Tag Archives: Peepal Tree

Carib Lit Plus (Mid to Late December 2020)

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)

Last Farewell

To Rupert ‘Littleman’ Pelle, prize winning calypso writer from Antigua and Barbuda. Trevaughn ‘Lyricks Man’ Weston wrote on facebook on the occasion of his passing in late December “RUPERT “LITTLE MAN” PELLE has won the Junior Calypso Monarch Competition for EIGHT CONSECUTIVE YEARS. His 8 songs were well written and were well executed by three Calypsonians. Lady Challenger, Princess Thalia and Lyricks Man, respectively.


(Little Man Pelle, centre, with Lady Challenger, left, in her crown)

JUNIOR CALYPSO MONARCH WINNERS:
2000 – LADY CHALLENGER – PARENTING
2001 – LADY CHALLENGER – PROSTITUTION??
2002 – LADY CHALLENGER – WADADLI CHILDREN
2003 – PRINCESS THALIA. – JUMP & WAVE
2004 – PRINCESS THALIA – AUNTY ESTHER SAY
2005 – LYRICKSMAN. – TRAIN US UP
2006 – LYRICKSMAN. – T.N.KIRNON SAY
2007 – LYRICKSMAN. – THANK YOU ICONS

I’m glad to finally have at least partial credits as Pelle was one of the artists whose credits I had requested of the artist some time ago, for the songwriters data base and song lyrics data base. I know there’s more as he was a prolific and respected contributor to the art form. But it’s a start and I’ll be adding this info to the database as soon as able. I’m sorry that this is the season for it; sorry that we have lost another cultural mover and shaker, and icon in his own right. And 2020 has already taken so many of those.

Lyricks Man concluded, in his post, “Thank you LittleMan. You were ONE of the persons who help moulded me into the exceptional Artist that I am today. You have encouraged me and has always looked out for me. I Will Miss You! Thank You RUPERT LITTLEMAN PELLE!!!
REST IN PERPETUAL PEACE” (Source- facebook)

New Content

Myriad Editions shared an interview with the Lorna Goodison (the most recent poet laureate of Jamaica) that we decided to gift readers of the blog for Christmas. Enjoy. (Source – email from Myriad)

***

Remember to check the Reading Room and Gallery as that’s where new (or new to me) content will be posted for the most part. But I did want to share that the last (of 2020) CREATIVE SPACE (my column on Antiguan and Barbudan/Caribbean art and culture) has been published (in the Daily Observer newspaper and online) and for the first time a video version has been posted. I’m really happy with this series overall and can hardly believe that it’s 22 installments in with Daily Observer and continues to grow – two developments being it’s been monetized (Observer pays for the first print rights in Antigua and Barbuda and the editor assures me that they’ve had great feedback and I know the images have made the front page twice) and it’s now with this installment leapt from print and online written to online video – the latter two versions I’m still working to monetize. But in the meantime, I’ve been enjoying creating it and I have a long lead list of subjects still untapped. As for the first video, I worked hard on it and I’m hoping you’ll check it out, like, comment, subscribe, share. Here it is.

(Source – me)

Accolades

Congrats to former Wadadli Pen arts challenge winner, Shem Alexander, who is a 2020 graduating senior from MSU Texas Juanita and Ralph Harvey School of Visual Arts. He won the main Wadadli Pen arts prize in 2010 and was honourable mention in the 10 year anniversary arts challenge in 2014. His new work can be seen in this video of the finals exhibition posted by his art professor. We, at Wadadli Pen, look forward to his continued arts evolution. (Source – Shem’s facebook page)

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Eleven-year old Josse Franco and eight-year old Josh Hansraj topped their age categories in Dragonzilla’s Short Story Writing Challenge in Trinidad and Tobago. Their prizes: laptops – courtesy the NGC Children’s Bocas Lit Fest. In addition, People’s Choice Awards, determined by the number of social media likes and shares towards each video, were presented to Nivaan Ramjattan in the 5-8 age category, and to Tahlia Ramsamooj in the 9-12 group. For details, go here. (Source – Bocas email)

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The Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize has gone to Sharma Taylor, of Jamaica but long resident in Barbados. Sharma won for ‘How You Make Jamaican Coconut Oil’ in the fiction category alongside Sharanya Deepak of India for life writing and Yasmine Seale of Turkey for poetry.

This image of Sharma is from a hike during a Commonwealth Writers workshop we both participated in in Barbados in 2018.

