Laurian Brand’s short story was adjudged the best entry in the Department of Environment’s AFW LitFest competition.
Read about Mounty the mountain chicken and his first adventure. We really hope Mounty goes on to have more adventures.
Mounty’s First Adventure
Mounty hopped with glee. The cool water from Boo Boo Pond was refreshing and swimming was this little Mountain Chicken’s favourite activity on a hot day.
His long legs stretched as he leapt along the broad mossy leaves of the old cedar tree. The mountain breeze dried Mounty’s wet glistening skin as he settled on a bed of roots to dream and wonder about leaving the majestic mountain on which he lived. He was only seven weeks old and his bumpy brown leathery skin had shiny black spots that sparkled like black opals. Mounty was not a chicken, he was a frog but his long, long legs allowed him to spring higher than any frog, higher than you could imagine. Mountain Chickens were hunted so Mounty had to be quick to stay alive.
He was alone in the mountains. His family had been taken one by one by the giant creatures with the loud stomping walks and long ugly boots. First, it was his mum and dad, then it was his brothers Clucky and Froggy and lastly his sister Mousy. Luckily, Mounty was the best at hide and seek and the giant creatures never found him. Mounty was lonely and often cried for his family; he was the youngest and couldn’t understand why they left him. His friends Toad, Birdy and Bunny played with him but he missed his family so much and often talked to the white ball in the sky when evening came, hoping it would grant him a wish. The little shining lights up high reminded him of bugs with their lights on their backs and he would fall asleep dreaming of family, friends and food.
Mounty had seen tall structures coming out of the ground far away when he had gone to the very top of Old Cedar. There were thousands of bugs moving around and moving in carts, they looked like families except he wasn’t sure they were bugs since their bodies looked a little strange and they never flew in the air. He hoped they were bugs though because they were his favourite treat. Mounty dreamed of a day when he could wander into this bug village and eat and eat and eat. His long pink tongue flicked in the air as he thought of the yummy, delicious bugs. Smilingly, Mounty fell into a deep, long sleep while the chirping crickets played his favourite bedtime song. Read More
The Alphonsus Cassell Foundation has begun plans to establish a museum in Montserrat, to recognize the legacy of the late soca king of the world and the island’s third national hero.
During last Friday’s AFW LitFest’s Alphonsus “Arrow” Cassell Memorial Lecture Series panel discussion, son Sawandi Cassell revealed that a non-profit foundation has been established to preserve their father’s music legacy.
Cassell was speaking during a discussion led by Head of The UWI Open Campus Montserrat Gracelyn Cassell on Preserving & Expanding Arrow’s Cultural Legacy. The panel also featured, Author Andrew Skerritt and Lawyer Warren Cassell.
The Montserrat National Trust is said to be working with the heirs of Arrow to set up the museum, which is to be located at the former Arrow’s Manshop in Davy Hill. Arrow’s second son, Sawandi explained that the location was chosen because of its accessibility. “Whether coming or leaving Montserrat, you must pass the shop,” he explained. There are also land covenant and access issues related to placing the museum where Arrow is currently buried at his home in Lime Kiln.
“We want to ensure the legacy of Arrow remains and we want the people of Montserrat to hold us accountable,” Sawandi said. “Arrow’s first love was Montserrat.”
Arrow’s son said his father had an epiphany. While he loved the social commentary and political topics which were prevalent in the popular calypso he sang, he wanted to make music the entire world could enjoy. His switch from calypso to soca, was the vehicle that he felt could do this. Read More
The Governor’s Office Presents Good Night Montserrat.
#AFWLitFest is brought to you by the Montserrat Arts Council, Goldenmedia, Governor’s Office, Digicel, Montserrat Public Library, Department of Environment, St. Patrick’s Cooperative Credit Union, and Friends of AFW LitFest.
Fabian Adekunle Badejo (St. Martin), author of Claude – A Portrait of Power, Salted Tongues – Modern Literature in St. Martin, and Fantasies – Love-making poems. He has produced concerts by kaisonian Mighty Dow and humorists Paul Keens Douglas and
Fernando Clark. He has directed plays and film documentaries and presented scholarly papers on St. Martin’s literature and culture at regional and international conferences.
