About the Cushion Club Reading Club for Kids in Antigua & Barbuda

club 2019.png

Cushion Club, 2019.

It occurs to me that I’ve never really written about the Cushion Club here on my Jhohadli blog (which is about my writing and professional journey, and whatever else I feel like talking about) – though I’ve written on it many times on the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize blog (the platform for the programme I started in 2004 to nurture and showcase the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda, and a literary hub for our islands) and on Antiguanice.com (which continues to generously share its online real estate with community projects like ours), not to mention the reading club’s media updates. But there are some new developments I wanted to share and it feels about time that I did some of the sharing over here as Cushion Club was for many years second only to Wadadli Pen as my primary volunteer project – and though I am no longer a regular reader, I am a Cushion Clubber for life.

mostimproved.JPG

Cushion Club, 2008.

The Club started in the late 1990s, let’s say 97, and it has moved around a lot in the years since and the volunteers have changed (Barbara Arrindell, Joanne Massiah, among the volunteers in the early years) and changed again (Teacher Elizee, Daydre, Asha, Ina, etc.) over time (not to mention the very guest readers we would invite in), but it is still providing reading adventures for children – still Saturdays (10:30 a.m. – 12 noon), currently out of the UWI Open Campus (Antigua and Barbuda).

Caption: some of our visitors and volunteers through the years.

Chadd Cumberbatch visits the Cushion Club2

Cushion Club, visiting writer/reader Chadd Cumberbatch; 2010.

Chief Librarian Dorothea Nelson 3

Cushion Club, visiting reader/Chief Librarian Dorothea Nelson; 2009.

Exif JPEG

Cushion Club (one of the early volunteers, Ms. Henry with the kids including one of my nieces pictured far right); 2004.

cushionclubnew2

Cushion Club, w/Cedric and Ina (and one of my nephews, in red, and nieces, far left); 2010.

juanitaelizee

Cushion Club w/Juania Elizee; 2008.

DSC04027

Cushion Club w/guest presenter/dramatist/educator Kanika Simpson-Davis; 2013.

DSC01232

Cushion Club w/guest/author Floree Williams; 2008.

joyatcushionclub2

Cushion Club w/guest/writer Joy Lawrence; 2009.

guidesvisit

Cushion Club, w/guests/Girl Guides; 2008.

patriciaharrington

Cushion Club w/guest/visiting author Patricia Harrington; 2008.

I became a volunteer, probably around 2003, I really wasn’t keeping count but I’m 98 percent sure it was before I launched Wadadli Pen as I remember running Wadadli Pen writing workshops out of the Cushion Club space when we were still at the Senior Centre in Gambles. It wasn’t always easy – there were Saturdays when I had to work, or chauffeur my niece or my mom, or go to a class I was taking (which was tricky especially as parents rarely picked their kids up on time) – but I stuck with it for many years (about 10 give or take), long enough that I saw kids I met in primary school grow up. I remember reading Jane Eyre (?) my first few weeks with Desonee who was in primary school at the time and is now a teacher. Crazy.

Exif JPEG

Cushion Club, Zuri and Zoe, 2004 – one of these is in college and one is in law school.

cushion club 2006 - me with my niece velonie, shonnell and Latisha.jpg

Cushion Club, 2006 with Velonie (one of my nieces), Shonell, and Latisha.

Another of my early kids Latisha is now a volunteer herself – and a recent university graduate – who is very much about the branding, and has set the Club up with a social media presence – here and here. And she has other plans. I like the new energy coming in to the Club to support the work being done by our most consistent volunteer from the Club’s earliest years to present Cedric Holder. It is Cedric who has expanded what the Club does – the field trips (from field trips to visiting other reading clubs to attending spelling bees and lit fest type events), the give back (sponsoring a humanities prize for Buckley’s Primary, a summer read challenge prize collabo with Wadadli Pen, a prize for the junior section of Wadadli Pen Challenge in the Club’s name for instance), among other things.

