Tag Archives: Trinidad and Tobago

Carib Lit Plus (Mid to Late August 2021)

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)

Passings

Jamaican dub legend, Lee Scratch Perry, has passed. He was 85 years old. Details of his life and passing in this Pitchfork article. (Source – twitter)

Book Recs

In Issue 5 of Caribbean Reads’ Passport, in August 2021, Rebel Women Lit recommended five Beach Reads. They are Come Let us Sing Anyway by Jamaican author Leone Ross – “This collection shows her range as she tackles multiple worlds that brush up against the one we know”, Stick No Bills by Trinidad and Tobago’s Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw – “Walcott-Hackshaw shows how memory, bitterness, and pain can help us find power to see the light after tragedy”, The Sun’s Eye by various Caribbean writers, compiled by British editor Anne Walmsley – “It’s a brilliant way to sample the work of many stellar Caribbean writers like Olive Senior and Lorna Goodison (Jamaica), John Robert Lee (St Lucia), Earl Lovelace (Trinidad), Frank Collymore (Barbados), and so many more”, Motherland by Wandeka Gayle of Jamaica – “With characters that are equally as diverse and complex as the themes, we see women taking risks, having unexpected adventures daily, and finding their way as immigrants in their new worlds”, and A Million Aunties by Jamaican writer Alecia McKenzie – “a witty title that plays on the Caribbean’s culture of showing respect to older women who look out for you”. (Source – Caribbean Beat email)

New Books

“Yanique calls on themes from some of the best American, Caribbean and international fiction, using her signature lyrical writing style. This historical fiction travels throughout America, from California and Tennessee to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It explores intimacy through a generational, historical and societal lens. It provides a rare look into post-colonialism in America as well as the divergent experience of being black in America over the last 50 years.” – The St. Thomas Source writing on Virgin Island’s own Tiphanie Yanique’s latest novel Monster in the Middle. Though the book isn’t due out until October 2021, it has reportedly already won The Best American Short Story Prize and The O. Henry Prize. Selections from the book have been published in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Harvard Review, and The Yale Review. Yanique’s previous prizes include the Bocas Prize for Caribbean Poetry, the Forward/Felix Dennis Prize in the UK, the Phyllis-Wheatley Award for Pan-African Literature, among others. (Source – N/A)

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Celebrated Jamaican writer Kei Miller (latest publication Things I have Withheld) paid it forward on his social media some time ago by spotlighting new and upcoming Caribbean releases in what he described as “a bumper year of exciting publications”, and I thought I’d pay that forward by passing it on. Books mentioned in fiction included Popisho/This One Sky Day by Leone Ross (“a super lush, super expansive feat of imagination”) of Jamaica, How The One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House (“the most gorgeous title ever”) by Cherie Jones of Barbados, Fortune by Amanda Smyth of Trinidad and Tobago (“seriously her best novel yet”), The Bread the Devil Knead (“so present and grounded”) by Lisa Allen-Agostini of Trinidad and Tobago, All The Water I’ve Seen Is Running by Elias Rodrigues of Jamaica, Dangerous Freedom by Lawrence Scott by Trinidad and Tobago, One Day, Congotay by Merle Hodge of Trinidad and Tobago (“everyone is looking forward!”), and Monster in the Middle by Tiphanie Yanique of the US Virgin Islands. Books mentioned in poetry included Mother Muse (“it sounds exciting!”) by Lorna Goodison of Jamaica, Thinking with Trees (“quietly beautiful”) by Jason Allen-Paisant of Jamaica, Like a Tree Walking by Vahni Capildeo of Trinidad and Tobago, Zion Roses by Monica Minott of Jamaica, and No Ruined Stone by Shara McCallum (“get back to reading her right now!”) of Jamaica. Books mentioned in non-fiction included The Gift of Music and Song (“a great resource for anyone interested in Caribbean Women’s Writing”) by Jacqueline Bishop of Jamaica, Invisible to Invaluable co-authored by Carol Russell, and Indo-Guyanese poet Rajiv Mohabir’s Antiman. (Source – Kei’s facebook)

Accolades

Various recipients of Antigua and Barbuda Gospel Media Awards, to be conferred in October, have been announced. They are Clephane ‘Mr. Terrific’ Roberts, a well known media personality, and Everton ‘Mano’ Cornelius, an athlete – both receiving legacy awards for education and athletics, respectively; Guyanese national Malika ‘Nikki Phoenix’ Moffett, a radio host across several stations in Antigua and Barbuda, Mario ‘DJ Bless’ Connor, a disc jockey, Thalia Parker-Baptiste, an activist – receiving impact awards, respectively, for activism, arts, and humanitarian work. These are only some of the announced awardees which includes Jamaicans Onika Campbell, known in Antigua and Barbuda as a former journalist with the Daily Observer newspaper and current honorary consul from her home country, another Jamaican, coach and therapist Jermaine Gordon, and Americans James C. Birdsong Jr. and Lillian Lilly, both singers. Announcement of competitive media awards is also scheduled for the October 22nd event, with music awards scheduled for October 23rd. (Source – The Daily Observer newspaper)

