Tag Archives: Yvonne Weekes

Carib Lit Plus (Early to Mid June 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).

Opportunities

Reminding readers (especially writers and other artists seeking journals, competitions, grants, or fellowships, and students seeing scholarship opportunities) to regularly check Opportunities Too. (Source – me)

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Creative Writing sessions with me, Barbara Andrea Arrindell, begin this evening, Tuesday (June 7th 2022) via Zoom. WhatsApp 7257396 for details. (Source – N/A)

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My next writing session (Jhohadli Writing Project) is July 1st 2022.

(Source – me)

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The next big regional writing comp for short stories is the Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival with only weeks left to polish and submit your entry. We’ve told you about it before but, as a reminder, the prize is US$1750 to a previously unpublished work of short fiction of 3000 words or fewer. The prize is named for Trinidad-American writer Elizabeth Nunez. The Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival is a Brooklyn-based organisation devoted to blazing a trail for Caribbean literature within the American diaspora. The BCLF Short Fiction Story Contest is geared towards unearthing and encouraging the distinctive voice and story of the Caribbean-descended writer and expanding the creative writing landscape of Caribbean literature. Go here for more information. This year’s judges are editor and publisher Tanya Batson-Savage of Jamaica and Ayesha Gibson of Barbados. (Source – email)

Accolades

Elaine Jacobs, born in Antigua, though living most of her life in the US Virgin Islands was named in December 2021 as the winner of the Marvin E. Williams Literary Prize for new or emerging writers from The Caribbean Writer. She won for the story ‘Going without Shoes’.

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Antiguan writer Brenda Lee Browne’s Just Write page won a six word ‘Gratitude’ themed story competition and Hazra Medica has been announced as the winner for her story, “Time and cocoa butter lightens scars”. Alison Sly Adams has also been awarded a prize for “Not terminal was a new beginning.”

Hazra has won the 5.0 gift bag with gifts from Just Write – Brenda Lee Browne (collage, black and white print, Just Write Antigua journal and mug), Ten Pages Bookstore (Books of Wings by Tawhida Tanya Evanson), Kimolisa Mings (She wanted a Love Poem), Mangohead Productions (plaque), and Galtigua (a tote bag); and Alison won an original Paper Relief art piece gifted by artist Imogen Margrie and Just Write Antigua Journal (BLB). The prize was announced on June 4th 2022, Brenda Lee’s birthday, planned as it was as part of her celebration, open to writers 18 and older in Antigua and Barbuda. (Source – Facebook)

New Publications

There’s a new CREATIVE SPACE arts and culture column every other Wednesday in the Daily Observer newspaper, extended edition online at Jhohadli. If you’ve missed the 2022 season of CREATIVE SPACE, you’ve missed conversations with authors, cultural activists, producers, fashion designer; as well as, musical revues, discussions around gender, and reporting on Caribbean arts activity. Catch up on CREATIVE SPACE 2022 here.

(Source – me)

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The publication of Voices: Monologues and Plays for Caribbean Actors (edited by Yvonne Weekes), print publication 2021 and e-publication 2022 , and Disaster Matters: Disasters Matter (co-edited by Yvonne Weekes and Wendy McMahon), published 2022, both by St. Martin’s House of Nehesi Publishers saw Weekes making book stops at the St. Martin’s Book Fair, Montserrat where Weekes lived after re-locating from the UK before finally settling in Barbados where she still lives, and Antigua and Barbuda where she conducted a series of workshops and had a launch and book signing. She also held a writers clinic via zoom with Barbados’ National Cultural Foundation. Voices has been added to the listing of plays and the main books data base here on Wadadli Pen as it includes two plays by local leading playwright and director Zahra Airall. As seen below, contributors hail from Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Martin, and Antigua-Barbuda.

