How did one of Arrow’s earliest songs change Montserrat calypso? Was there really a Jean Under the Bed?
These questions are asked and answered in the upcoming Alphonsus “Arrow” Cassell Memorial Lecture Series scheduled to premiere on Thursday, November 19, 2020 on the Alliouagana Festival of the Word Facebook page.
The festival has gone virtual this year and so has the lecture series. In tribute to the 10th anniversary of Arrow’s passing, a panel of cultural experts will discuss Tracing Montserrat’s History Through Arrow’s Lyrics. The panel comprises journalist and calypsonian Edwin “Red Ride” Martin, ZJB Radio Station Manager and Calypso Commentator Herman Sargeant, and ZJB Radio Morning Show Host Basil Chambers.
The trio will discuss Arrow’s music from his start as a young calypsonian, his transition to soca and becoming a global star. They will analyse his lyrics and connect it to Montserrat’s broader socio-economic story. Martin leads the 50-minute conversation, which will stream from 7:30PM online. Read More
A vervet monkey named Chee Chee, a little boy who loves masquerade and a pig who lives on the beach are some of the characters which feature in the Good Night Montserrat reading series.
Good Night Montserrat is a new addition to the Alliouagana Festival of the Word programme for the virtual 2020 edition, which began on Sunday November 15 and runs until Sunday, November 22 nightly at 7PM on the festivals Facebook page.
“The focus was two-fold, the literary festival page has a small audience on Facebook, and we wanted to create content which would bring attention to the upcoming festival. Children are an important part of the focus of the festival and as it is virtual, we wanted to create multiple short bursts of entertainment which parents could share with them each night,” explained festival organizer Nerissa Golden of Goldenmedia.
Over the coming week, ten books will be featured primarily from authors who publish with CaribbeanReads, a small imprint out of St. Kitts. “We are pleased to support the literary festival and the Good Night Montserrat series. An important part of CaribbeanReads’ mission is to increase the stock of quality, interesting, relevant, and intellectually accessible books available to Caribbean children. We believe that providing Caribbean children with books set in the Caribbean is one key to capturing the upcoming generation, channelling their energies, and shaping a successful future for them. To this end our books are all either representative of Caribbean culture or written by Caribbean authors,” said the publisher Carol Mitchell.
Sunday night’s readings of Chee Chee in Paradise was by reigning Miss Montserrat Janet Turner, while Wilbur the
Beach Pig: Remember When was presented by Miss Teen Montserrat Rondine Daley.
Other notable faces who will be reading nightly are Minister of Agriculture Crenston Buffonge, Morning Show Host Basil Chambers, businesswoman Lorraine Lewis and the incomparable Rose Willock, OBE, OE.
The readings were recorded at Chez Mango Villa and Iris Way Villa with support of the Government Information Unit.
The Alliouagana Festival of the Word will begin Friday, November 20 at 10AM on Facebook.com/afwlitfest. It can also be viewed on the Discover Montserrat YouTube channel. Main sponsors for Good Night Montserrat are the Montserrat Arts Council, Goldenmedia, Governor’s Office and Caribbean Reads.
About Caribbean Reads
CaribbeanReads is a St. Kitts-based publishing company which has been producing children’s books since 2009. We began with a single title, Adventure at Brimstone Hill by founder Carol Mitchell and now have more than fifty titles including softcover, hardcover, eBooks, audio books, and foreign language editions. Our children’s books range in target age from kindergarten to young adult and include two prize-winning titles and activity books. Our books can be found in schools, bookstores, libraries, and homes in almost every island in the Caribbean, the US, the UK, Canada, Denmark, and Australia.
Aspiring writers will have a chance to learn how to write their first children’s book as well as promote it during this week’s Alliouagana Festival of the Word Nov 20 – 22, 2020.
The festival, which will be held virtually for the first time, opens on Friday morning at 10AM and the workshops will air on Saturday from 10AM until 12:30PM.
The first workshop with author and children’s publisher Carol Mitchell will be on How to Write Your First Children’s Book and will be live on the Facebook page. Viewers will be able to ask questions of the presenter and follow along as she guides them through the steps from idea to publication.
Starting at 11AM Author and Writing instructor, A-dZiko Simba Gegele will present on Exploring the Black Lives Movement as a Catalyst for Creative Writing. This is a lead up to a more extensive workshop that writers can sign up to participate in at no additional cost in the coming weeks. Read More
Poetry and Spoken Word will feature heavily in the 12th edition of Montserrat’s literary festival, which begins on Friday, November 20 until Sunday, November 22, 2020 online.
The Alliouagana Festival of the Word will be 100% virtual this year considering restrictions on public gatherings on island.