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Sharifa George has been announced as a 2021 recipient of one of a handful of coveted British Chevening scholarships and will use it to pursue a Masters in strategic marketing. Sharifa was part of the 2017 Wadadli Pen judging pool. The application deadline for the next round of Chevening scholars is November 2nd 2021. (Source – The Daily Observer newspaper)

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Daughters of Africa and New Daughters of Africa editor Margaret Busby is set to receive the 2021 London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award in September. (Source – personal email invite)

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Gayle Gonsalves My Stories have No Endings has placed second for the Colorado Independent Publishers Association and CIIPA Education and Literacy Foundation’s award in the Women’s Fiction category. The book was previously a finalist at Canada’s National Indie Excellence Awards. “I was so thrilled to learn of the award. …Special thanks to the cover designer (Lucy Holtsnider) for representing the book at the Awards. I feel blessed that the book continues to find new readers who enjoy Kai’s story. I’m thankful to the Universe for these blessings.” (Source – Gayle Gonsalves’ instagram)

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Bocas has this amazing contest for young writers and the people get to choose the winner. That’s an inspired approach to the popularization of reading and writing, and both the prize and the young writers, and you, the voters, deserve all the accolades.

Here’s where you go to listen and vote. (Source – Bocas’ twitter)

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The winners of the BLLF Elizabeth Nunez Award for Writers in the Caribbean and in the US, and honourable mentions have been announced. Main prize winners are both Trinis, Akhim Alexis for writers resident in the Caribbean and Patrice Grell Yuseik for those resident overseas, respectively.

See the short list below and the long list in the previous Carib Lit Plus. (Source – facebook, initially via Diana McCaulay who is one of the two finalists for the resident writer prize)

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The Legacy Award nominations – a project of the Hurston Wright Foundation in the US, named for Zora Neale Hurston and Richard Wright – are out, and include, in the fiction category, Book of the Little Axe by Lauren Francis-Sharma, born in the US to immigrants from Trinidad. (Source – Twitter)

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The Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival Caribbean resident and Caribbean American short story prize short lists have been announced. After the long list posted in the last Carib Lit Plus update, which included Antigua-Barbuda, the territories left standing are Jamaica (1), Trinidad and Tobago (2), Sint Maarten/Saint Martin (1), Guyana (1), Barbados (1), St. Vincent and the Grenadines (1), and Dominican Republic (1) for the prize for America-based Caribbean writers; and Trinidad and Tobago (4), Barbados (1), Jamaica (2), and Dominica (1) for the prize for Caribbean-based Caribbean writers. (Source – Facebook)

Book Publishing/Industry News

Caribbean Reads Publishing is promoting study guides for its titles – and they’re free. (Source – Caribbean Reads on instagram)

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Past Commonwealth Short Story Prize and Burt Award winner, Trinidad and Tobago’s Kevin Jared Hosein announced earlier this year that his forthcoming book, Devotion (his fourth), sold in a five way auction (wow) and is scheduled for release in August 2022. It will reportedly be released simultaneously in the US and UK, with Bloomsbury and Ecco/HarperCollins, backed by a major marketing campaign. (Now, that’s the dream!) It’s noteworthy that KJH did this all while being resident in TnT, one example that you don’t have to live abroad to make it internationally. For how he did it, we invite you to revisit his facebook post, republished, as ‘Hosein Breaks It Down‘, with his permission on this site. (Source – the author’s facebook)

Conversations

This is the latest addition to the data base of Antiguan and Barbudan Artistes Discussing Art, see who else is featured.

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Jazz vocalist, instrumentalist, and creator Foster Joseph talks jazz in the August 18 2021 CREATIVE SPACE. Watch

and read. (Source – Jhohadli)

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Joanne C. Hillhouse of Antigua and Barbuda and Wadadli Pen in conversation with M J Fievre, the Haitian-American author and host of the Badass Black Girl vlog, the second episode of season 5 after Nikki Giovanni (that and other interviews also worth checking out), has been added to the Antiguan and Barbudan Artists Discussing Art data base. (Source – YouTube)

Also ICYMI Hillhouse also has a recent interview with Andy Caul, both added to the Reading Room and Gallery, and has been longlisted for the BCLF short story prize for Caribbean writers resident in the Caribbean, as noted in the last Carib Lit Plus, now added to the Antiguans and Barbudans Awarded page.

