NEW: Internship, CREATIVE SPACE, Stats

Internship

In 2021, Andre W. became my first intern. I did work with one back in 2017 when former finalist Michaela H. interned with the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize of which I am coordinator. But I was more hesitant to take on someone in my personal capacity. As it happens, Andre is also a former Wadadli Pen finalist (2018, 2020, 2021) and it was in that space that I believe I mentioned taking on an intern and Andre emailed me expressing interest as early as 2020. It’s a testament to many things, including my uncertainty, that we didn’t meet up to discuss it until summer 2021, thanks to follow ups from Andre who was keen on the role. We’ve worked together for the past year, and the internship has just come to an end; my last assignment was to invite Andre to reflect on his experience of what we call our menternship. I’ll share some of his response:

“[Our] initial meeting gave the sense of you initially feeling me out and allowing me to express my expectations of the opportunity… It felt more like a mutual agreement than a job interview.

“Communication…wasn’t consistent on both ends but at the same time I didn’t find it lacking per-say…I liked that you gave reasonable space …[If] You needed me to do something, I did it; [if] you saw an opportunity, you did your role as a mentor and passed it on…I was able to see what it was like to be a writer and some of the steps/negotiations that would take place …[Our interaction was] straightforward with reasonable pressures and expectation….It happened when it happened and when it hadn’t for a while you would check in…We made it work.”

During the internship, he said, he won his first regional award, received “a constant stream of writing opportunities – some which I actually took advantage of”, got some “business insights that I would need in the event of publishing my own books”; and, he concluded,

“I got out of it what I put in and then some.”

He said, “Overall this mentorship experience changed my writing perceptions for the better and made me understand the author’s world.”

& yes, the menternship had its ups and downs (communication lags on both sides mostly) but I too enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to work with Andre (who still owes me a chess lesson). He was helpful to me with research and communication on my writing and other work projects, following up on things I couldn’t get to, as needed, especially, and I tried to be helpful to him with feedback, opportunities, projects promoting skill development, guidance, and access to the writing and publishing process. The internship was unpaid and he knew that going in, but it had value for us both, and that’s what I wanted.

I’d do it again, with the right intern; if you’re an aspiring writer in Antigua and Barbuda, who thinks that could be you, contact me.

CREATIVE SPACE

One of the things I’ll need help with as I continue to build is my art and culture column which is currently on three platforms – in print and online in the Daily Observer newspaper, online here on the Jhohadli blog (extended edition with extras), and on my Antiguan Writer You Tube channel (vignettes and full interviews).

This week’s edition finds me Arting Around with stops at a local school’s genre day, an art show with a friend, and an open mic night. Since then, I’ve taken in a student-teacher art show with one of my nephews and I have another art expo coming up with one of my nieces. It’s always been nice to share these experiences.

Stats

So let me end by sharing the most popular CREATIVE SPACEsss of 2022. That’s right, you’ve stumbled upon a top 10 list.

#10 is CREATIVE SPACE #19 OF 2022: THE “HEADKERCHIEF”; HERITAGE, FASHION, CELEBRATION, AND RESISTANCE, a headwrapping lesson and history which turned out to be one of the more fun outings of the series – and timely.

#9 is CREATIVE SPACE #7 OF 2022: THE PAN PROGRAMME AT CULTURE: WHAT HAPPENED…? which I’m glad I got to do for the opportunity to give one of the people instrumental in the revival of pan in Antigua and Barbuda her flowers – even if writing it revived my frustration with our (and by our I mean the powers that be’s) lack of continuity and commitment when it comes to the arts.

#8 is CREATIVE SPACE #11 OF 2022: MINING NUGGETS OF HISTORICAL GOLD – just a bit of living history.

#7 is CREATIVE SPACE #12 OF 2022: CUT AND CONTRIVE which is a piece I wish I hadn’t had to write (hoping that the government would deliver what it promised – it still hasn’t).

#6 is CREATIVE SPACE #5 OF 2022 – IS PRESS ON SHORT SHIRT’S GREATEST ALBUM? – A CASE COULD BE MADE in which I argue that this forgotten classic may be better than my favourite album by Antigua and Barbuda’s calypso legend.

