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 – credit and link back if you use).
New from Antiguan and Barbudan artist’s Laikan’s The Lore.
Read about it in CREATIVE SPACE. (Source – Laikan on Instagram)
To empower researchers in sharing their research, Antigua and Barbuda’s Education Ministry will be hosting its third annual research symposium, Wednesdays in May 2023, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Interested researchers are invited to submit abstracts up to 300 words in editable Word format to MOEresearchantigua@gmail.com by March 24th 2023. (Source – Daily Observer by Newsco)
The Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Fest has announced that it will be holding workshops ahead of its annual short story contest. Read about the first of them and more in Opportunities Too. (Source – BCLF email)
Late Brooklyn born artist of Haitian and Puerto Rican descent Jean-Michel Basquiat continues to be relevant. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts ran an October 2022 to February 2023 exhibition “Seeing Loud: Basquiat and Music”. “Organized in collaboration with the Musée de la musique – Philharmonie de Paris, Seeing Loud: Basquiat and Music is the first large-scale multidisciplinary exhibition devoted to the role of music in the work of one of the most innovative artists of the second half of the 20th century.” – Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
“Released in English and French by the MMFA’s Publishing Department, in collaboration with Éditions Gallimard, this catalogue is an unprecedented study of the role of music in Basquiat’s painting. It includes essays by major art, music and culture historians as well as interviews with public figures who knew Basquiat or who were inspired by his work, such as George Condo, Anna Domino, Fab 5 Freddy, Michael Holman, Lee Jaffe, Nick Taylor and Toxic. It also includes new compositions by American poet Thomas Sayers Ellis and saxophonist James Brandon Lewis.
Richly illustrated, the book is divided into four sections, which follow the exhibition’s main themes and trace the history of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s artistic production. Each section comes with a playlist to further immerse readers in the artist’s sonic landscapes.”
This catalogue can actually be purchased online. (Source – a good friend who keeps me up on culture)
Barbadian visual artist Sheena Rose‘s Earth Black Lipstick Solo Show has been on at Johansson Projects, a gallery space in California since February 2023. Here she is with her mom and one of the images from the show.
The show is scheduled to run to April 1st 2023. (Source – Sheena Rose on Facebook)
Alwyn Bully of Dominica, founder and first chair of the Nature Island Literary Festival, passed on March 10th 2023.
(Bully pictured with Natalie Clarke White at the NILF)
While most recently known in this space, he has a long string of accomplishments including being the designer of the Dominica flag, a playwright, director, graphic artist, set designer, poet, short story writer, Carnival costume designer, and composer. His accolades include Dominica’s second highest honour, the Sisserou, induction in to Jamaica’s Culture for Development Hall of Fame, the National Drama Association of Trinidad and Tobago Cacique Award for contribution to regional theatre, the University of Technology of Jamaica’s Arts Award, the University of the West Indies Alumni Award of Excellence and a doctrate for his contribution to Caribbean society in the field of art and culture, the Golden Drum Award from Dominica’s National Cultural Council, and the LIME Creole Lifetime Achievement Award. He has worked as UNESCO’s Caribbean Culture advisor, chaired the CARIFESTA regional advisory body, was advisor to the Ministry of Culture in Dominica and a board member with the Festivals Commission. He has written 10 full length plays (including 2007’s “Hit for Six”, 2010’s “A Handful of Dirt”, and 2018’s “Oseyi and the Masqueraders” – all of which he directed), four radio serials, four screenplays, and numerous short stories. (Source – Nature Island Literary Festival on Facebook)
Halycon Steel Orchestra has lost soloist, percussionist, arranger, and pan player Fitzroy ‘Blakey’ Philip, who joined the Grays Green based pan orchestra in 1978 at just age 13. They describe him as an integral part of Halcyon’s 10 panorama titles – a utility player who could do it all, “the real deal”. More than that, though, it is the man they celebrate as they mourn, saying in Antigua and Barbuda’s Daily Observer newspaper, ‘To Halcyon you represented everything that was good and pure.. You were indeed the “heart” of the band.’ His individual accolades include being selected national solo champion in 1993 and his community contributions include being an instructor with the Halcyon school of pan. “We still feel like we’re in a bad dream and we are not ready to wake up without you.” – Halcyon and the entire pan fraternity. (Source – Daily Observer by Newsco.)
Politician and personal friend of the deceased Senator Shawn Nicholas eulogized Ivor Ford, a public figure with many roles perhaps best captured by her when she said at this funeral, “I never quite understood his role back then, but he was a staple at ABS Radio & Television, and was ever present to guide the younger ones in the field of broadcast media.” ABS could perhaps be substituted for the public sphere and the commentary he provided covered a wide span of public sector issues. Nicholas mentioned some of the projects she collaborated with Ford (also a producer of a number of the youth educational programmes which were staples on ABS) on, including The 150th Anniversary of the See and the City of St. John’s for the Anglican church in 1992 and the revised edition of historical tome The Struggle and the Conquest by Novelle Richards. She expressed a desire to continue the work started by Ford’s LAVONGEL foundation started in 2021 to document the history of Antigua and Barbuda “and to put to use the volumes of documents stored in the Fort Knox Archives that capture dates, times, places, and persons, and the social political history of Antigua and Barbuda.” (Source – Daily Observer by Newsco.)
