Tag Archives: Wadadli Pen

ICYMI: Antiguan and Barbudan Artistes Discussing Art

Last year two Antiguan and Barbudan writers – Joanne C. Hillhouse and Rilzy Adams – were among the Caribbean writers of romance interviewed by the podcast Tim Tim Bwa Fik. You can find links to those interviews, both in two parts, in the Wadadli Pen A & B Artistes Discussing Art page – that and a lot more local creatives discussing aspects of their art. It is one of the pages in our R & D that is updated as often as we find new interviews to share. Here are excerpts from the page. Click the page title to read or watch or listen to more.

“When writing, where this was concerned, the one thing that I really wanted it to feel like and be like was Antiguan… I was very intentional with everything from the food choices to the music…but I also wanted them for the most part to be not necessarily heartwarming but …my general brand, for everything I write…Antiguan, full of love, and spicy.”

Rilzy Adams, a past Wadadli Pen finalist and subsequent patron, now romance novelist and lawyer

“Part of it is that I knew that world: I was the girl with the guitar slung over her shoulder, going to practice, playing in the choir, being shy about it, being self-conscious about walking with the guitar..for me the interesting things were the kids discovering their love of art, and discovering their potential within the art space, and connecting with each other through art…”

Joanne C. Hillhouse, Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator, now president of Wadadli Pen inc, author

“I don’t think about it like that. I just tell the story. Sometimes the protagonist is a child, sometimes a teen, sometimes an adult, sometimes an old person, sometimes a jelly fish named Coral.”

Joanne C. Hillhouse, #gyalfromOttosAntigua

“I didn’t know I wanted to tell stories. I knew I wanted to write and I thought I wanted to write about my mother and me, and a lot of my writing is about mother and daughter. But really I could early on see before any critic, I may have pointed it out to critics, that I was really writing about imbalance of power.” 

Jamaica Kincaid, internationally acclaimed, from Ovals, Antigua

“The biggest wall I encountered, not that there weren’t others, but the biggest was my own fear. And once you get through that fear/feeling of will people understand this, will people accept this, are people gonna see my vision, once you go through that then everything else tends to be a lot more easy to deal with.”

Jelani ‘J-Wyze’ Nias, Canadian writer with Antiguan roots
J-Wyze (Jelani Nias)

Remember, to read, watch, or listen to more, go here.

Once you’ve viewed the page (that page, not this one; this is just a sample), link us to any interviews we may have missed by emailing wadadlipen@gmail.com

Also, if you would like to volunteer with Wadadli Pen and help us do what we do (especially if you’re a college student and potential intern), reach out via wadadlipen@gmail.com

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, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, The Jungle Outside). 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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Filed under A & B Lit News Plus, Caribbean Plus Lit News, Links We Love, Literary Gallery, Wadadli Pen News

Carib Lit Plus (Mid to Late January 2022)

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).

RIPs

Eduardo Pyle, leader of the Antigua and Barbuda soca monarch band and longstanding member of the calypso monarch band in over two decades of involvement in culture and the arts, has died. “For Eduardo, what mattered most was the delivery of the most impeccable quality of the music during our annual summer festival,” said chairman of the festivals commission Maurice Merchant. (Source – Newsco’s Daily Observer)

Events

The Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival’s menu of programmes includes a reading group, Unruly Islands: Uprising and Revolts, in collaboration with the the Center For Fiction. See their website for information on this and other programmes. (Source – BCLF email)

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Antiguan and Barbudan writer and bookseller, and Wadadli Pen team member, Barbara Arrindell is one of the resource people for an upcoming seminar entitled ‘The Journey of a Book’. Click here to register. (Source – email)

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I mentioned, in the late November 2021 Carib Lit Plus that the BCLF short story awards event was upcoming. Now here’s the video.

“Well, the thing is publishers respond to readers, to the market, and, so this is really a job for all of us. For the writers and the readers. And it’s a job for the readers to bring that attention because if the publishers see that there are readers for our work…it begins with us.” – Elizabeth Nunez, sharing this excerpt from the video, from the author for whom the BCLF short story prizes are named, to remind us all to #buyCaribbean #readCaribbean (Source – N/A)

Publications

We’ve mentioned Sea Turtles before but St. Kitts-Nevis writer Carol Mitchell has two other Big Cat books – Kay and Aiden’s The Tram Bell and The Stolen Trumpet. A graphic novel series based on the adventures of a pair of twins.

Illustrations are by London artist Alan Brown. Mitchell, in addition to being an author, is a publisher (Caribbean Reads Publishing). (Source – N/A)

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Catching up on some late 2021 releases. Like this one from Antigua and Barbuda.

Written by former aerodome superintendant Growing with VCBIA: VC Bird International 1965-2008 is the story of Antigua and Barbuda’s former international airport “beginning with the first airplane of the historic Lindberg of Pan Am fame, which landed pretty close to what would become our present airport, this avid aviator carries us on a journey …Starting with the Americans who sought to establish air and sea bases throughout the region for World War II activities which were then converted to civil airport use controlled by local government….Throughout the book the theme of building and growing is emphasized.” (from a review by Makeda Mikael in the November 26th 2021 edition of the Daily Observer). This one was added to the Antigua and Barbuda Writings and Antigua and Barbuda Non-Fiction databases late last year. (Source – Newsco’s Daily Observer)

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Belonging: Fate and Changing Realities is Herman Ouseley’s (Lord Ouseley’s) compelling account of his extraordinary life experiences. This vivid memoir describes how he coped with all challenges and, along the way, learnt how to develop methods to convince and persuade powerful people to use their influence to help eliminate the adverse effects of institutional discrimination, prejudice and bigotry. Over nearly six decades dedicated to public service, he became a ‘somebody’ at times, as he challenged the ‘great and the good’ in pursuit of equality and cohesion. He reflects upon contemporary Britain, knowing that there is still a struggle to achieve responsible and accountable leadership. The release date is listed as September 2021. Published by Hansib. (Source – Hansib email)

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Get Up!: A Collection of Inspiring and Encouraging Commands is the latest book from relatively new Antiguan and Barbudan author Stancel C. Roberts who last year released An Island Girl’s Inspiration from Above. Both are motivational books. Roberts is a staff auditor with the government, and also, per her linkedin, a motivational speaker and lecturer at the Antigua State College. (Source – N/A)

Shout Outs

To Peepal Tree (producer) and Malika Booker (host) of New Caribbean Voices podcast. It’s been keeping me company this night in January with conversations with writers like Anton Nimblett and the several poets (Tanya Shirley, Ishion Hutchinson, Vladimir Lucien featured) featured in the rare poetry collection unearthing the experiences of British West Indians fighting in the first World War. I have written in CREATIVE SPACE about some of our experiences in World Wars 1 and 2 and think not nealry enough is known or understood about our role in these major battles (Hollywood white washes the Black and Brown people from their historical war films). But we were there.

