Tag Archives: Summer

A & B Arts Round Up – August 16th 2019 —>

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Until the end of summer – Rooted Home and Abroad, an exhibition in the upper gallery of the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda opened August 8th 2019 68886815_341954680076655_5515842098126913536_n.jpgand will run to the end of summer. It features the work of Zucan Bandele and Walter J. Parker (the former an Antiguan-Barbudan artist based in the US), the latter a deceased NY artist. The exhibition is curated by Mali A. Olatunji, an Antiguan (co-author with Paget Henry of The Art of Mali Olatunji) who worked as a fine arts photographer at the Museum of Modern Art for more than 20 years. Featured pieces emphasize African masques and mythology. This includes Parker pieces like Becoming, Symbiosis No. 7, A Coat of Many Colors, Symbiosis No. 8, Be Pleased Now to Bless Your Servants House, Revealed (Spirit Aloft) – my personal favourite, How Beautiful is Your Face, The Conversation, and Speak Your Servant Hears – all colourful pieces in which larger than life characters and some in quite pedestrian poses are masked, to godlike effect. Zucan more directly engages with gods of African religiousity, Santeria in particular – Yemaya to Shango – seeming to capture their essence in motion and suggest the reflection of them in us. Olatunji explained that he was familiar with Walter’s work from the East Village and that after his death his family wasn’t sure what to do with the remaining pieces (and considered destroying them) – he saw a connection between Walter’s and Zucan’s aesthetic and a collaboration was born. A common connection is what he sees as the effort to dismantle modern art (the art elevated in venerated institutions like MoMA) and invent something more difficult to understand (the motif of masks – i.e. hiding – being a key component), “and they just did that”.  We don’t have pictures or examples of the art; but check it out. UPDATED TO ADD! 69697718_10218337672100629_3434646704790437888_n.jpg

By the end of Summer – Cushion Club Summer Reading Challenge 2019

Before the end of August 2019 – Do you want another Jhohadli Summer Youth Writing Project before the end of summer? If so, email jhohadli@gmail.com for a registration form – last promo.jpg

August 31st 2019 –

August 21st 2019 – @ the Best of Books bookstore – email bestofbooks@yahoo.com for more information at best of books.png

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August 17th – 18th 2019 – Pineapple Mango Festival –

As with all content on Wadadli Pen, unless otherwise indicated, this is written by author and Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse. All rights reserved.

 

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All the Books

As I may have mentioned here before, my latest book, the children’s picture book With Grace, was selected for the U. S. Virgin Islands’ Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge. I thought it’d be cool to post all the selected books – no reason you can’t add them to your or your kids’ summer reading list wherever you are.

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Here’s the full 2017 Title Information

Title: Spider in the Rain
Author: Phillis Gershator
Grades: K – 1
Specs: 32 pages, paperback
A small spider happily looks out from a rooftop gutter, admiring the fluffy clouds passing overhead, but the clouds he sees are RAIN clouds.

What should a little creature like him do in the rain? Iguanas, bats, birds, mongooses, butterflies, and bees all give the spider good advice. But it’s too late.

Down comes the rain and washes the poor spider out––down the waterspout and into a pond. What will happen to our spider? Will he survive? If he does, will he return to his old ways, or will he try something new?

Title: When I Grow Up
Author: Rick Grant
Grades: K – 2
Specs: 32 pages, paperback
This poetic and colorful book speaks to the dreamer in all of us
and serves as a reminder that when searching for the best job in
the world, the heart is the first place where we should look.

Title: When the Trees Come Alive
Author: Zayd Saleem
Grades: 2 – 3
Specs: 32 pages, paperback
Malik’s mother asks him to take a bag of fruit to his
grandmother’s house. On his journey, Malik recalls all that his
grandmother has taught him about magnificent trees that can be
found in the Virgin Islands.

Title: Close to Nature: Sea Turtles of the Virgin Islands
Grades: 3-6
Specs: 48 pages, paperback
Meet the amazing sea turtles of the Virgin Islands.
Some can dive two thousand feet underwater, some travel
thousands of miles every year, and others love to eat jellyfish. A
fun and educational book filled with information about one of our
favorite animals.

The book contains beautiful photos by Virgin Islands photographers.

Title: With Grace
Author: Joanne C. Hillhouse
Grades: 4-5
Specs: 48 pages, paperback
Grace, of Grace’s Peak, loves her home above the village, above
the whole island. All her trees are lush and full of ripe fruits,
except for the one at the far end of her land. She hates that tree.
So when the smiling, barefoot girl from the village asks Grace if
she can pick fruits to sell at the market, it is from that sad, bare
tree that Grace “generously” allows her to pick. Little does Grace know that the young girl’s kind, loving heart and her sweet special song will make the impossible happen, and change life at Grace’s Peak forever.