Events

The Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival is almost here, September 10th – 12th 2021. This year’s theme: A Tapestry of Words and Worlds. Day 1 – Event 1 – Author’s Note with Tiphanie Yanique of the US Virgin Islands, Andre Bagoo of Trinidad and Tobago, and others; Event 2 – A Calabash of Wonder with contemporary writers of unapologetically Caribbean and African YA and children’s literature such as Barbados’ Shakirah Bourne and others; Event 3 – Laureates of the Caribbean: Our Common Heritage featuring the likes of St. Lucia’s Canisia Lubrin, Jamaica’s Velma Pollard and Tanya Shirley, among others. Day 2 – Event 4 – The Joys of Motherhood with Trinidad and Tobago’s Ayanna Lloyd-Banwo and Lisa Allen-Agostini, and Jamaica’s Diana McCaulay in the line-up; Event 5 – Espiritismo y Superstitions looking at Caribbean mythology; Event 6 – I belong to the House of Music with recent Commonwealth short story award winning Roland Watson-Grant of Jamaica among others talking about how music influences the creative consciousness. Day 3 – Event 7 – Women of the Resistance with Barbados’ Cherie Jones and others; Event 8 – Bards and Badjohns with Jacob Ross, a Britain-based Grenadian writer, Courttia Newland, a British writer of Jamaican and Bajan descent, and others explore masculinity in the region; Event 9 – Beti, which will comb through the thread of Indo-Caribbean womanhood. (Source – BCLF email)

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Joanne C. Hillhouse from Antigua and Barbuda was invited to participate in the Medellin International Poetry Festival, its 31st iteration, which has been going on all month, virtually, featuring writers from all over the world. Hillhouse’s panel included Ann Margaret Lim of Jamaica and Sonia Williams of Barbados.

See also AntiguanWriter. (Source – me)

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Jamaica-based Rebel Women Lit continues its Verandah Chats on August 21st with award winning speculative fiction writer Nalo Hopkinson who has Trinidadian roots. You can join from anywhere. Get your tickets here. (Source – RWL email)

You should know about

The Montserrat Arts Council facilitating songwriting masterclasses for local artists. “Local musicians joined more than 50 participants logged on to Zoom for Writers’ Delight – A song writing masterclass. Hosted by Trinidad-born and US-based Darryl Gervais, alongside Montserrat-born and UK-based Vallis ‘Shaker HD’ Weekes, the session ran for a total of five hours. Topics covered included Song Structure, What Makes a Good Song, Writing Better Lyrics, The 7 C’s of Song Writing and much more.” Read all about it here. (Source – Just Write facebook page)

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That the Opportunities Too page has been updated with opportunities for visual artists and writers alike, deadlines pending.

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A series of Conversations on Intellectual Property videos have been posted to the Antigua and Barbuda Intellectual Property and Commerce Office Facebook page. Check their video page for presentations by Carol Simpson, head of the World Intellectual Property Office in the Caribbean, parliamentary secretary Senator Maureen Hyman, magistrate Conliffe Clarke, and ABIPCO registrar Ricky Comacho and staffer Colleen Roberts. Beyond that it features eight business owners and their use of intellectual property: Andrew Doumith of ACT and AllMart; Gabby Thomas of The Vanilla Orchid; Debbie Smith of The Pink Mongoose; Terryl Howell also known as Guava De Artist; Writer, trainer, and Best of Books manager, Barbara Arrindell, Monique Sylvester- Rhudd of JMVI; Patrick Joseph of Stooge Co; and Kurt Carter of QuikServe.

This image of Wadadli Pen team member Barbara Arrindell is not from the Conversations series but from a World Intellectual Property zoom event in which she served as a presenter. I have asked but I haven’t been able to find the video for sharing. Sorry. (Source – Facebook)

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, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, The Jungle Outside, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, 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.

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Carib Lit Plus (Early to Mid August 2021)

Happy Emancipation Day (August 1st 1834).

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)

Philanthropy

How can you help the arts?

For one, the Bocas Lit Fest has a Friends of Bocas initiative, inviting participation from individual stakeholders (regular people). For a contribution, you get access to a whole host of exclusive activities. Our winning Wadadli Pen writer of 2021 was gifted membership access as part of his prize thanks to Bocas, in addition to workshop access to some of our other finalists. Want to get in on the action while supporting the work? Details here.

