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.
(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.
lashing whip ‘pon back.
lashing whip ‘pon back
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