Exif JPEG

Cushion Club, Cedric presenting the Club prize to a Buckley’s Primary student; 2005.

But as I was reminded on my most recent visit, it’s kids in a space, listening and reading, and playing word games (I used to enjoy re-purposing games from my own childhood such as Concentration and Red Light Green Light into word games for the kids, and the kids always loved our spelling and social studies/current events competitions) – we always tried to make it fun. And, of course, reading to them with the vigour (and many voices) I did at home with my niece, helped me get more comfortable with public reading because there’s no self-consciousness, only a desire to make the story come alive for them. And I’ve said before that I tested the story that would become my picture book Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure out on the Club kids – plus one of the schools I visited – but I remember specifically asking the Club kids what they thought of it. Their response helped.

DSC01980.JPG

At the Spelling Bee with one of my nieces (right) and one of my Cushion Club kids, 2009.

So they have helped me as I have helped them. It’s actually heart-filling when I run in to them as young adults – like how are they so grown.  But then my own nieces and nephews whom I used to take to the Club with me (some of them pictured above) are also now grown so it makes sense. I have learned that mentorship chooses you more than you choose it, and so I embrace the ones who see me as their mentor, auntie, big sister, whatever they want to call me – and thank whatever spirit led me to volunteer with the Club for the opportunity to serve. I still serve though I’m not a Club regular anymore – mostly I’m the one who does the media announcements and keeps up with the Club correspondence, that sort of thing (the club email by the way is cushionclub@yahoo.com).

DSC00960.JPG

Cushion Clubbers, 2008.

DSC01412.JPG

Cushion Club, 2008…sharing this one because that’s another of my nephews in my arms…speaking of grown, he’s getting ready to enter secondary school soon.

Recently, the Club had a visitor (Mags) who found us – actually I’m not sure how she found us but on the eve of her visit to the island she offered to get some books for us (we’re always reaching out for fresh and interesting kid friendly books) and to stop by (we always love having fresh faces, visiting or volunteering as a regular). She’s not the first to reach out to us this way but it’s her email after her visit (plus Latisha’s recent efforts on social media) that prompted this Cushion Club post. She wrote:

Good morning Cedric.

I just wanted to say a big thank you to you for my visit to the Cushion Club yesterday.

I thoroughly enjoyed the morning, meeting you all and learning all about the club.

What a fantastic service you are providing for the children. I was amazed, The Cushion Club is so much more than a reading club. In addition to all the information and knowledge you are passing over in a fun way, you are also teaching invaluable life skills.

A special thank you to all the children, to you and to Latisha, you made me feel so welcome.

Kind regards

Mags

P1010026.JPG

Cushion Club, 2013 (Latisha volunteering).

Thank you, Mags, for visiting and also for affirming the work of the Club. Cedric, a National Youth Award winner for his service to the Cushion Club, is doing God’s work with his persistent commitment – even now that his own son (who was a wee one when I started volunteering) is grown and graduated from secondary school (and there’s no reason for him to still be as committed as he is…but he is. And what Mags described is exactly what the Club has been about all these years, and newest regular volunteer Latisha is one of the best examples of that.

cushion club at wadadli stories.jpg

As a Cushion Club volunteer, Cedric is invited from time to time to volunteer read at lit events and schools.

DSC00947.JPG

Cedric and son, Cushion Club, 2008.

 

Advertisements

Season’s Greetings + The Year’s Best

Is it just me or did Christmas pull a ninja move on us?

Santa 2

Happy to see you, boo, but how are you here already (out of nowhere)?

Okay, well, sit down; let’s get caught up.

Let me share, as I do, the most popular (as in most viewed, shared, liked, commented on) writings added to the site this year (2018). Well, sort of. It’s a top 5, as the top 10 most popular  posts on the site this year included 5 pages. Posts are the updates and pages are the fixed content to the left.