#5 is CREATIVE SPACE #15 OF 2022: THAT CARNIVAL FEELING which is just me reflecting on *sings* the most wonderful time of the year.

#4 is CREATIVE SPACE #22 OF 2022: ART PLAY – MAKING ‘USELESS’ STUFF AS A FORM OF SELF-CARE in which I connected with some St. Lucian sisters to practice the art of collaging; maybe I should have done this course before tackling the project I did for the top entry in this series.

#3 is CREATIVE SPACE #14 OF 2022: DO YOU KNOW THIS MAN? which began with an email from a researcher in America and sent me down a rabbit hole about forgotten parts of my own cultural history.

#2 is CREATIVE SPACE #2 OF 2022 – THE CII™ OF PUBLIC SECTOR DRESS CODES in which I critique dress codes in Antigua and Barbuda and the Caribbean; it all begin with a trip to the Transport Board to renew my driver’s license.

#1 is CREATIVE SPACE #6 OF 2022: THE STUFF THAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF (A WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH FEATURE) in which I created a collage of Antiguan and Barbudan women for Women’s History Month and hard as it was to settle on the women to be included, creating the collage itself renewed my appreciation for graphic artists.

Thanks for reading.

Oh Look, December’s Here (November ReadingWrap-up)

Taking inspiration from Reviews from the Stacks, who sounds way more organized than I will ever be, here’s the November wrap up I didn’t plan to do.

Books Completed in November

In November, I finished and wrote about the second journal in the Speak Out series of creative world writing on the Adda platform, Speak Out! 2, edited by Ugandan writer Beatrice Lamwaka; the novella Songs of Silence by Jamaican writer Curdella Forbes, who teaches at Howard in the US; and UK based Trinidad born writer Monique Roffey’s The Mermaid of Black Conch.

Books Read but Not Completed in November

I used the fact that it was the Caribbean Reads November book club pick as motivation to push forward with Fortune by Amanda Smyth (a historical novel set in Trinidad) – but not even motivation can create time out of thin air, so I press on. I’ve also inched forward in literary journals in progress Writers Mosaic: Is English We Speaking-African/Caribbean Dialogue, Interviewing the Caribbean Vol. 5 No. 1, Adda 2022 Issue 1, and, also from Adda, Speak Out! 3. Speaking of shorter pieces, after having the opportunity to read another of historian Natasha Lightfoot’s excerpts I believe to be from her book in progress, I’ve started her non-fiction of post-Emancipation Antigua Troubling Freedom. That’s mostly it and I don’t expect a lot of advance on any of it until, as far as reading goes, I finish my latest book edit and a book I’ve been asked to blurb.

Goals

Replenishment

Other Highlights

Most Popular (Posts, Pages)

Music of the Month:

I wrote about these women in CREATIVE SPACE #21 of 2022: MY FIRST SPOTIFY PLAYLIST and got to hear one of them (Laikan/The Lore) live this November as I wrote in CREATIVE SPACE #24 of 2022: ARTING AROUND.

Favourite Podcasts: This November, it’s been The AMC+ Interview with the Vampire podcast.

This series existing is prompting me to re-read the books I’ve read (Interview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, The Queen of the Damned, The Tale of the Body Thief, Memnoch the Devil, The Vampire Armand [partial], Blackwood Farm, Prince Lestat) and read on in the Vampire chronicles universe (what’s a good place to jum back in though); I haven’t yet had time to dive in, so the podcast discussing the superb new adaptation has made for a great fill-in. I really need a group re-watch with other VC nerds though because I want to talk or write or geek out about this world I’ve been obsessed with since my uni years. Because the new series in recasting Louis and Claudia as Black creole and moving the time forward from plantation era to the early 20th century (with the Storyville district in New Orleans first thriving then decimated by racial violence, through the two ‘great’ wars, the depression, Jim Crow etc.) opts to embrace tensions of the times in interesting and revealing ways while not losing the plot and allure of the world first created in the late 1970s by the recently deceased American author of gothic horror and the writer who made me fall in love with NOLA years before I ever got to visit it Anne Rice.