(Source – Facebook)

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Trinidad-American author Elizabeth Nunez has a new book, Now Lila Knows, out with Akashic Press. Lila Bonnard has left her island home in the Caribbean to join the faculty as a visiting professor at Mayfield College in a small Vermont town. On her way from the airport to Mayfield, Lila witnesses the fatal shooting of a Black man by the police. It turns out that the victim was a professor at Mayfield, and was giving CPR to a white woman who was on the verge of an opioid overdose. The two Black faculty and a Black administrator in the otherwise all-white college expect Lila to be a witness in the case against the police. Unfortunately, Lila fears that in the current hostile political climate against immigrants of color she may jeopardize her position at the college by speaking out, and her fiancé advises her to remain neutral. Now Lila Knows is a gripping story that explores our obligation to act when confronted with the unfair treatment of fellow human beings. A page-turner with universal resonance, this novel will leave readers rethinking the meaning of love and empathy. (Source – N/A)

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The first book in Trinidad and Tobago writer Alake Pilgrim’s middle grade fantasy series Zo and The Forest of Secrets has landed as of June 2022. Pilgrim has previously twice won the regional Commonwealth short story prize, and been published in The Haunted Tropics and New Daughters of Africa and journals like Small Axe. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, thanks to the Booker Prize Foundation Scholarship. In Zo and The Forest of Secrets, diverse children with special gifts, work together to battle hybrid creatures and dangerous adults who try to use them and their powers. The series features unique characters, creatures, legends and landscapes from the Caribbean, re-imagined in an exciting and at times, futuristic way. These are images from her UK tour – stock signings at Waterstones. (Source – ed_pr on twitter)

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SIX STEPS – An African-Barbudan-Caribbean Story – by Claudia Ruth Francis is an African-Barbudan-Caribbean story that’s been added to her listing in Antiguan and Barbudan Fiction Writings and Antiguan and Barbudan Writings. Charity is born in the city of Leicester in England in 1950. She is an orphan. She lives in a number of foster homes. At the age of ten, she receives a scholarship to a prestigious boarding school and hopes that her loneliness will lessen in her new environment. It is during this period that she discovers her ability to commune with her African ancestors. Charity learns that her grandmother five times removed was kidnapped from Africa in 1813. She is able to relive her ordeal and is introduced to the lives of her subsequent grandmothers born on the island of Barbuda in the Caribbean. Eventually Charity meets her mother and, together with her female forebears, she learns the history of Barbuda, the sister island to Antigua, part of the Leeward Islands. But in 2022, is the island at risk from climate change, home grown gold diggers, foreign designs, and re-colonization? Claudia Ruth Francis writes political and historical fact fiction. Her LION SERIES is set in the UK, Caribbean, and Africa. Her interests are many and include global history and the politics shaping African History on the continent and in the diaspora. (Source – Author email)

RIP

To George Lamming. In the words of Barbados prime minister Mia Mottley, “Sadly, it seems now that almost weekly, we are forced to say goodbye to one of our national icons.” Lamming died on June 4th 2022. He leaves a long shadow and has since the publication, in 1953, of In the Castle of My Skin – which was award winning and critically acclaimed. Originally from Barbados, he is of that generation of Caribbean writers, many of whom went to England to realize their dreams as writers in the 1940s and 1950s, and became the foundation of the modern classic Caribbean canon. Lamming worked for the BBC Colonial Service as a broadcaster, published in Barbados literary journal Frank Collymore, and read his poems and stories, and that of other young (at the time) Caribbean voices like Derek Walcott, on BBC’s Caribbean Voices. A Guggenheim fellow, he was a world-travelling professional writer who would go on to publish The Emigrants, Of Age and Innocence, Season of Adventure, The Pleasures of Exile, Water with Berries, Natives of My Person, Coming, Coming Home: Conversations II – Western Education and the Caribbean Intellectual, and Sovereignty of the Imagination: Conversations III – Language and the Politics of Ethnicity. He was writer-in-residence and lecturer at the University of the West Indies, and has been a visiting professor at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Connecticut, Brown University, Cornell University, and Duke University in the US, as well as lecturing in Denmark, Tanzania, and Australia. He has directed the Caribbean Fiction Writers Summer Institute at the University of Miami, and judged major Caribbean literary prizes. His awards include the Order of the Caribbean Community, the Langston Hughes Medal, the first Caribbean Hibiscus Award from the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, the lifetime achievement prize from the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, having the George Lamming Primary School in St. Michael, Barbados named for him, as well as the George Lamming Pedagogical Centre at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination. Lamming was 94 at the time of his death. (personal note) I heard Lamming speak here in Antigua in 2007 for the Leonard Tim Hector Memorial Week, and was inspired to write ‘Prospero’s Education (on hearing George Lamming)’. I met him in 2008 when I was invited to read at the BIM Symposium ‘Celebrating Caribbean Women Writers’.