Published in 2018, this book was a collaborative project, co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, BBC Contains Strong Language, and the British Council.

***

To two Antigua-Barbuda sites of interest which are in the running for the top Caribbean attraction as voted by readers of USA Today (you can vote too, by the way). Normally we don’t do tourism-centric posts around here but the two named sites (Nelson’s Dockyard and Wallings Nature Reserve) have historical and/or cultural value and have been covered either on this blog or on my own Jhohadli blog. Specifically, CREATIVE SPACE #4 of 2019 – What’s happening at Wallings?, and Nelson’s Dockyard: On Becoming a World Heritage Site and CREATIVE SPACE #18 of 2021 – Clarence House and the Complicated Landscape of Our Colonial Past.

“Image 33: Nelson’s Dockyard 2” P. 55, The Art of Mali Olatunji: Painterly Photography from Antigua and Barbuda by Mali Olatunji and Paget Henry.

***

Ben Fox, founder at Shepherds.com who invited me to write a book recs post, subject of my choice. I used the opportunity to share some of my favourites from the CODE Burt Award for teen/young adult Caribbean literature. Click The Best Teen/YA Caribbean novels for readers everywhere to see which five I picked and why. (Also see what books I read – and reviewed – in 2021). (Source – Me)

Accolades

One Caribbean book which made it on to the Women’s Prize 2022 favourite books read, broken down by year of publication, as chosen by their readers, is Monique Roffey’s The Mermaid of Black Conch. (Source – Women’s Prize email)

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In addition to being a politician, Antigua and Barbuda’s Selvyn Walter was an art collector, writer (including popular column series like Not a Drum was heard and the book Bank Alley Tales), and founding member of the Grays Green based Halcyon Steel Orchestra which marked its 50th anniversary in 2021., and his creative pursuits are being recognized (posthumously) by the Sunshine Awards Organization. The US-based awards was founded in 1989 by Gilman Figaro Snr. Past awardees from Antigua and Barbuda are, in 1992, King Progress for best political commentary (Heaven Help Us), in 1999, female vocalist of the year Althea ‘Singing Althea’ Williams (Violence), in 2002, calypso monarch King Short Shirt named to the Hall of Fame, in 2003, soca artists Burning Flames (Children Call Een), in 2004, calypsonian Paul ‘King Obstinate’ Richards named to the Hall of Fame, in 2008, Rupert ‘King Swallow’ Philo, now deceased, named to the Hall of Fame in 2008 after winning best party calypso, best engineered recording, and best calypso in 1989 (Fire in the Backseat) and best social commentary in 1997 (CDC), in 2011, pannist Aubrey Lacua Samuel, in 2012, Dr. Prince Ramsey for music production and Rawdon Edwards for contribution to the performing arts, and, in 2015, Antigua State College principal Dr. Alister Francis (posthumously) for education. Other 2021 Sunshine Awardees are Barbados’ Ian Estwick, Nigeria’s Oluyinka Olutuye, Trinidad and Tobago’s Shakuntala Thilsted and Ainsworth Mohammed, St. Thomas’ Verne Hodge, and legendary Guadeloupean band Kassav. (Source – Newsco’s Daily Observer)

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A Trinbagonian writer has landed on the UK Observer’s list ‘Introducing our 10 Best Debut Novelists of 2022‘. “The class of 2022 reminds us that the novel is a form without limits or rules,” the publication writes of the list that includes Ayanna Lloyd Banwo’s When We were Birds, forthcoming in February from Hamish Hamilton. She and her book are described as “an important new voice in fiction, at once grounded and mythic in its scope and carried by an incantatory prose style…When We Were Birds is both a love story and a ghost story – the tale of a down-on-his-luck gravedigger and a woman descended from corbeau, the black birds that fly east at sunset, taking with them the souls of the dead.” She describes the Bocas Lit Fest in Trinidad as a turning point in her writing, an awakening followed by the MA programme at University of East Anglia in the UK where she has lived for the last five years. (Source – Facebook)

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The winners of the Caribbean Readers’ Awards 2021 have been announced. This is the second year of the Rebel Women Lit book club’s awards initiative; 500 votes were counted. Trinidad and Tobago’s Celeste Mohammed’s Pleasantview won best novel (adult); Jamaica’s poet laureate Olive Senior’s Pandemic Poems won best poetry collection; Curaçao’s Radna Fabias’ Habitus won best translation; Jamaica’s Kei Miller’s Things I have Withheld won best non-fiction book; and ‘Bomber and the Breadfruit Tree‘ was adjudged best RWL magazine piece. Congrats to all. (Source – RWL Facebook)

Opportunities

From Short Story to Novel Part 2 with Sharma Taylor is the first Bocas workshop of the year on January 29th 2022. Sharma’s first novel, What a Mother’s Love don’t Teach You, drops this year. She has been hugely successful as a short story writer winning the 2020 Wasafiri Queen Mary New Writing Prize, the 2020 Frank Collymore Literary Endowment Award, and the 2019 Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize; being twice shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and being a finalist for the 2020 Elizabeth Nunez Award for Writers in the Caribbean. Sharma will share her experience, tools and techniques in transferring the craft and technique of short-form fiction to a successful novel, building your career as an emerging writer. This seminar is suitable for writers who participated in Part 1 last year, as well as new participants.  Register here. (Source – Bocas email)

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Consider this one an opportunity to pay it forward. April 29th 2022 is the deadline to recommend writers for the Royal Society of Literature’s International Writers Programme, which is supported by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society and the International Authors Forum. The RSL, founded in 1820, is the UK’s charity for the advancement of literature. Nominate writers for the International Writers Programme who are not resident in, nor citizens of, the United Kingdom, have published two outstanding works of literary merit (written or translated in to English). Twelve writers will be selected. Last year’s selectees were Don Mee Choi, Annie Ernaux, David Grossman, Jamaica Kincaid, Yan Lianke, Amin Maalouf, Alain Mabanckou, Javier Marías, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Claudia Rankine, Olga Tokarczuk and Dubravka Ugrešić. Make your nominations here. (Source – RSL email)

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The Poetry Channel on You Tube has extended an invitation to poets worldwide to contribute to the channel run by Indran Amirthanayagam (email him at indranmx@gmail.com). He hosts contemporary poets reading their work and wishes to present an archive of essential poems and without any language limitation. So you might hear poems in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Tamil, Uzbek, Haitian Creole and Arabic. The channel also features an occasional series called Speaking With Poets, which already includes programs with Mervyn Taylor and Martin Espada. If you would like to be featured, send poetry videos (one poem per video) – you can record yourself and send or the host can set up a zoom meeting. Indran Amirthanayagam also edits The Beltway Poetry Quarterly with Associate Editor Sara Cahill Marron, and welcomes poetry submissions. (Source – JRLee email)

