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).
Art and Culture
Check the database of Antiguan and Barbudan Writings if you haven’t already and one of the sub-lists, Non-Fiction Antiguan and Barbudan Books, both just updated with a missed credit of a Natasha Lightfoot publication. Speaking of Professor Lightfoot was one of the voices called to weigh in recently after the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Here she is on NPR.
“The Commonwealth, as a collective of former colonized nations, represents a kind of strength-in-numbers approach. To postcolonial statecraft, it fosters collective trade agreements. It, you know, encourages collective climate solutions. But it should be said that these member countries, as a conglomerate of mostly developing nations, need these collective solutions provided by the Commonwealth in part because of the centuries of extractive colonialism.”
(Source – Natasha Lightfoot on Twitter)
Jhohadli’s art and culture column CREATIVE SPACE which runs this and every other Wednesday in the Daily Observer newspaper on October 19th 2022 features three Antiguan and Barbudan lyricists, composers, singers, players Laikan, Joy Lapps, and Asher Ottos’s latest releases.
Read about it. (Source – me)
The Bocas UK Tour continues to November 3rd 2022. The October 29th 2022 events will be available for viewing online for free. To access go to the British Library ticketing and use the discount code BOCASDIGI100. Programme highlights for Saturday include Ways in the World featuring Barbara Jenkins, Ira Mathur, and Grace Nichols; The Trouble with History featuring Cecil Browne, Ingrid Persaud, and Amanda Smyth; An Island is a World featuring Celeste Mohammed, Jacob Ross, and Celia Sorhaindo; Don’t call it Magic featuring Ayanna Lloyd Banwo, Karen Lord, and Pauline Melville; Mothers, Fathers, Daughters, Sons featuring Sophie Jai, Anthony Joseph, and Shivanee Ramlochan; and Beyond every Boundary featuring Canisia Lubrin, Tessa McWatt, and Nadifa Mohammed. There is a grand finale includes the performance of songs from Playboy of the West Indies: a Musical, adapted from Mustapha Matura’s original play, as long as presentations by Grace Nichols, Fred D’Aguiar, Shivanee Ramlochan, John Agard, Randolph Matthews, and Melanie Abrahams. (Source – Literary Arts Barbados/Ayesha Gibson-Gill email)
Motion Picture Association Antigua & Barbuda.
The University of Iowa’s International Writers Program will celebrate International Creole Day, on October 28th at 6:00 p.m. CDT, with a special reading: Rasanbleman Literè Kreyòl / World Creole Literature Gathering. Creole writers from countries around the world—including Jamaica (Dr. Donna Aza Weir-Soley) and Haiti (Jeanie Bogart, Patrick Sylvain, Jean Dany Joachim, Wilson Maceno, Jean-Andre Constant, Lokandya Fenelon) —will give readings in Kreyòl, live via Facebook. The event will be cohosted by Haitian journalist, novelist, and scholar Beaudelaine Pierre, whose debut novel Testaman was awarded the 2002 Prix Woman Kreyòl Jounal Bon Nouvèl, and IWP Director Christopher Merrill. (Source – IWP email)
The Beniba Centre for Slavery Studies at University of Glasgow has announced that Antiguan-American historian Professor Natasha J. Lightfoot will deliver the 7th Annual James McCune Smith Lecture, set for 7pm on 17 November. Register to watch online. (Source – Natasha Lightfoot on Twitter)
Late October to early November is Independence season in Antigua and Barbuda, the home country of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize. We became independent on November 1st 1981 making this our 41st anniversary of Independence. Full programme below.
(Source – Ministry of Creative Industries and Innovation on facebook)
These are some scenes from the inaugural Louise ‘Miss Lou’ Bennett-Coverley Festival was held on Saturday (October 15) in Gordon Town, St. Andrew. Named for the late Jamaican poet and activist who popularized folk storytelling and use of the local vernacular in said storytelling, the festival formed part of Jamaica’s 60th anniversary of Independence. The festival was organized by Jamaican writer Opal Palmer Adisa who in 2021 edited a book entitled 100+ Voices for Miss Lou: Poetry, Tributes, Interviews, Essays (pictured in the collage above; one of Ms. Lou’s books is pictured below).