One of the first major regional literary panels I was asked to be a part of – after reaching out to them – the BIM forum celebrating Caribbean Women Writers, 2008. The man in the mix is legendary Caribbean writer George Lamming.

Our paths crossed a couple more times, at mixers at the Nature Island Literary Festival in Dominica and again in Barbados at the BIM Lit Fest and Book Fair. Fleeting interactions, yes, but memorable for me – and my awareness of his long shadow – if not for him. What PM Mia said feels so resonant, with the exception that Lamming was not a national icon but a Caribbean literary legend, and that while we say goodbye to the life, the words live on for those who grew up on them and those still to discover them. RIP, Sir. (Source – a friend)

ETA: This was a guest opinion by Alister Thomas in Antigua and Barbuda’s Daily Observer on Lamming’s passing life.

Events

The Commonwealth Short Story prize winner will be announced on June 21st 2022. You can sign up to watch in real time here. (Source – Commonwealth email)

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Love the Dark Days is a new book by Indo-Trinidadian Ira Mathur and UK-based Peepal Tree Press. A launch event is planned for July 13th 2022, 19:30-20:30 at Waterstones Victoria, London. Mathur will be in conversation with Irish Trinidadian author Amanda Smyth and non-fiction author and editor-in-chief of Newsday Trinidad. (Source – JR Lee email)

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The Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival’s Support Caribbean Writers tour is on in early June, featuring award winning writer of Pleasantview Celeste Mohammed. Her book has been selected by Caribbean readers as their fave and by the OCM Bocas prize a fave among the literati. She’s having quite the year and she also seems very personable and down to earth. I’d see her in person if I could and if you choose to you’d be right on time as her book is the CARIBATHON group read of 2022.

See tour stops here. (Source – Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival email)

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June 9th 2022 @ 7 p.m. EDT (which I believe is 8 p.m. AST) – Word Thursdays Online featuring Bocas winning (for Sounding Ground) St. Lucian poet Vladimir Lucien. Watch it here via zoom or via Bright Hill Press’ facebook page. (Source – Bright Hill Press on facebook)

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June is #readCaribbean month and also #CaribAthon. I’m participating in both by getting caught up on my reading (Caribbean books and related material only), journalling my progress, and sharing with the hashtags on social media. How will you be participating? (Source – various social media, me)

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There was a second year of Vigo Blake Day, May 29th 2022, in memory of the man who built the first school for Black people, free and enslaved in the then British West Indies. The school opened its doors in 1813. Read about it in CREATIVE SPACE: Mining Nuggets of Historical Gold. In case you missed it, CREATIVE SPACE is my art and culture column which has, since the start of 2022, covered books, fashion (and fashion restrictions), folklore, music and music legend the Monarch King Short Shirt, other notable personalities, commercial production and other visual art, and gender advocacy. (Source – me)

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Antigua’s Carnival schedule was announced as early as March 2022 but it’s changed quite a bit in the time since and, frankly, may change again after this posting; making for a shaky return for the Caribbean’s greatest summer festival after a two-year COVID-19 induced hiatus. This is the official programme as published in the Daily Observer newspaper in March 2022.

