September 1, 2010

I'm Applying for an AOL 25 for 25 Grant!

As a former book reviewer for The Miami Herald and Miami Times and citizen journalist, I’m applying for an AOL 25 for 25 Grant:
AOL is looking for 25 creative thinkers. We are awarding twenty-five, $25,000 grants to tomorrow's ground breakers and visionaries—individuals with a creative spark to ignite. 25 for 25 is a call to journalists, artists and innovators who believe in the power of ideas.
If you believe that this blog meets those qualifications, please leave a comment below. 

 I’d really appreciate it.


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Celia Lisset Alvarez said...

Geoffrey Philp, you make the Caribbean happen on the Internet! I hardly ever feel like I belong to a community of writers and readers who share a culture, except when I read this blog. From the latest book to the latest author to just what is happening right now, there is always something thought-provoking and community-building on your blog. Whether you get a grant or not, I think thanks are in order for sharing all that you know and love about Caribbean arts with a community that often lacks a voice in this big world. Kudos to you!

Rethabile said...

"Individuals with a spark to ignite."

This blog's and your sparks are already aflame, and as far as I'm concerned, are touching off and igniting the wicks of other people's candles.

This is one of the places where I come for both inspiration and entertainment.

james nadal said...

By stumbling onto your site awhile back I have learned to take a closer look around me and take in what really matters...and am striving to express it so others will maybe get the drift...this thanks to your insight and fancy flights with words... there is an innate underlying rhythmic sense which is inherent to the islands pulsing within your writing...write on man!!!

Summer Edward said...

This blog AND its author definitely meet the qualifications as far as I can see. Caribbean bloggers (literary and otherwise) are on the rise, but Geoffrey Philp's Blogspot is really one of the blogs that started it all. I think of him as one of the seminal, serious Caribbean bloggers.

Few blogs of whatever kind are as well-written and thoughtful as this one. Few blogs are as consistent, giving you a sense that the author is invested in the ongoing conversation and in maintaining a steady, well-planned stream of high quality content.

The blog is also impressive when you think about the kind of big names that frequently 'make appearances' here. It's very kind of Philp to use his connections within the Caribbean literati to bring these often inaccessible literary, artistic and cultural giants -- their experiences, their work and their books -- close to us, the common readers, lol.

Yet, you never get a sense of elitism from this blog. Philp is always approachable, responding to every reader's comments and is artful in mixing in pop culture and current events, while always staying close to home, close to the ideas, experiences and memories that unite the Caribbean diaspora. So the content doesn't come across as 'shop talk' but rather 'we talk,' as a West Indian might say. In other words, the blog has the potential to draw in readers and knowledge-seekers of all sorts. It is an admirable blog if only because of it's potential to bring together different generations of Caribbean people around a genuine experience of learning about our cultures.

When I started my own blog, I won't lie, Geoffrey Philp's Blogspot is one of the blogs I looked to for creative ideas -- elements to include, ways to fill up my sidebars, writing approaches etc.

Thanks Geoffrey for a fantastic and invaluable online archive which I think many will return to and even study in years to come! You are more than deserving of this grant!

Best wishes,

Summer Edward
Founder/Managing Editor
Anansesem, the Caribbean Children's Ezine

Stephen A. Bess said...

Geoffrey, your blog has taught me so much about Caribbean literature and culture. This blog also offers great insight on what is going on here in America. It is a well rounded and insightful place to relax and learn. I only need a nice cup of joe and a comfortable leather chair, and I would be in my favorite coffee shop. God bless the work of your hands, big brother.

Lisa said...

I can't think of a more diversely talented voice for AOL's purpose. You're full of insights, both critically and creatively. You're witty and funny. You absorb the culture around you while you maintain the integrity of your distinct Caribbean heritage. You craft, play, reshape, and narrate with words that make everything fresh, yet familiar. All of this is just to say you deserve this award, and AOL NEEDS your perspective!

Qui said...

tWhen I think of your Geoffrey Philp, Calabash and "Iron Balloons" immediately comes to mind, a great cocktail of Caribbean literature & creativity.
Good Luck with the grant, I know you will achieve greater things with this opportunity. Bless

Tony said...

Your blog testifies to your genuine love of literature and, most of all, your concern for fellow writers and your desire to see them succeed. You have provided the world with a perch from which it is able to get a bird's-eye view of the beautiful landscape of Caribbean literature. Thank you for your inspiration. Thank you for caring. I salute you. May Geoffrey Philp's blog be always with us.

Tony Williams
Caribbean Book Blog

Anonymous said...

Geoffrey, I hope you get the grant so you can continue to promote Caribbean writers like myself who need a forum such as this blog. I especially appreciate your efforts in promoting women writers of color. Thanks for introducing me to some wonderful writers and for being the talking drum for me and for so many others in the writing community of South Florida and at large.

Nuff respect all the time, my brother.

1 perfect love,
Aza Weir-Soley

Andrea Shaw said...

This blog is both a salute to creativity and innovation and a work of art in itself. The literary and visual artistry collected on this blog is inspirational as it is entertaining and informative. This blog has become a crucial binding force in the field of Caribbean studies and brings together people with interest in the Caribbean from all around the world. Big ups to Geoffrey Philp--creator of an amazing creative town center!

