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Tuesday 27th December 2011

2011 TOP 10

Well it’s the time for year-end lists, so who are we to resist? Here’s our top 10 of 2011.

Caribbean writers from left: Jamaica's Carolyn Cooper, Trinidad's Danielle Boodoo-Fortune, Bermuda's Angela Barry, Barbados' Dana Gilkes, Barbados' Esther Phillips, Trinidad's Ramabai Espinet, Caribbean literary giant George Lamming, Antigua's Joanne C. Hillhouse (that's me), Trinidad's Patricia Mohammad, Barbados' Margaret Gill, and Curdella Forbes of Jamaica.

1. Tracking readership over the past year, site stats show that beyond the homepage, the bulk of our readers (2175 views) have been drawn to Robert Lee’s Discovering West Indian Literature in English – a Selected Bibliography. Little surprise considering that most people find us via facebook, google, and the Caribbean Literary Salon, and that many people come to us while scouting for ‘west Indian literature’ and particular Caribbean writers. We’re blessed to have this valuable resource on the site (notwithstanding that it really needs to be updated). Thank you, John.

2. Next in the line-up is the story the Legend of Banana Boy. This as a search engine term remains popular and, frankly, a head scratcher. But we’re glad that readers (594 views) are discovering this 2011 story, winner in the 13 to 17 age category of Wadadli Pen 2011.

3. Blogger’s Bio. I’ve come to understand that as a consequence of my book, The Boy from Willow Bend, being taught in the Antigua and Barbuda schools, students will periodically be sent to research me (a prospect at once surprising, overwhelming and flattering). I know because many of them have over time called the house, facebooked or emailed me. And, of course, some (391 views) did their legwork, scouring the internet and making their way to my Blogger’s Bio.

4. About Wadadli Pen. If you stumble upon us, makes sense that you’d want to research what you’ve stumbled upon. ‘About Wadadli Pen’ fills that need for information about the programme; our 346 views bear witness.

From an Antigua Public Library online display: from left me and my books, D. Gisele Isaac and Considering Venus, and Joy Lawrence with her books.

5. There is no listing of Antiguan and Barbudan writing (that I’ve come across) as comprehensive as the one we have on this site. But then Antiguan and Barbudan Writings is at least six years and counting in the making; and at 244 views, the fifth most popular area of the site.

6. It thrills me no end that my musings on books I’ve read, Blogger on Books, is (with 240 views) one of the more popular areas of the site. I only wish those who viewed would respond and share some of their favourites as well.

Scene from Antiguan film Working Girl

7. Of all the sub-bibliographies, Playwrights and Screenwriters , one of the ones most in need of development keeps attracting strong readership (234 views); reflective, perhaps, of a high level of interest in the country’s burgeoning film industry.

Me on a panel with Eric Jerome Dickey at the ABILF

8. Spotlight – Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival. This may have been postponed in 2011, but is still an activity with some legs, obviously; 219 views don’t lie.

Singer/songwriter Swallow performing.

9. Antiguan and Barbudan songwriters. If I’m disappointed with the lack of development of any area on this site, this is it. But readers (180 views) keep coming back…would be cool if those with information on A & B songwriters would ahare though.

10. While Blogger on Books deals with Books I’ve read and liked, the Reading Room and Gallery (and now the Reading Room and Gallery II) links to select poetry, fiction, non fiction, and more. I like discovering new things and sharing them with readers. I’m happy, therefore, that the Gallery (with 157 views) rounds out our 2011 top ten.

Here’s hoping you’ll keep coming back and supporting the efforts of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize, which continues to aspire to nurture and promote the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda.

Merry Christmas and a Happy 2012


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