Announcements have trickled out since – no Golden Eye calypso tent, no Myst on the road for the big parade, that sort of thing – the biggest of which was arguably no Panorama. But, after pushback, inside of a week that announcement was rescinded and Panorama was reported to be back on. Per Cabinet minutes, once again reported in the Daily Observer, “Every effort will be made to have a Panorama 2022; the effort will include providing some resources to the steelbands that are likely to participate, and ensuring that there is adequate space on the stage to ensure that the bands can play their tunes to the applause of an ARG audience.” ETA (June 10th 2022): I won’t be doing these minute by minute Carnival updates but I felt it important to update that the panorama is back off again – the pan orchestras reportedly have too far of of a financial breach to leap in order to be competition ready, largely due to economic setbacks caused by COVID-19, even with assistance from the government. There may be a pan show, however, instead. While we’re here, government will be changing the Carnival mas parade route – details unknown but it will apparently be moved out of the city to the vicinity of the stadium. But Carnival will remain at ARG in the city…a bit confused with the logistics, especially with plans to demolish the original double decker stand, but…apparently that’s what it is. And this might be the last of the Antigua Carnival posts in this space as me cyaan keep up. (Source – Daily Obsever newspaper)

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, and The Jungle Outside). All Rights Reserved. Subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Carib Lit Plus (Mid to Late October 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).

Books

Joanne C. Hillhouse’s The Jungle Outside, by Harper Collins international, will have an ebook purchase option come December. (Source – in house)

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Lisa Allen-Agostini’s The Bread the Devil Knead, by UK indie Myriad, is now available to buy at bookstores in the US and Canada. (Source – author Instagram)

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Danielle Legros Georges’ translation of Ida Faubert’s Island Heart launched in 2021. Original publication was in 1939. It was Faubert’s first book. Both writers are Haitian. (Source – N/A)

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Voices Monologues and Plays for Caribbean Actors is a resource for theatre students, edited by Yvonne Weekes, lecturer at the University of the West Indies (Cave Hill campus).

“A theatre graduate came into my office and told me that he had to prepare a three-minute audition piece for an NCF local folk concert, a production that commemorates the 1937 riots in Barbados.

“I gave him a text of monologues which I had purchased several years earlier. A week later he returned the book and with great dejection stated that none of the monologues spoke to him as a young Caribbean performer.”

Dr Weekes added: “That same week David Edgecombe, a lecturer in Theatre at the University of the Virgin Islands, and I were discussing the state of Caribbean theatre. Ironically, he was lamenting the scarcity of scholarly and creative new works being produced by Caribbean playwrights and academics.

“These incidents prompted me to take up the challenge of producing an actor’s resource in order to provide historical, rich, dramatic monologues for research and exploration of their Caribbean identity.”

Barbados Today

The book is published by St. Martin’s House of Nehesi. The author hopes to get the book on to the Caribbean Examination Council syllabus. (Source – Facebook)

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Pictured left to right are Ronan Matthew, Joanne C. Hillhouse, and Gayle Gonsalves, all Antiguan-Barbudan writers, holding their books at the Best of Books. Matthew’s book is the 2021 release Ruby’s Dream: The Story of a Boy’s Life. A Blogger on Books review of which you can read here.

In the memoir or ripped from real life fictions of Antigua and Barbuda’s publishing history, I can’t think of another book that quite occupies the space this book does because of the author’s racial make-up and place in society – and I would have been interested in more of this aspect of it.

(Source – in house)

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By Carol Mitchell and Heidi Fagerberg of Caribbean Reads Publishing, this 96 page colouring book, aptly titled Colour My World, is for children who are just learning to colour. The images celebrate the Caribbean region and correspond to curriculum objectives.

