 2020 – 2021 (Ten Pages bookstore); EC$250 gift certificate for books (contributed by the Rotary Club of Antigua); and two sets of A-level reference guides (from the Best of Books bookstore).

Long Listed Writers:

Linita Simon ‘The Breeze’ (fiction), Rosemond Dinard-Gordon ‘Emerging’ (poetry), Naeem DeSouza ‘The Goat in the Rainforest of Puerto Rico’ (fiction), Anastatia K. Mayers ‘Home’ (poetry), Jai Francis ‘The Legend of the Snowy Egret’ (creative non-fiction), Annachiara Bazzoni ‘Maybe’ (poetry), Noleen Azille ‘Mission: Covered’ (fiction), Latisha Walker-Jacobsalso a finalist in 2011 – ‘Nothing Like Me’ (poetry), Kadisha Valerie ‘The Silence was So Loud’ (fiction), Aria-Rose Brownealso a finalist in 2020 – ‘Spirit of the Flame’ (fiction)

Prizes – All long listed writers will have the opportunity to participate in one (possibly two) workshops sponsored by Garfield Linton, facilitated by Joanne C. Hillhouse as part of her Jhohadli Writing Project. Additionally, Naaem, Anastatia, Jai, Annachiara, Kadisha, and Aria-Rose will receive secondary school reference guides contributed by the Best of Books bookstore, while Linita, Rosemond, Noleen, Latisha will receive copies of Musical Youth (which is the recipient of a Burt award and a starred review from Kirkus which named it one of its top indies) from author and Wadadli Pen founder, coordinator, and sometime judge Joanne C. Hillhouse. All longlisted and shortlisted writers received (electronically) a certificate from Wadadli Pen as record of their accomplishment.

Short Listed Writers:

12 and Younger – Winner:

Gazelle Zauditu Menen Goodwin , 12, ‘Beautiful Disaster‘ (poetry)

Prizes – Gazelle’s name becomes the first one added to the Zuri Holder Achievement Award plaque and she also receives an EC$75 gift certificate for books (from patron, Cedric Holder, Zuri’s father, in the name of the Cushion Club) – RIP, Zuri; EC$250 (from NIA Comms/Marcella Andre); A copy of each of the following Big Cat books – Sea Turtles by Carol Mitchell, Turtle Beach by Barbara A. Arrindell and Zavian Archibald, Finny the Fairy Fish by Diana McCaulay and Stacey Byer, and The Jungle Outside by Joanne C. Hillhouse and Danielle Boodoo Fortune + You can write Awesome Stories by Joanne Owen (from Harper Collins UK); Hardy Boys #6: The Shore Road Mystery, Nancy Drew #4: The Mystery at the Lilac Inn, and Theodore Boone: The Accused by John Grisham (contributed by Ten Pages bookstore); kindle and kindle carrier, EC$250 gift certificate, pen set, journal, dictionary, and back pack (contributed by the Rotary Club of Antigua); and Antigua My Antigua by Barbara Arrindell and Edison Liburd and A Short Guide to Antigua by Brian Dyde (contributed by Barbara Arrindell, who also volunteered to facilitate a number of workshops in the run-up to the Wadadli Pen submission deadline)

12 and Younger – Honourable Mention:

Eunike Caesar , 9, ‘The Blackboard‘ (fiction)

Prizes – A copy of each of the following Big Cat books – Sea Turtles by Carol Mitchell, Turtle Beach by Barbara A. Arrindell and Zavian Archibald, Finny the Fairy Fish by Diana McCaulay and Stacey Byer, and The Jungle Outside by Joanne C. Hillhouse and Danielle Boodoo Fortune + You can write Awesome Stories by Joanne Owen (from Harper Collins UK); EC$108 gift certificate (from Juneth Webson); kindle and kindle carrier, EC$200 gift certificate, pen set, journal, dictionary, and back pack (contributed by the Rotary Club of Antigua); and Antigua My Antigua by Barbara Arrindell and Edison Liburd and A Short Guide to Antigua by Brian Dyde (contributed by Barbara Arrindell)

Sub-theme ‘2020’ – Winner:

Jason Gilead, ‘The Great Old Woodslave‘ (fiction)

Prizes – A spot in a future Bocas workshop (Bocas Lit Fest sponsored); EC$250 ( from NIA Comms/Marcella Andre); a kindle and kindle carrier, EC$150 gift certificate, pen set, journal, and dictionary (contributed by the Rotary Club of Antigua); and a copy of Pioneers of the Caribbean written by Ingrid V Lambie and Patricia L Tully (contributed by Patricia Tully)

Sub-theme ‘2020’ – Honourable Mention:

Sheniqua Maria Greaves , 19, ‘The Juxtaposed Reprieve‘ (fiction)

Prizes – A spot in a future Bocas workshop (Bocas Lit Fest sponsored); Daylight Come by Diana McCaulay (contributed by publisher Peepal Tree Press); EC$108 in cash or gift certificate (from Juneth Webson); Kindle and kindle carrier, EC$100 gift certificate, pen set, journal, and dictionary (contributed by the Rotary Club of Antigua)

Main Prize – Winner:

Kevin Liddie , ‘Mildred, You No Easy‘ (fiction)

Prizes – Name added to the Alstyne Allen Memorial Challenge Plaque (sponsored by the Best of Books bookstore)

The plaque, which hangs in the Best of Books bookstore, got an upgrade in 2016 and is now known as the Alstyne Allen Memorial Plaque.

