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).
Brazilian and world football legend, regarded as the greatest to ever do it Edson Arantes do Nascimento, better known as Pelé (1940-2022) has passed. He is the only man to have won three World Cups – 1958, 1962, and 1970, and his legend usurped the game.
News of his failing health due to colon cancer broke during this year’s World Cup earlier in December 2022. On December 29th 2022 news broke of his passing and the world mourned the man who had been named athlete of the century in 1999 by the International Olympic Committee and named one of Time magazine’s 100 people of the 20th century. A few tributes – this one from Scottish actor Robert Carlyle – “I’ll never forget the 1970 World Cup, the first one i truly remember. There began my lifetime love affair with the beautiful game. Brazil.. magical. This man.. sublime. One of the all time greats.. RIP Pelé”; this from Jamaican PM Andrew Holness – Pelé is the reason “so many Jamaicans are such avid Brazilian fans and whose name is synonymous with the “beautiful game” of football, a man many Jamaicans claim ownership of, and the leading player in football history”; this from US tennis legend Billie Jean King – “a true ambassador of the beautiful game has died…he was joyful and had that something special.” Former US president Barack Obama tweeted that Pelé “understood the power of sports to bring people together.” (Source – Twitter)
Trinidad and Tobago calypso legend Leroy “Black Stalin” Calliste (1941 – 2022) died on December 28th 2022. He is a five-time calypso king perhaps best known for “Black Man feeling to Party”. More in this report from TTT Live Online:
Another of his crowd pleasers is “The Caribbean Man”.
(Source – Twitter)
Haitian writer Odette Roy Fombrun (1917 – 2022) died on December 23rd 2022. Her extensive resume includes opening Haiti’s first kindergarten, and writing and publishing mystery novels, text books, magazines, and more. She lived in exile for 29 years, beginning in 1959, and was socially and politically active on her return – including setting up the Foundation Odette Roy Fombrun in 2007. Per the Haitian Times, “Known for proposing ‘konbitisme’ as a way to rebuild Haiti, the writer, educator, and youth advocate sought to improve Haiti’s education system and her ideas helped shape several generation of Haitians.” Her historical works include L’Ayiti des Indiens (Port-au-Prince: Deschamps, 1992) and Le Drapeau et les Armes de la République (Port-au-Prince: Deschamps, 1989). (Source – Haitian writer M J Fievre on instagram)
Francine ‘Singing Francine’ Edwards (1943 – 2022), calypsonian out of Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, has died. Among her popular songs are the seasonal “Hurray Hurrah”, an example of parang soca, which she helped pioneer.
The late calypso singer, who used her music to advance social concerns of particular interest to women, has been quoted as saying, “I never became involved in the calypso art form. I was born into the calypso art form.” (Source – Daily Observer by Newsco)
Some awards news (via Trinidad Express) “Trinidadian Ayanna Lloyd Banwo, author of the acclaimed debut novel When We Were Birds, is the winner of a 2023 Eccles Centre and Hay Festival Writer’s Award. Presented to two authors each year, the award includes £20,000 to support a current writing project and a year-long residency at the British Library in London, with access to curatorial expertise and the library’s extensive Americas collections.
Jamaican poet Shara McCallum was named the winner of the 2022 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry for her book No Ruined Stone. Founded in 2001, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards honour black writers in the United States and around the globe for literary achievement, in the categories of poetry, fiction, debut fiction, and non-fiction.” (Source – JRLee email)
Books and Other Reading Material
Antiguan and Barbudan lawyer, gender advocate, and photographer Annetta Walker is a contributor to the coffee table book ILẸ WA: An Homage to Home. It is a product of We are Soul – an alternative music and art community-based online platform.
There are 41 contributors from countries like Rwanda and France, Australia, the United Kingdom, Mozambique, South Africa, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Jamaica, Burkino Faso, Congo etc. Of her involvement, Annetta said, “Back in 2020 I was approached by We Are Soul to be part of a creative project. I was given a live brief to create photos that captured the spirit of my home, culture and connection…After several photoshoots with friends and family, we finalised 3 images to be published in a photo book titled “ILE WA” (Our Land in Yoruba) …The ILẸ WA project aims to inspire us to continue uplifting our community and culture and evoke joy, creativity and free expression. The project also resonated with my personal politics and advocacy as 100% proceeds from the ILE WA publication will help support the We Are Soul Soul Purpose Campaign in collaboration with CWEENS an NGO based in Nigeria that provides financial, psychological and legal support to young women and children who are victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. This is literally a mirror of the work I do at The Directorate of Gender Affairs …So I am happy to share that I am a published photographer and the proceeds from the book go to support survivors of domestic violence.” (Source – Annetta Walker on Linkedin)
Still Standing: The Ti Kais of Dominica by British anthropologist Adom Philogene Heron and photographer Dominica born and raised, since resident in the US, Marica Honychurch, with a foreword by Lennox Honeychurch, launched December 2022. It looks at the history and importance of the ti kai to the heritage of the island. (Source – Daily Observer by Newsco)
The Adventures of a Black Edwardian Intellectual: The Story of James Arthur Harley is a new book by Royal Society of the Arts, Royal Historical, and British Library Fellow Pamela Roberts. I’m not sure if she is Antiguan but the book was launched at the Antigua and Barbuda High Commission in London.