Passings

Flags are being flown at half mast after the August 9th announcement of the passing of former Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister and National Hero Lester Bird in early August. Bird who was only the country’s second prime minister after Independence, and successor to his father, often referred to as Father of the Nation and National Hero Vere Bird Sr., was also author of two books found in our literary database of books by Antiguans and Barbudans on this site: Antigua Vision – Caribbean Reality: Perspectives of Prime Minister Lester Bryant Bird and The Comeback Kid: An Autobiography of Sir Lester Bryant Bird K.N.H. with Lionel Max Hurst.

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Milton Benjamin, veteran journalist from Antigua crossed over late in July. His passing in part inspired me to write about Antigua and Barbuda’s media culture in my first CREATIVE SPACE of August which you can read here.

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Kassav, the Guadeloupe band whose ‘zouk-la’ had the ability to enliven any soca fete I’ve been to has lost co-founder Jacob Desvarieux, also in late July. His passing brought forth an outpouring of tributes, like this one that landed in my inbox from Karukerament.

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Jamaican writer Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze, associated with the early dub poetry movement, has also passed on the ancestral plane. The Jamaica Observer reports.

(Source – the local news I heard about locally, the others via social media)

Events

Antiguan and Barbudan author and Wadadli Pen founder-coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse will be reading at the Medellin World Poetry Festival (virtually) on Augutst 10th 2021 at 8 p.m. AST. Here’s how you can watch.

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The Caribbean Style & Culture Awards. See site.

Accolades

ETA: The BCLF list below is of Caribbean writers resident in the Caribbean. Above is the long list of Caribbean writers resident in the Caribbean. It includes 9 writers from Trinidad and Tobago, 5 from Dominica, 5 from Jamaica, 3 from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 1 from Barbados, 1 from Puerto Rico, 1 from St. Lucia, 1 from Guyana, 1 from Grenada, and 1 (Joanne C. Hillhouse) from Antigua and Barbuda. Click images to enlarge.

The Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival’s short story competition has been one to watch. And we’re watching this incredible 2021 long list.

Congratulations to the 22 long listed writers. The wealth is spread on a list that includes 7 writers from Trinidad and Tobago, 5 from Barbados, 3 from the Dominican Republic, 2 from Jamaica, 2 from Guyana, 1 from Dominica, 1 from Puerto Rico, 1 from Haiti, 1 from St. Lucia, 1 from Sint Maarten/Saint Martin, and 1 from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. No your math isn’t wrong, you know how it is in the Caribbean – some writers are from multiple places. (Source – Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival facebook page)

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Belated congratulations as well to St. Lucia’s Canisia Lubrin, who with The Dyzgraphxst (poetry, McClelland & Stewart) becomes the third St. Lucian to claim the main Bocas prize after Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott (White Egrets, poetry, Farrar Strauss Giroux, 2011) and Vladimir Lucien (Sounding Ground, poetry, Peepal Tree Press, 2015). Other winners of this coveted main book prize and its considerable purse have been the British Virgin Islands current Poet Laureate Richard Georges (Epiphaneia, poetry, Out Spoken Press, 2020), Jamaica’s current Poet Laureate Olive Senior (The Pain Tree, fiction, Cormorant Books, 2016) and, also of Jamaica, Kei Miller (Augustown, fiction, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2017), and Trinidad and Tobago’s Earl Lovelace (Is Just a Movie, fiction, Faber & Faber, 2012), Monique Roffey (Archipelago, fiction, Simon & Schuster, 2013), Robert Antoni – of Trinidad descent and raised in the Bahamas -(As Flies to Whatless Boys, fiction, Peepal Tree Press, 2014), Jennifer Rahim (Curfew Chronicles, fiction, Peepal Tree Press, 2018), and Kevin Adonis Browne (High Mas: Carnival and the Poetics of Caribbean Culture, non-fiction, University Press of Mississippi, 2019.

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Canada-based Gayle Gonsalves of Antigua and Barbuda was a National Indie Excellence Awards finalist for her latest book My Stories have No Endings. (Source – the author’s social media)

Publications

Barbados’ Shakirah Bourne is now out in the world even as she works on its follow up.

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New Anansi

The author is from Trinidad and Tobago. I haven’t been able to find more information about it, which is odd. (Source – JRLee email)

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It occurs to me that I’ve, not by design, reviewed a number of books by Dominica’s Papillote Press – perhaps more than any other Caribbean press, because they proactively reach out with ARCs, no pressure if I can’t read the books right away. I generally have enjoyed their catalogue, what I’ve read of it and thought I’d share my reviews.