Movies watched

Zola which was crazy, and a ripped from instagram stories movie; the first of that genre, I think, and the Netflix documentary Is that Black Enough for You?!!? The latter is prompting me to share three Netflix lists I blogged this month.

Other random positives

My Caribbean faerie tale With Grace is on this goodreads list of Black Fae Books;

& I saw this Twitter announcement from a professor in the US;

I don’t know which of my writings specifically but how’s that for a random positive.

& these aren’t positives (given that the impetus is their passing) but I do want to say thank you for the music and the memories (of childhood, particularly in the early to mid-80s) to Christine McVie (of legendary band Fleetwood Mac) and writer, composer, singer, and actress Irene Cara Oscar winning star of screen and stage. Every time a singer (usually a singer) I grew up on dies, it feels like they take a bit of my childhood with them but it’s also an opportunity to return to the music and the ways they brought me joy – and it makes me hope that they knew how much their art touched so many; even this little girl on an island in the Caribbean.

I also learned of the passing of OG Meg (i.e. the only Meg I stan) who was terrifying on Supernatural. RIP.

Favourite Netflix Original Doc

I’ve done the films and I’ve done the scripted series. Let’s finish with documentary films. The ones (from what I can remember) that my own sensibilities have responded to positively for reasons I will try to explain.

Is that Black enough for you?!? – there might be some recency bias with this one, given that I watched it in November 2022, but I really appreciated the deep dive in to Black 70s cinema and the history of Black film generally. I learned a lot – like how that “I’m here to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and I’m all out of bubble gum” line I love to quote from They Live has an earlier reference in Black cinema (in Five on the Black Hand Side a character says, “I ain’t giving up nothing but bubble gum and hard times and I’m fresh outta bubble gum”). The 70s are often referred to as the Blaxploitation era but this doc has me feeling like that title does the period a disservice when you consider the influence on the craft – the side by side of Shaft and Saturday Night Fever‘s opening visuals and the former’s contribution to movie soundtracks as their own profitable lane that exploded with the latter, as examples; the range of roles and genres explored, from film noir – The Mack – to westerns – Thomasine and Bushrod – to coming of age – Cooley High; the pull of provocative stories like Watermelon Man in which a white suburbanite wakes up Black; the boundary pushing imagery such as the love scene in the bathtub in Super Fly; the window to Black reality (Claudine) and Black fantasy (Blackula); the range of opportunities, especially for Black women like Pam Grier (who had about 18 film credits in the 70s, including as the titular Coffy, Foxy Brown, Sheba, and Friday Foster, compared to about 9 in the 80s). I came away with renewed appreciation for filmmakers like Sydney Poitier and Harry Belafonte who reinvented and reignited their careers in this decade and for the young turks/independent auteurs of the error (e.g. Melvin Van Peebles) who pre-Tarantinoed the industry. The doc comprehensively explored the careers of Black talent (including the likes of Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, husband and wife actors I knew in front of the camera, and had even read their memoir In this Life Together, which I recommend, but knew comparatively little of their work behind the camera such as Ruby co-writing and co-producing 1968’s Uptight, which she also appeared in, and Ossie directing Black Girl, both of which I’ve mentioned seeing recently-ish here on the blog). But Ruby and Ossie are known entities (thanks in great part to their appearance in Spike Lee films like Do the Right Thing and Jungle Fever). But unlike them so many stars of the ’60s and 70s faded from the spotlight and there are several that I knew little to nothing about (e.g. Abbey Lincoln from Nothing But a Man, Diana Sands whom I would have seen only in A Raisin in the Sun, and Duane Jones of the original Night of the Living Dead). This doc was a reminder that too often, this is the fate of Black people in Hollywood (e.g. Cleavon Little who went from a starring role in the hit movie Blazing Saddles to mostly TV work – The Waltons, Rockford Files, Dear John – inspite of his looks and charisma), and that’s a shame. This doc has added some new films to my must-watch list and you should add the doc to yours.

