Tag Archives: poetry prize

Carib Lit Plus Mid to Late October 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. (in brackets, as much as I can remember, I’ll add a note re how I sourced the information)


I haven’t been keeping up with the A & B Arts Round Up (schedule of events) because well, COVID cancelled everything. Which is not really true because there have been a number of online events as well but I just haven’t been keeping up with them as I’d like to. So I’ll mention here that the National Public Library of Antigua and Barbuda resumed its Author of the Month Series in October 2020 with its first virtual edition of the series spotlighting local authors. Leadership consultant Janine Sutherland, author of This Woman Can, was in the spotlight as you’ll see in this live archived on the Public Library page. Next up, November 25th 2020 is Floree Williams Whyte, author of The Wonderful World of Yohan.


Rupert Philo, son of Willikies, king of the Road, calypso icon, Caribbean legend, one of the Big Three of Antiguan and Barbudan calypso was laid to rest on October 19th 2020 at the Sir Vivian Richards (National) Stadium. Swallow, Sir Rupert, received a deserving official funeral. You can read about him in various articles here on the blog – use the search feature to find them. Rest in Power and dance to your heart’s content, Swallow. I feel inclined as he ascends to angel status to share (again) a favourite of mine and many others, because I appreciate the irony of it, Satan Coming Down (winner of the 1984 Road March title). Enjoy.

(source: this was prompted by the live stream of Swallow’s funeral on ABS TV; any additional information was researched or drawn from memory)


Randall Kenan was not a Caribbean writer (he’s from the American South) but he is a writer with whom my path crossed at the Breadloaf Writers Conference in 2008, and he was always gracious to me during our brief encounters in my time there. I was sad to hear of this passing. You can read his New York Times obit here. Of the books mentioned, I’ve read Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century which distinctively, through capturing and profiling individual Black lives coast to coast, illustrates that oft repeated phrase that Black people are not a monolith. You can read my review of it here or you could just go read the book.

(source: various, including social media reflection by author-friends and note to my inbox from Breadloaf/Middlebury; plus additional research and personal reflection)

New Publications

Intersect Antigua has announced that intersectantigua.com, platforming queeribbean and Caribbean feminist stories, will launch on October 30th 2020.

(source: social media announcement by Intersect)


Published specially for the 2020 NGC Bocas Lit Fest, Reclaim, Restore, Return: Futurist Tales from the Caribbean is an e-book anthology of speculative fiction and poetry by seven Caribbean writers (including Brandon O’Brien and Hadassah K. Williams, Trinidadian writers whose included works were previously published in New Worlds, Old Ways: Speculative Tales from the Caribbean; US Virgin Islander Cadwell Turnbull; Nalo Hopkinson, a Caribbean writer well known in the world of speculative fiction internationally; and a new commissioned piece from Trinbagonian Shivanee Ramlochan). The book, available freely for download here, was compiled and edited by renowned Caribbean fantasy writers Karen Lord of Barbados and Grenadian Tobias S. Buckell (who coined the fitting term for the genre #Caribbeanfuturism). Both also have pieces in the collection. Reclaim, Restore, Return is published by the Caribbean Futures Institute, which was specifically established to partner with the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, to imagine a post-pandemic Caribbean future. Together, they’ve created a book project, and we want to imagine entertaining read, to imagine possible futures for the Caribbean that should inspire us in the present.

(source: email announcement from Bocas; plus additional research)


Jamaica-born, Barbados based Sharma Taylor keeps winning – her latest prize the 2020 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize in Fiction for ‘How You Make Jamaican Coconut Oil.’ (source social media congrats)

Trinidad and Tobago’s Danielle Boodoo-Fortune (Love Notes from Island Lockdown), Sonia Farmer of the Bahamas (Don’t Look), Trinidad’s Nehassaiu deGannes (To Find, To Be), and Jamaica’s Safiya Sinclair who is based in the US (Double America) were shortlisted for the Montreal Poetry Prize of 2020 which ultimately went to American poet Victoria Korth (Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center).

In the sealed container of home now,
Saharan dust clouds drift and settle.
You find airspaces in the secret hollows of trees,
mark time in the nesting cycles of cornbirds
and the fruiting season of mangoes.

Danellie Boodoo-Fortune: Love Notes from an Island Lockdown

(source: email announcement from St. Lucian author John Robert Lee; plus additional research)


“Alexandra Stewart has become the first National (Trinidad and Tobago) Poetry Slam Champion to successfully defend her title. Stewart, 22, is also the fifth time a woman to win the competition in its eighth year.”

(Read more)

(source: email announcement from Bocas)

As with all content on Wadadli Pen, 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/Perdida! Una Aventura en el Mar Caribe, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on 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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John Agard’s Gold Medal

John Agard at the literary festival in Antigua and Barbuda.

John Agard at the literary festival in Antigua and Barbuda.

Guyana-born John Agard is only the second black writer to receive the Gold Medal for Poetry since the award was instituted by King George V in 1933 at the suggestion of Poet Laureate John Masefield. Its scope was widened in 1985 to include writers from across the Commonwealth, with Derek Walcott winning in 1988. Other distinguished holders of the medal include W.H. Auden, John Betjeman, Robert Graves, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Les Murray, Siegfried Sassoon, Stephen Spender and R.S. Thomas. Read More.




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Random Photo

For a time, the Antigua State College ran a UNESCO sponsored poetry writing competition – for teachers and students – with Joy Lawrence as the main organizer. Wonder what became of it? Anyway, dug up this photo from one of the awards ceremonies and thought I’d share. That’s Lawrence in the middle.

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