Opal is quoted by the Jamaica Information Service as saying, “At a time, under colonial rule, when Jamaican language, Jamaican culture, and ‘Jamaicanism’ wasn’t respected, Miss Lou stood steadfast, and that is why we are here. I am here… because I want to make sure every Jamaican child understands the work that Miss Lou has done and that we continue to salute her and study her work, not in a one dimensional way, but in the nuance and multiple ways that Miss Lou wrote. She was a tremendous writer.”
If you’re Caribbean, not just Jamaican, you’ve likely heard if not read Ms. Lou. Do you have a favourite? (Source – various, online)
The Bocas Lit Fest Children’s Book Prize has announced a long list below:
Children of the Sun: Caribbean Stories for Children (published by Frontline distribution International) by Eintou Pearl Springer (of Trinidad and Tobago), illustrations by Clinton A. Hutton
I write Rhymes: a Novel (published by 123 Mango Tree LLC) by Nadine Johnson (of jamaica)
The Land Below (published by JAV Publishing) by Aarti Gosine
Petra and The Pan Man’s Daughter by Philip Simon, illustrations by Lindell Lara
The Whisperer’s Warning by Danielle Y. C. McClean
Zo and The Forest of Secrets by Alake Pilgrim
ABS TV’s director of news, Garfield Burford, originally of Jamaica but resident in Antigua and Barbuda, is in the US participating in the State Department funded International Visitor Leadership Programme, specifically the Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists. Burford was nominated by the Caribbean Broadcasting Union, as was Barbados-based Stetson Babb.
The US Embassy Bridgetown said in a press release, “Over the course of the two-week program, participants from several countries will review the history and importance of press freedom in the United States; examine the structure, practices, and future of broadcast journalism in the United States; illustrate how new technologies shape the way news is gathered, reported, distributed, and consumed; and explore the crucial role of responsibility and accuracy in reporting in a democracy.” I reached out to find out how any of you reading this might qualify for opportunities like this and was advised that participants for this programme are nominated by an Embassy representative (working closely with NGOs, GOs, and various civil society partners; to proactively seek out opportunities). See the Embassy Education and Exchanges link. (Source – ABS TV on instagram and email from the US Embassy in Barbados)
Jamaican novelist Nicole Dennis-Benn has reportedly inked a deal for her next book. Per Publisher’s Weekly, “Nicole Dennis-Benn sold her new untitled novel to Random House’s Marie Pantojan at auction. Julie Barer at the Book Group represented Dennis-Benn in the North American rights agreement. The novel follows a young Jamaican girl named Faye who grows up with her family in a small coffee-farming village and returns home after a unhappy time as a model to find a community she no longer recognizes. Dennis-Benn is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Here Comes the Sun and Patsy, both published by W.W. Norton’s Liveright imprint. The former, her 2016 debut, was named a New York Times Notable Book and was a finalist for a 2017 Young Lions Fiction Award. Patsy, published in 2019, won a Lambda Literary Award.” (Source – Nicole Dennis-Benn on twitter)
US-based Jamaican writer Geoffrey Philp will collect the Silver Musgrave medal in November 2022. Per Jamaicans.com, “Awarded annually in recognition of excellence in art, science, and literature, the Musgrave Medal is named in memory of Sir Anthony Musgrave, the founder of the Institute and the former Governor of Jamaica.” Philp’s award is for literature. The author of 12 books, he has another, Archipelagos, forthcoming, and is working ona Marcus Garvey themed graphic novel. (Source – Geoffrey Philp on Twitter)
Jamaica has bestowed previously announced national honours on various recipients (143 of them) including a number of people in the arts. The list includes, among others, original Dreamgirls cast member Sheryl Lee Ralph, a veteran actress currently featured in an Emmy award winning role in Abbott Elementary on TV; dancehall artiste Agent Sasco; and jazz pianist Monty Alexander.
