What I reviewed
Nothing published (or at least not published-published) but I was busy with workshop activity for writers longlisted in the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize 2021 Challenge and the prep has involved re-reading their stories and providing feedback. This week I posted feedback from the evaluation form of at least one of the workshop participants. I have one new client edit about to start so my leisure reading may be even more slowed but I catch it where and when I can.
Since my last reading update near the end of July, I’ve advanced reading on Monique Roffey of The Mermaid of Black Conch (with the e-copy I received from the publisher, I can’t tell what page I’m on but I’ve advanced and it’s so haunting, so far), Ronan Matthew’s Ruby’s Dream (I’m at page 92, up from page 45 at last report), Margaret Busby’s New Daughter’s of Africa (I’m at page 455, up from 433 at last report), Heady Mix’s Windrush (I’m up to page 54, from 44 at last report), both parts of Vol. 5 of Opal Palmer Adisa’s journal ‘Interviewing the Caribbean’ (up to page 10 of No. 1 and page 33 of No. 2) – and while we’re talking literary journals, I dipped in to Vol. 10 of ‘BIM: Arts for the 21st Century’ (I’m at page 13), Chimamanda Adichie’s Americanah (I’m up to chapter 23 reading paperback or listening via audio book depending on what’s convenient, from chapter 16 at last report).
Speaking of Americanah, it is one of several books I mentioned when asked on the spot about what I’m reading some months ago (so I’ve since finished some of the other books mentioned) by Badass Black Girl (the book chat was easily my favourite part of our interaction with Haitian American writer M. J. Fievre).
What’s coming up
My continuing efforts to get through my reading list to which, by the way,
has been added ‘Revista Prometo’, the publication featuring the works of various writers from all over the world participating in the 31st Medellin International Poetry Festival. I was one of the participating poets/writers and, as the event was virtual this year, I have video. Click the link for the full thing (which I highly recommend as it features the poetics of Sonia Williams of Barbados and Ann Margaret Lim of Jamaica) or check the section with just my reading below.
This Week’s New Releases
Not sure how new this is but it’s new to me. I started reading Marsha Gomes McKie’s Soucoyant, Her Fire Rages, at some point during the last reading update and this (I’m up to page 15).
What I found online
I’m going to use this opportunity to boost Andy Caul’s website ACalabash, and not just because he posted a new interview with me this month, he’s building content around Caribbean lit and arts and that’s something I always support.
For about a day before the short list was posted, I was able to celebrate making the long list of the Brooklyn Caribbean Lit Fest short story prize for Caribbean-based Caribbean writers after finding the news online (I was tagged on social media by some of the other long listed writers – I love how we celebrate each other).
This too, pretty much. I mean, it’s been crazy here – one anti-vaxx (and from some of the signs and rhetoric, anti-mask) protest that resulted in police overreaction (in my view, and I’m masked and vaxxed, I sanitize and social distance, I try to be led by the science as related by reputable sources; and I try to remind myself and anyone I can have an actual conversation with that this isn’t about the individual, it’s about the community, we need to think of it like that or we’ll just continue to be stuck here). Me thinking that the people have the right not to be teargassed or water canoned or whatever is not a co-sign on any anti-mask or anti-vaxx rhetoric (because, just no). People including children, being teargassed, and various arrests, is not de-escalation though. It worries me that whether in the local or international news, the police default seems to be 0 to 100, no in-between; it’s not good. Especially as we remain under a state of emergency, more than a year now. And now our COVID numbers are climbing again (the skepticism of some notwithstanding) – inevitable perhaps given that tourism is our main industry (and the tourist and local restrictions, my perception anyway, are not exactly equal). Anyway, no end in sight. I personally don’t think a state of emergency should be open-ended and continuous. It concerns me. I’m not a legal expert but I want to believe there’s another way to ensure public health in a pandemic…but I don’t know; very little makes sense right now. Of course, I turn on the news and some version of this narrative is playing out in so many countries. To quote local calypsonian Short Shirt, ‘Heaven Help Mankind’.
Wow, that got dark quick…something positive to end on, our last tropical storm warning resulted in the storm blowing right by us (of course, we would wish it hadn’t headed straight for Haiti which had just suffered an earthquake and before that the assassination of its president…)
How about this? There’s a new CREATIVE SPACE and if you’re a jazz music lover, it should be right up your alley.
Hope the rest of your day is as cool as the weather here today.
Happy reading. #Booksaremyhappyplace