“Framed as a recipe, this story’s beguilingly playful opening sets the scene for a compassionate, nuanced portrait of family life. ‘With enormous vigour and zest and skill it introduces you to a voice, to a setting, to a family, and it does it absolutely beautifully’ said fiction judge and Penguin editor Simon Prosser. ‘This story just totally leapt at me and gripped me from the first moment.’”

The prize gives 1000 pounds to the winners and publishes the winning works in the 35-year old Wasafiri magazine, the premiere publication for writers of colour in the United Kingdom. It is open to writers all over who have not published a book in their chosen genre. Here’s the announcement.

If you’re a blog regular, you may recognize Sharma’s name as she’s been on quite the winning streak. She was a finalist for the Elizabeth Nunez Award in the Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival’s Caribbean Fiction Writers Competition 2020, shortlisted for the 2018 and 2020 Commonwealth Short Story Prize, in addition to being longlisted for the prize in 2019, and won the 2019 Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize and 2020 Frank Collymore Literary Endowment Award for an unpublished collection of short fiction. Re-acquaint yourself with her by reading, if you haven’t already, the interview with her posted on my Jhohadli blog early in 2020. (Source – originally John Robert Lee email blast followed by independent research)

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Antiguan and Barbudan Burt Award winning book Musical Youth received international recognition in December when it (actually the second edition released in 2019) was named to Kirkus Reviews’ list of best indie books. ETA: it’s also been named to Kirkus’ list of best indie romances. Musical Youth is published by indie press Caribbean Reads Publishing out of St. Kitts-Nevis. Musical Youth had received a coveted starred review from Kirkus earlier this year with a review posted online in September and in their print publcation in November. (Source – me via my publisher)

Remember to Vote

As noted in the previous December 2020 Carib Lit Plus, voting is open to the end of December, following the completion of the reader nominated cycle, for the Caribbean Readers’ Awards in which the People! get to choose the best Caribbean books of the year. There are Antiguan and Barbudan nominees in several categories (including Wadadli Pen alum Rilzy Adams among several canon heavyweights for novel of the year) – so look out for those. But vote sincerely for the books, stories, and writers who inspired and entertained you. Here’s where you go. (Source – social media, various)

New Books


Joan H Underwood, Antigua and Barbuda’s former Ambassador to Venezuela and an internationally certified master trainer and professional coach, has put her pandemic downtime to good use, rolling out her first book, described as a must-have guide for managers and would-be managers. Managers’ First Aid Kit: A Practical Guide to Remedy the Three Most Common Managerial Challenges will likely also resonate with entrepreneurs and others – as between media and in-store appearances there has already been considerable interest in the December title. “Regarding her motivation to write the book, Ambassador Underwood says that, during her career as an HR Professional and Executive Coach, she encountered numerous high performers who struggled with the transition from individual contributor to manager. The difficulties encountered are not unique to Caribbean managers. In fact, published data reveal that as many as 60% of new managers either fail outright or underperform during their first two years. Managers’ First Aid Kit is a practical guide to remedy the three most common challenges faced by new managers – namely, managing self, managing others, and managing systems and processes.” Underwood has herself transitioned from laboratory technician to a hospital administrator to general manager to talent and leadership development specialist. “She is a former chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Employers’ Federation (ABEF) and has been a lecturer/facilitator with the Cave Hill School of Business/UWI for two decades. Further, her contributions to the business sector in Antigua and Barbuda and to the wider Caribbean resulted in her being recognized with the 2001 Caribbean Employers Federation Employers Champion Award and the ABEF’s 2011 Award for Sterling Contribution toward the Growth and Development of the Business Community in Antigua and Barbuda.” (Source – author press release)

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One tangible thing former Jamaican poet laureate Lorna Goodison left as she exited the role in 2020 was a collection entitled New Voices: Selected by Lorna Goodison, Poet Laureate of Jamaica, 2017-2020.

The collection includes poems by the following emerging writers: Christopher Allen, Jovanté Anderson, Rojae Brown, Khadijah Chin, Kaleb D’Aguilar, Lauren Delapenha, Rohan Facey, Remone Foster, Delano Frankson, Britney Gabbidon, Kacy Garvey, Trevann Hamilton, Jason Henry, Gail Hoad, Rozan Levy, Demoy Lindo, Romardo Lyons, Rhea Manley, Delroy McGregor, Nardia Reid, Shannon Smith, Lisa Gaye Taylor, Teddense Thomas, Kiseon Thompson, Peta-Gaye Williams, and Sadé Young. This was actually published early in 2020 but I only recently became aware of it – so it’s new to me and now you too. (Source – originally John Robert Lee email blast followed by independent research)