Dangerous Freedom by Lawrence Scott – currently reading
Guabancex by Celia Sorhaindo
Home Home by Lisa Allen-Agostini
The Art of White Roses by Viviana Prado-Nunez
Gone to Drift by Diana McCaulay

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Impact Magazine dropped in May 2021 (I believe). I thought I’d mention it as it describes itself as the newest source of entertainment and lifestyle news from Antigua, the Caribbean and the world at large. (Source – N/A)

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, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, The Jungle Outside, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on AmazonWordPress, 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.

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Carib Plus Lit News (Late August 2019)

CARIFESTA

Antigua and Barbuda met up with the rest of the Caribbean in Trinidad for CARIFESTA (the largest showcase of its kind for Caribbean talent) – and, in case you didn’t know, Antigua and Barbuda is the venue for the next CARIFESTA (in 2021). I have very few details but I  got the image of the passing of the baton from the last venue to the next (via proxys Trinidad and Tobago’s Culture and Arts Minister Nyan Gadsby-Dolly and Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister responsible for Culture, National Festivals and the Arts, Daryll Matthew) from the Antigua and Barbuda CARIFESTA facebook page and  believe you can link up  there for things related to AnB and CARIFESTA as plans evolve. You already know my thoughts and that of some other writers in our community on the (non/under/limited) presence of Antigua and Barbuda literary arts in CARIFESTA over the years, and Mark Brown – one of Antigua and Barbuda’s top artists – expressed concern re the (lack of) visibility of visual arts at this year’s event as well on his social media. Granted, there’s a bit of the grass is greener dynamic at play as well as I’ve seen countries which do better on arts generally weigh in with similar complaints via social media; and from the images and videos generally Trinidad and Tobago and the participating countries put on a good show. I’ve tried to share what I could on my social media (because I still support Antigua-Barbuda, and Antigua-Barbuda arts every time, notwithstanding my criticisms [or my haterade/grudgefulness/badmindedness, for those who choose to see said criticisms that way]) – highlights like the Antigua and Barbuda delegation enthusiastically singing Burning Flames ‘Swinging Engine’ in the opening parade (minus the “in she gear box” part), and Hell’s Gate performing a medley of tunes by one of our Big Three calypsonians, Swallow, with infectious youthful enthusiasm. I know a number of our soca stars – Ricardo Drue, Menace, CP, Tizzy – performed, as did the national youth choir, and, I believe, the Antigua Dance Academy (founder of which, Veronica Yearwood, I spotted in some of the images). Shout out to our community of artists, always! And, a personal note, shout out to TnT writer and illustrator of my children’s picture book Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure who presented our book during a session with children and shared on social media – so that I had a small presence there, in spirit. Pardon any oversights in the mentions – it’s not intentional. To that point…I note that a film I worked on as associate producer HAMAfilms The Sweetest Mango, Antigua and Barbuda’s first feature length film (released 2001) also showed – for the record, as you know from our data base/s we are all about the record here at Wadadli Pen, and because I’ve caught this error in a few reports, the film was produced by Howard and Mitzi Allen, directed by Howard Allen, but written by D. Gisele Isaac (both this and HAMA’s second film, No Seed, on which I served as production manager, were written by D. Gisele Isaac, who before her current life in politics also penned the boundary shifting book Considering Venus, not to mention being a founding partner of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize). The record is important. And, for the record, I wish the hosting of CARIFESTA in Antigua and Barbuda well. Someone posted wondering if they would expect full participation from the artists who have been overlooked CARIFESTA after CARIFESTA (the 2019 edition was the 14th iteration, going all the way back to the 1970s); and they well might…and I venture that for the love of the arts, our artists will show up; still, it is cynical to expect support from the artists in an environment where support for the artists has been so lacking. Hopefully, the road to CARIFESTA will include some reflection and a renaissance that embraces all forms of artistic expression.