Pages in the top 10 are the CREATIVE SPACE main page – this is where new entries for the series, spotlighting Antiguan and Barbudan art and culture, and inviting businesses operating in Antigua and Barbuda to boost local art and culture while boosting their own brand, first drops – the series came to the blog and to Antiguanice.com this year, and will eventually make its way on to other types of platforms if I have my way, but first ran some years ago as a series in Zing, the LIAT inflight magazine; CREATIVE SPACE #16 of 2018 – The Lecture Circuit – Mas’king – this is the most popular post in the series and part of the top 10 for the year despite only being added in November, a testament, I think to the popularity of its subject afro-Caribbean folk dancer, choreographer, and founder of the Antigua Dance Academy Veronica Yearwood, and also her subject mas (i.e. the Carnival masquerade); Blogger on Books Vl (2018) – this is the landing page of the 2018 iteration of the series in which I review books I’ve read and where you can read the latest reviews; CREATIVE SPACE #4 of 2018 – It’s Game, Set, and…Win for Tennis Antigua-Barbuda – this is the second most popular post in the aforementioned series and dates all the way back to May when it was inspired by a regional tournament at the national tennis centre; and the third most popular, the first CREATIVE SPACE – Creative Space #1 of 2018 – Playing to Inspire 2, featuring the Kanneh-Mason clan, one of whom went on to play later in the year at the Royal wedding of 2018.

Asher(Joss Stone with Antiguan-Barbudan songstress Asher Otto in one of the year’s CREATIVE SPACEs above; and regional authors N. C. Marks, Dr. Carolyn Cooper, and Barbara A. Arrindell in another below)3 writers

And now for the posts-posts in the top 10 (or top 5 posts of 2018) top to bottom:

D. Gisele Isaac – Daughter of the Antigua & Barbuda Soil , which is not the sort of thing I usually write on the site (and for non-Antiguans-and-Barbudans reading the site it is a particularly deep cut that may leave you wondering …who?)  – though she is an author (her book is Considering Venus) and I write about books and authors quite a bit. My purpose for writing about her this time was about re-asserting her us-ness, that she is not just a political foil and thus fair game, but family, part of our Antiguan and Barbudan family (and whatever no doubt naïve feelings I have about that usurping partisan politics). It is my view that if she is accused, as she is, that she deserves a fair chance to make her case in the court of law and be freed from this limbo of a life she’s been forced to live since the first charge was laid against her (with all of the other factors that attend – bail, diminished income/loss of income, twice weekly check-ins with the police, confiscation of passport so that she cannot travel etc.). The obvious rebuttal to what I’ve written is how do you know she’s not guilty; I don’t, I only believe that she isn’t based on everything I know about her and my understanding of the case against her. But that is moot. This is not about what I believe, or what her detractors and accusers believe but about justice, what is just and what is seen to be just. Let her make her case in our court of law rather than continuing to allow the process to drag as it has for years now. What kind of life is this? As someone on the page Standing with Gisele (which you can find on facebook) asserted, explaining why they do not support this platform advocating on her behalf, this is not new, she is not the only one to have seen justice so slowed. And I understand that point of view, I have no defense against it, except I speak write (because my pen is my tool) for her because I know her and I have felt frustrated and pained watching her go through this and I just wanted to share a bit of her as I know her and, as I said, hopefully, remind that she is a her and not just a pawn. As Audrey said about calling in to the radio station to speak up for Nikki in my novel Oh Gad! she wanted to remind Them that she hab smadee. Gisele doesn’t need me for that, obviously, she has a big and tight family, but I know (from what she said to me after the post went live) that she appreciated it because you never really know who your people are until you’re going through it. This post has not only been viewed by a lot of people, but shared by a lot of people; and no doubt even venturing to speak her name has earned me both good and bad will. I accept that but that interest has made it the blog’s most viewed and shared post of the year. So what’s done is done.