(Source – Facebook)

Events

Best of Books bookstore, Antigua, hosted Windward author, resident in Montserrat Marguerite Jennifer Joseph in October 2021 to promote her book Lady Under the Stairs. Summary (per Amazon): Two families connected through centuries of slavery and life after slavery in the Caribbean. The McKenzie’s were the plantation owners and the Charles’ their loyal house servants. Lilianne Charles a mere teenager had her life pulled apart after one brief encounter with a McKenzie. She ends up in a mental asylum, where she remained for almost a quarter of a century abandoned by the people who she thought had loved her. Follow this heart-wrenching story as Lily and her family journeys through the tropical plantation to the asylum in the Caribbean and then to the British countryside and back to the Caribbean, where Lily is finally reunited with all the people she had lost. The book was released in June 2021. (Source – Facebook)

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The ninth edition of the Bocas Poetry Slam Finals.

(Source – N/A)

Obit.

The Antigua and Barbuda media community is mourning the sudden, sad, and unexpected death of former ABS TV/radio journalist and public relations officer for the ministries of Health and Agriculture, Debbie Francis. Debbie died of COVID-19. A PAHO Media Award winning journalist, she was much loved as evidenced by the outpouring of grief (from friends, family, and former media colleagues) throughout local social media when news broke on October 17th 2021. The COVID death count in Antigua and Barbuda is at 95 people (that’s nearly 100 people in the year and seven months since COVID sent the country in to an ongoing state of emergency in March 2020) per the last dashboard (uncertain if this accounting is before or after Debbie’s death). There’s been spiking in recent weeks. Debbie was reportedly still due to receive her second shot of the vaccine. She was a mother of one in her early 50s. RIP, Debs. Everyone else, please, wear your masks, social distance, sanitize, and #getvaxxed (Source – ABS TV via Instagram)

Congrats

To Foward Prize winner for best single poem Nicole Sealey. She was born in St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands and raised in the US. The other winners are British-Nigerian filmmaker Calem Femi for best first collection and Brit Luke Kennard, best collection.

It is worth noting that former Forward Prize winner Shivanee Ramlochan of Trinidad and Tobago was a member of the five-person judging panel.

(Source – Twitter)

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To past Wadadli Pen finalist (back when he was 10), Mjolnir Messiah, who won Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Top Honours for graduating secondary students in Antigua and Barbuda in 2020. The former St. Joseph’s Academy Student passed 21 subjects with 16 grade ones and give grade twos. (Source – ABS TV/radio Facebook)

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To the Jamaican National Award winners which includes reggae icons like Lt. Stitchie, now Rev. Dr. Cleveland Aman Laing, and 199 others. Full list here. (Source – Twitter)

Video

I want to make sure that you visit and subscribe to both the Wadadli Pen YouTube Channel and my (Joanne C. Hillhouse) AntiguanWriter YouTube Channel. Subscribing, hitting the notification beell so you don’t miss new content, liking, commenting, sharing, all helps the algorithms work in favour of both channels – driving up views. But we’re not just asking you to do us a favour; we believe you’ll find the content in both places interesting if arts is your thing. Here’s a teaser.

The Wadadli Pen YouTube Channel has four playlists:
Wadadli Pen Reading Room and Gallery (all video content from the Reading Room and Gallery series here on Wadadli; most recent addition is this Promises No Promises music video)

Wadadli Pen 2021
Wadadli Pen Winning Submissions
Book Event, Independence 2020

At AntiguanWriter, you’ll find the following playlists:
#TheWritingLife (most recently uploaded video is my interview with ZDK radio ahead of my Bocas Lit Fest Workshop)

Projects
CREATIVE SPACE (this is the playlist for my art and culture column which runs every other Wednesday; look out for a playlist to accompany the Independence edition of the series this November)
Book Chat
Writers
Books
Wadadli Youth Pen Prize (this content has largely been moved to the new Wadadli Pen YouTube Channel)
Muse-ic (I haven’t uploaded this playlist in years – I do share #music #everyday on my facebook and twitter)
Zahara Playlist #MusicalYouthbook (this is a character playlist for main character Zahara from my book Musical Youth)
Shaka’s Playlist #MusicalYouthbook (this is a character playlist for main character Shaka from my book Musical Youth)
Highlights of Oh Gad! Book Club Discussion (this is a local book club promo event I held when this novel debuted)

Chosen at random:

Two other recent posts from AntiguanWriter.

and two from Wadadli Pen.