Books and Other Reading Material
River Sing Me Home by Eleanor Shearer was launched in January 2023. Named a Good Morning, America book club pick, and one of Book Riot and BookBub‘s most anticipated, it is set in a Barbados caught between slavery and freedom – i.e. during the interim period known as apprenticeship in the then British West Indies. Rejecting apprenticeship the fictional Rachel runs away and travels the Caribbean to find her children, presumably sold away during enslavement. It was the Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival’s February read and was discussed on their Cocoa Pod podcast. The author is the grandchild of Windrush immigrants (from Barbados and St. Lucia) to Britain from the Caribbean. (Source – BCLF email)
To be a Cheetah, a collaboration between writer Joanne C. Hillhouse and artist Zavian Archibald, both of Antigua and Barbuda, is available for pre-order as announced in Publisher’s Weekly. It lands on July 4th and is currently available for pre-order. (Source – me)
March 1st kicked off Women’s History Month and a new CREATIVE SPACE landed on that day. It features two young Antiguan and Barbudan women in conversation. Read it here and watch below.
(Source – me)
Anderson Reynolds’ They Called Him Brother George: Portrait of a Caribbean Politician, is now in stores. The Vieux Fort Launch is at 4PM Sunday 5 March at the American Medical University building, and the Castries Launch is at 6:30 PM Saturday 18 March, at the Financial Center, Pt. Seraphine. The VFort South Parliamentary Rep, Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, is expected to provide special remarks at the Vieux Fort Launch, while Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre is expected to do so at the Castries Launch.
The book captures from multiple perspectives the political, artistic, and personal life of George Odlum. (Source – email Jako Productions)
We missed last season; we missed the start of this year; but we will have a Wadadli Pen Challenge in 2023. We need help though. See our recently posted Interns and Volunteers page and let us know if you can be that help. (Source – in house)
Wadadli Pen team member Barbara Arrindell is one of several women celebrated by the United Progress Party Women’s Forum. “For reinforcing the human right to freedom of information, via social media, and for balanced national discussion of political and social issues, respectively: Dr. Jacqui Quinn and Barbara Arrindell.” Arrindell who has written for the Outlet, Observer, Antigua Sun, and other publications, in addition to being an author, bookseller, and consultant, is the current host of Observer Radio’s Big Issues. Veteran broadcaster and politician Quinn hosts the station’s morning show. (Source – Antigua Newsroom)
The Bocas Long List has been announced.
Nine writers – three based in the region – from Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Belize are in the running for the region’s most coveted book prize. On the poetry long list are Grenada born Canadian Michael Fraser (The Day-Breakers), Trinidad born United Kingdom based Anthony Joseph (Sonnets for Albert), and Jamaica born Canada based Pamela Mordecai (de book of Joseph), with special mention made of Guyanese born UK writeer John Agard’s Border Zone and Trinidad and Tobago writer Andre Bagoo’s Narcissus. In the fiction category are US based Jamaica born Marlon James (Moon Witch, Spider King), UK based Trinidad and Tobago born writer Ayanna Lloyd Banwo (When We Were Birds), and Barbadian-Canadian Jasmine Sealy (The Island of Forgetting). The longlisted non-fiction books were written by India born Trinidadian Ira Mathur (Love the Dark Days), Trinidad born US based Patricia Joan Saunders (Buyers Beware: Insurgency and Consumption in Caribbean Popular Culture), and Belizean Godfrey Smith (Diary of a Recovering Politician). Read about the books and authors, and read up on Bocas here. (Source – Bocas on Facebook)
Fire Rush by Jamaica-born British writer Jacqueline Crooks has been longlisted for this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction.
It is one of 16 books in the running for the prestigious prize. Set amid the Jamaican diaspora in London at the dawn of 1980s, Fire Rush is described as a mesmerizing story of love, loss, and self-discovery that vibrates with the liberating power of music. Crooks’ short stories have been shortlisted for the Wasafiri New Writing Prize and the BBC National Short Story Award. Her story collection, The Ice Migration, was longlisted for The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction. Fire Rush is her first novel.
(Source – Eric Karl Anderson on YouTube)
The winning essays in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Antigua and Barbuda’s essay competition are by Kaleb Hatton, Zanaba Simon, and Tella Martin. They wrote in response to the theme “Tribute to an African Queen” with 14-year-old Tella of Christ the King High School and Kaylee, 12, of Sir Novelle Richards Academy both writing about their moms, and Zanaba, 11, of the Nyabinghi Theocracy Church School writing about Queen Nzingha of Ndongo and Matamba (read about her in my She’s Royal series). (Source – Daily Observer by Newsco)
Canadian writer of Antiguan and Barbudan descent Motion (Wendy Brathwaite) is a writer on the digital series Revenge of the Black Best Friend which has been nominated for nine Canadian Screen Awards. The series features on all-Black writers room. Motion’s penned episode “The First One to Die” is up for Best Writing. It is one of two episodes written by her in the 2022 season. (Source – Motion email)
Anthony N. Sabga Caribbean Award for Arts and Letters to Antiguan and Barbudan writer and Wadadli Pen founder (that’s me…and what can I say but #gratitude). Read about it and watch video on my Jhohadli blog.
ETA: Observer Radio did a Big Issues segment about the award, and I’ve clipped and uploaded it to my channel:
(Source – me)
Sixteen young Barbudans were feted during Antigua’s sister islands first solo youth awards – a National Youth Awards covering youths in the entire country already exists. Among the recipients of awards, in the arts, are young poet-writer award honoree Kaylean Williams and young artisan Kyrollos Greaux. Culinary arts awardee was Glenesha Payne while Allyson Turner won for Culture and Performing Arts. (Source – Daily Observer by Newsco)
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.