(Source – Daily Observer newspaper/Antigua)
Jamaican poet Kwame Dawes is the 2022 winner of Narrative magazine’s fourteenth annual poetry contest with The Forgettable Life and Other Poems. Their Fall Story Contest remains open to October 28th 2022. Meanwhile, this is only the recent accolade (after his Emmy, Forward, and Windham Campbell Prize) for the Ghanaian born poet who has spent much of his life in Jamaica and, I believe, is now resident in the US, where he teaches at the MFA level. (Source – Narrative email)
Wadadli Pen Stats
The YouTube channel – traffic is up but subscription could be a lot better. Top content for 2022 so far is 1, AB TODAY BEST of BOOKS International Literacy Day FEATURE, 2, GMAB June 2nd 2021, and, 3, World Book and Copyright Day Chat with Barbadian Author Cherie Jones.
This blog – Site visits are down (no down credited in part to us not having a Challenge this year and to there being fewer new posts overall) and here too subscription/follows could be a lot more. Top content this year has been 1, “Nobody go run me” (a classic by calypsonian Short Shirt from our lyrics page), 2, Antiguan and Barbudan Cultural Icon – Paul King Obstinate Richards (proving that there’s interest in our calypso content), 3, and About WADADLI PEN.
A reminder to engage with and share our content. (Source – in-house)
Books & Other Reading Material
UK writer Ann Morgan has published a new edition, 10 years on from the first, of her book A Year of Reading the World. This new Vintage edition is paperback with a new foreword. Reading the world started out as a project Morgan blogged about during the London Olympics, and here we are. To get primed, you can read about Ann’s project in this previous Wadadli Pen post, and about the first Reading the World book and the Caribbean presence in it here. And remember, like Ann said on Twitter, “Indie bookshops, like indie publishers, are heroes of the book world.” (Source – Ann Morgan on Twitter)
The winning stories in the 2022 BCLF Elizabeth Nunez Award for Writers in the Caribbean and Caribbean-American Writers have been posted. Ther former is Bahamian writer Alexia Tolas’ “The Fix” and the latter is Haitian-American Yveka Pierre’s “Nadege goes Home”.
Alexia’s “The Fix” was described by judges as “a poetic story which deftly matches form to function with the verse format of the ‘spells’ driving the action forward. This psychological examination of an insecure lover embodies the scale of a fable while delivering an intimacy through the voice of the narrator. The Fix revels in its aurality and orality and delivers a full sensual experience that haunts the reader long after the final sentence.”
Pierre’s “Nadege goes Home”, meanwhile, has been praised for its “use of metaphor [which] invokes the poetry of Haitian Kreyol. The language of the story moves with a rhythm most strongly discernible in its dialogue. Metaphor, language and rhythm combine in this story about siblings to touch deep feelings and create a texture rich with the sense of lived experience.”
Hear more about these stories and other Caribbean literature on the BCLF Cocoa Pod[cast].
Per the BCLF website, “The BCLF Short Fiction Story Contest is an annual writing competition geared towards unearthing and encouraging the distinctive voice and story of the Caribbean-descended writer and expanding the creative writing landscape of Caribbean literature. It aims to provide a conduit through which writers of Caribbean descent find encouragement and empowerment to weave and share their stories. Both of the contest’s prizes are directed to the two distinct voices and perspectives which comprise the Caribbean identity – writers who were born and live in the Caribbean and those who reside in the diaspora.” (Source – BCLF email)
The latest collection of shortlisted stories from the 2022 Commonwealth Short Story prize is now available to read on Adda. One set is published here and another set is published here. As a reminder Adda has also published the Speak Out! series and I have now published in Blogger on Books my thoughts on Issue 1 of Speak Out! (Source – Commonwealth Foundation email)
The annual Antigua and Barbuda Conference took place on October 13th and 14th 2022. I was a presenter. You can view my presentation and read the entire presentation on the Appearances page on my Jhohadli blog and/or the New Daughters of Africa Blogger on Books page. (Source – me)
Viré: The English Version, a novella by Maëlla K., producer of the Karukerament podcast, hit the marketplace in September 2022.
This is her first novella. (Source – promotional author email)
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.