Next in line is a post I did spotlighting a book by another author (for more books remember you can flip through the menu to the left for Joanne’s Extra-ness which will lead to my blogger on books posts reviewing the books I read). This book was Tata and the Big Bad Bull, a children’s picture book about bullying by Jamaican author Juleus Ghunta. We are with the same publisher Caribbean Reads (which also publishes two of my six books of fiction – teen/young adult novel Musical Youth and children’s picture book Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure) and having been moved by this writer’s poetry in the past, I was cool with agreeing to review an advance copy. Good thing I liked it though; that could’ve been awkward.

365Antigua photo by Jane(The Boy from Willow Bend cover – cover art by Heather Doram, inset, and me, 2009-ish; photo taken by friend and photographer Jane Rodriguez-Javier for the book’s re-issue)

The Boy from Willow Bend Study Guide (Author Edition) is up there which is good because I did it to support the efforts of teachers – Willow Bend, my first book, is on schools reading lists in Antigua and Barbuda, and Anguilla (as far as I know). I essentially did a FAQ answering the most commonly searched questions about the book, my first book – with gratitude for the continuing interest in it among readers, students, teachers, any and all of you who keep this book in print. This post I have to say was both fun and a challenge – fun because it provided an opportunity to revisit characters and a world that holds some nostalgia for me (characters who were the fulfillment of my dream of becoming a published author), a challenge because it’s me asking myself to remember motivations and choices re a literary work I wrote half a lifetime ago. So, yeah. My only note to students engaging with this post is don’t plagiarize; take it for the offer of supporting material that it’s intended to be and form your own ideas re The Boy from Willow Bend.

The next most popular post saw me leaping in to the #MeToo conversation – something I’d contemplated for some time as this is to my mind a long overdue conversation and, I hope, tide change; but I decided to focus on my Caribbean where we’ve had our versions of #MeToo and #TimesUp in #lifeinleggings #tambourinearmy and others (for the people in the back asking when is MeToo going to hit the Caribbean). As I type this comment, today today I read two stories that could easily fit under this umbrella. One involved American actress Eliza Dushku  – who played Faith, a personal and fan favourite, on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the anti-cheerleader-cheerleader in Bring it On, among other works –  who got booted from Bull, a TV show I’ve never heard of when she dared speak on harassment on set (Eliza, you may remember, was also assaulted, allegedly allegedly, as a child on the set of the movie True Lies). She ultimately receive 9 mill from CBS, Bull’s network, for wrongful dismissal. The other involved a local (to Antigua) rape survivor who accused the lawyer assigned to her case of sexual harassment and was ignored and eventually had her complaint dismissed for lack of evidence. People refer to this era as some dark period determined to ruin good men (I’ve heard men and women spew this ridiculous rhetoric). Stories like the ones cited here will hopefully remind all of us who is truly being ruined – and yet who is finally finding their voice – in these dark times. #metoo #lifeinleggings

And then, rounding out the top 5, there was East Coast Sunset which you should experience at least once in your life: “…Colours slide in, soft; the shy side of all those showy reds and oranges and yellows…As the wild waves and the quiet night sidle up to each other and the world slows its spinning. Not ready to go to sleep yet, but heavy in its bones as the burden of being lifts.” This was a bit of creative non-fiction narrative poetry in response to viewing a sunset  from the wrong side of the island. This was my first post of 2018.

What can I learn from the posts and pages with which you chose to engage? 1, there’s interest in the CREATIVE SPACE series, now I just need to translate that interest in to sponsors; 2, you come here for the books but you appreciate when I write other things – whether that’s what’s topical or just what’s on my mind. So, that’s good. I will endeavor in 2019 to continue bringing you content to grab and hold and engage your interest. I appreciate the high traffic as well to, in descending order, The Boy from Willow Bend’s reviews page, my BOOKS page, my author BiO, performance reviews re my professional freelance writing-editing-training services, a breakdown of my services, evidence of my publications and projects, the main page re my professional background and introducing my services, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight’s reviews page, reviews of other creative works of mine or of my writing in general, and the Jhohadli Writing Project page. This speaks to interest in what I do and am trying to do, and I appreciate that. I appreciate you.