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Stick No Bills, which is one of two books on the Caribbean Readers’ Award 2020 Short Story (Collection) Shortlist, by Elizabeth Walcott Hackshaw was released by Peepal Tree Press in October. Hackshaw is a University of the West Indies french literature and creative writing professor. “Stick No Bills confirms Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw’s lethal talent for inventing characters – like the journalist who has been pursuing a famous writer at a literary conference in Haiti, or the would-be writer who is finding a workshop less than rewarding – who have only a partial awareness of their ability to deceive themselves, or see the painful humour of their situations.” – Peepal Tree (Source – originally John Robert Lee email blast followed by independent research)

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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Reading Room and Gallery XVll

This page is for sharing links to things of interest around the internet. It’ll be sporadically updated; so, come back from time to time. For the previous reading rooms (1, 11, 111, 1v, v, v1 , v11, v111, 1x, x, x1, x11, x111, x1v, xv, xvi), click the links or use the search feature to the right, to the right.

CREATIVES ON CREATING

“But the story could not be just about the pursuance of futility or the exploration of unfulfilled dreams. It also had to be about the possibility of recognizing those critical life-changing moments, and in recognizing those moments, having the courage to make the decisions that would perhaps minimize the deathbed regrets.” – Garfield Ellis

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“The stories about Africans somehow miraculously have a Western protagonist and I was like wow do we not merit our ability to tell our own stories. So I started to write plays.” – Danai Gurira on her play Eclipsed (yep, Michonne is also a writer #blackgirlsrock #blackgirlmagic #TWD)

 

WRITERS ON PUBLISHING

“Two of the main things you have to figure out before launching a crowdfunding campaign are:
◾What will your contributors receive (perks)?
◾What is your funding goal?”- Liz Hennessy on crowdfunding her book

***

“Is it wise to publish the rough draft of a novel online, either serialized on my own blog or posted to a public critique forum or writing community? Will this deter agents and editors from accepting the manuscript, even if it’s appearing online only as a rough draft that will be rewritten? I have received answers on both ends of the spectrum—mostly from self-published writers—and would like an answer from an agent.” – Agent Barbara Poelle answers.

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“In the meantime, you’re writing and preparing your own book for publication, but you’re also working towards building up a sizable group of reading friends who may very well wish to read what you have written. So, when your book is released, there are people curious enough to take a chance and read it. But, more importantly, you’ve developed a fan base that, if it isn’t disappointed in your book, will become your cheerleaders who then tell their friends, thereby increasing the size of your fan base.” – Susan M. Toy on Looking for Readers in the Right Places…

MISC.

“I am not familiar with Antigua’s capital, St. John’s. How will I find the hotel at night?  The taxi driver soon stops and says I have to get out here.  He parks and helps me with my bags. I breathe lightly as he walks beside me, pulls my bag along in alleys crammed with revelers dancing to blaring calypso.  We finally reach the hotel. I tip him well, grateful that he did not abandon me.  Checked into my room, the boom-boom-boom from bands, shake the room.  I wonder how I will sleep, but at 12:00 midnight the music stops abruptly as if someone had cast a magic wand.” – Althea Romeo Mark, an Antiguan born writer resident in Switzerland, reflecting on her visit home in prose and poetry.

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“The internet isn’t just cat pictures, it’s the nervous system of the world” – caller on this fascinating site, Call Me Ishmael, which challenges readers to share how a book transformed their lives or why a book matters to them in the duration of a phone message

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“I had a very difficult relationship with my mother, I think most daughter do” – House on Mango Street author Sandra Cisneros reading the visual, evocative, and poignant Have You Seen Marie and speaking at the National Book Festival

FICTION

“The angel was no less standoffish with him than with the other mortals, but he tolerated the most ingenious infamies with the patience of a dog who had no illusions.” – A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

POETRY

“He lights his pipe as they gather round,
Children with hopeful, eager faces
Longing for the old man’s tales
Of myths and legends from forgotten places…” – Song for the Mermen by Geeta Boodansingh

***

“Mexican”

is not

a noun

or an

adjective

“Mexican”

is a life

long

low-paying

job  – from “Mexican” is not a Noun written to forty-six UC Santa Cruz students and seven faculty arrested in Watsonville for showing solidarity with two thousand striking cannery workers who were mostly Mexican women, October 27, 1985 – by Francisco X. Alarcón

***

“And though you’re poor it isn’t poverty that
concerns you
and though they fought a lot
it isn’t your father’s drinking that makes any difference
but only that everybody is together and you
and your sister have happy birthdays and very good
Christmases
and I really hope no white person ever has cause
to write about me
because they never understand
Black love is Black wealth and they’ll
probably talk about my hard childhood
and never understand that
all the while I was quite happy” – from Nikki-Rosa by Nikki Giovanni