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“I was nervous at first to do the exercises and to read my first draft out loud, but it was fun in the end.” – US based participant in the Jhohadli Writing Project, my (Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator, and author Joanne C. Hillhouse) workshops currently being offered online. This workshop series being offered once a month throughout 2022 is ideal for writers with works in progress. The identified participant said the January 2022 session helped, “Strengthened my pages.” Register on a month by month basis or for several months at a time. See Opportunities Too for Jhohadli Writing Project and Other Opportunities. (Source – Me)

News

Bocas, Trinidad and Tobago’s literary festival and related programmes, many of which have reach across the Caribbean, is under new management. Nicholas Laughlin replaces Marina Salandy-Brown as festival and programme director, while she steps in to the role of president of the board of directors. Laughlin, a poet, editor of the arts and travel magazine Caribbean Beat and co-director of the arts collective Alice Yard has been working alongside Salandy-Brown from the start, crafting the festival programme every year and leading the programming of the new virtual festivals since 2020.   Additionally, after a rigorous, multi-stage recruitment process, Jean-Claude Cournand is the new Chief Executive Officer. Cournand has been responsible for areas of Bocas Lit Fest youth programming since 2013 and through a partnership between Bocas and the 2Cents Movement, which he co-founded and managed, strategically helped to introduce the nation’s youth to spoken word and performance poetry. The huge popularity of the First Citizens National Poetry Slam is the culmination of their joint efforts. Read more here. (Source – JRLee email)

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Issue 13 of Cacique magazine features Antiguan-Barbudan (by way of Dominica) designer Miranda Askie. Cacique is the inflight magazine of InterCaribbean Airways. The issue which also includes an interview with Barbados’ Cherise Harris (known around these parts as illustrator of my children’s book With Grace) and book recommendations by Caribbean Reads publisher and author Carol Mitchell. It can be read in full online. And remember, you can also read my Miranda Askie feature in this 2021 edition of CREATIVE SPACE. (Source – linkedin)

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St. Lucian Poet John Robert Lee has posted an article on ways to revitalize and upgrade his country’s institutions and programmes to Jako Productions’ blog. Some interesting – and perhaps familiar – points. A Creative Arts Centre where cultural products are sold and which can also serve as an event space and restaurant, gallery, cafe, and artists meeting space. National gallery (Long overdue!) with retail space. Enhancement of library spaces and services. Supported and well maintained heritage spaces which can serve as cultural hubs. Strengthening of the government printery to produce cultural material. A vibrant performing arts space with creative arts training and certification opportunities. Needed as well, in addition to in-school instruction, is more public education (through traditional and social media channels) in the arts. There are, he points out, many practitioners who could be drawn on to serve as educators in their respective disciplines; it, and these other suggestions, just require a bit more initiative on the part of the powers that be. “The CDF needs to become more pro-active, more creative in their thinking, more truly supportive of the arts, and that across generations.” (Source – Jako Productions 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, 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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Wadadli Pen Trending (10-01-22)

As I did, on my personal/author blog, I thought I would share in a post here the top Wadadli Pen blogs and vlogs in the first week (give or take) of 2022.

Here on the blog, the 1- 5 trending posts or pages (not including the home page) are:

Opportunities Too (which I’m happy to see, as alerting writers/artists to opportunities is a vital part of our service to our community)

New Writing JWP Workshops Start This Week (the first session was January 7th 2022; updated schedule below)

A & B Artistes Discussing Art (Latest addition below)

Antiguan and Barbudan Cultural Icon – Paul King Obstinate Richards (as a bonus, check out this CREATIVE SPACE Playlist which leads off with a King Obstinate classic)

About WADADLI PEN

On the Wadadli Pen YouTube Channel (our vlog), there is a top 2:

One, a story from Wadadli Pen’s earliest seasons.

Two, stop on the media tour of our 2021 winner, Kevin Liddie.

This gives me an opportunity to say, with apologies, that I don’t yet know how 2022 is shaking out; hopefully, I’ll be able to say something before the end of the month. But obviously, more volunteers to assist with the YouTube channel, social media, and various administrative and communication tasks would be helpful. As with the previous Wadadli Pen intern, a college student looking for volunteer time and professional development, and possibly a recommendation letter, would be ideal.

As with all content on Wadadli Pen, 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/Perdida! Una Aventura en el Mar Caribe, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on 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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What did you love? (Top Wadadli Pen Blog Posts of 2021)

Top here is defined as most individual views. This year, four lists – one for pages on the blog (not including the home page), one for posts on the blog, one for new posts on the blog, and one for posts to the YouTube channel. The time period is the year to this point. The deep dive re engagement (likes, shares, comments etc.) that I typically do when preparing the Best of posts won’t be as meticulousness because I don’t have the time. I don’t want to make this too long, so rather than individual top 10s, I’m doing a top 20 overall which roughly breaks down to five per list. But! as taking the homepage away leaves only four pages, I’m going to round off with a new blog or vlog post that I think deserves more views. No, this isn’t the last post for the year…probably. But I guess I had time today.Here we go.

My Boost

Carib Lit Plus Mid to Late December 2021

I’m going with the latest from the Wadadli Pen art and culture bulletin as a way to remind you that I post two of these a month -on the front end and the back end, trying to round up as much arts news as I have time to research and write about. It is a service to the Caribbean arts community by keeping us aware of and connected to what’s going on with each other. I’m not the only one doing this, obviously, but it’s still amazing how much we don’t know. So, as much as we can, now you know. Use the search feature to find former editions of Carib Lit Plus.

Top New Posts

Revisiting Rupert ‘Littleman’ Pelle’s Contribution to Calypso in Antigua and Barbuda, and the Need for Recordkeeping

The award winning calypso songwriter gave an interview to Culture a week before his death in December 2020. I was glad I found this and had to share it. The title is commentary on the need for more cultural documentation more consistently.

Sub-theme ‘2020’ – Winner, and Main Prize – Honourable Mention (Wadadli Pen 2021) – Jason Gilead

It would appear that this honourable mention, ‘The Great Old Woodslave’, is the popularity winner of the 2021 season of the Wadadli Pen Challenge. Ironically, it’s written by someone who declares themselves not a writer and entered on a fluke with no intention or expectation of being picked.

Wadadli Pen 2021 – The Short List

The last preview to the Wadadli Pen challenge prize giving; it makes sense that people were checking in to see if they were still in the running.

Wadadli Pen Challenge – Who Won What in 2021?

And naturally on the heels of the short list, the winners.

Wadadli Pen 2021 Challenge – The Long List

Self-explanatory.

Takeaway: It’s good to see the interest in the Challenge, and it makes sense; but be sure to check out other content.

Top Posts

Revisiting Rupert ‘Littleman’ Pelle’s Contribution to Calypso in Antigua and Barbuda, and the Need for Recordkeeping

The award winning calypso songwriter gave an interview to Culture a week before his death in December 2020. I was glad I found this and had to share it. The title is commentary on the need for more cultural documentation more consistently.