Finally, this (Joanne’s Picks – Aretha. Queen of Soul) was not one of my top posts of the year (alas) but, I will pull editorial rank to remind you that we said good bye to the voice of the 20th century, the Queen of Soul in 2018. RIP to her. May her music continue to move us.

Aretha's Greatest HitsPlay that music. Eat some food. Connect with your loved ones. Merry Christmas. See you on the other side.

Antigua and Barbuda in Verse

I just responded to a request for a poem about Antigua and Barbuda – I get requests like that from time to time, on account of being a writer and, possibly, on account of my voluntary work with the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize, which suggests that I’ve got some kind of finger on the pulse of what’s happening literarily in Wadadli. Not sure about that but I do do my best to catalogue our writings which allows me to be able to pass along not only a link to my poems, but to some of the other Antiguan and Barbudans who’ve published or presented verse (and non-verse) on industry platforms.

Having spent some time doing that, I thought I’d share it with you here so that you can discover these writers as well. The list is broken down alphabetically A – M and N – Z.

with Althea Romeo Mark and Brenda Lee Browne
(Three Antiguan and Barbudan poets/writers meeting up – Brenda Lee Browne, Althea Romeo Mark, and Joanne C. Hillhouse)

You’ll find on those lists publications like Althea Romeo-Marks Neighbour’s in the Wood Shack, Desiree’s Revenge, Flawless, Play-Mamas, and A Kind of Refuge/Living in Limbo in Womanspeak, 2013; Burdened in KRITYA Poetry Journal, 2012; Revolution and Reggae in Calabash, 2007 … what can I say, the Switzerland based writer has written and published a lot and not frivolous sh*t either. Check it out.

“Bokrah man
lashing whip ‘pon back.
Nager man
lashing whip ‘pon back
when slavery
done gone long time.”

You’ll also find Charlene Spencer’s Stranger from 2014’s The Caribbean Writer, Brenda Lee Browne’s Granny Cecelia’s Travelling Handbag from 2016’s Womanspeak, Tammi Browne-Bannister’s Wee Willie Winkle from 2015’s The Caribbean Writer and Coo Yah from 2014’s Moko: Caribbean Arts and Letters. Shout out to Tammi.

“He ate each and every kidney, tantalizing his classmates with every suck, pick, slurp and lick. Their mouths watered and their eyes followed the golden juices that gushed down his hands.”

Peep also a discovery, George W. Edwards’ Folklore from Antigua and Barbuda, circa 1921, and finds like Shakeema Edwards, someone who came through the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize Challenge and published Diaspora and That Laugh in 2014’s Tongues of the Ocean, which I had the opportunity to edit.

You have warriors like Linisa George whose In the Closet was part of BBC’s Poetry Postcards series in 2014, Clifton Joseph’s I remember Back Home and Slo Mo at Words Aloud in 2007, Edgar Lake’s Walcott Reads to Brodsky’s Godmother in 2007’s Calabash, to Kimolisa Mings turning the fairytale on its head with Little Red Hoodie in 2014’s Tongues of the Ocean.

I’m listed, too; from 2004’s Rhythms and Ah Write! in The Caribbean Writer to 2011’s At Sea in Munyori to 2016’s Game Changer in Moko, and others.

“Essie is flamboyant as ever; her full and curvy frame hugged up by a red bustier straight out of a burlesque show, black leather pants, and dangerously (sexy, she would say) red heels that still only bring her up to Claudette’s chin. Claudette is also in black, tall and svelte in a black strappy ankle-length maxi dress, black combat boots and a black beaded cloche hat someone like Louise Brooks might have worn during the jazz era; her red-red lip stick and the red beading in the fitted cap, the only pop of colour. Essie had given the whole get-up an eye roll when she’d picked her up. Claudette had done her own mental eye roll at the way her friend, enviably comfortable in her own skin, still doesn’t get the concept of size-appropriate clothing.”