You already know what I said about The Last Dance at the end of my favourite Netflix series post. I do like a good sports doc and my favourites on this platform have been Malice at the Palace and The Girlfriend who didn’t Exist – both in the Untold documentary anthology series, and The Vince Carter Effect which did the festival circuit before landing on Netflix. My favourite of these was Malice for its locker room breakdown of one of the biggest scandals in NBA history – the Pacers-Pistons tussle that spilled over in to the stands with fan beatdowns and epic suspensions that altered not just individual careers but destinies of legacy players, teams, and the league itself. I did not so much like Girlfriend as gaze at it the way one does a car wreck because unlike Malice, I had never heard of this (don’t watch American football) and after watching can’t believe it actually happened (not doubting that it did just can’t believe). The Vince Carter Effect was kind of a traditional doc but there is nothing traditional about Carter’s dunking ability and it was fun to revisit that especially given his quiet retirement during the pandemic after the longest career (at 22 seasons) as an active player.

Let’s talk about music docs because the only thing I like more than music is a good music doc. Some of these are not strictly music docs but The Black Godfather for instance did so much in that space that for me it counts. The Oscar winning What Happened, Ms. Simone? was one of the reasons I wanted to join Netflix in the first place. There are two from the Remastered anthology series The Two Killings of Sam Cooke and The Lion’s Share were frustrating insights in to the exploitation of Black and non-Western people by the industry (the latter is about the author of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” which you might recognize from The Lion King). Quincy is about super-producer Quincy Jones, produced by his daughter Rashida, a well known actress (Parks and Rec, On the Rocks) in her own right. Let me pause here to also rec his biography Q . One other music or music-adjacent doc worth viewing is Jennifer Lopez Halftime (which was light but fun). Let the music play, I say.

To round out my top 12, I’ll mention Ava Duvernay’s The 13th – a deep dive in to the US prison industrial complex and its ties to slavery; an intimate doc about an author who died recently (December 2021) Joan Didion: The Center will not hold by her nephew, actor (After Hours) and director Griffin Dunne; and, I know it’s a comedy special but, hear me out, Sarah Cooper: Everything’s Fine because if that wasn’t a fever dream of our pandemic experience, I don’t know what was. Plus, from her pre-pandemic stand-up, I know she has Caribbean roots; so, shout out to her for that.

From Ottos, Antigua

It’s Promote Yourself Monday at Go Dog Go Cafe where writers gather and I decided to participate by re-sharing a poem shared a while ago on facebook. I don’t think I’ve shared it here before and this seemed an invitation to do just that.

Also, last week one of my publishers, Caribbean Reads, shared the excerpt below from one of my two books with them, Musical Youth, on their instagram. The other picutred, also from their instagram, is a children’s picture book Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure.

Fave Netflix Series

I mean, after I did my favourite Netflix films, you had to know it was coming. This list is mostly but not all Netflix originals but where it is not financed or produced by Netflix (the British ones, for instance), I believe Netflix has the exclusive US rights and it’s receiving its first international showing via the streaming service. I should mention that I probably don’t remember every series I’ve seen; so with this list as with the film list, it’s understood that there is an unstated ‘that I remember’ and ‘that I have seen’ tacked on.

My favourite and the most heartwrenching series (a mini- or limited – series in this case) has been Ava Duvernay’s When They See Us. Based on the true story of the Central Park 5, now the Redeemed 5, wrongfully accused of the brutal rape of a woman jogging in Central Park, NY, when they were teens and doing serious time in both juvenile and adult prison for it. The mini-series shows us everything from before that fateful late summer night, the night itself, the interrogation, the trial, prison, the aftermath, until ultimately vindication. With the bittersweet caveat that what has been lost can not be regained, not truly. There are four episodes but you probably won’t be able to zip through them and you might rage-cry at some point; but it’s worth it. The series is artful and human, and not at all exploitative. The series picked up sixteen Emmy nominations and netted two wins – one for Jharrel Jerome (who deserves all the opportunities) and one for casting. Both (and more) deserved.