EC$500 cheque (contributed by Frank B. Armstrong); US$200/EC$520 gift certificate for books (contributed by Olive Senior); The Friends of the Bocas Lit Fest (FBLF) status allowing access to event archives, Book Bulletin, discounts on Bocas merchandise, books, workshops and paid events offered by the BLF, and be a part of FBLF exclusive events + A spot in a future Bocas workshop (Bocas Lit Fest sponsored); Notes on Ernesto Che Guevara´s ideas on pedagogy by Lidia Turner Martí + The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (contributed by Sekou Luke); Four (4) copies each of Big Cat books: Sea Turtles by Carol Mitchell, Turtle Beach by Barbara A. Arrindell and Zavian Archibald, Finny the Fairy Fish by Diana McCaulay, and The Jungle Outside by Joanne C. Hillhouse and Danielle Boodoo Fortune to gift to a primary school of his choice (Harper Collins UK)

Main Prize – Second Placed:

Ashley-Whitney Joshua , 19, F, ‘Hiraeth‘ (fiction)

Prizes – EC$300 cash (contributed by Rilys Adams – an author, who was a Wadadli Pen finalist in 2005 and 2006); a spot in a future Bocas workshop (Bocas Lit Fest sponsored); By Love Possessed: Stories by Lorna Goodison + Time to Talk by Curtly Ambrose with Richard Sydenham (contributed by Sekou Luke); Kindle and kindle carrier, EC$150 gift certificate, pen set, journal, and dictionary (contributed by the Rotary Club of Antigua)

Main Prize – Third Placed:

Aunjelique Liddie , 13, F, ‘The Beach‘ (poetry)

Prizes – EC$250 cash (contributed by Daryl George – a finalist in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016); A copy of each of the following Big Cat books – Sea Turtles by Carol Mitchell, Turtle Beach by Barbara A. Arrindell and Zavian Archibald, Finny the Fairy Fish by Diana McCaulay, and The Jungle Outside by Joanne C. Hillhouse and Danielle Boodoo Fortune + You can write Awesome Stories by Joanne Owen (from Harper Collins UK); Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan + The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera (contributed by Sekou Luke); Kindle and kindle carrier, EC$100 gift certificate, pen set, journal, and dictionary (contributed by the Rotary Club of Antigua); Antigua My Antigua (contributed by Barbara Arrindell)

Main Prize – Honourable Mention:

Jason Gilead

Prizes – EC$108 in cash or gift certificate (from Juneth Webson); EC$50 (from Devra Thomas – also a 2011 Wadadli Pen finalist, subsequent volunteer and partner, and, as of 2021, judge); EC$75 worth of gift certificates (Rotary Club of Antigua)

Sheniqua Maria Greaves

Prizes – EC$108 in cash or gift certificate (from Juneth Webson); EC$50 (from Devra Thomas); EC$75 worth of gift certificates (Rotary Club of Antigua)

Razonique Looby , 15, F, ‘Vixen‘ (fiction)

Prizes – EC$108 in cash or gift certificate (from Juneth Webson); EC$50 (from Devra Thomas); EC$75 worth of gift certificates (Rotary Club of Antigua)

Andre Warner , 23, M, ‘The Brave One‘ (fiction)

Prizes – EC$108 in cash or gift certificate (from Juneth Webson); EC$50 (from Devra Thomas); EC$75 worth of gift certificates (Rotary Club of Antigua)

Additional gifts

Wadadli Pen also gifted:

One (1) copy each of Big Cat books: Sea Turtles by Carol Mitchell, Turtle Beach by Barbara A. Arrindell and Zavian Archibald, Finny the Fairy Fish by Diana McCaulay, and The Jungle Outside by Joanne C. Hillhouse and Danielle Boodoo Fortune (Harper Collins UK) to the Cushion Club of Antigua and Barbuda

Four (4) copies each of Big Cat books: Sea Turtles by Carol Mitchell, Turtle Beach by Barbara A. Arrindell and Zavian Archibald, Finny the Fairy Fish by Diana McCaulay, and The Jungle Outside by Joanne C. Hillhouse and Danielle Boodoo Fortune (Harper Collins UK) to the Public Library of Antigua and Barbuda

Thanks and congrats all around.

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Wadadli Pen Challenge 2021 Update

The Best of Books sponsored Alstyne Allen Memorial plaque is one of two plaques. The other, added this year, in memory of Zuri Holder will be emblazoned with the names of the 12 and younger winners.