Antiguan and Barbudan Cultural Icon – Paul King Obstinate Richards

Speaking of record keeping, I’ve tried to do some of that here on the blog and this tribute to one of the Big Three of Antiguan Calypso (The Undefeated) is an example of it. This actually is not a new one; this is almost 10 years old (and I’m going to have to resist the urge to fix the links to videos that have since been removed because I simply don’t have the time).

Nobody go run Me (Lyrics)

This is a classic by the Monarch King Short Shirt one-third of the Big Three and an entry from a few years ago into the site’s lyrics project. I remain committed to this project but transcribing these songs is time consuming. If you think you’re intern material and this is the kind of project you might be into, email wadadlipen@gmail.com

Antiguan and Barbudan Writings

This is perhaps the most important project, second only to our efforts to nurture new writers via the Challenge and related workshop activities, keeping this data base of writings from and by Antiguans and Barbudans. We have a canon; it is much more substantial than I realized when I started keeping this record and it continues to grow. Any blog intern will probably have to assist with maintaining this as well; if that’s you, email wadadlipen@wadadlipen

Antiguan and Barbudan Cultural Icon – Oscar Mason Remembered

I like that I was right place right time to take this picture (and gain an appreciation for the musicianship of the whole Mason clan and the pioneering legacy of Oscar Mason). Shout out to Auntie Esther Henry who back in the 90s and early aughts organized concerts and other activities to celebrate our culture such as this Oscar Mason tribute concert, and then ‘harrassed’ the media to show up. I was the media. I showed up. And I don’t regret it.

Takeaway: The oldies are still the goodies. Check out some of our newer posts from time to time though, too, okay?

Top Pages

Wadadli Pen 2021

This is the how to submit page which includes the guidelines etc. for challenge submissions; so that makes sense. Also, good that people are checking it and trying to get their submissions right. Makes it easier for processing.

About Wadadli Pen

This is perhaps the most important page on the site; it’s the project history, present, and future. It’s a record of what we’ve done and are doing, and what some of our past finalists have gone on to do.

R & D

This is a new page which gathers the various site resources and data bases in to one place.

Team Wadadli Pen

This is one of the newer pages – set up around when we got our legal non-profit status. They’ve been mentioned before in posts but I decided to set up a page as a way of introducing everyone to the team in a more permanent way.

Tops from the Wadadli Pen YouTube page

GMAB June 2nd 2021

Interview with the winning author on ABS TV’s Good Morning Antigua Barbuda. Kevin Liddie explains, he was also reluctant to enter, as he was going through a difficult patch, but he did have a pre-exising interest in writing that has been re-ignited.

Father and Daughter win with Wadadli Pen

We did the Challenge awards announcement by zoom (far from perfect but much improved from 2020 which was also a virtual year and a simple announcement but badly produced). We were fortunate to have the winners on the zoom and to hear from them during the ceremony.

Wadadli Pen Awards – The First Winner of the Zuri Holder Achievement Award Announced

Zuri Holder was one of my children, not biologically but in that I’ve been knowing him since he was a wee one through my years volunteering with the Cushion Club, I remember his graduation from secondary school when his father invited me to say some words just a few years ago, and, of course, his times as a Wadadli Pen finalist just a few years before that. I never imagined having to be at his funeral but that’s how 2021 started. Right around my birth date, as it happened. His father set up this award in his memory, though, of course, we would rather have him here with us. He lives on in our hearts, in our memories, and in this prize. This is the announcement of the first person whose name was etched unto the plaque.

Judge explains Why We chose It

Because I perceive Wadadli Pen as an arts development project, I love when we take the opportunity to give feedback on the winning submissions. If only we could do it for all. This year the logistics of doing it even for the winning pieces was too much for me, so I asked one of our judges to explain why we chose the winning piece as an example of what works and why.

World Book and Copyright Day Chat with Barbadian Author Cherie Jones

The Barbados Embassy sent me this one and I was happy to share it. I haven’t read her book, How the One-Armed Sister sweeps Her House, yet, but she is having a year. The kind of year writers like me dream of – go forth and conquer, sis.

Takeaway: the Wadadli Pen YouTube channel could be more dynamic but I would need more time. If this is an area you would be interested in volunteering with – i.e. creating Wadadli Pen YouTube content and boosting the channel and all of Wadadli Pen across social media – email wadadlipen@gmail.com In fact, volunteering generally whereever help is needed.

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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Wadadli Pen Storytime

The video below is a dramatized reading of The Irate Beggar by Damani Tabor. Yes, that Damani Tabor (political spokesperson). He was a Wadadli Pen finalist in 2004 and we’re sharing this story to remind you to check out the Wadadli Pen YouTube channel to which this and other audios of past winning Wadadli Pen stories have been uploaded.

There you will find the Wadadli Pen story/submissions playlist, a playlist for the Wadadli Pen Reading Room and Gallery, a playlist for the Carib Lit Plus series, the Wadadli Pen 2021 (Challenge) playlist, and an Independence 2020 book event playlist.

This channel is a continuation of our efforts since 2004 to nurture and showcase the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda. It is a work in progress.

Watch, like, subscribe, and share. And if you would like to intern (preferably college age seeking professional development experience) and/or volunteer with Wadadli Pen to help us grow the channel, our online presence, and build Wadadli Pen in other ways, or support the work in any way, email wadadlipen@gmail.com

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 December 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).

RIP

Rest in Peace and Power to media commentator and Rastafari elder King Frank-I who died on December 6th 2021.

Image: front page of the Daily Observer newspaper.

The Antiguan and Barbudan ambassador (to Ethiopia), whose government name was Franklyn Francis, was “a respected voice in sports broadcasting” (Caribbean Loop). Frank-I, part of the intellectual class as a graduate of the University of the West Indies and University of Glasgow (at a time when that level of tertiary education was not common in Antigua and Barbuda) was also renowned throughout local and regional media for his commentary on society, culture, current affairs, and history. He was a staunch advocate for the decriminalization of marijuana and for the constitutional rights of Rastafari generally (Caribdirect). (Source – Facebook)

Blog Love (drawing your attention to new blogs we’re following or blog posts we’ve read to share the love as we hope others will share our content)

Started following Women Writers Worldwide – as with most of these reading the world posts we’ve come across, for Antigua and Barbuda, they are reading Jamaica Kincaid (which makes sense as she is the best known and most acclaimed Antiguan and Barbudan writer, though we hope they’ll use our database to discover other voices from the #268)

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Give the Tim Tim Bwa Fik playlist a listen – it has conversations in two parts with Caribbean romance writers like the British Virgin Islands’ Eugenia O’Neal, Trinidad and Tobago N. G. Peltier (a recent addition to the Wadadli Pen Reading Room and Gallery -see Site Updates below), and Barbados’ Callie Browning. Scroll and hit the playlist.