Also heartwrenching and rage-inducing was Unbelievable about how there’s no such thing as a perfect victim when it comes to sexual assault. Based on a true story, it’s about a rape victim (Kaitlyn Dever) who is as imperfect as they come and the abuse she suffers on top of the original abuse, and the two female detectives (Toni Colette and Merritt Wever) who doggedly pursue a serial assaulter operating in both Washington State and Colorado. In time, their cases intersect with the original case. As with When They See Us, there is vindication, but also that awareness of what cannot be regained. It really is as good an answer as any I’ve seen to the bad-faith questioning of why victims of sexual assault sometimes don’t come forward right away or at all. The eight-part series was nominated for four Emmys.

Another searing, racially probing, young-man-centered, true-to-life Ava Duvernay product Colin in Black and White was another one I found myself talking up – for similar reasons as Unbelievable and When They See Us. They got under my skin, at times enraging and at times heartbreaking, always nuanced. This docudrama about the coming of age of Colin Kapaernick boldly confronts micro aggressions and in your face racism and colourism, and most infuriatingly racial blindness and the harm it can do. Because this young man (played by Jaden Michael, previously of Vampires vs. The Bronx) was going through it and the people closest to him refused to see it. The man himsef Colin – formerly of the NFL and if you know that name you know why – narrated the chapters looking like a superstar with his boldly defiant fro. No Emmy noms (only Peabody and NAACP) that I could find and that is frankly baffling.

This is one of those series no one in my circle – or outside of it – seems to have heard of but I really liked the first season of Gentefied – about a Mexican-American family trying to save their restaurant, stay out of trouble, and figure life out – and rooted for its return. I was a little less enthusiastic about season 2 but (like Luke Cage before it) it was still better than a lot of other content on the streaming service and (like Luke Cage before it) was an injection of much-welcomed diversity. The fast-paced dramedy didn’t hesitate to delve in to deep-seated (classism, family trauma) and topical (immigration, gentrification) issues, and delivered an immersive experience of culture and family and dreaming in a multi-generational potpourri. That didn’t stop season 3 from being cancelled. Pops (Joaquin Casio, last seen as as the general of the fictional island zombified and terrorized by a giant starfish in The Suicide Squad) and his troubled and troubling grandkids, and their lovers and friends deserved better. No Emmy noms (only a GLAAD) that I could find and given its under the radar status, that tracks.

I’ll admit I only checked out Bodyguard because it had Richard Madden (“The King in the North!”) as the titular character. But that tense opening sequence hooked me. The British TV series is action packed, exciting, and probably problematic (copaganda, islamaphobia both of which I do think it works to subvert) if topical, as modern political thrillers tackling terrorism (that opening sequence involving a bomb on a train) and ptsd (with Madden’s character being a former army British army vet) go. This 2018 show was one of my earlier binges (I believe season 1 of Stranger Things, which I liked, was my first binge), and the details are blurry now but two scenes – that opening, and the climax/revelation – stand out still. It had a number of award nominations including two Emmy nods – one for best drama series and one for writing for a drama series.

Carey Mulligan’s Collateral was another British crime thriller in which no one and nothing is as it seems, with another set of other terrorists, and another lone wolf protagonist who maybe should not be on the job just now but who pushes (or muddles) through to a high drama conclusion. It’s hard boiled, it’s moody, it’s…okay. & an easy watch at four episodes. No Emmy nods but a couple of British Academy Television Awards (BAFTA) nominations.

The first few seasons (I’ve watched 4 of 6 so far) of Peaky Blinders was such an exciting watch I couldn’t believe no one (that I could see) was talking about it like that. The British series was well acted, well designed, well shot, graphic and relentless but also human, and complex. It was part stylized historical crime drama, part political drama, part family drama, with thrills and romance. I was especially enthralled by the family dynamics of the earlier seasons (they were the Corleone’s of the early 20th century Birmingham underworld in some ways to me) and the more the world (and the main character Tommy Shelby) moved away from the intimacy of that, the more my interest waned but it was never uninteresting and I may still return to finish the remaining seasons. I believe I was first drawn to the history of that city Birmingham (its connection to the trans Atlantic slave trade), in that time, post WWI, and of Black people in Britain pre-Windrush. The lore – the myth and realities of it, e.g. about the title and what it means – proved interesting to me. I may, also, have been drawn in by the Cillian Murphy of it all; always a chameleon like presence, he brings a completely different, career transformational energy here. There are great performances all around, especially by the now deceased Helen McCrory. Performances I thought were under represented come awards time. It has a number of noms and wins in Britain (including at the BAFTAs) but no Emmy wins or noms, for instance.