After a lengthy period of processing, the entries are now off to the judges. If you submitted, we request your patience as the entries are vetted. The short list will be posted once the first round of judging is completed.

We can report that there are 73 submissions – all passing eligibility. Our About Wadadli Pen page is updated with this information and a bit of 2021 trivia. Here’s a bit more trivia, this is the highest single year submission since 2017.

Books contributed by Sekou Luke.

We want to thank and acknowledge, once again, all of our 2021 patrons, especially the ones who have been confirmed since our previous releases – NIA Comms (EC$500), Sekou Luke (a cache of books), Ten Pages bookstore (confirmed before but have since dropped off their books), Barbara Arrindell (who delivered a number of workshops leading up to the submission deadline), Bocas Lit Fest which has clarified the development opportunities on offer through workshops and memberships to some of our finalists – it’s great to have such a vibrant Caribbean partner on board, helping us to fulfill our promise to nurture and showcase the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda.

We have received Jamaican writer and new poet laureate Olive Senior’s contribution toward gift certificate for books, and the contributions by Daryl George and Rilys Adams, both former Wadadli Pen finalists. How great is that full circle moment.

As great as it will be to raise up another budding writer (or two, or three, or more). I for one am looking forward to reading these entries – that’s right, as I am also selecting participants for upcoming Garfield Linton sponsored Jhohadli Writing Project script development workshops, I have signed on as one of the 2021 judges. We will as usual have three judges (the others are expected to be regular judge and author Floree Williams Whyte and past finalist Devra Thomas – both Wadadli Pen team members) round 1, blind (or semi-blind in my case); and will bring on board a Kamala Harris (i.e. a high profile tiebreaking judge) if needed for a round 2. Watch this space and good luck to all entrants.

If you would like to support the work of Wadadli Pen, email wadadlipen@gmail.com

As with all content (words, images, other) 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,  Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and The Jungle Outside). All Rights Reserved. You can also subscribe to and/or follow the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks. And remember while linking and sharing the links, referencing and excerpting, with credit, are okay, lifting whole content (articles,  images, other) from the site without asking is not cool. Respect copyright.

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An Olive Senior Appreciation Post

I described seeing Olive Senior posing with my books, and especially The Boy from Willow Bend, at the Allioagana lit fest in Montserrat, in 2019, (I wasn’t there, the picture was posted or sent to me), as a full circle moment. Let me tell you why.

Olive Senior made me cry. It wasn’t a full on bawling session but I teared up. It was during a one-on-one during my first international workshop – the Caribbean Fiction Writers Summer Institute – which she facilitated. I was grateful for the opportunity, at the crossroads of having just concluded undergrad at the University of the West Indies and re-entering the world of work back home in Antigua-Barbuda where I feared my dreams would become subsumed by practicality. I don’t think I fully appreciated then what a privilege it was to have The Olive Senior, Commonwealth Award winning, critically acclaimed, beloved by writers and readers alike, Olive Senior as my first (thankfully not my last) international creative writing workshop facilitator. It was at a time in my life when I was so scared that I would have to settle for anything else but what I wanted to do which was write (coming from a small place with no blueprint for the writing career I wanted) and I needed to know that my writing had something that made it possible (even if I hadn’t yet figured out the how-to of it). I wanted to believe, I wanted to hear, that my writing was good; and her role was to show me how my writing could be better. I wanted a cue. And was maybe too foolish to understand that Mervyn Morris who was my mentor and teacher at UWI recommending me for the CFWSI, when I had no publications yet to my credit, and being in the room much less in one-on-ones with Olive, and being in the company of all the much more seasoned writers I was fortunate and intimidated to be in company with that summer was that cue. The honest feedback I received made me cry but it also sent me back to pack, and in that pack, with the tips I learned that summer, I found the beginnings of the story that would become The Boy from Willow Bend, my first book. I have such warm feelings about that whole summer, in and out of workshop, and appreciate the growth experience it was for me as a writer. Also, I coach and facilitate workshops now too and I understand how hard it is to tell someone the truth about their writing ESPECIALLY when you see potential in it.

This image is from a workshop cohort lime during the Caribbean Fiction Writers Summer Institute, University of Miami, 1995. Olive is seated, front and centre, and I am standing immediately behind her in black.

This image is from a luncheon at the Prime Minister’s Residence with participating writers during the BIM Literary Festival, Barbados, in 2016. Olive is standing front, in grey, left, and I am one level up and behind her, also in grey.

I wouldn’t meet Olive again until Barbados in 2016 (the workshop was in 1995). We were both invited authors at the BIM Lit Fest. We would be reading and participating in other activities and she was scheduled to lead a master class which I was a bit bummed I wouldn’t be able to take as I was scheduled to co-lead a workshop at the same time. I am shy by nature and battle imposter syndrome on the daily. So I did my whole I don’t know if you remember me thing. After all, it had been 21 years (back when I had just turned 22) with no contact in between. But not only did she remember me, she remembered Mervyn telling her that I was going to be a writer, which I hadn’t known before (that he saw that potential enough in me to share it with one of his peers). Her sharing that with me felt like a gift and if that was to be the bookend to our knowing, that would have been enough. But we did the obligatory selfie and then Olive Senior made me cry again. She shared that image with her social media network with what felt like a fond note in which she called me a mentor to others as she had been to me. That post is a keepsake.