Books

Pictured are children’s picture books by Antiguan and Barbudan authors who also happen to be Wadadli Pen team members, featuring Dance on the Moon, the latest from Floree Whyte (her previous book The Wonderful World of Yohan is also pictured). Congrats to Whyte (whom I will be interviewing shortly for CREATIVE SPACE) on this new release. Pictured as well is my The Jungle Outside and Barbara Arrindell’s Turtle Beach, both from Harper Collins’ Big Cat series. Whyte’s books are independently published by her own Moondancer Books. (Source – Best of Books)

For other new Antiguan and Barbudan books – like Kortright Davis’ We Belong to Big Church, Joan Underwood’s companion workbook for her Manager’s First Aid Kit: Bringing the Lessons to Life, and Floree Williams Whyte’s Dance on the Moon – see Site Updates. And there’s this new journal, Coffee and Violets, from Sally Davis:

(Source – author on Facebook)

Site Updates

Books added to Antiguan and Barbudan Writing, Antiguan and Barbudan Children’s Literature, and Antiguan and Barbudan Non-Fiction Writing.

Expired opportunities removed, forthcoming opportunities added to Opportunities Too.

Interview links have been added to Reading Room and Gallery 42.

A video has been added to the Wadadli Pen 2021 Challenge video gallery.

Wadadli Pen Storytime.

Opportunities

December 15th 2021 – Decides Antigua and Barbuda (a project of interarts, Women Against Rape, and UWI), has announced an opportunity to explore what gender equality, sexual identities, and inclusivity means to you. To win EC$1500, create something – a song, video, dramatic presentation, graphic design or other visual art – and submit by December 15th 2021. See Women Against Rape in Antigua and Barbuda for more information (or call 268-721-5553). (Source – WAR email)

Remember to see Opportunities Too on Wadadli Pen so you don’t miss anything.

Wadadli Pen-related

There’s some overlap as Floree’s new book (above) and my media award (below) could fit in to this category – it’s all evolving. So, not quite sure where to put this video, so here seems as good a place as any. It is my reading, for the ABS TV Book Club, from my latest book (this series of readings also included, though I don’t have the video or a link, as yet, another Wadadli Pen team member Barbara Arrindell and Desryn Collins, both of whom also have books in the Harper Collins Caribbean line of Big Cat books which also came out in 2021).

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Former Wadadli Pen finalist and later (2017) intern Michaela Harris was in the local paper this week for the work of an NGO she apparently started in 2018 and, specifically during the 16 days of activism against domestic violence, its focus on young women. The non-profit is called Her Shine Theory and Michaela is quoted as saying, “Her Shine Theory is driven by a recognised need to support, guide and empower young women to define what authentically being their best self means, rather than succumbing to pressure and societal expectations of women at any given time; while acknowledging and respecting differences amongst women. Her Shine Theory advocates for fierce self-love, self-care and self-respect in its development of young women in our society and creates a sisterhood of support in this endeavour.” HST has reportedly been very active online and will be partnering (at this writing) with the Directorate of Gender Affairs on a candlelight vigil to draw attention to the issue of domestic violence. The HST has 15 ambassadors locally and regionally. (Source – Daily Obsever newspaper)

News

Twenty-three art teachers from public and private schools in Antigua and Barbuda have completed a three-month art teaching certification course, sponsored by the Halo Foundation and Jumby Bay Fund in conjunction with the Royal Drawing School in the UK, the Ministry of Education, and the G art gallery. Local artist counterpart, Anson Henry, assisted with the programme – which was developed after a needs assessment. (Source – Daily Observer newspaper)

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Commonwealth Writers has reported 6, 730 submissions for its annual short story prize. This is the most submissions to date. “Stand out countries included Antigua and Barbuda, Namibia, Mauritius and the Seychelles who saw a 400% increase in their number of entries compared to last year.” This is a sharp incline from just a few years ago when submissions from Antigua and Barbuda were such a cause for concern that concern was raised (with me) as recently as 2018 by CW and efforts were made through Wadadli Pen to encourage writer submissions from Antigua and Barbuda. CW reports, “The variety of themes within your stories also reached new levels. The most common themes were family drama, love and coming of age tales. Over 1,922 of you submitted stories on other diverse themes ranging from femicide, to mental health, racism, religion and the pandemic.” Judging is underway and longlisted writers will be announced in April 2022. (Source – CW email)

Events

The Langston Hughes Festival honoured Jamaica Kincaid in November 2021 (I – Joanne C Hillhouse – was one of the writers invited to pay tribute) and now we have video –

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Bocas’ Bios and Bookmarks welcomes Myriam Chancy –

(Source – Facebook)

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Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival online reading group –

(Source – Facebook)

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A quick round up of some recent book signing events at Wadadli Pen patron The Best of Books bookstore.

This has included (pictured above) 2021 Wadadli Pen patron Patricia Tully for her Pioneers of the Caribbean in November; preceded in October by Montserrat writer Marguerite J. Joseph’s Lady under the Stairs and in December by US based Antiguan writer Bridget Samuel Charles’ No Regrets: The Story of Elline Merle Derene. (Source – possibly Facebook…also Tully signing in-person)

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This is from early in 2021 but still makes for essential viewing. Caribbean Women’s Writing: Celebrating 30 Years out of the Kumbla.

(Source – email…I think)

Accolades

Trinbagonian Desiree C. Bailey is a 2021 National Book Awards for Poetry finalist for her collection What Noise Against the Cane – previously the winner of the 2020 Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize. ‘What Noise Against the Cane is a lyric quest for belonging and freedom, weaving political resistance, Caribbean folklore, immigration and the realities of Black life in America. Desiree C. Bailey begins by reworking the epic in an oceanic narrative of bondage and liberation in the midst of the Haitian Revolution. The poems move into the contemporary Black diaspora, probing the mythologies of home, belief, nation and womanhood. Series judge Carl Phillips observes that Bailey’s “poems argue for hope and faith equally. . . . These are powerful poems, indeed, and they make a persuasive argument for the transformative powers of steady defiance.”’ (book summary). The book was published in April 2021. Desiree is from Trinidad and Tobago, and Queens, New York. She lives in Providence, RI. (Source – instagram, I think)

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Britain-based Guyanese poet Grace Nichols will be awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for her body of work.

‘“Over the past four decades, Grace has been an original, pioneering voice in the British poetry scene,” said (chair of the Poetry Medal Committee Simon) Armitage. “Her poems are alive with characters from the folklore and fables of her Caribbean homeland, and echo with the rhymes and rhythms of her family and ancestors … They are also passionate and sensuous at times, being daring in their choice of subject and openhearted in their outlook.”

“Above all, Grace Nichols has been a beacon for black women poets in this country, staying true to her linguistic coordinates and poetic sensibilities, and offering a means of expression that has offered inspiration and encouragement to many.”