Curated and hosted by Nerissa Golden of Goldenmedia LLC, the festival features several first-time authors as well as a few veterans. New authors to be introduced are Montserratians Myrle Roach and Patricia C. Daway, Tamara Groeneveldt of St. Martin and Dion Johnson from the United Kingdom/Jamaica. Author of more than 22 books Sharmen Greenaway will discuss her latest work which looks at preserving Montserrat’s dialect.
An experienced dramatist, Myrle started her creative journey on her native island the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat with a passion for theatre. She played major roles in renowned Caribbean plays, such as “A View From the Bridge”, “Coming Home to Roost” and “Making It”, “Moon on a Rainbow Shawl” and “Old Storytime”. After the onset of volcanic activity on Montserrat she relocated to the island of Antigua, and while living there she played a major supporting role in the movie “No Seed” produced by HAMA Films Antigua in 2002. Read More
St. Kitts-Nevis born Carol Mitchell is the founder of CaribbeanReads Publishing and the author of eighteen books for children of all ages (three of those are forthcoming from HarperCollins). She holds an MFA in fiction, a certificate in editing from UC Berkeley, and has taught literature and creative writing at George Mason University in Virginia, USA.
Carol’s short stories have appeared in Akashic Books: Mondays are Murder series and in several Caribbean journals. She was short-listed for the Burt Award for Young Adult Caribbean Literature in 2016 and has twice been long-listed for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Carol continues to teach creative writing and to work on her novel.
She blogs at carolmitchellbooks.com.
Workshop – Write Your First Children’s Book at AFW Litfest 2020.
Dion Johnson, also known as the Womanologist, is an ex-midwife and Director in public services, where she pioneered, co-ordinated and led special services serving highly vulnerable and marginalised client groups.
Dion is a multi-award-winning Women’s champion with the re-powerment of women at the heart of her work. She works behind the global leadership scenes as Master Coach, Strategic Ally and trusted advisor to some of the most influential women across sectors and industries. She is challenging and changing the inner narrative about what it means to be a credible influencer in today’s fast changing work space. Her clients are Chief executives, Directors and Heads across sectors because when these women truly thrive (not just act like they are thriving) so do boards, organisations, industries and ultimately our world.
Dion was born with a pronounced facial disfigurement Her story of ‘unmasking’ is a powerful metaphor that is now captivating and inspiring leaders across the globe to “Show Up, Speak Up and Shake Things the hell Up”, authentically, within their sphere of influence too. She’s passionate about and uniquely skilled to help women rise above professional challenges and #BeMoreInfluential in their roles.
Christal Clashing is a pioneer in aquatic spaces in her home country of Antigua and Barbuda. In 2004, at the age of 14, she became the first female swimmer to represent her country at the Olympic Games in Athens. She later joined Team Antigua Island Girls to become the first all-black team and first all-female Caribbean team to row any ocean when they crossed the Atlantic in 2018/2019. She has since taken up freediving and hopes to establish a national record in her country.
Being involved in swimming at an early age, she found a passion for sport and studied Sports Development at the University of Portsmouth in the UK under a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship. She also secured a studentship at the same university to complete her Masters by Research in Science.
She is a certified ASCA swim coach, ACA stand-up paddle instructor and PADI divemaster who has honed her skills across the five countries she’s lived in – Antigua, The Bahamas, Australia, England and Costa Rica. As an adventure guide and travel writer, she brings an international perspective to the engagement of outdoor and aquatic adventure sport.
Patricia C. Daway, was born on the Emerald Isle of Montserrat in 1976 to a Montserratian mother and Antiguan father. In spite of her arduous journey she has always had positive aspirations. After completing secondary school in Montserrat 1993, Patricia moved to Antigua for college and to London in 1998 for university.
A year before she graduated from university, she launched a non-profit organization called DaWay To Fitness to promote health and wellness for young people aged 10 to 25 as a means of raising awareness to encourage and empower young people to live a healthier lifestyle. More than a decade later Patricia decided to move home to Montserrat to set up a mini spa. However, the volcanic eruption back in 1995 obliterated two thirds of the island, leaving significantly grave impact on anyone trying to do business on the island. Reluctantly, Patricia closed the doors to her business on January 31, 2020 and sought out her next adventure – Canada.
COVID-19 intervened with her plans for her time in Canada, and trapped with no way to go back to the islands, she went into a season of introspection. Focused on being thankful for life whilst looking over the poems she wrote over the years about her personal struggles, it was then she decided to share her secretly guarded poetic memoirs to the world – through her new book titled Shunned: How Love of Self Became My Redemption.
LaShaunda Hoffman is the author of Building Online Relationships – One Reader At A Time about how she created and promoted Shades Of Romance Magazine a digital magazine for readers and writers of multicultural literature for 20 years online.
She’s a Book Promotion Strategist who teaches writers and business owners how to become Social Butterflies by developing creative promotion strategies, and creating compelling content for their promotion that keeps them consistent, building relationships and increasing sales. She is currently working on her first women fiction novel.