Art Conversation

I wrote before about the Rooted at Home and Abroad exhibition at the national museum featuring the works of Zucan Bandele and Walter J. Parker. The exhibition will run to the end of August. Meanwhile, last Friday (August 23rd 2019), the exhibitors invited the community in for a conversation around the art being displayed. Curator Mali Olatunji (who was fine arts photographer at the Museum of Modern Art in New York for more than 20 years) also spoke about some of his own art (e.g. the dirty beauty of the polluted sea at sunset) and about other art made in Antigua and Barbuda. And as he showed works by Frank Agard (copper and brass craftsman whose displayed work was an image of the St. John’s Cathedral) and Freeston Wright (an image of his work on canvas – a scene from earlier Antigua), I couldn’t help lamenting, again, the lack of a national art gallery (as a repository of Antigua and Barbuda’s art past and present, a creative space to encourage new artistic expressions, and a showcase with potential commercial value). Too often we find ourselves rediscovering what should never have been lost and not recognizing, embracing, celebrating, and encouraging what is.  A space for discussions like this. One young girl stood and spoke about her own art, and about what she saw in Parker’s art, and in some ways a connection she saw between them: “I totally get that he would make these beautiful things and not be caught up in exposing them.” Yes, among the things discussed was why the artist makes art, and how we interpret art – with attendees noting that sometimes the artist’s intention is clear and sometimes “the persons who look at it will get different interpretations” (Olatunji). Bandele spoke about his masks series and about the African deities he had captured on canvas – the former, poetic pieces inviting the viewer to look in to the head of the masquerader and the latter embodiments of goddesses like Yemojah (Mami Wata) who has dominion over the water. The works of the two exhibitors – Bandele and the deceased Parker whose paintings were of people in different poses and scenarios, all colourfully masked – seemed to be in conversation with each other.

CARNIVAL WRAP

Speaking of Art conversations there are one or two stories from the Antigua Carnival season that ought not be purely seasonal – a few really – but I’m just going to drop a couple. One has to do with panorama which was adjudged a success despite a too drawn out show and the absence of one of Antigua and Barbuda’s top bands, Halcyon due to lack of sponsorship (so Babu told me when I asked him on Carnival Tuesday – as Halcyon was in the parade). I heard a media report in which when it was pointed out to our PM that the band, Halcyon, had given lack of funds as the reason for their non-participation he jested that they were just running scared. Winning band Hell’s Gate is from the PM’s community so this response was likely some of that ages old rivalry between the seasoned bands and their respective communities, no harm no foul. The rest of the comment though, that a couple of other bands had checked him for funds and Halcyon could have done the same misses the point though in my opinion that arts development is continuous, that the arts developers need systems put in place to access philanthropy, investment, and/or sponsorship – that one of the top bands bowing out due to lack of any of these is …not a good look. even as we compliment not only the winners but the growing youth participation in pan – even as we remember that not too long ago pan was all but gone from the Carnival line-up and its resurgence is owed in great part to the pan fraternity and to the advocacy and attention given to it in Culture during the tenure of culture officer Barbara Mason. This is not my area of arts, obviously, so maybe I’m missing something, but those are some of my general observations. As for the other issue that will likely continue to bubble, copyright and use of artists’ work, stay tuned, I guess.

(Source of newspaper clippings: Daily Observer Antigua)

Pengereng

‘“Pengereng” is a Belize Kriol word for the noise made when something, especially a metallic object, falls to the floor. Figuratively, it refers to a great disturbance or upheaval. Hence, the title of my new book of short stories in which each protagonist experiences a life upheaval that forces him or her to make extremely difficult choices.

Kriol activist Silvaana Udz describes the book as a “ground-breaking” publication as it includes the first major work of fiction written entirely in the standard Belize Kriol spelling system. The 74-page collection contains two relatively long stories, one of which is presented in both English and Kriol, plus an essay in which I discuss why Kriol should be used more extensively by Belizean writers and should be made Belize’s second official language alongside English.’ – Belizean writer Ivory Kelly is fresh from representing her country at CARIFESTA (August 2019) in Trinidad. Shortly before that she debuted her latest book, Pengereng. Click here to read more about it.

(Ivory, right, 2014 in Glasgow at the Aye! Write lit fest – where we met)

Rocket Mama Set to Rock the Literary World

One of our favourites on the track is Jamaican sprinter Shelley Ann Fraser Pryce – long known as the pocket rocket for her diminutive size and the way she breaks out of the blocks like a bullet. The multi-Olympic gold medalist has not let motherhood slow her down and is preparing to drop a children’s book this September.

(source of newspaper clippings: Daily Observer Antigua)

Other new book announcements include: the second edition of my teen/young adult novel Musical Youth, former Caribbean media association president and TnT columnist Wesley Gibbings second collection, Passages, and Escape by former Wadadli Pen finalist Rilys Adams (to be uploaded to the data base of Antigua and Barbuda writings as soon as I get the time – but teasing the cover here for now).

 

 

 

 

 

RIPs

The literary world was still reeling from the passing of our mother of modern African American literature, Nobel Prize Winning African American author Toni Morrison (Beloved, The Bluest Eye, Tar Baby, Sula, Paradise, Jazz, and other classic works including my personal favourite Song of Solomon) when Barbadian-American writer Paule Marshall passed as well. She won’t get as much press but the author of Praisesong for the Widow, Browngirl Brownstones, and other classic Caribbean works is a giant in her own right.