NON FICTION

‘I know from experience that this “symbolic annihilation” can have devastating consequences. I attended majority-white schools in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) and never once had a Black-authored book assigned for class, nor did I have a Black educator until my last semester of my last year of university. Like Orville Douglas, I had tastes in clothes, music, and literature that some deemed “white” or at least not “Black enough.” I also struggled to build my self-esteem and rarely saw positive images of Black women on Canadian television. I wanted to become a writer but saw no young Black women publishing novels in Canada; at 19 I discovered the work of Toni Morrison and Jamaica Kincaid but couldn’t find Canadian equivalents.’ – interesting; Zetta Elliott presents a rarely seen perspective. Read Part l here and Part ll here.

***

“Of course we had slaves! You can’t run a plantation without slaves. Everybody found that out at Emancipation. I was 43 when the apprenticeship time started and that was the beginning of the end for us. By then I had nine children, some lighter and some darker, and Mary Ann and me had married. I had a lot of mouths to feed in my family and the freed slaves would not work, no matter how much we paid them. I tell you the truth, I hated them. They belonged in the fields.” – David in 1848 – from Conversations with My Ancestors by Diana McCaulay, part of Annalise Davis’ White Creole Conversations

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“There is also (and it remains the dominant impulse) a deeply embedded tradition of patient survival, of building from the ground up and a tradition of Creole inventiveness that transforms the world from whatever scraps are available.”  – Peepal Tree

BLOG

“I start the long process of giving up control to the road.
…The idea of train time as found time resonates with me all day. If I were at home, I’d be at work. And then I’d be home after work, doing more work on freelance projects. The dog would need walking, errands would need running, and I’d desperately want to get out and see my friends. My brain would not have any energy for words.” – Marianne Kirby on her residency by train

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“Case in point. The performances of Maria Callas, the great soprano, sometimes ended with angry operagoers throwing rotten vegetables onto the stage. As legend tells it, the great Callas, with diva-like composure, simply picked them up and threw them back.” – Irene Allison blogging about pushing through self-doubt born of criticism of one’s artistic output

***

“So far there’ve been no murders on board, or mysterious disappearances, which is a tad disappointing. No missing Rembrandt Letters to recover, or Agents of Her Majesty’s Secret Service cleaning compartments of various super villains. I’m beginning to suspect our films haven’t accurately depicted the romance and adventure of train travel. I’m ready to solve though, so maybe soon.” – Bill Willingham blogs his residency by train

VISUAL

Danielle Boodoo Fortune’s Mango Morning

***

antiguan artist Frank Walter Ingleby Gallery“Startlingly clever, infinitely curious, and often somewhat eccentric, Walter is one of the most captivating, and yet largely unknown artists to come out of the Caribbean.” True confessions, I was not familiar with this artist and then I turned up not only that but this and this.

INTERVIEWS

“Fortunately, every time I am about to lose faith in men, God puts a good man in my path to show me that to every negative there is a positive.” – Tameka Jarvis-George talking about her life and art and where they intersect.

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“…we were shelling down the place with Antiguan music and we were having so much fun. We realize that we have to make sure that we dominate as Antiguans and Barbudans. Because arwe small, arwe small but arwe tallawah, but we can only do it together.” – 9 time Antiguan and Barbudan soca diva Claudette Peters p.s. watching this interview, her discussion re the lack of money and management underscores that if you’re an artiste in Antigua, perhaps true across the Caribbean, you’re essentially an independent artiste – no big record deals, no big advances, no industry intelligence, financing your own recordings etc. etc. stumbling along – driven by passion and not much else.

***

But the only thing, in the end, that protects you is that you did the book the way you wanted to, because then if it succeeds or fails, at least you have that satisfaction. At least you didn’t compromise and then fail. If you compromise and then you succeed, that’s another kind of feeling. But if you compromise and fail, it’s two failures at least. – Alexander Chee on the 15 year gap between the release of his first and second book

***

‘But it’s still Me Before You that draws overwhelming volumes of reader mail. And Moyes—now 46 and living on a farm in Essex with her husband, a writer for The Guardian, and their three children, ages 10, 14 and 17—still personally answers every letter. “Sometimes people are sending you a page of very emotional stuff about their lives, and you can’t just say, ‘Oh, thanks for reading the book!’ You have to answer them properly,” she tells WD. “And I suppose because I was a fairly unsuccessful author for so long, I also feel an obligation because, you know, there’s always a part of me thinking, Thank you for buying my book!”’ – outtakes from Jojo Moyes’ Writer’s Digest interview

 

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