Old Crow said...

Geoffrey's blog participates in the creation of a Caribbean many dream of -- multilingual, multinational, multi-ethnic, multi-genre -- in dialogue and conflict and play, held together in creative tension like grains of sand in the curl of a wave.

His work, as a writer in his own right, and on the blog, as a collagist of Caribbeaness, not only reflects the surfaces and undercurrents presently swirling around the region, but in doing so provides a jumping-off point into possibilities. He provides a meeting place for everyone from the curious to the passionately involved, and entry points for everyone from Bob Marley fans to students of Haitian religion.

What the blog suggests, but can't fully convey, is that Geoffrey in person is as wide-ranging, kind, generous, warm and funny as his voice on the blog. I've seen him, as a visiting writer, move students attending a mandatory talk from reluctant listeners to ardent discussants of both Caribbean creativity, and creativity in and of itself -- the work it does to transform present conditions into possibilities that can be enacted. That is a gift and a talent that, like the blog, deserves the widest audience possible in this beleaguered century.

Diana McCaulay said...

Your blog gives voice to the Caribbean, with its mixture of poetry, review and commentary. I check it every day. I'm a Caribbean writer myself and there are few places which allow our voices to be heard and also speaks for us. Thank you.

Diana McCaulay

X Murphy said...

Geoffrey your blog is one of (if not) the premier blogs on Caribbean books and writers. With your limited resources you have managed to keep the community information. A grant like this would be great to help in continuing you great work.

clarabella said...

All spaces in which writers appear, to perform, or to be published, or to be reviewed, or to be discussed, are vexed and vexing. I'm not talking about spaces in the Caribbean, or spaces now, in 2010. The fights about, say, the awarding of prizes and grants, about, say, who should appear in a 'definitive' anthology of short stories and who should not, happen everywhere in the world, and if not all the time, I'd lay good money on the fact that one of them is brewing somewhere, even as I type. Examples too numerous abound, an obvious recent one being that Oxford couldn't manage to appoint a Nobel Laureate to the pretty much honorary post of Poetry Prof, without an embarrassing, humiliating kas-kas. So what's my point? It's this. Though we get all the news of su-su and palampam right here, Geoff Philp's blogspot is no contentious space! What Prof Philp has managed to do is give us (1) NEWS: of new books; upcoming, established, old and dead writers; festivals, competitions, workshops, journals, awards, etc; (2) REVIEWS, his own and other people's, of books and art, plays and music, performances and presentations of all types; (3) A FORUM where anyone who cares to answer one of his 'calls' may post a commentary, treatise, pontification – nor will he stint for space; (4) AN EXHIBITION SPACE where anyone can post work and where he occasionally posts his; (5) A BROADCAST OUTLET where poets and writers may read, academics may pontificate, the common and uncommon man&woman may have his say; (6) A TICKER TAPE of literary bits and bites, Daily Posts from Caribbean writers, Most Popular Posts, Polls, etc; (6) A LITERARY MARKETPLACE. I don't spend a lot of time on the internet, a more and more dangerous space where, if you look at a pair of shoes on one website, the ad stalks you as you move along, but I don't know of any other website that does anything like this. AND manages to look good. I certainly know that no other space does what Geoff's 'blogspot' does for art and culture in the Caribbean. Does this make him a journlist? Yes, operating in cyberspace, pretty much by means of his own fingertips and techie know-how, as far as I can gather. An artist? But, yes. A creative person? We're getting redundant here. So if AOL wants to spend some money that will ripple out to embrace a whole side of people, worldwide, I'd say, give Geoff one of those awards – in fact, give him two!

Anonymous said...

Geoffrey Philp's presentation of "Anancy" at South Miami Heights Elementary was enthusiastic and captivating. Many of our fourth graders were motivated to follow is creative lead while practicing for the FCAT.

Thank you, Geofrrey Philp! Our students did very well.

Dr. Maria V. Pabellon, Principal

Anton Nimblett said...

Geoffrey Philp: creative thinker.
There's no doubt in my mind, on this. I've had the pleasure to meet many working writers, some bloggers, and quite a few community builders. Geoffrey, in you there is a delightful, passionate intersection of all three. And here, in this overlapping space, with your unique sensitivity, egalitarianism, and dedication, you defy convention to bring treasures of literature, information and support to writers, readers, Caribbean people, as well as those who will come to know Caribbean culture. A win for you, is a win for us.

Geoffrey Philp said...

My friends, I-dren and Sistren,
Give thanks for the kind comments. I am mailing off the grant today, so light a candle...sing a sanky...say a prayer...for I


Geoffrey Philp said...

My friends, I received the news today that I did not receive the AOL grant to buy some extra time to write:

Dear 25 for 25 Grant Applicant,

We are writing to thank you for your application to AOL’s 25 for 25 Grant Program. We received over 9,000 applications and the decision-making process was incredibly difficult, with many exceptionally talented applicants. We were amazed by the creativity and inspired by every grant submission that came our way.
We are excited to announce that the 25 for 25 winners have been selected. You can view the grant winners on AOL Artists, at

We appreciate your involvement with 25 for 25 and your support for our ongoing efforts to champion and promote creativity.


I continue...

Geoffrey Philp said...

I forgot to say, thank you.