Tag Archives: Yvonne Weekes

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

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 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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