I don’t know if she knows this but her mentoring of me continued informally on that trip. There are the nerves I get being in those spaces but she treated me like it was perfectly natural for me to be there as a peer. Mervyn was also there – I had happily reconnected with him a few years earlier at the Nature Island Literary Festival. My workshop co-lead Bernice McFadden was cool. I vibed with them and most others. There are always exceptions, and there were. But those discomforts didn’t overshadow the genuine companionableness I found with Olive and others. And in conversation with Olive, perfectly casual conversation to her no doubt, I sopped up everything she told me about the ebbs and flows of her own journey as a writer, as I considered the ebbs and flows of mine (even acknowledging that I am no Olive Senior, we had in common the nature of the ebbs and flows of the writing life and from her attitude to the journey I could learn a thing or two about adjusting my own attitude and expectations). I could also obviously stand to learn a thing or two about how she produces at such a high level with such seeming effortlessness and frequency -case in point the Pandemic Poems book she managed to produce while some of us have been spinning in circles. I am some of us, some of us is me. And when I saw the book announcement, I was reminded of why she is The Olive Senior.

But she is also just Olive. And I got to hang with Olive on our third encounter in 2019 when she had a day’s layover in Antigua, and she and I and Barbara Arrindell, a local author and bookseller and my friend, whom she had recently met at Alliougana in Montserrat limed between her arrival and departure. We had emailed and I may have worked up the courage to ask her for a recommendation a time or two in between (she was always gracious), but we had never really socialized as just people. Which we did over lunch and a short island tour that day. I feel like I got to see another side of her – although people don’t really have sides, do they; let’s say, I got to see more of her, what she thinks about things and how she thinks about things. But mostly just be which is the realest form of interaction, ent it. Anyway I had fun that day and I hope she did too. And while we’re not day to day email buddies, we’ve kept in touch.

With Olive 2019, at Fort James, Antigua. Mid-conversation.

Recently, Olive reached out to find out how she could support Wadadli Pen and became one of the first patrons to come on board for the 2021 season. She didn’t tell me in the midst of all of this that her investiture was coming up because, hello, way to bury the lead, Olive!

That’s right, people, she has won the deserved accolade of being named Jamaica’s third Poet Laureate after Mervyn Morris and Lorna Goodison.

Click the image to view the full investiture ceremony.

Olive will serve as Poet Laureate from 2021 to 2024. The Poet Laureate programme is a signature programe of the National Library Service of Jamaica. It is easily the highest recognition a nation can give to a writer and an opportunity for the writer to serve, to the benefit of other budding writers and literary arts in the country generally. In accepting, Olive described it, at the investiture ceremony, as both an honour and a great responsibility. Kudos to Jamaica for this initiative and to whoever is responsible for tapping Olive for the role.

I know, because I’ve seen the social media chatter, that people have been championing her for the role for a while because the love is real for Ms. Senior, for her writing, which is sharp and nuanced – just check out stories like The Boy who loved Ice Cream – but also for being her unproblematic self (and by unproblematic I don’t mean bland, at all, she’s soft spoken but steely, don’t get it twisted, and, it has been my experience, in spite of the fact that she made me cry, kind; I mean, she’s a real one). She carries Jamaica in her spirit, and particularly the rural Jamaica she grew up in, which is as she said “embedded in her heart beat”. They really couldn’t have picked a more Jamaican Jamaican from the esteemed writers of a culture that has produced so many great writers. I know Olive hasn’t always felt the love -especially in terms of availability of her books in local bookstores, or the lack thereof, which she has spoken about on social media. I hope she’s feeling the love fully in this moment.

This is the cover of Olive’s first children’s book which I single out for mention here because of how it celebrates the land and the rhythm of life in a rural Jamaica made of love and support for each other and laughter – not, as I saw in one youtube review from a white, non-Jamaican reviewer who clearly loved the book but I felt missed the message of it, the tragedy of being so poor you have to walk miles for water. An announced catchphrase of Olive’s tenure as poet laureate will be #IseeMyLand which, as anyone who follows Wadadli Pen would know we appreciate, our challenge insisting since 2004 on a Caribbean inspired, Caribbean imagined, Caribbean specific aesthetic – not generic.

Fun fact, Ms. Olive’s collaborator on both her children’s book, Laura James, is of Antiguan-Barbudan descent …which is why her Boonoonoonous Hair is in the running for the #readAntiguaBarbuda 2021 readers choice book of the year initiative. Don’t forget to vote.