Nichols, who moved to Britain aged 27, will become the 52nd recipient of the award, and the second in her own household – her husband John Agard won it in 2012. She is due to be presented with the medal in 2022.’ (The Guardian)

(Source – Twitter)

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Jamaican writer Kei Miller was earlier this year named one of the Society of Authors’ Awards 2021 winners, specifically one of five recipients of the Cholmondeley Awards to distinguished poets. The prize is based out of the UK where Miller, who has recently relocated to the US, lived for many years. “In his acceptance speech, Kei Miller described his Cholmondeley Award as ‘a wonderful reminder that we belong to so many societies and so many countries’.” (Source – One News Page)

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This is kind of a full circle moment really. I’ve blogged about the outcome of the OECS Journalist Challenge before – this was the formalities. (Source – Daily Observer newspaper)

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Robyn Rihanna Fenty – international superstar – is Barbados’ new national hero. This honour was conferred during the country’s formal conversion to a parliamentary republic.

Previously, Barbados like many other former British West Indian territories was an independent nation within the Commonwealth realm with the Queen of England still the titular head of state. Within these constitutional monarchies, the Governor General acts as the Queen’s representative, a largely symbolic role, with the governance of the country vested in the executive branch and the legislature – elected by the people. With this move, Barbados has removed the symbolic relationship with the crown and the former governor general has now been made president. Other parliamentary republics among the English speaking Caribbean countries are Dominica and Trinidad and Tobago. Rihanna, one of a handful of single name recognition pop artists, is a Grammy winning, multi-million (reportedly 250 million) selling global superstar, who has also made inroads in Hollywood and in the worlds of fashion and beauty – notably through her Fenty lines of cosmetics and clothing. She is reportedly a billionaire and the richest woman in music. Her Clara Lionel Foundation, named for her grandparents, contributes millions to health causes, including cancer and COVID-19. She was previously an ambassador of Barbados. As the country’s tenth national hero she joins politicians Errol Barrow, Grantley Adams, Hugh Springer, and Samuel Prescod, slave rebellion leader Bussa, activists Sarah Ann Gill and Dr. Charles O’Neal, trade unionists Frank Walcott and Clement Payne, and international cricketer Garfield Sobers. (Source – Linkedin)

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Among the Caribbean authors listed among NPR (US National Public Radio’s) Best Books of 2021 are Barbadian Cherie Jones’ How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House and Haiti’s Myriam J. A. Chancy’s What Storm What Thunder. Those are the ones I caught; if I missed any books by Caribbean authors, let me know. (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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YouTube Starts Hiding Dislike Counts to Curb Creator Harassment — Variety

YouTube is giving a thumbs-down to its longstanding “dislike” feature. In an effort to thwart “dislike attacks” on creators, YouTube said that starting Wednesday (Nov. 10) it will start hiding public dislike counts. The change will roll out gradually across the entire platform. However, the dislike button will remain: YouTube viewers can still dislike videos,…

YouTube Starts Hiding Dislike Counts to Curb Creator Harassment — Variety

I don’t think I’ve ever hit the dislike button on any YouTube video. If I like it, I tend to watch more (and ultimately subscribe), comment, like – probably in that order, but I don’t ever hit dislike. Because, why?

Anyway, consider this your reminder to subscribe to the Wadadli Pen YouTube channel. And if you’re a young Antiguan and Barbudan interested in the literary arts who thinks you might like interning (helping with the channel and other Wadadli Pen related activities), reach out, we may soon be in a space to start building that pool of interns and volunteers. If you have reached out before, do so again -we’re a small team and sometimes need a bump. Email wadadlipen@gmail.com

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, Oh Gad!, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure/Perdida! Una Aventura en el Mar Caribe, and The Jungle Outside). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page onauthor blog  and/or facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen, my books, and my freelance writing-editing-coaching-workshop services. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Carib Lit Plus (Early to Mid November 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).

Happy Independence, Antigua-Barbuda

November 1st 1981 was Independence Day in Antigua and Barbuda which makes this our 40th birthday. The 2021 Independence season was launched on 22nd October, scaled down, as was last year due to the ongoing pandemic – and our vaccinate rate still not at the levels required – but still including a number of arts activities: e.g. festival of choirs, pan competition, and student art mural unveiling at Antigua Recreation Grounds.

This art adorns the southwall of the ARG. It is not a single mural but a series of images – more a montage on the theme of national iconography – completed over a two week period by students and art teachers from the Sir Novelle Richards Academy, All Saints Secondary School, Glanvilles Secondary School, Trinity Academy and St. Mary’s Secondary School. The initiative was sponsored by State Insurance and Paint Plus and spearheaded by the Ministry of Education.

Independence season ends November 1st with the ceremonial parade which is typically followed by the food fair but, while, local local food cravings are high at this time, we will have to go searching for our fix as gatherings of the size of the food fair are still off the menu. ETA: The National Awards were announced during the ceremonial parade and, in the arts, Halcyon Steel Orchestra is one of the recipients. They receive the institutional honour – the most precious order of princely heritage (gold) for contribution to culture through the development and advance of steelband and steel pan music.

(Source – Facebook)

Independence related: check out my special Independence themed CREATIVE SPACE (written for the Daily Observer newspaper Independence issue) and the related playlist which is on my AntiguanWriter YouTube channel. Another list in the issue is by veteran media broadcaster Dave Lester Payne.

Opportunities

The last Bocas workshop for the 2021 season takes place this November 27th, plus there are two noteworthy fellowships for emerging writers, one from Bocas and one from UWI among other opportunities with upcoming deadlines in our Opportunities Too database. Don’t forget to check in with the page from time to time, so you don’t miss anything. Here’s the link.

Wadadli Pen News

Wadadli Pen is legally incorporated as a non-profit, something I’ve wanted for some time and activated when I pulled our team together a few years ago (2016) to work with me toward laying a foundation for this project I started way back in 2004. It is no longer a project. It is a non-profit. I need to let it settle and then, with my partners, figure out what happens next. But this is a major goal achieved. Thanks to Henry and Burnette, and especially E. Ann Henry for the pro bono legal assistance and to Juneth Webson for her financial contribution to the registration process. (Source – in house)

Accolades

Derron Sandy is the 2021 winner of the First Citizens National Poetry Slam in Trinidad and Tobago – it was his fifth go at the prize. His winning presenation was an ode to food vendors during lockdown restrictions entitled ‘The Real Warlords’. Past two-time back-to-back champion Alexandra Stewart placed second with Michael Logie coming in third (they won TT$20,000 and $10,000, respectively). Derron’s prize is TT$50,000. More in TnT Newsday. (Source – N/A)

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The shortlist for the first Bocas Lit Fest Children’s Book Prize has been announced and it includes a member of the Wadadli Pen family, past patron and judge, (and, as the owner of Caribbean Reads publishing, publisher of two of my books), featured here on the blog several times over the years, US-based Nevisian writer Carol Mitchell. Mitchell’s summer 2021 release Chaos in Castries, book 5 in her Caribbean Adventure Series, is one of three short listed books.