(Source – in house)

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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Reading Room and Gallery 38

Things I read that you might like too. Things will be added – up to about 20 or so – before this installment in the Reading Room and Gallery series is archived. For previous and future installments in this series, use the search feature to the right.

Read the winning entries Wadadli Pen Challenge entries, a mix of poetry and short fiction, with some visual art, through the years.

THE BUSINESS 

INTERVIEW/DISCUSSION

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– Joanne C. Hillhouse Catapult Caribbean Creatives Online #catapultartsgrant #AskMeAnything Q & A with readers

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Antiguan and Barbudan writers discuss To Shoot Hard Labour by Keithlyn and Fernando Smith as part of a month long reading series featuring the book. The series was produced by Beverly George for Observer Radio’s Voice of the People.

REPORTING

Excerpts, in no particular order, from Caribbean Time Bomb author Robert Coram’s A Reporter at Large: Ancient Rights in The New Yorker, 1989:

“Joseph, like most of the divers, is fond of having a drink now and then, and he is fond of rum, but he will not touch Cavalier rum, because it is made on Antigua.”

“And although the Barbudans had long ago learned to live together, so that there was little need for a judicial system, they were now technically bound by the laws of Antigua.”

“But the Antiguans, who saw Barbuda as a poor and backward island, did not want to finance medical facilities, schools, clergy, and courts on Barbuda.”

“The island is also ridiculed because the people are different; their quirky individuality standing out even in the Caribbean.”

“Barbudan slaves (enslaved Barbudans – my edit) even used Codrington boats to send their livestock and the fresh meat from their poaching to Antigua, and in 1829 the Codringtons’ island manager wrote of Barbudan slaves (enslaved Barbudans – my edit) wrote of Barbudan slaves, ‘They acknowledge no master, and believe the island belongs to themselves.’”

“Until 1961, when regular air traffic from Antigua began, it could take a week to reach Barbuda, even from Antigua.” – read the full article here: New Yorker 06 Feb 1989 

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‘It was in form four, he says, that his work began to acquire an especially grim, menacing glint, layered with violence, tones of the macabre, and an arsenal of baleful sexual suggestion. His father, who dutifully printed off copies of the stories at work, gave him a sage kernel of advice that Hosein has never forgotten: “Even if you writing smut, keep writing. Just be careful of who you showing it to.”’ – Shivanee Ramlochan on Kevin Jared Hosein in Caribbean Beat

ESSAYS/NON-FICTION 

– Yvonne Weekes reading from her volcano themed memoir

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“Georgetown is where some 90% of the population live today. We shouldn’t really be here. But in the 1700s, Dutch colonisers, bringing technology from their own low-lying country, decided to drain the swampy coast and install a ‘polder’ system of canals, sluice gates (known locally as kokers) and dams to cultivate sugar and other crops on the fertile land. Historian Dr Walter Rodney estimated that, in doing so, enslaved Africans were required to move 100 million tonnes of soil by hand. Ever since then, the sea has been trying to reclaim the land that was taken from it.” – Life on Stilts: Staying Afloat in Guyana by Carinya Sharples

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“We are unwitting victims of a larger global issue beyond our control.” – from After the Aftermath: Hurricane Dorian by Bahamian writer Alexia Tolas

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‘In “Winged and Acid Dark,” Hass tells us directly what happens to the woman in Potsdamer Platz in May 1945, but he does this direct telling circuitously. The poet approaches the idea, then “suggests” the rape. Note the second stanza: “the major with the swollen knee, / wanted intelligent conversation afterward. / Having no choice, she provided that, too.” The poem suggests the before by describing the “afterward” and by describing what the woman has to do “too.” Later in the poem, Hass describes the prying open of her mouth and the spitting in it, and lets these moments stand for much more. The lightning strike of this poem, the one we would expect at least, would be a graphic description of the rape, and yet, Hass soothes us on that front while delivering alternatively terrifying truths. The thing we prepare ourselves for, because we’ve heard that old war story repeated so many times, is only alluded to. Instead, Hass focuses on something else we are surprised by and therefore have to hear.’ – Tell It Slant: How To Write a Wise Poem by Camille T. Dungy