I couldn’t be happier for Olive the Senior. I know she’s going to do great things in the role and I love that at my mama’s age she continues to demonstrate the full scope of a writers’ life fully lived. I stay watching and learning.

My next goal is to get a one-on-one interview with her for the blog; think she’ll go for it?

As with all content (words, images, other) 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,  Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and The Jungle Outside). All Rights Reserved. You can also subscribe to and/or follow the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks. And remember while linking and sharing the links, referencing and excerpting, with credit, are okay, lifting whole content (articles,  images, other) from the site without asking is not cool. Respect copyright.

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Press Release – Wadadli Pen Workshop, Additional Patrons Announced as Submission Deadline Approaches

March 16th 2021

Wadadli Pen team member Barbara Arrindell, an author and bookseller, will be offering a free workshop on March 18th 2021 ahead of the March 26th 2021 submission deadline for the annual lit arts challenge. The workshop is expected to cover creative writing, using local history in your writing, and bringing inanimate objects to life in your stories. The workshop will be offered via zoom and pre-registration is necessary. To register for the zoom link-up, email barbaraarrindell@yahoo.com or send a message to the ‘Free Creative Writing Workshop to get you ready to participate in the Wadadli Pen Challenge’ event page on facebook. Arrindell, who is also a trainer by profession, has volunteered her time for this extra activity, and anyone interested in submitting to Wadadli Pen is encouraged to take advantage of it.

The Wadadli Pen team is also happy to announce that a number of new patrons have been confirmed since previous announcements. These include Frank B. Armstrong, a contributor for the past 10 years, and Junie Webson, a US based Antigua-Barbuda businesswoman, who has been a patron since 2014 – both have pledged their usual EC$500 to Wadadli Pen 2021. “We don’t take any of these gifts for granted,” said Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse, “especially in this hard guava crop season.”

Hillhouse announced as well that Garfield Linton, a Jamaican based in America, with whom she has been in talks re arts funding for a while, has committed to underwriting her delivery of two workshops in the Wadadli Pen post-season. She hopes to select up to 10 writers from the Wadadli Pen entrants to offer a spot in these workshops. A long term goal, she indicated, is development of their stories and writing skills, and if additional funding can be sourced adaptation of one or more of the stories for print and/or film format. “My goal with Wadadli Pen has always been, as our tagline says, ‘nurturing and showcasing the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda’,” she said. “The competition, or challenge, as we call it, has been our flagship project along with the Wadadli Pen website, and to a lesser degree workshops and showcases we have delivered in the past, but it was never the end goal. Our goal is to be sustainable and ultimately self-sustaining as a non-profit supporting the arts in various ways, and the literary arts in particular. It has been little little full basket since 2004 but we continue the work and hope for growth and expansion.”

The patrons announced in this release join previously announced patrons Rilys Adams, the Best of Books bookstore, Daryl George, Harper Collins (UK) publishers, Cedric Holder, Diana McCaulay and Peepal Tree Press, Moondancer Books, Olive Senior, and Patricia Tully. Anyone interested in supporting the work of Wadadli Pen is encouraged to contact wadadlipen@gmail.com Anyone hoping to participate in Wadadli Pen is reminded to read the guidelines and download the submission form at wadadlipen.wordpress.com Remember to also vote for your favourite Antiguan and Barbudan book and help a local school win.

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Carib Lit Plus (Mid to Late March 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

One of the great losses in Antigua and Barbuda in 2020 was broadcaster Carl Joseph of the Observer Media Group. Antiguans and Barbudans for Constitutional Reform and the staff of Observer/Newsco Ltd are offering a young person in Antigua and Barbuda the opportunity to be a ‘journalist for a day’. The Carl Adrian Joseph Memorial Reporter for a Day Service Project invites students between 13 and 17 to write a newspaper story about an event that happened, or is happening, in their community. Opportunity also open to teen photo journalists.

Read pdf for more details:

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A reminder that March 26th 2021 is the deadline deadline extended to April 2nd 2021 for submission of entries to the Wadadli Pen Challenge 2021. See the following press releases:

Finally! Wadadli Pen Launches
Wadadli Pen – New Prize Pays Tribute


Wadadli Pen Workshop, Additional Patrons Announced as Submission Deadline Approaches

Workshop Wraps, Deadline is Here, New Patrons on Board


Read about this and other pending Opportunities here. (Source – Wadadli Pen)

Events

Be sure to check my appearances page (on Jhohadli) for my upcoming events. Like this World Book Day live on my AntiguanWriter YouTube channel – subscribe and hit notifications to make sure you don’t miss it.

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The Bocas Lit Fest (virtual again this year) has been announced for April 23 – 25th 2021. The programme is here. Some of the events that caught my eye: Crowdsourcing a Canon, Placing the ‘Caribbean’ in Caribbean Writing, “Toussaint was a Mighty Man”, Making History: Lawrence Scott & Lauren Francis-Sharma, Imaginary Homelands: Barbara Lalla and Leone Ross, and Launch of the Caribbean Books that Made Us.

