The stacks were overflowing at the original Reading Room and Gallery; I decided to expand. ETA: At this writing, I’ve expanded all the way up to 10 Reading Rooms; use the search feature to the right to find them.
DISCLAIMER: By definition, you’ll be linking to third party sites from these Links-We-Love pages. Linked sites are not, however, reviewed or controlled by Wadadli Pen (the blog, the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize nor coordinator/blogger Joanne C. Hillhouse); and Wadadli Pen (the blog, the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize and coordinator/blogger Joanne C. Hillhouse) disclaims any responsibility or liability relating to any linked sites and does not assume any responsibility for their contents. In other words, enter at your own risk.
Here you’ll find stories, interviews, reviews, poems; you name it…a totally subjective showcase of (mostly) Caribbean written (sometimes visual and audio visual) pieces that I (Joanne) have either personally appreciated or which have been recommended (and approved) for posting/linking. If you’re looking for the winning Wadadli Pen stories (and I hope you are!), check Wadadli Pen through the years. You can also see the Best of Wadadli Pen special issue at Anansesem which has the added feature of audio dramatizations of some of the stories.
Won’t You Celebrate with me (print and audio) by Lucille Clifton; also These Hips (actually Homage to My Hips).
You never thought by Nic Sebastian.
I have a theory about Reflection by Renee Ashley (The Robert Watson Literary Prize Poem)
As I write this I’m reading Full Woman, Fleshly Apple, Hot Moon Selected Poems of Pablo Neruda (in Spanish and English) and amidst the lush language, I found this gem that seems timely (it being pre-Valentine and all at this posting) – Sonnet XVII which reads in part
Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva
dentro de si, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores,
y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo
el apretado aroma que ascendió de la tierra
I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.
The full poem can be found here.
I am nobody’s nigger – bup! bup!
Liking the humour in Maelynn Seymour-Major’s Retired Woman War.
Still haven’t read The Help, nonetheless Carol Boyce Taylor’s Borscht made me think of it. Those who have read it can tell me if I’m totally off the mark.
As a fan of Gil Scott Heron’s The Revolution will not be Televised, I had to share this piece, Complainer, about the late poet-activist by Fred D’Aguiar.
Tell me One Fine Day I will walk with my Head held High by Bisi ADeleye-Fayemi (also found here) doesn’t leave you feeling empowered.
Twins by Tiphanie Yanique from Ma Comere.
One of my favourite shorts from one of my favourite writers: Jamaica Kincaid’s Girl.
Regular readers might remember me writing about Will Allison’s What You Have Left. Here’s an excerpt (kinda) from Zoetrope’s All Story.
Quirky, interesting tale from the New Yorker; A Man Like Him by Yiyun Li.
This origin story from the Shonga People in Zimbabwe, published in Anansesem, was quite engaging. Favourite line: “After this they knew that when they listened to the beat of their hearts, they would not feel trapped or lost.”
i’m still on a learning curve with this publishing business. But I can report that much of what this writer says is true, from my experience; and that I read it with an eye toward checking off what I’d done and what I still needed to do. Turns out I’ve done most of it and hope to see it pay off. For anyone thinking of publishing – either independentally or with a publishing house – this is useful information re marketing: http://www.shewrites.com/profiles/blogs/five-marketing-tips-to-drive-excitement-and-buzz
Anyone who knows me (well) knows how much I love and relate to the music of Lauryn Hill and even to her particular brand of ‘crazy’. It’s why I feel the need to share this: http://vigilantcitizen.com/latestnews/lauryn-hills-tumblr-letter-on-the-music-business/ which says among other things “I Love making art, I Love making music, these are as natural and necessary for me almost as breathing or talking. To be denied the right to pursue it according to my ability, as well as be properly acknowledged and compensated for it, in an attempt to control, is manipulation directed at my most basic rights! ”
A blog about Bocas and others in the series by author Karen Lord.
“…knowledge of one’s own history and culture has intrinsic value.” Read more in this Carolyn Cooper response to a critic who calls into question the relevance of a course in reggae poetry at the University of the West Indies. Personally, I’d like to see a course in calypso poetry too.
“I thought that publishing a book meant I was a writer, but I was wrong. Convincing yourself each day to keep going, this means that you are a writer.” Read more of Last Lecture: Am I a Writer? by Cathy Day.
This blog entry by Tameka Jarvis shares her review of Rita Marley’s No Woman No Cry, a book I’ve reviewed here in Blogger on Books and which remains one of my favourite autobiographies.
Love this blog entry by Brenda Lee Browne… as I prepare for the launch of my new book, I can relate to the hesitance to dip your toe in the water. This is a scary, scary path we choose when we pour our heart, soul, energy, years of life into this thing that we then have to let go and await the world’s judgment.
This is actually a blog entry by Silver Sparrow author Tayari Jones. Silver Sparrow is on my to read list, NaNo which challenges you to write a certain amount of words in a month, is decidedly not on my to do list, her blog sums up why. Mostly, I like what she suggests about writing being a process not a destination. While challenges like the one mentioned can help a writer develop the discipline needed to finish a book, to take up pen and declare I want to write a book rather than I want to be a writer misses the mark; the latter requires investment in the discipline of actually developing craft and perspective. Read, live, grow, write (and edit, and redraft, and redraft, and redraft…), then (maybe) publish.
Perspective on the publishing industry … if Shakespeare was publishing today, would he be rejected too?