It features characters familiar to readers of the long running series in a new-to-them Caribbean setting where they meet new people and have new adventures with historical resonance. “When Mark’s mother sends him and Chee Chee to St. Lucia to experience the cultural festival of Jounen Kwéyòl, Mark is thrown into another action-packed, time-travel adventure with one of the festival dancers. Mark and his new friend Danielle get caught in the middle of a cultural struggle between the British and the Afro-Caribbean people at a time when participating in creole festivals could land you in big trouble. Many of the events in Chaos in Castries take place in the Derek Walcott square, a public square located in Castries, St. Lucia. It was established in the 1760s and was named Columbus Square in 1892. In 1993, it was renamed to honour Nobel Laureate Sir Derek Walcott who received the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature.” (book summary) The book is illustrated by Mitchell’s longtime collaborator Ann-Catherine Loo.

The other shortlisted books includes one of the hottest trending books since its 2020 release, and especially so since receiving the boost of being named to Oprah Magazine’s best Caribbean books for your 2021 reading list and winning the Rebel Women Lit’s Reader’s Choice award for best middle grade/tween novel earlier this year, When Life gives you Mangoes by Jamaican-British writer Kereen Getten. “Inspired by the author’s childhood experiences, When Life Give You Mangos is a celebration of island life as well as a rich, lyrical mystery.” (book summary)

The other shortlisted book A Different Me A Better You, like Chaos in Castries (Caribbean Reads), is publishedby an indie press based in the Caribbean region, Blue Banyan of Jamaica. Mangoes is published by Delacorte Press, a division of America’s Random House and Pushkin Press in the UK. Janet Morrison, a Jamaican and veteran media worker, is a BBC award winning playwright, who collected her most recent prize, the Jean D’Costa Prize at Jamaica’s Lignum Vitae Awards, for Better You. Its five short stories “is a celebration of difference where five young heroes share their dreams of dancing, adventure and being seen for who they really are, and we are all a little better to know them.” (book summary)

The winner of the US$1000 prize will be announced on November 28th 2021. (Source – Facebook)

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Writing Gender into the Caribbean by Patricia Mohammad (Hansib Books) is the 2021 winner of the Barbara T. Christian Awards from the Caribbean Studies Association. It is described as “vital scholarship”. (Source – Paper-Based Books bookshop in TnT on Twitter)

(New or New-ish) Books

Little John Crow by Ziggy Marley, Orly Marley, and Gordon Rowe (illustrator) dropped this November. In it, Little John Crow, a young vulture growing up in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, is abandoned by his animal friends and must come to terms with what it means to be part of a community when you are a vulture.

(Source – Akashic Books on Twitter)

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Crucian Fusion by Apple Gidley is a collection of fact and fiction that speaks to the rich history as well as present day St Croix. Provoked by thoughts, good and bad, the essays tell of nearly nine years on island. The short stories are based on historical events and the Census of 1846. (Source – author email)

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I missed this one back in June, Caribbean American Heritage Month, but I’m posting right in time for you to add to your Christmas list. It’s Yahoo! Sports, yes Yahoo! Sports’, listing of must-read Caribbean books. On the list, Barbadian author Callie Browning’s The Girl with the Hazel Eyes, Jamaican author Maisy Card’s These Ghosts are Family, Alexia Arthurs’ How to Love a Jamaican, Trinidadian Caroline Mackenzie’s One Year of Ugly, Elizabeth Acevedo, an American of Dominican (Sp.) descent’s Clap When You Land, Trinbagonian Tracey Baptiste’s The Jumbies, Maika and Maritza Moulite, born in the US to Haitian immigrants’ Dear Haiti, Love Alaine, Bermudian Florenz Webbe Maxwell’s Burt Award winning Girlcott, Virgin Islander Cadwell Turnbull’s The Lesson, and TrinBajan Londoner Ingrid Persaud’s Love after Love. (Source – N/A)

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Guyanese born, UK based Pauline Melville released The Master of Chaos and Other Fables in summer 2021. (Source – JR Lee email)

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My Time at the Door by Dean Fenton has been aded to the Antiguan and Barbudan Writing and Antiguan and Barbudan Poetry databases. This is his second book and was released in summer 2021. (Source – social media)

Community

Trinidad and Tobago born Canadian poet M. Nourbese Philip is protesting the Italian translation of her book Zong! An online petition has been set up calling for the destruction of the work and a public apology. The author explains her grievance on her website, and brings receipts. Apparently, the book’s publisher Wesleyan University Press sold translation rights to Benway Series Press without the author’s knowledge for $150. “WUP did not inform me that the rights had been sold nor did they put me in touch with the translator Renata Morresi or Benway Series Press,” the author writes, also calling out the Canada Council which funded the translation. “…and yet no one thought it necessary to consult with me, the Black and African-descended author of the said work, which engages with the transatlantic slave trade and which, as plainly stated on the cover—as told to the author by Setaey Adamu Boateng—involved Ancestral voices.” Beyond this, Philip takes issue with the actual translation which reportedly changes the organizational structure of her poems, and argues that this is in breach of the international translator’s code. She said her concerns have been ignored by all parties; though with one seemingly positive outcome (so far): “In response to these events WUP has changed its policies concerning informing authors of sale of licenses and has set a minimum fee of $500 for print runs under 1,000 books.” Review all and support the author’s cause if so moved by signing the petition or sharing. (Source – JR Lee email)

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I just googled Blackout Cultural Park and Fitzroy Brann and couldn’t find anything to speak of, not even in the waybackmachine and that didn’t sit right with me. So, google, this one’s for you. Brann is primarily renowned for his work in sports development and when he died in 2019, that’s what was highlighted. But I remember some of the first regular poetry sesssions I participated in as a local writer when I, and others, like Dotsie Isaac Gellizeau, who shared some of her first works there (usually through her sister’s voice as she was still hesitant to use her own), was at Blackout. It was a long trek out of town but we gathered there on a weekend night, many a weekend night, Fridays, I think, to discover and share our stories – it’s there that I started slowly gaining confidence as a writer in a public space. Blackout was Fitzroy Brann. As someone noted in this article by his daughter Mickel, Brann “was a community activist, a sports enthusiast and an ardent lover of culture and the arts.” Blackout Cultural Park and those open mic literary nights (which in addition to poetry, included singing, instrumental solos, and comedy as people felt inspired) in the (I think) late 90s/early aughts deserve a paragraph in the story of the evolution of Antiguan and Barbudan literary arts. Those scenes don’t last forever and I remember we migrated from Blackout to Traffic, a club in town, after a time, and then that fizzled and other things popped off and fizzled (Expressions etc.), and on like that. (Source – Daily Observer newspaper)