Between 1989 and 2005, the former Nigerian diplomat was the managing director/editor, publisher, and news director respectively of The St. Maarten Guardian, St. Martin Business Week, and Today Newspaper. Badejo is the producer/host of “Culture Time,” the weekly cultural magazine on PJD2 radio. The poetry book SOS: Season of Storms by Fabian Adekunle Badejo was published by HNP in 2021 (https://bit.ly/3DkT2xd)
Rochelle Ward [Faizah Tabasamu] is a St. Martin poet. She holds an MSc in Management Studies from The University of the West Indies. The English and Literature teacher at St. Maarten Academy high school has recited her poetry at demonstrations, slams, concerts, and literary festivals in Anguilla, Dominica, St. Martin, and Nevis.
Ward’s poetry encompasses womanhood, Caribbean nostalgia and culture, and the urgency to preserve and engage in nature. As curator at saltfish & Lace, she blogs about hair and beauty care, Caribbean lifestyle, and fashion, and reviews books. Ward is a recipient of the Catapult Lockdown Virtual Salon grant. He poetry appears in the anthology Where I See the Sun – Contemporary Poetry in St. Martin. The debut collection Tangle by Rochelle Ward [Faizah Tabasamu], was published by House of Nehesi (HNP) in 2021.
The Alliouagana Festival of the Word organising committee is pleased to invite you to the Author’s Gala. This will be the closing night event for the 13th Annual literary festival and we hope you will join us.
The evening will feature readings and interviews with our guest authors.
This is a catered event and the dress code is Classy.
Music will be provided by Genysis Steel Orchestra.
Tickets are on sale at the Montserrat Arts Council office upstairs the Little Bay Market and at the Montserrat Public Library at the BBC complex in Brades.
BRADES, Montserrat – Journalist and calypsonian Edwin “Red Ride” Martin will release his latest work A Century of Montserrat Cricket at the upcoming Alliouagana Festival of the Word (AFW LitFest) in Montserrat which runs from November 18 to 20, 2021.
The 88-page magazine-style book will be one of seven featured releases at the festival’s Author Gala on Saturday, November 20 at the Montserrat Arts Council.
A Century of Montserrat Cricket chronicles the history of Montserrat’s national sports pastime over the past 108 years as 1913 marked the advent of the annual Leeward Islands Tournament. The book not only reveals the top cricket stars of the past century, but it also delves into other aspects such as how class, race and religion played a factor in the early years. The publication also includes rare photos, many feature stories, year-by-year results, annual lineups, and in-depth statistics.
“In 2013 while starting research on my book Stranded Batsman about our most famous cricket star Jim Allen, I visited the Hyde Cricket Club in Central England where Jim played in the late 1970s and early ’80s. The club provided me with a thick book that covered their history starting in 1901. Hyde is a small club, not a major club like Yorkshire, Lancashire, and others. But they still documented their history. I immediately thought to myself, ‘Why don’t we have a similar book about Montserrat cricket history?’ I decided that once I finished the book on Jim Allen that I would write a book on our entire cricket history. I began writing it in August of 2020 during the height of Covid and completed it in September of 2021,” Martin revealed.
The author, who has been a journalist since 1986, worked at the Miami Herald from 1986 to 2016. One of the highlights of his early career came in 1991 when he interviewed the NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan. In 2017, Martin published Stranded Batsman: The Jim Allen Story, his first major book. It has been critically praised by several publications, including CricketWeb.Net, which wrote: “Martin has done a splendid job of reconstructing Allen’s story. The story that Martin tells is a thought-provoking one, very well written and thoroughly researched.” Read More
BRADES, Montserrat – The Alliouagana Festival of the Word is back for its 13th rendition this November.
Slated for November 18th to 20th under the theme Our Future, Our Stories, the festival will be a blend of online and offline events.
Festival Coordinator Nerissa Golden of Goldenmedia said she was delighted to be facilitating another exciting programme to celebrate the best of Montserrat’s literature.
Partnering with the festival committee to deliver events this year is the Montserrat Arts Council and the Ministry of Education through the Montserrat Public Library and the local primary schools. The library will host a week-long exhibition called Write Montserrat: A Literary Retrospective of Our Island’s Authors. Opening on Monday, November 15, the display will showcase the works of local authors in a variety of genres.
“Montserratians at home and abroad have been contributing to building our literature in many fields. We are honoured to present this collection for visitors to the library to enjoy,” Sonja Smith, the Librarian and Exhibit Curator said.
The Book Parade will be held on Thursday, November 18 and allows primary school children to bring their favourite storybook characters to live in costumes in a colourful street parade.
The Alphonsus “Arrow Cassell” Memorial Lecture Series has been moved to Friday evening and will be aired virtually on the festival’s Facebook page. On the programme are two panels, one will look at Harnessing the Power of Arrow’s Legacy and the other What is the Story of Montserrat in the Future?Read More
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