Unorthodox is a four-part German mini-series adapted from Deborah Feldman’s autobiography. I knew about neither when I stumbled upon this account of a once-devout ultra-orthodox Jewish woman who flees her arranged marriage, her husband and community giving chase; a journey that takes her from New York to Germany, but mostly from being absorbed in to something that subsumed her to finding her own voice. It was and remains a world about which I know very little and curiousity may have drawn me in but the storytelling – and the riveting performance by Shira Haas as Esther – was what kept me. In Berlin, Esther finds an arts community, acceptance sand rejection and resilience in this quiet meditation (with sidebar of caper) of a series. This series received many award nominations and some wins in the 2020 awards season, including eight Emmys noms across the prime time and prime time creative arts emmys and a directing win.

Stranger Things – specifically season 1, my first binge, I believe, while recovering from surgery. As someone who came of age in the 80s, I loved all the nostalgia and the resurgence of Winona Ryder; I liked the chemistry between the kids; I was intrigued by the concept of the upside down; I liked the grumpy sheriff etc. That said, I watched season 2 and started season 3, and it’s been diminishing returns for me since the first season. I did start to think that it should have maybe ended with season 1. But I haven’t completely written off returning to catch up on season 4 which has been getting a lot of positive buzz. The series has over the years attraced an impressive list of awards nominations including emmys – though with the emmys it’s primarily in the technical categories; with wins for casting, title design, theme music, picture editing, sound editing x4, stunt coordination, music supervision, sound mixing, and prosthetic make-up. The only major acting win I could find is SAG ensemble for season 1. The series also has a Peabody.

The Punisher and Luke Cage are two Marvel properties that are probably on the same level for me experientially in that I really liked season 1 but didn’t get very deep in to season 2 before checking out, but without really realizing I was checking out, like thinking I’d be back to finish at some point and at some point realizing that I was fooling myself and whatever magic had been there in season 1 wasn’t really there for me like that anymore. It maybe doesn’t help that I didn’t tune in because of any great attachment to the IP – I barely knew them. I tuned in to The Punisher because Jon Bernthal (Shane from The Walking Dead was playing the title character) and Luke Cage (with Michael Colter as the titular character) because I’d seen some of the buzz about its handling of the social commentary around Blackness. The first seasons of each delivered with a capital D. Shout out to Alfre Woodard and Mahershala Ali (Luke Cage) and Ebon Moss-Bacharach (The Punisher) with their standout supporting performances. I was surprised at how much I liked The Punisher which didn’t skimp on the violence, and was really impressed with the viscerality and layers to Luke Cage. But it didn’t sustain. Both have since been cancelled (as with all the Marvel Netflix properties). I believe The Punisher has a creative arts emmy nom but I don’t remember (and can’t dig up in the very little time I’m prepared to give to this) for what but Luke Cage won one for stunt coordination.

The Upshaws which I watched for Kim Fields (good to see Tootie/Facts of Life and Regine/Living Single) back again. Wanda Sykes was good too and the dynamics of the family was interesting, and it was funny. A real old school sitcom but with modern sensibilities. And yet I haven’t really signed on to season 2 mostly because I’m not getting past my irritation with one actor/character yet…but I believe I might go back because the good outweighs the bad and I think I’d like to give season 2 more of a chance. Kim and I go too far back for me to not at least try. Reviews are about as mixed as mine, so, no surprise, no noms and certainly no emmys that I could find.