Bocas has come on board as a Wadadli Pen patron in 2021 by the way; how dope is that? (Source – Bocas)

Other (Non-Book) Reading/Art Material

A reminder that Heather Doram merch is available on redbubble and that she now has colouring books available through Amazon. Kids can play with them if they want but these colouring books are for adults. The Heather Doram Colouring Book Collection is our latest addition to the Antiguan and Barbudan Writing data base (and we won’t be putting these colouring books in the children’s section).

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This is an In Case You Missed It and not limited to reading. Here you’ll find listed all of the Catapult Arts Caribbean Creative Online Grants recipients. There are a number of us but my goal is to go through and discover every one. I invite you to do the same. (Source – from my involvement as a Catapult Arts recipient)

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New books are still below but I’ll drop the latest edition of the Journal of West Indian Literature here. You’ll need to purchase it, of course, to read its book reviews and various articles. This issue, Vol. 28 No. 2, is an open issue edited by Glyne Griffith with cover art, Keeping it Close, by Mark Jason Weston. (Source – St. Lucian poet John Robert Lee email blast)

For access to some free content be sure to check our Reading Room and Gallery.

Accolades

Here comes the Bocas Long List with some of the books that have been trending for much of the year and maybe some that have fallen below your radar. ETA: Short listed books in bold.

Poetry
The Dyzgraphxst by Canisia Lubrin (St. Lucian)
Guabancex by Celia Sorhaindo (Dominican)
Country of Warm Snow by Mervyn Taylor (Trinidadian)

Fiction
These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card (Jamaican)
Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud (Trinidadian)
The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey (Trinidadian)

Non-Fiction
of colour by Katherine Agyemaa Agard (Trinidadian)
The Undiscovered Country by Andre Bagoo (Trinidadian)
Musings, Mazes, Muses, Margins by Gordon Rohlehr (Guyanese)

Read all about them on the Bocas website. (Source – Rebel Women Lit newsletter)

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Three Trini writers (Ahkim Alexis, Desiree Seebaran, and Jay T. John) have been short listed for the 2021 Johnson & Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize. These “top contenders were accomplished or very promising. History, myth, gender, and identity are the most common areas of engagement. At the level of experiment, robber talk, the mechanics of spoken word, the tradition of nursery rhymes, rasta groundation, and elegiac tradition are evident.” (Bocaslitfest.com) The Johnson & Amoy Achong developmental prize is aimed at advancing the work of an emerging Caribbean voices, this year in the poetry genre (genre changes annually). But the domination of this and most regional prizes by the bigger countries continues. The longlist included 8 Trinis, one Barbadian, and one Guyanese. In this, the final year of the prize, the organizers (the Bocas Lit Fest) note that there were 35 submissions from across seven countries – the others being Jamaica, Grenada, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, and Bahamas. And they seemed unimpressed with the general quality. “Many of the poets failed to sustain their opening imagery, some deployed disconnected symbolism, inappropriate diction, inconsistent code-switching between English and Creole, and in some cases, were obviously too prosaic.” (Bocaslitfest.com) The Johnson and Amoy Achong Writers Caribbean Prize consists of a cash award of US$3,000, participation in a workshop at internationally renowned Arvon, three days networking in the UK, where Arvon is based, mentorship by an established writer, and a chance to be agented by Aitken Alexander Associates Literary Agency. Congrats to all long and, especially, short listed writers who are in line for a boost. (Source – Bocas email)

Believing that there is abundant talent in the region and Wadadli Pen being a project concerned with nurturing and showcasing the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda, the limited advance of writers from home and neighbouring small islands through vital programmes like this one (which will hopefully attract funding to continue) is of concern – to date, among local writers, only Brenda Lee Browne has been longlisted for the previous version of this particular prize (Hollick Arvon). None since and it is not clear how many, if any, of us are even submitting (or are perhaps discouraged from submitting). We are happy to report though that Bocas, a 2021 Wadadli Pen Challenge patron, has agreed to offer spots in upcoming workshops to a handful of our 2021 Wadadli Pen Challenge finalists and access to member services to our winner.

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Kwame Dawes of Jamaica (and Nigeria and America-based), editor of the literary journal Prairie Schooner, ‘is the recipient of the biennial PEN/Nora Magid Award for Magazine Editing. The award honors an editor whose high literary standards and taste have contributed to the excellence of the publication they edit. Judges Patrick Cottrell, Carmen Giménez Smith, and John Jeremiah Sullivan call Dawes “a bold and visionary editor” who has “proved the ongoing validity of the literary journal and taken it to new places.”’ (Source – PEN America email)

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Two overseas writers of Caribbean origin Dionne Brand and Canisia Lubrin are in the running for the US$165,000 Windham-Campbell Prize. There are eight remaining finalists. “Established in 2013 and administered by Yale University, the prize annually honours a selection of fiction, nonfiction, drama and poetry writers who have been nominated in secret. The prize is given to support their writing.” (CBC) Trinidad born Brand is recognized in the fiction category and St. Lucian Lubrin is recognized for poetry. (Source – Lubrin’s twitter)