Click the links in this post, if so inclined, and read a bit of Antigua and Barbuda in verse. Oh and remember to vote for the Wadadli Pen Readers Choice Book of the Year #readAntiguaBarbuda #voteAntiguaBarbuda

New on the Blog

ParadiseThe latest Blogger on Books update (Take Time for Paradise) is less a review, actually a throwback review, and more a memory with my niece whom I used to let practice her reading by reading aloud to me in the car…and apparently while watching cricket.

The previous review, also a throwback review, because reading-what-reading, is archived here.

#BookChat

 

Rick as Cotton on Dr WhoThe latest CREATIVE SPACE, CREATIVE SPACE 12, spotlights the art of the recently departed George Rick James. Here’s an excerpt:

Theatre on the Road and on the Stage: Rick James

With the passing of playwright, actor, and mas builder George ‘Rick’ James this September, I find myself moved to reflect on his contribution to the creative arts – as much has and will be said about his contribution to electoral reform and transparency through his Free and Fair Election League. Also on the need for us to archive our arts. And publish our plays! A question on my mind is what will become of his papers (i.e. his plays and any creative side work). Such items, depending on the artist’s impact, have been donated to or acquired by libraries, educational institutions, archives, governments (see the Caribbean Literary Heritage Project for more on the archiving of artists papers). In Antigua and Barbuda, though, who knows? So consider this, CREATIVE SPACE’s first obituary, a recording of sorts.

Read the whole thing.

The previous CREATIVE SPACE, CREATIVE SPACE 11, Musical Harmony, can now be found here.

The CREATIVE SPACE series remains an opportunity for businesses in Antigua and Barbuda to boost their brand while boosting local art and culture.

  1.  Sponsored posts – Your logo or other company image featured prominently on the post you’re sponsoring (your sponsorship supporting coverage of Antiguan and Barbudan arts and culture) with a link back to your web page or social media (your brand linked to that post as it’s syndicated on Antigua Nice, promoted on social media, and archived here on the Jhohadli site). For a fee.
  2. Brand partnership – for companies that have a creative/cultural product they want me to sample and/or cover and/or participate in, and write about. For a fee. I decide if the product is a good fit for the series and I retain editorial control of the content (I’ll be honest and fair).

October 2018

The Jhohadli Writing Project Creative Writing Workshop Series continues. New sessions begin in October as soon as the sessions started in September wrap. We’re going BACK TO BASICS.

Lost! first copies

Finally,  Lost! the Caribbean Sea Adventure and I will be in Miami in November for the Miami Book Fair. Details of that appearance here.

***

Haven’t checked out any of my books yet? Children’s picture book to teen/young adult fic to adult novels? Read more. If you’ve read any of my books, please consider posting a review to amazon, goodreads, or other online space if you haven’t already done so. It makes a big difference. Keep in mind…

help writers.jpgThanks!

***

One more thing. Here’s a link re my services as writer, editor, writing coach, and course/workshop facilitator if you should ever need them.

Creative Space #7 of 2018 – Carnival

31172136_10155396943712031_2981263520554234593_n

The Carnival schedule was the jump-off for this update to the CREATIVE SPACE series. The series is me jumping back in to something I’ve enjoyed doing over my many years as a journalist covering (reporting, providing commentary on – sometimes both), among other things, local art and culture across various media – TV, print, and online – but this time using my own platform (oh, look, I have one of those). To reach a bigger audience, I syndicate the series – so far to Antigua Nice. To enable me to continue doing the series, I am inviting local (Antiguan and Barbudan) businesses (and businesses with interest in Antigua and Barbuda) to sponsor a post, or two, or three…in the series. Boosting their Brand while boosting local art and culture.

Go back and read the posts about Playing to Inspire, the launches of Lovers Rock and Plantations of Antigua: the Sweet Success of Sugar, Tennis Antigua’s Labour Day tournamentopen mic, Barbuda’s Homecoming, and, of course, Carnival!