Obviously I don’t love every listed series but I liked them just enough for them to make my 12. There are other shows I liked some or all of the first season of but ultimately it wasn’t for me: e.g. The Chair (watched for Sandra Oh making it through all of season 1 but not without frustration and non-commital on season 2), Dear White People (in which I stumbled on the second season after zipping through the first – I think the time gap between both might have been the culprit here), Never have I ever (a decent show but I’ll leave this one for the teens), and Black Summer (because zombies but not enough plot). Finally, The Last Dance (the doc series which I did watch every ep of but, as a Bad Boys 4eva fan, I’m not going to fave because I’m a Jordan-era Bulls hater…it was entertaining though); and there are probably things I’m forgetting – not because they weren’t good but because there’s only so much brain space and this era certainly has an abundance of content. These are just some of my faves. What’re some of yours?

Just Letting You Know

That there are some site updates you don’t want to miss. Check them out.

You know I’m out here building and part of that is feedback from clients (writing, editing etc) and workshop participants. I share those in Performance Reviews. The latest is from a creative writing workshop first-timer. who wrote in her post-workshop evaluation, “I would recommend this workshop because the information is applicable and practicable and it is motivating.” I especially liked though that as we wrapped, she spontaneously verbalized how at ease she felt, writing and sharing during the session, because of the environment and I’m happy she included that in her evaluation: “The workshop was very informative with an atmosphere that is comfortable and enables learning and sharing.” I’ve also added the comments shared by the Antigua [and Barbuda] Film Academy in their book.

CREATIVE SPACE continues to swing between art coverage and community content with November articles featuring St. Lucia’s collaging Cowie sisters and a discussion with former banker Donald Charles about the impact of inflation on people, after his presentation on the topic at October’s Antigua and Barbuda Conference.

BLOGGER ON BOOKS, where I talk about my latest reading material, has also been updated. & I say reading material rather than books because my latest two completed reads are actually literary journals Speak Out! 1 and Speak Out! 2. I’m actually finding reading shorter pieces more possible right now – and not just because I am myself working on my short story collection; this also applies to novels with shorter chapters. It’s a concentration thing, a time thing, a life thing.

Those are some updates to pages in November. & here are some October updates in case you missed them.

CREATIVE SPACE articles – one with some Antiguan and Barbudan music currently on my playlist and one on New Daughters of Africa. Look, I was so hyped to finish that book, and blog on it, and present on it, I may have gone overboard writing about it but no regrets. Not about that.

What does this pic have to do with anything? Not a thing, it’s just me and my niece (who is now a grown woman) in my favourite hat.

Carib Lit Plus (Early to Mid September 2022)

Wadadli Pen

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 – credit and link back if you use).

News

African American actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, daughter of Jamaican designer Ivy Ralph, has won her first Emmy, long overdue after decades in the entertainment industry, for her supporting role on the hit comedy Abbott Elementary. She had words of wisdom for all the dreamers.

Sharing just as much for…

View original post 1,298 more words

#Music #Everyday

80s music videos are so wild. How did I never notice that the visual theme of Kool and the Gang’s “Fresh” is the Cinderella story?

One of the funkiest bands to ever do it – “Celebration”, “Get down on it”, …drop them in to any party all these decades later and they’ll funk it up. I also liked ballads like “Cherish” and, of course, “Joanna” – the video for which was in heavy rotation on local TV when I was a child – even if it did fill my head with nonsense.

Jhohadli Writing Project (Update)

As the year winds down, I’m coming up on the last JWP session of 2022. As I told participants today in my November 4th session (which doubled as my October session), continuation in to 2023 depends on demand. So, if you’re interested, now’s the time to register your interest.

I don’t have the written November evals as yet but the oral feedback at the end of the session was positive – I especially appreciated hearing from a participant who was not only new to JWP but new to the whole workshop experience and possibly writing in general who said she not only enjoyed the session but appreciated the way I made her feel comfortable to write and share. I know she was thinking it might be too advanced for her so I appreciate her giving it a shot and realizing that I do my best to meet people where they are and make my workshops a safe space to create.

For more of my experience offering workshops see Jhohadli Writing Project and Performance Reviews.