That’s Roberts, far right, standing next to Claire Hynes, a UK based lecturer and writer of Antiguan and Barbudan descent, who led the conversation with her about the book at the event. The book is about James Arthur Harley, born 1873 in All Saints village, Antigua, to a white landlord father and Black seamstress mother. Per the book summary on Amazon, he attended “Howard, Harvard, Yale and Oxford universities, [and] was ordained a priest in Canterbury Cathedral and was elected to Leicestershire County Council. He was a choirmaster, a pioneer Oxford anthropologist, a country curate and a firebrand councillor…Navigating the complex intertwining of education, religion, politics and race, his life converged with pivotal periods and events in history: the birth of the American New Negro in the 1900s, black scholars at Ivy League institutions, the heyday of Washington’s black elite and the early civil rights movement, Edwardian English society, and the Great War. Based on Harley’s letters, sermons and writings as well as contemporary accounts and later oral testimony, this is an account of an individual’s trajectory through seven decades of dramatic social change.” I’m not yet sure where to enter the author and the book as far as our bibliography goes, so I will hold on updating when I have time to do some more research. (Source – Claire Hynes on Twitter)
The Halfway Tree by True Nicks is a December release from Jamet.te Publications.
True Nicks is from Trinidad & Tobago. (Source – Jamet.te Publications newsletter)
“The tourism industry represented for him, the new plantations by the sea,” said St. Lucian poet John Robert Lee in an interview with Jamaican writer and artist Jacqueline Bishop for her Bookends series in the Jamaica Observer. That full interview is one of the December 2022 additions to the 46th Reading Room and Gallery here on Wadadli Pen. The RR and G includes content curated for your reading and viewing pleasure. (Source – in-house)
Veteran Jamaican journalist Earl Moxam has published Vantage Point Jamaica.
It is about his 30 years on the ground – breaking news and exposing key stories. (Source – Earl Moxam on Twitter)
This is the second edition of The Spectator, a publication in Antigua and Barbuda.
The previous edition was published in November 2021. The 68-page second edition dropped December 2022 and includes a range of arts and culture pieces written by Ato Lewis, Barbara Arrindell, John Greene, Vellie Benta, Zahra Airall, Marissa Benjamin, and editor-publisher Petra Williams.
(Source – Petra Williams on Linkedin)
Art and Culture News
Bookstagrammer If This is Paradise is, at this writing, just about ready to kick off her #WereadJamaicaKincaid campaign.
Anyone can participate and the mission is to read all of Jamaica Kincaid’s full length, single authored works. They start in January with AT THE BOTTOM OF THE RIVER (1983).
The discussion home base will be on Discord. To join, sign up for the Reading Jamaica newsletter.
This Critical Conversation, initially streamed on November 29th 2022, brings together artists and activists from Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific to discuss the power and importance of art to the global conversation on climate change. The event features a series of innovative performances. Featuring: Diana McCaulay of Jamaica, Ina-Maria Shikongo, Audrey Brown-Pereira, Kendel Hippolyte of St. Lucia, and Okalani Mariner.
This is among the content in our Wadadli Pen Reading Room and Gallery. (Source – Diana McCaulay)
Haitian-American writer M J Fievre’s children’s book The Ocean lives Here is being turned in to a symphony in Miami. Composer Ethan Soledad is working with the Greater Miami Youth Symphony at the Frost School of Music on the project. The Ocean lives Here was released in February 2022 and was #1 on Amazon’s list of Children’s Exploration Fiction and Haitian Travel Guides. Main character Imane goes through a magical red-blue door inside her house – one she imagines holds adventure and fun but which her mother keeps firmly closed. There, she discovers her family’s Haitian culture. In announcing the symphony, Fievre specifically thanked the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and indicated that the symphony will premiere during a free family fest on April 15th 2022. (Source – MJ Fievre on Instagram)
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.