Participants in the 2016 BIM Lit Fest: front row, left to right, Olive Senior, A-dZiko Gegele, Selma James, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, Tanya Shirley, and Evan Marshall (son of Paule Marshall who was there to collect a lifetime achievement award on her behalf). Middle row, left to right, me (Joanne C. Hillhouse), Mrs. Foster, and Esther Phillips; back row, Cecil Foster, Bernice McFadden, and Mervyn Morris.

Paule Marshall with her award from BIM.

As we mourn their deaths, we celebrate their lives and their words which have enriched, uplifted, revealed our lives.

If I missed any big news or commentary, apologies, this is just a labour of love.

As with all content on Wadadli Pen, except otherwise noted, this is written by Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure which has a Spanish language edition). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out http://jhohadli.wordpress.com Please note that, except otherwise noted, images on this site also need to be cleared if you wish to use them for any purpose. Thanks.

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Mailbox – People’s Choice T&T

You’ll remember that I tried to host a people’s choice for Antiguan and Barbudan book of the year at the end of 2017 that was dead on arrival (didn’t get close to the minimum number of votes needed to declare a winner). It was one of the most viewed posts of the year on the site but, for whatever reason, votes were very few. I was disappointed because I thought it was a fun way for fans to give a favourite book a boost – a boost for local literary arts overall. But, dey e dey.

That initiative was inspired by the Trinidad and Tobago People’s Choice book awards which was much better organized, resourced, and successful. They did it right and had quite the response, and a writer who might otherwise have flown under the radar (i.e. a writer who had not been in conversation vis-à-vis other awards coming out of TnT, like Bocas) gets some dap.

That writer is…Soulspection

Announcing the winner of the 2018 People’s Choice T&T Book of the Year

The overall winner, as chosen by the voting public, is Soulspection: A Collection of Poetry, by Michelle Borel.

The other books in the final voting round were (in alphabetical order by title):

21 Powerful P’s to Success, by Nichola Harvey
Don’t Go Mango Picking, by D.H. Gibbs
Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting, by Shivanee Ramlochan (also a Forward Prize Best First Collection 2018 nominee)
Men and Misfits, by Lyndon Baptiste
The Repenters, by Kevin Jared Hosein (also long listed for the 2017 Bocas prize)

Congratulations to all the finalists!

An initiative of the Bocas Lit Fest in partnership with Newsday and NALIS, the prize was intended to promote reading and buying of local books, and to get people talking about them. Judy Raymond, editor-in-chief of the Trinidad & Tobago Newsday, shared this sentiment, saying “Obviously as a news organization we want more people to read  — and write — and this prize is a brilliant way to encourage people to do both! As the people’s paper we’re especially glad to be associated with a prize that’s awarded to a local writer by local readers.”

A total of 39 books were entered for judging, and Borel’s book earned the most votes from a finalists’ list of 6.

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!, Musical Youth, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure). All Rights Reserved. You can also subscribe to and/or follow the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks. And remember while linking and sharing the links, referencing and excerpting, with credit, are okay, lifting whole content (articles,  images, other) from the site without asking is not cool. Respect copyright.

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Calypso Rose wins World Music Award in France

Sunday, February 12, 2017 PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — Veteran Calypsonian Calypso Rose has won the World Album of the Year award at the Victoire de la Musique award ceremony in France.The award is considered the French equivalent of a Grammy award.

Rose’s album, Far from Home, competed against rock group Acid Arab with their album “Music of France” and Rokia Traore with her album “Born So”. Far From home, the platinum-selling album was released on the Because Music label on June 3 last year.

Rose, 75, began singing at the age of 15. She was born in Bethel, a small, relatively in-land village in Tobago.

Although she garnered several regional hits throughout the years, including her most famous, “Fire, Fire”, which she wrote in 1966 she did not win any of the major calypso contests until 1977. That year, she was the first woman ever to win the Trinidad and Tobago Road March Competition with “Tempo”. A year later, she won the National Calypso King Competition — which prompted a name change (it’s now called the National Calypso Monarch Competition) — with “I Thank Thee” and “Her Majesty”. That same year, Rose won the Trinidad Road March Competition for the second year successive year, with “Gimme More Tempo”.

Throughout her career, she has headlined at major venues and festivals throughout the US, Europe and Australia.

As of 2011, she is the most decorated calypsonian in Trinidad and Tobago’s history… Read more.