CREATIVES ON CREATING

“I wanted not simply to record but to interrogate what was happening and my response to it, to use poetry the way it can function at its utilitarian best: offering ways of seeing, of examining, of challenging complacency, and of contextualising the current situation within broader life considerations. …I am surprised at what I am doing because I normally spend a huge amount of time thinking about, writing, and then editing everything that I write before sending it into the world, so this speed of composing, followed by a click of Send and then almost immediate response is something new for me. I am less concerned with literary values or aesthetics than I am with memorializing the historic moment that I am living through. I want to capture the zeitgeist, literally, ‘the spirit of the time’.” – Cross Words in Lockdown by Olive Senior

“I would sit and talk to them, get to the essence of who they were…because it would help me to figure out how to write for them.” -Babyface

FICTION

“On his knees, hands behind his head, he asked for a cigarette. I gestured that he be given one. Our eyes met, we held each other’s gaze. What was he thinking? He must have been the same age as me. The same dark skin and stature. In another time, another place, we might have been neighbours, colleagues, friends. But here, now, he is one of them. ” – from The Debt by Nicholas Kyriacou

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“In later years when he lying in bed all by he self…” – Levar Burton reads ‘A Good Friday’ by Barbara Jenkins. You can read this and other stories in Pepperpot: Best New Stories from the Caribbean

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“Sunny stayed up the entire night, mopping the floors of her living room and bedroom as the heavy winds forced water through the shutters and windows. It was silly, in hindsight. The water was coming anyway, and fast. But she had to pass the time. Once every half hour or so, she would run to the hallway, frightened by the loud crashing noises from outside, anticipating that one of the shutters would give way and the kitchen window would burst wide open. They never did that night.” – Four Women at Night by Schuyler Esprit

POETRY

“A mother has just lost her son
A mother has just lost her son
A mother has just lost her son.” – reading by Curmiah Lisette, from her poem ‘The Bandits’, part of the CaribCation Caribbean Author Series

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“Speaking to you from St. Lucia…we have a strong literary tradition, anchored by our Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott.” – John R. Lee reading and discussing his lit and more in the CaribCation Caribbean Author Series

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“Somewhere or other there must surely be
The face not seen, the voice not heard,
The heart that not yet—never yet—ah me!
Made answer to my word.” – from Somewhere or Other by Christina Rossetti

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“But grief,
it wrings out your soul-case” – Grief by Yvonne Weekes in Barbados’ Arts Etc.

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“My iPhone keeps me company.
Plays music for me, shows pictures
of friends, what they’re thinking.
Lights up the dark when I’m missing you,
brings other poets’ words with a touch.” – from ‘April 2020’ by Julie Mahfood (Jamaican in Canada) in the Jamaica Gleaner’s Meeting Ground: Poems in the Time of COVID-19

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‘Like other poets of the Harlem Renaissance, McKay, though a powerful advocate of black liberation, took the dominant “voice” of traditional culture, mastered it and made it accommodate his different ways of seeing, his visions and his anger. The fusion of urban realism with more traditional Romantic tropes in Harlem Shadows still leaves room for clear blasts of rage against “the wretched way / Of poverty, dishonor and disgrace”.’ – re poem of the week Harlem Shadows by Claude McKay (poem and analysis) 

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“She forgave grandma, then a single mother of six,
who fed her children with one hand
while choking them with the other.” – from Mother Suffered from Memories by Juleus Ghunta in Anomaly 28

This blog is maintained by Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator, and author Joanne C. Hillhouse. Content is curated, researched, and written by Hillhouse, unless otherwise indicated. Do not share or re-post without credit, do not re-publish without permission and credit. Thank you.