The Bronte sisters aren’t Caribbean, unless you count the literary link between Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Jean Rhys Wide Sargasso Sea or the fact that many of us children of the Caribbean grew up reading both books; either way, I thought this article on the Brontes might intrigue you as it did me.
I’m sharing this interview with Cara Blue Adams, fiction and non fiction of the Southern Review literary journal in the U.S., for two reasons – and, no, one is not her delightfully quirky name. One, I think her insights on the process submissions go through provide some insight and perspective for writers. Two, I found interesting the discussion about fewer women being published (and perhaps) writing…because with Wadadli Pen it’s actually the opposite. A grad student actually asked me about this once i.e. the level of participation among girls versus boys in Wadadli Pen, and it broke down that in 2004 only 12% of the participants were boys, 18 percent in 2005, 29 percent in 2006, 0 percent in 2010, 16 percent in 2011, 23 percent in 2012. The arts in Antigua, I think, are not seen as manly things, and many of the literary folk I come across (not just in Antigua but in the wider Caribbean) tend to be female, but, interestingly, many of the region’s literary legends are male. Interesting.
Their Eyes were watching God is not only one of my favourite books, Zora Neale Hurston, its author, is one of my literary heroes. For more on her, I recommend Valerie Boyd’s Wrapped in Rainbows. This is not an interview but a discussion with Alice Walker, Sonia Sanchez, and Ruby Dee on Hurston’s writing and legacy. It’s lengthy but worth checking out.
Jamaica Kincaid, uncensored…but then isn’t she always. And then there’s this one, I’m struck by how pretty she looks in this interview and by these words “I understood the book much better when I was writing it” (I understand this feeling so much as I try to answer questions now like ‘what inspired you to write this book i.e. Oh Gad!’ when that impulse is now a vague memory).
Surprise, surprise American Scholar Henry Louis Gates is a bibliophile. But do you know which Antiguan author is on his list of essential reading? And which Caribbean writer he’d readily take to the beach again? Check it out.
Author of the Caribbean Adventure Series Carol Ottley-Mitchell’s visual tale featuring the resourceful monkey Chee Chee. Perfect for classroom storytime.
Interview with and analysis of the artistry of up and coming talent Danielle Boodoo Fortune at the ARC.
Jamaica Kincaid reading at Columbia “the beauty, economy and precision of Kincaid’s prose transports even the most curmudgeonly and aloof reader into the abject state of gushy fandom.” – Saidiya Hartman, professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia university
Something about this… Doggie in the Picture by Danielle Boodoo Fortune.
…AND HERE’S SOME OF MY STUFF
Excerpt from Oh Gad! (my new book released in 2012)
Friday Night Fish Fry (fiction) @ Sea Breeze – http://www.liberiaseabreeze.com/joanne_c_hillhouse.html
After Glow (fiction) @ Tongues of the Ocean – http://tonguesoftheocean.org/2009/11/after-glow
How to Make Cassava Bread and Other Musings on Culture (non fiction) @ Antigua Stories – http://antiguastories.wordpress.com/food-2/food
At Calabash (non fiction) @ Caribbean Literary Salon – https://wadadlipen.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/at-calabash
Defining Moments (non fiction) @ Geoffrey Philp’s blog – http://geoffreyphilp.blogspot.com/2010/12/defining-momentsjoanne-c-hillhouse.html
Off the Map (non fiction) @ Signifying Guyana –
http://signifyinguyana.typepad.com/signifyin_guyana/2010/12/guest-post-writing-off-the-map-by-joanne-c-hillhouse.html and again at Blurb is a Verb
What Calypso Taught Me About Writing (non fiction) @ Caribbean Literary Salon – http://caribbeanliterarysalon.ning.com/profiles/blogs/what-calypso-taught-me-about
At Sea (fiction) @ Munyori – http://www.munyori.com/joannehillhouse.html
Pushing Water Up Hill (non fiction) @ Caribbean Literary Salon – http://caribbeanliterarysalon.ning.com/profiles/blogs/pushing-water-up-hill-one
Wadadli Pen – Nurturing Another Generation of Antiguan and Barbudan Writers (non fiction) @ Summer Edward’s blog – http://summeredward.blogspot.com/2010/08/guest-post-by-joanne-c-hillhouse.html
Cold Paradise (fiction) @ Women Writers – http://www.womenwriters.net/aug08/fiction_poetry/Hillhouse_ColdParadise.htm
Somebody! (fiction) @ St. Somewhere – http://visitstsomewhere.blogspot.com
Reflections on Jamaca (non fiction) @ Caribbean Literary Salon – https://wadadlipen.wordpress.com/2010/09/19/reflections-on-jamaica
Portent (fiction) @ Women Writers – http://www.womenwriters.net/aug08/fiction_poetry/Hillhouse_Portent.htm
Philly Ramblings 8 (poetry) @ Ma Comère – http://dloc.com/AA00000079/00004/36j
Ghosts Laments (poetry) @ Small Axe – http://smallaxe.net/wordpress3/prose/2011/06/30/poem-by-joanne-hillhouse
Benediction before the Essence (poetry) @ Women Writers – http://www.womenwriters.net/aug08/fiction_poetry/hillhouse_poetry.html
Prospero’s Education, The Arrival, Da’s Calypso (3 poems) @ Calabash – http://www.nyu.edu/calabash/vol4no2
Interview @ Caribbean Literary Salon – http://caribbeanliterarysalon.ning.com/profiles/blogs/interview-with-joanne-c
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, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon 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.