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BOCAS – YEAR TWO

Peeped this one over at the Caribbean Literary Salon which had picked it up from the Trinidad Guardian. It’s the Bocas Literary Prize which debuted last year as an entity with the first prize being won by that giant of Caribbean literature, Nobel Prize winning Derek Walcott. It’s set the bar high but perhaps that’s as it should be with a US$10,000 jackpot. The referenced article announces the launch of the 2012 prize in which books released in 2011 by writers who are Caribbean by either birth or citizenship, resident anywhere in the world, are eligible. “The best book is chosen from the winner in each of three categories—non-fiction, fiction and poetry,” the article reminds. “The judges will produce a shortlist in March and the winner will be announced on April 28, 2012 at an award ceremony that is a highlight of the four-day Bocas Lit Fest, held annually on the last weekend of April at the National Library in Port-of-Spain.”

I really want to try to get to Trinidad for the April 26th to 28th 2012 Bocas Festival, though, with my next book dropping in 2012, I won’t be eligible for prize consideration until 2013. *fingers crossed*

It really sounds like a fun, stimulating event; and I almost always find literary fests both motivating and entertaining. So…

If you want to check out Bocas, either just to be there, or to throw your book into the ring; here’s where you go to find out more.

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Caribbean writers singled out in Commonwealth Short Story competition

Winners of the 2011 Commonwealth Short Story competition have been announced and there are two Caribbean-ers among them. The first is Barbara Jenkins of Trinidad and Tobago: Regional Winner from the Caribbean for her story Head Not Made For Hat Alone. “I wrote the story,” she’s quoted as saying, “after a particularly dystopian  morning on the road. Everything in the story is real – culled from a  number of experiences and observations. So perhaps the writing was a  sort of catharsis?”

I should note that I first came across Jenkins’ name recently when flipping through Volume 24 of the Caribbean Writer: on the page announcing the year’s prize winners her head-thrown-back-in-full-laugh picture as the Winner of the Canute A. Brodhurst Prize for Short Fiction was two slots above the picture announcing me as the Winner of the David Hough Literary Prize for a Writer Living in the Caribbean. Kind of cool to be two degrees of (no not Kevin Bacon but) separation away from a winner of the highly competitive Commownwealth Short Story Competition. I can think of only two Antiguans and Barbudans who made the cut in recent years, Hazra Medica, whose story, the Banana Stains, was among those Highly Commended in 2008 and Mary Geo Quinn  whose story, Joe, was similarly Highly Commended in 2002 Commonwealth Short Story Winners 2002.

Winning is kind of a big deal given the international scope of the competition as noted by the other Caribbean notable of 2011, Diane Brown, a Jamaican whose story, The Happiness Dress, won a Special Prize as a Story for Children. She said, “Winning this special prize for a short story for  children is a singular honour. This acknowledgement of the work of a  local writer of children’s fiction gives that writing an international  platform.”

Per a release from the Commonwealth, “a panel of international judges made the choices from over 2000 entries”. Overall 2011 winner was Philip Nash of the UK with his story Rejoinder. Best regional entries, in addition to Jenkins, were Martha by Basett Buyukah of Kenya, The Maoist by Nikesh Murali of India, and Ginger Beer by Sarah Bainbridge, New Zealand.

The winning stories – all 26 of them – will also be available in audio format. In fact, it may interest you, dear reader, to note that when I was formulating the structure for the Wadadli Pen competition back in 2003, I did a little piggy backing in terms of the word limit on the Commonwealth Short Story competition because like that competition I wanted entries to be a good and compact length for radio broadcast. So, audio recordings and distribution to media outlets of the winning entries have been part of our mission and action from day one. In fact, if you visit, Anansesem* – the Caribbean Children’s e-zine – you’ll hear some of the recordings that came out of our competition in the early years in  their special Wadadli Pen issue. If I could figure out how to do it, I’d post them here, too; and soon as I can figure out funding, we’ll do more of the same. Point is though rather than reinventing the wheel, I did take some cues re structure from the Commonwealth contest, adapting it, of course, to be its own thing relevant to our context in Antigua and Barbuda (and the Caribbean).

Anyway, that’s enough rambling. Congratulations to winners from the region, past and present, and, since the competition is an annual exercise, dare we say, future. Deadline for the next round of submissions is November 30th; details re eligibility will be posted at www.commonwealthwriters.org by October 18th according to this release posted to the Caribbean Literary Salon.

For the full list of winners and their stories, as well as back editions, go to http://www.commonwealthfoundation.com/Howwedeliver/Prizes/CommonwealthShortStoryCompetition/2011winners

THIS JUST IN: Commendation also went to Kathyann Husbands and Edwina Griffiths of Barbados, and Sonja Dumas of Trinidad and Tobago; for Love Honour and Obey, White Shoes, and Letting Cockroaches Live, respectfully.

*Please note Anansesem is currently in the process of being re-located to here.

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