Title: B is for Benye: A Virgin Islands Historical and Cultural
A-Z Book
Author: Charlene Blake-Pemberton
Grades: 6
Specs: 48 pages, paperback
Clarice and Vincent, who live on the island of St. Croix, send a
special package to their grandchildren in Florida. Can you guess
what is in the box? Through the eyes of a Virgin Islands family,
the author describes the culture and cuisine of the US Virgin
Islands. Roots and culture are the underlying themes in B is for
Benye: A Virgin Islands Historical and Cultural A-Z Book

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A Blast from the Past

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Writer and academic, Ifeona Fulani, posted this blast from the past on facebook recently. Thankfully, this is largely a good memory and an opportunity to talk about the value of writing workshops. This one was my first (that’s me in black in the middle). Some of the other people pictured are workshop leader Olive Senior (seated), Sarah Pemberton Strong (far right) – who was not only with me (and another friend) when I got my first tattoo but suggested the design, and some others I’ve reconnected with all these years later via facebook (though I didn’t automatically make the connection) – Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa, Donna Aza Weir-Soley, Ifeona Fulani (who I knew then as Faye), and Guichard Cadet…probably others and I just haven’t made the connection as yet.

As I explained during a recent (as yet unaired) TV interview, I participated in this workshop during an in-between period in my life. It was my first ever writing workshop and came at a time when I was struggling with the choices or, it felt at the time, lack of choices that lay before me as someone who wanted to be a writer but felt like she’d have to sacrifice that dream to what was practical. This workshop (the Caribbean Fiction Writers Summer Institute at the University of Miami) was a moment in time that allowed me to see another possibility. It was a transformative summer in many ways. But it wasn’t easy.

My memory is murky on this, so forgive any misspeaks, but the workshop was recommended to me and I recommended for the workshop by Mervyn Morris, currently Jamaica’s Poet Laureate, then, during my University of the West Indies days, my mentor. I submitted a sample of my writing and other required material, and earned a spot. I was among, if not the youngest in my group; scared but hopeful. I had only shown my work to a handful of people by that point and yet here I was in my first workshop where the writers were considerably more accomplished and certainly not shy about telling me all the ways what I had on the page didn’t work. There were tears that summer, tears and so much doubt. But there was also adventure (did I mention my first tattoo? … Well that was only a small part of it), new friendships, and so many growth opportunities. Not only didn’t I stop writing as you feel like doing sometimes after a drubbing but I went down new roads in my writing – one a vaguely familiar road, one so unfamiliar I had to wonder how I’d ended up there; two different manuscripts…and so much poetry. I read my writing before an audience for the first time that summer…and lived.

The familiar road referenced above was the dead end alley in The Boy from Willow Bend, which would become my first published manuscript.

After that first, bruising critique, Vere showed up; barefoot, running down a willow-tree-lined dead end alley. I knew that alley. It was my place of first knowing, a vague early memory. I revisited that space and – sitting there, cheered by my flat mate, the other half of my summer writing group of two, with whom I shared bits and pieces – built from it a world more fiction than fact but rooted in something solid enough to anchor me, and hopefully the reader. I got to know the boy, his character biography including many things that didn’t end up in the story but which certainly informed my understanding of him as I wrote the things that did.

Workshops are good for getting you out of your comfort zone, for challenging you, for allowing you to prove to yourself what you are made of as a writer.

At summer’s end, I stepped in to what-I-had-to-do-for-now knowing that I would never lose sight of who-I-truly-wanted-to-be. I returned to my world a writer, even if I was the only one who yet knew it. It (didn’t make me immune to but it) helped me overcome all of the petty nonsense you find on the job because I knew that that was not my life; my life existed in the moments outside of that space writing and living, and poking around for a way to make writing my life. It took some doing but that summer, the summer of ’95, was really the jump start for what came after, the bumps and scratches, the setbacks, knockdowns… and the breakthroughs.

One such breakthrough came when in January 2001, I signed the contract with Macmillan for the release of The Boy from Willow Bend. The book would be re-issued by Hansib in 2009, and has been taught in schools in Antigua and, I believe, Anguilla…and it will forever remain a highlight of my writing life, the moment a boy at a school I visited in February 2015 said to me that he played Vere, the boy in The Boy from Willow Bend, in an in-class dramatization.

The girl in this picture doesn’t know any of that; and if she did maybe she would have decided it was too hard – because it has been at times, too hard – but maybe she would decide, it was worth it and that she was strong enough…and that she was indeed a writer. Little did she know that the summer workshop she was participating in would begin to give her not only some of the tools but the drive to do just that.

As with all content (words, images, other) 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!  Fish Outta Water, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings, and Burt Award finalist Musical Youth), founder and coordinator of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize. All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about WadadliPen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks. And remember while linking and sharing the links, referencing and excerpting, are okay, lifting content (words, images, other) from the site without asking is not cool. Respect copyright.

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Summer Book Giveaway

Check out this book giveaway over at http://summeredward.blogspot.com/2010/10/book-giveway-eight-days-story-of-haiti.html

Up for grabs is Haitian-American writer Edwidge Dandicat’s Eight Days  , described as “a timely, brilliantly crafted story of hope and imagination.” It tells the story of a boy trapped in the real-life quake, who uses his imagination for comfort.

It sounds like a good Cushion Club read and I’ve entered to win. You can too.

To enter the draw, fill out the form on the site. You must be 13 or older and  have a Caribbean mailing address

It’s open until midnight on October 20 2010.

Still a few days left. What are you waiting for?

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