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Monday 23rd January 2017

Just Write Writers’ Retreat participants - creating new pieces

Press release, St. John’s, Antigua – January 22, 201: “This is my first (creative writing) workshop and I enjoyed it. It was informative and inspiring,” states Nicholas Jeffrey, a participant at the one day Just Write Writers’ Retreat on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda.

Fellow participant Dylan Phillips added that: “It was insightful and a real eye opener”. They joined seven writers exploring the creative process, written and spoken word through exercises with visiting poet, performer and producer, Tanya Evanson and writer/teacher, Brenda Lee Browne.
For Browne, the day was exhilarating: “As a teacher, facilitator you create a lesson, workshop with the belief that the students/participants will take away a new skill. Today, I was humbled by their response – it is the first time that I am working with so many young, male writers and thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, the Best of Books and Claudine Vierstraete of C&C, they could attend. I was also blown away by a mother, Flora Harrigan Whyte, who along with her daughter, Shantice Whyte joined us and they worked together and produced beautiful work. Whyte’s, 8-year old Prescott, was inspired enough to draw and write a story. Creativity is open to all and at Just Write we celebrate this. I also want to say a special thank you to Debbie and Michele at the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda for making the space available.”

Evanson added that: “Art creates healthy human beings. I was humbled by everyone’s ability to reveal a part of themselves in such a creative and healing way. When we reveal ourselves truthfully to each other we increase peace, justice and equality and grow as a species. What a blessing–with thanks to Brenda Lee Browne for creating the space and to the participants for being so courageous.”
Past Just Write Writers’ Retreat facilitators include: Joanne C. Hillhouse, Marie Elena John, Chadd Cumberbatch and Mark Brown,
Part two of the Just Write Writers’ Retreat will be held in October, 2017.
 For more information contact: Brenda Lee Browne by tel: (268) 726-5468
Bio Info: Tanya Evanson is a Montreal poet, performer, producer, educator and program director of Banff Centre Spoken Word. She tours internationally, has released four audio recordings, six artist books of poetry and in 2013 received the Golden Beret Award and was Poet of Honour at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. Recent work includes guest editing Arc Poetry Magazine (Fall 2015) and publication in Arc, Oratorealis, Cordite, Litlive, WomanSpeak, More Caught in the Act: an anthology of performance art by Canadian women (YYZBOOKS 2016) and Where the Nights Are Twice As Long (Gooselane 2015). Spoken word performance highlights include Edinburgh Book Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Glastonbury Festival, Tasmanian Poetry Festival, Australia's Story-Fest, Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, Vancouver Writers Fest, Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Calgary Spoken Word Festival, Blue Met, Suoni per il Popolo, Words Aloud, Bowery Poetry Club, Verses, CBC and SLAM stages worldwide. She is currently at work on a short film, poetry manuscript and performing in support of her latest recording ZENSHIP.
Bio Info: Brenda Lee Browne
Born in the UK of Antiguan parents, trained as a journalist and yet, wanted to be a writer since about 9/10. Started writing after moving to Antigua and has been published in newspapers in Antigua, the UK and the USVI, as well as anthologies in the USA, Canada, Caribbean and the UK. Created ‘Just Write’, a face book page and creative writing workshop that takes place in the community, prison and an annual writers retreat. Hurston Wright Writers Week Scholarship recipient, Antigua and Barbuda Life Time Achievement Youth Development Award and was long listed for the 2013 Burt Award. Her first Novel, ‘London Rocks will be published by Hansib in 2017.
Currently working on a novel based on the stories of mothers who watched their children go off to the UK after the second world war and are there when their countries become Independent and the young people start to question their role in the new country against the back drop of 1970’s.

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