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In the last CREATIVE SPACE, I referenced a death in the Antigua and Barbuda media fraternity, and perhaps for the first time in this space did some very minor mask, social distancing, and vaccine activism. It’s become such a fraught space and Wadadli Pen is not the space for my personal missions. But, I’ve found a loophole, because Wadadli Pen is a place for creative, and especially literary arts, and this article I’m about to link comes by way of lithub.com – a valuable literary arts resource. The article is an excerpt from the 2021 book The Plague Cycle: The Unending War Between Humanity and Infectious Disease by Charles Kenny. I’d like to share this part (because too often I hear people say, I’m good as though we don’t exist in a world with other people, as if our actions don’t affect other people):

It isn’t just the vaccine deniers and their unfortunate children who’d be harmed: some people really can’t be given vaccines and they’d suffer the consequences from circulating infections. When she was two, Ashley Echols had a kidney transplant. As part of the transplant procedure, children are given drugs that suppress their immune response so that the body doesn’t reject the transplanted organ. As a result, she couldn’t complete the standard vaccination regimen. Had Ashley taken the chickenpox vaccine in her weakened state, she might have contracted chickenpox from it. And because of her suppressed immune system, the condition would have been life-threatening. But in June 2017, eleven-year-old Ashley was exposed to a child with chickenpox in Atlanta. So she was rushed to the hospital emergency room to be injected with immunoglobulin. Camille Echols, Ashley’s mother, shared the story on Facebook. She ended her post saying “She has been through so much already. And this was avoidable.”

You can read the whole article here. (Source – LitHub newsletter)

Readings + Events

The Bocas lit fest has a series of virtual conversations with authors known as Bios & Bookmarks. Season Six kicks (or, depending on when you’re reading this, kicked) off with author Barbara Lalla. Tune in November 14th 3 p.m. AST via the Bocas facebook page. I have to say between the book awards, fellowships, workshops, conversations, and, of course, the literary festival, while I would like to see more…resonance… in underserved parts of the Caribbean, Bocas is doing a impactful work developmentally and promotionally re lit arts in the broader Caribbean region.

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The first British Virgin Islands literary festival was held this November, 2nd to 13th. It was a semi-virtual collaboration between the H. Lavity Scoutt Community College and the BVI department of culture. Announced writers included Andre Bagoo (TT), Amanda Choo Quan (TT), Amilcar Sanatan (TT), Anthony Anaxagorou (UK), Cadwell Turnbull (USVI), Canisia Lubrin (SLU), Des Seebaran (TT), Eugenia O’Neal (BVI), Tiphanie Yanique (USVI), Tami Navarro (USVI), Traci O’Dea (US), Raymond Antrobus (UK), and BVI poet laureate Richard Georges (BVI). Activities included a series of workshops, film screening, and panels. (Source – JR Lee email)

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Patricia Tully will be having a signing of her book Pioneers of the Caribbean, co-authored with Ingrid Lambie. Venue is the Best of Books, St. Mary’s Street, Antigua, on November 20th 2021. This book was one of the Wadadli Pen 2021 Challenge prize.

(Source – Best of Books on Facebook)

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Jamaica Kincaid is the honoured guest at the City College of New York’s 2021 Langston Hughes Festival on November 18th 2021, and here’s where you can get tickets to view online. The Festival describes the Ovals, Antigua born writer’s work – which includes novels Annie John, Lucy, Autobiography of My Mother, Mr. Potter, and See Now Then – as “original and essential” and I (Ottos, Antigua writer Joanne C. Hillhouse) am one of the people slated to speak on the writer and her work. For my other recent appearances, go here.

Here we are together at the 2015 US Virgin Islands Literary Festival at which she was the keynote speaker and I was a presenter.

Other speakers at the event will be Linda Villarosa, an American author and journalist, and former executive editor of Essence magazine; Laura K. Alleyne, a Trinidad born, award winning poet and author; American musician of Ecuadioran descent Helado Negro; and professor of french and Africana studies Kaima L. Glover. (Source – in house)

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Guyanese writer Imam Baksh is part of the IWP panel discussion series alongside Salha Obaid of the UAE and Candace Chong Mui Ngam of Hong Kong. The topic, Imagination <> Computation. The time, Friday 5th November 12 – 1 p.m. CST. The stream can be viewed at the Iowa City Public Library, The Library Channel. Read more about Baksh (Children of the Spider) and other IWP writers-in-residence for 2021 here. (Source – Twitter)

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Dominica-UK’s Papillote Press continues its reading series featuring its authors, the latest installment ‘What do I know’ by Dominica’s Celia Sorhaindo (watch the video in our Reading Room and Gallery). The Bocas longlisted poetry collection Guabancex, where this poem and others in which Sorhaindo processes life after hurricane Maria can be found, has amassed many positive reviews including one by me. For Sorhaindo, it was life changing – both the 2017 storm and the collection. A Papillote release quotes her as saying, “Hurricane Maria was a very traumatic time. We saw the worst side of nature, and the best and worst sides of human nature, and went through incredible mental and physical challenges. Writing the poems for this chapbook was a therapeutic exercise, a way of trying to make sense of, work through and process all that happened.” (Source – publisher 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, 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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Jhohadli Writing Project for Wadadli Pen @ the Botanical Gardens

Saturday 28th August was the last of the summer workshop sessions planned for the Wadadli Pen 2021 long listed writers, facilitated by me through my Jhohadli Writing Project. While three previous sessions took place via zoom, this was an in-person session. I actually had planned initially to use the Public Library but after receiving a no from them for a Saturday session, I decided to move things over to the Botanical Gardens. And it worked out better, I think; lots of fresh air and space to distance, lots of writing, and lots of natural inspiration.

This is one participant evaluation after a zoom session; others are expected (will share when they come in). But, in the meantime, follow this blog and/or my Jhohadli blog to connect to future workshop opportunities. Anything here is non-profit (so will require patronage) and the Jhohadli Writing Project over on my personal blog is not-non-profit (requiring payment by individual participants and/or patronage, e.g. a contribution in this instance from G. Linton, to cover some or all of my time for prep and delivery of workshops, and related expenses).

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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Wadadli Pen Note

In line at the ATM here in Antigua recently, a young lady asked me if I was me and I said yes, not sure where it was going. When she seemed satisfied to leave it there, I asked her where we knew each other from and she said she had entered (and I believe won a prize in) Wadadli Pen back when she was in school. I asked her if she was still writing and she did something between a scoff and a laugh and an are you kidding that I found funny when she said, no.

I recently did a pitch which if successful will give me the opportunity to present on the impact of Wadadli Pen. Is it weird that I think this young lady as much a part of the story as the past finalist who is now a copy editor in New York – yeah, just saw that one on linkedin.

The Wadadli Pen narrative has never been about just making writers but about giving young people an avenue for creative expression, even if years later the very idea of them becoming a writer gives us both a laugh in line at the ATM.

Prizes is also not the point of Wadadli Pen, just a little brawta, but photo calls like this from the 2012 awards are good time markers as these young people go on to live full lives and do amazing things, through or outside of Wadadli Pen. I say through because in this picture I see a future Wadadli Pen intern and about three future winners, but in every face and every smile I see so much still to be tapped potential.

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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