If you like the series share it, if you want to sponsor a post (and why wouldn’t you!), contact me.

New CREATIVE SPACE – Barbuda Homecoming

This post is about the latest update to my CREATIVE SPACE series. Non-Antiguans and Barbudans you are invited to read these too (I hope you do), but the primary audience is Antigua and Barbuda and our diaspora as it focuses specifically on things Antiguan and Barbudan (specifically our art and culture, interpreted fairly broadly) and Antiguan and Barbudan businesses (and businesses who see Antigua and Barbuda as part of their market) which I am inviting to sponsor future posts (BOOSTING your BRAND while boosting local art and culture) – wha yuh say? Contact me to find out more.

Since this series started several weeks ago, I’ve covered two book launches, a tennis tournament, an open mic, a symphony concert (starring Shaku Kanneh-Mason, the cellist who recently played at the Royal Wedding), and I’ve lined up other activities/events I’m interested in covering and received invitations to cover other activities/events. I look forward to doing it. This is dependent on the series being able to pay for itself, using as a model sponsored posts (the sponsors logo with a link to their website is advertised on the post they sponsor and acknowledged when the post is syndicated). Syndication simply means that the series posts are shared on other platforms – so far Antigua Nice which is one of Antigua and Barbuda’s oldest and largest online platforms, a hub especially for tourism (meaning that content is reaching locals and non-locals far and wide). Contact me to find out more.

This latest edition of CREATIVE SPACE – number 6 – is about the Barbuda Reunion coming up this summer.

32149315_10156266501943864_974797339552120832_n1

‘Few things have been as heartbreaking as Barbuda this past year. Heartbreak born of nature’s fury by way of September 6, 2017’s hurricane Irma which decimated the island, as well as the politically-driven fissure in the sisterhood shared between Antigua and Barbuda.

 

“Residents of Barbuda have recently survived a very traumatic, life altering series of events, and they still thrive,” she (Beverly George, part of the planning committee) said via our e-correspondence. “This speaks to their tremendous strength, resilience and resolve.  Many are still experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder…We ask our Antiguan brothers and sisters to be sensitive to these issues, and to continue to be supportive of our brothers and sisters.”

The Homecoming, she explained, is a coming together of the will of the some 30,000 Barbudans in the diaspora – across the United States of America, Canada, the UK, likely other places, and, of course, Antigua and Barbuda.’ READ THE FULL ARTICLE.

Then contact me to support more coverage of Antiguan and Barbudan art and culture.

More Jhohadli Writing Project Creative Writing Workshop Series

I have organized and led three independent series in the Jhohadli Writing Project Creative Writing Workshop Series since the start of 2018 – 4 Saturdays each time for 12 sessions overall. And continuing.

New sessions will begin in June 2018 as long as there is even one registrant (and sometimes it has been just one) interested in participating. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to contact me to be put on the mailing list re future sessions.

I enjoy doing deep dives in to the art and craft of writing, analysis and practice, and if participant feedback is any indication, they seem to be getting something out of it too. Pass it on.

“My favorite character* workshop activity had to do with reading about characters and being able to figure out what the writer is trying to show the reader about the characters personality and actions…I learnt about how to develop a character more effectively.”

“I wanted to get some formal on techniques that would make my writing more compelling. I also wanted to get feedback on if my work was interesting. (My favourite activity was) writing a character profile… It really was an exercise in imagination and conjecture based on little information…I achieved the goal of refining just a little bit more the skill of writing compelling characters…I would recommend the workshop for amateur writers because we many times think we can just write. But the workshop presented different ways to think about writing.”

*p.s. these workshops are primarily fiction focused with emphasis on one area – the emphasis for the April-May sessions being, you guessed it, character.

Remember, workshops will be ongoing throughout the year, and though set in Antigua are open to participants from anywhere in the world; if you want to participate, contact me