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“The Surinamese writer Astrid H. Roemer (Paramaribo, 1947) will receive the 2021 Prijs der Nederlandse Letteren (Dutch Literature Prize) this fall. The Prize includes a sum of € 40,000…The Prijs der Nederlandse Letteren is the most prestigious literary prize in the Dutch language area and distinguishes authors of important literary works originally written in Dutch. The Prize is awarded once every three years to an author whose body of work occupies an important place in Dutch literature. The Prize is funded by the Taalunie. It is organized alternately by Literatuur Vlaanderen and Nederlands Letterenfonds.” (Source – Repeating Islands)

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Congrats to Olive Senior who has been named Poet Laureate of Jamaica. Watch the full ceremony linked in this Olive Senior appreciation post. (Source – right here)

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Antiguan and Barbudan cinematographer is up for a British Society of Cinematographers award for the first film in the Steve McQueen Small Axe series, Mangrove. The awards will be announced on April 9th 2021. The film is nominated in the TV drama category. As previously reported this series has been wracking up nominations and awards this season.

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Bermudian writer Florenz Maxwell had her book, the Burt Award winning Girlcott singled out as a “must-read” by Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine.

‘The coming-of-age novel is set during the 1959 Theatre Boycott and seen through the eyes of Desma Johnson as she approaches her 16th birthday.

Ms Maxwell based her book partly on her own experiences.

She was a member of the Progressive Group that organised the boycott in order to break down segregation on the island.

Stephanie Castillo, writing in O Magazine, included Girlcott among “some of the best classic and contemporary books about the Caribbean”.’ (RoyalGazette.com)

The book was a 2016 finalist for the Burt Award, and a boost from Oprah has helped many a book soar, making this a valuable notice for both the first time author and Jamaica-based independent Blue Banyan Books. (Source – N/A)

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Monique Roffey is on a roll. On the heels of her Costa best novel win, we have learned that she is shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize for her book The Mermaid of Black Conch, described as “a tale of love against the odds, a feminist revision of an old Taino myth, an adventure story set in a small coastal Caribbean village.” (Source – the author’s social media)

New Books

Dangerous Freedom is the latest from UK based, award winning Trinidad writer Lawrence Scott. It explores the life of Dido Belle. The book is published with Papillote Press which debuted it with a reading by the author himself.

‘Scott’s first novel since Light Falling on Bamboo in 2013, Dangerous Freedom was published in March 2021. It weaves fact with fiction to reveal “the great deception” exercised by the powerful on a mixed-race child, Dido Belle, born in the late 18th century and brought up in the London home of England’s Lord Chief Justice.’ (Papillote press release)

The video above is part of a series featuring authors with the Dominica/UK publisher on its youtube channel; so while there, check out readings by the likes of Lisa Allen-Agostini (Home Home), Diana McCaulay (Gone to Drift), and others. I’ve read and reviewed Allen-Agostini and McCaulay’s books and am currently reading The Art of White Flowers by Viviana Prado-Núñez, also from Papillote. I don’t mind saying I’d like to read Lawrence’s novel as well – I’ve been meaning to read him since meeting him at a literary festival some years ago (we got along well, I think and I liked the reading that he did then, it’s just been a case of too many books, too little time since). Also Belle interests me. We all know the painting plus I saw the film starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw as the title character, Belle. Plus I would have learned about the Somerset case referenced in the film in history class in secondary school – remembered enough anyway to remember that I learned about it and that it was a pivotal precedent in the anti-slavery narrative. Scott’s video talks about trying to “redress the image and historical sense we have of Dido Elizabeth Belle” and I’m interested. I mean, I’m interested in a lot of the books I post here, so this isn’t new but nothing wrong with declaring it one time.

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ireadify.com isn’t so much about new books as new platform for perusing books. Specifically, the platform develops and promotes digital books (ebooks and audio books) accessible to children birth-14 years old, representing African Stories, Black, Indigenous and People of Color. I have confirmed with the publisher that my books with Caribbean Reads Publishing are on this platform.

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Desryn Collins, Antigua and Barbuda’s language arts coordinator with the Ministry of Education, is latest author to be featured in the Collins Big Cat series of Caribbean #ownvoices releases and the latest to be added to our bibliography of Antiguan and Barbudan books and Children’s Literature in particular here on the site. Her book How to become a Calypsonian (with illustrator Ricky Sanchez Ayata) drops in March.

The story “told through the words of Mighty Glen Glen, a calypso singer (introduces) the world of calypsos and (teaches) what it takes to become a calypsonian.” Collins, originally from Guyana, has worked in Antigua and Barbuda for close to two decades, as senior lecturer at the Antigua State College between 2005 and 2017 and as Education Officer for Language Arts since 2017. (Source – N/A)

As with all content (words, images, other) 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,  Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and The Jungle Outside). All Rights Reserved. You can also subscribe to and/or follow the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks. And remember while linking and sharing the links, referencing and excerpting, with credit, are okay, lifting whole content (articles,  images, other) from the site without asking is not cool. Respect copyright.