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Carib Plus Lit News (Early October 2019)

This article on homework is part of the Plus in Carib Plus Lit News. It caught my eye because it’s a conversation I’ve been having with a parent (frustrated at the amount of homework children are being given) lately…more than one person actually, but not all of them, parents. The article on salon.com calls for a ban on homework, especially at the elementary (or in our case pre-k and primary level):

“When homework comes prematurely, it’s hard for children to cope with assignments independently—they need adult help to remember assignments and figure out how to do the work. Kids slide into the habit of relying on adults to help with homework or, in many cases, do their homework. Parents often assume the role of Homework Patrol Cop. Being chief nag is a nasty, unwanted job, but this role frequently lingers through the high school years. Besides the constant conflict, having a Homework Patrol Cop in the house undermines one of the purported purposes of homework: responsibility.

What works better than traditional homework at the elementary level is simply reading at home. This can mean parents reading aloud to children as well as children reading. The key is to make sure it’s joyous. If a child doesn’t want to practice her reading skills after a long school day, let her listen instead. Any other projects that come home should be optional and occasional.”

Pictured: children reading right here in Antigua and Barbuda – one at home, and two at the Cushion Club reading club for children.

Read the full salon.com article here.

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“I was astounded when I got the call. It was very unexpected and, as astounded as I was, I was at the same time equally grateful as I never expected to be honoured in this way, considering that very often our artistes are not recognised by their fellow Jamaicans. What it says is thank you and that my work has not been in vain. It also says, despite how rough it gets, people appreciate the time and effort I have put into my work and it has touched their hearts” – Burt Award winning Jamaican author A-dZiko Simba Gegele on becoming one of 10 2019 Musgrave Award winners – the Musgrave Award dates back to 1889 and is the oldest award of its kind in the western hemisphere, according to the Jamaica Observer

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Booker Prize winner Marlon James is no stranger to winning and being in contention for major literary prizes. He’s up for another one: his latest epic novel – the first part of a planned fantasy trilogy – Black Leopard Red Wolf is up for a National Book Award in the fiction category. National in this case is the US and the Jamaican stands a good shot at copping another prize with the critically acclaimed work. red wolfAll nominees listed here.

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University of Belize and East Carolina University are teaming up for an international Caribbean Studies Forum to be held in Belize October 10th to 12th 2019. Venue is the University Center in Belmopan.

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Lulu’s Book Journey is a mother and daughter book blog. Their September Reading Journey (a monthly series on their blog) included Caribbean-themed A Likkle Miss Lou: How Jamaican Poet Louise Bennett Coverley found her Voice. Their October list, meanwhile, has former Melody Makers member Cedella Marley’s Get up, Stand up, inspired by her dad, reggae superstar, Bob; and her brother Ziggy’s – lead singer of the aforementioned Melody Makers back in the day – I love you Too. The Cuba themed book All the Way to Havana is also in the mix. Speaking of lists, be sure to check out and weigh in on our post about which Caribbean books released in the last 10 years will people still be reading 10 years from now, and the global (America-centric) list that inspired it.

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Barbados-based Montserratian writer, Yvonne Weekes, whose latest release is Nomad, will be speaking at the Norwich Science Fair in the UK later this month at the invitation of the University of East Anglia. Catch her on October 26th 2019, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. She will be reading from both Nomad and earlier book Volcano. A special exhibition on the Montserrat volcano will be unveiled. Open to all.

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Observer 05 07 19 2

This is a July 2019 newspaper clipping from Antigua and Barbuda, but I think it’s still worth posting for the tribunal information.

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Don’t forget to take part in the two just for fun quizzes currently running on the blog – which Caribbean book released in the last 10 years do you think people will still be reading in 10 and the Antigua and Barbuda Independence arts and culture trivia quiz.

Remember, everything on this blog belongs to the blog (Wadadli Pen) or to the respective authors and photographers, no problem with sharing or reblogging but give credit and do not re-post in full. This blog is written by author Joanne C. Hillhouse who is the founder and creator of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize. For more on her visit jhohadli.wordpress.com 

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