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Reading Room and Gallery 39

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.

ESSAY/NON-FICTION

“Writing helps me attain knowledge of Trinidad and Tobago, helps me understand it and appreciate it, and helps me forgive the hurtful parts of it.” – from The Fishing Line by Kevin Jared Hosein

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‘She carries Jamaica in her spirit, and particularly the rural Jamaica she grew up in, which is as she said “embedded in her heart beat”. They really couldn’t have picked a more Jamaican Jamaican from the esteemed writers of a culture that has produced so many great writers.’ – from my Olive Senior Appreciation Post on Wadadli Pen

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“I am a black woman writer from Trinidad and Tobago. I was born here to Trinidadian parents. I have lived here all my life. I do not have an escape route to Elsewhere, whether the route is through money, family connections or non-TT citizenship.” – Lisa Allen-Agostini, 2018 in Repeating Islands

POETRY

“America, I am poor in all
ways fixed and unfixable. My poverty a bullet point” – from Double America by Safiya Sinclair, Montreal Poetry Prize International

INTERVIEWS/CONVERSATIONS

“It’s not just one influencing the other; to me they are one.” – Ava Duvernay re the relationship between art and activism, in discussion with The Root

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“What was extremely important for me was coming to England in 1984. That was a few months after the US invasion of Grenada in 1983, and I arrived here with a profound sense of betrayal and outrage largely because I thought that story needed to be told from the point of the people who were at the receiving end of the guns and the canons and that invasion, and I had to write that rage..36 years later I’m just about doing the book.” – Jacob Ross

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“When I was young, people didn’t think children could see or hear, they would do and say anything in front of them… but from my own experience, children hear a lot.” – Zee Edgell talking about her work in a 1990 Banyan TV interview (click on the image below and type pass word ‘zee’ to access)

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“I wanted to create a book that would encourage people in Antigua and Barbuda to be proud of their identity… so instead of A is for Apple, let’s begin with A is for Arawak.” – Margaret Irish

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“We were all asked to give details of what we wanted to see in terms of the art work, at least I know I was, and to me it’s like she took my thoughts and she somehow created almost exactly what I had in my head. That’s the way it felt (and)..it’s everything I would have wanted it to be. The people look as if they’re our people and there are a mix of people in the story book. And I say that because there are times when I’ve seen some books that are supposed to be our books and the people look perhaps the way other people think we look.” – Barbara Arrindell

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“It’s about when you see these things to not get depressed by it and to make the change you can because you mightn’t be able to create the world you want to see but you can do one thing that does that and it’s very important that we do those things.” – Tanya Batson-Savage

MISC.

“It is revealed that all of the appointments to the University of the West Indies were vetted in London by a committee on which there was a representative of MI5 which aimed ‘to keep the university free of communism’. Within the West Indies communism was an elastic category into which were consigned anyone with an uncompromising relationship to the colonial order and its successor.” – from a public lecture by Richard Drayton

CREATIVES ON CREATING

“First, I made a collage of 6 recent rom-com covers I loved, that reflected the current look of the genre—hand-drawn fonts, bold color, big fonts. I noted I wanted an inclusive, modern design (no male/female cake topper or thin white bride etc).” – Georgia Clark, author of It Had To Be You on the process of conceptualizing a cover; click the instagram link to read (and see) more. (Source – direct author mail and instagram)

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‘Impressionist/actor Jay Pharoah has a zeroed in on a few distinctive traits — some comics call them “handles” — to help flesh out his version of Biden; there’s the little rasp in his voice, as well as favorite Biden phrases like “c’mon man,” “malarkey” and, of course, “here’s the deal.” “The key to a great impression and keeping it fresh, is always trying to look for things that person does, that other people don’t know yet,” says Pharoah, who played President Barack Obama, Jay-Z, Denzel Washington and many more notables in six years on Saturday Night Live. With Biden poised to take office as the nation’s 46th president, comics like Pharoah face a crucial question: How to impersonate him in a way that really resonates? … Pharoah recalls Saturday Night Live sat on an idea he brought up when he joined the show in 2010; a character who was Obama’s more emotional subconscious. Years later, Comedy Central’s show Key & Peele debuted Obama’s “anger translator,” Luther, in a similar sketch, and Pharoah saw an opportunity missed. “There was not a Black person in America, sitting there while Barack Obama had to take everything that he took from the Republican party, [who didn’t think] ‘He has got to be ticked off,” Pharoah adds.’ – NPR

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“So don’t start with exciting plot; start with people.” – Leone Ross, masterclass on characterization

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“Film is so powerful, television is so powerful, it can literally change perception and change culture.” – Gina Prince Bythewood, writer-director of Love and Basketball, Beyond the Lights, and The Old Guard.

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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