Colson Whitehead Wins Second Pulitzer Prize


Pulitzer Prize-winning Author – Colson Whitehead

African-American Author, Colson Whitehead made history by claiming the prestigious Pulitzer Prize For Fiction for the second time, a feat which has only been accomplished by three other authors (Booth Tarkington, William Falkner and John Updike) in the illustrious 103 year history of the prize which honours excellence in the creative arts. 


Whitehead, 50, who hails from Manhattan, New York, was awarded the prize for his latest novel The Nickel Boys (2019) which is based on the true story of a reform school for boys in Florida that during its one hundred and eleven year history was the cause of brutality and inhumane practices on its students. Whitehead’s latest triumph follows three years after his first Pulitzer Prize victory for The Underground Railroad (2016) a historical fictionalized account of two slaves on the run for freedom. The success of both books was never in doubt having appealed not only with readers around the globe but also proving to be a huge hit with among others the former United States of America President, Barack Obama, who listed both books as essential reads on his Summer Reading List.

The Underground Railroad


Last year, during a promotional tour to the UK, I got the chance to catch up with Whitehead at the launch of his book. Below is just a snippet of our discussion at that time.

Darell: How do feel to have made Barack Obama’s Summer Reading List for a second time?

Colson: I remember being very excited the first time he (Obama) picked out The Underground Railroad as a must read on his summer book list. So to now have him pick The Nickel Boys for this summer’s reading list is really pleasing. Along with some other authors I had the opportunity to meet him during the week before he left office. He told us he had always wanted to host writers and that with 8 days left in office he was delighted to have finally done so. What I love about Obama is that he’s a president who reads books. If you get invited to the White House now it’s probably because they’re shooting intellectuals on the White House lawn!

Darell: What are your memories of Toni Morrison and what impact did her work have in your life?

Colson: Growing up, Toni Morrison, obviously, was a huge inspiration. My two older sisters had paperbacks of Sula and Tar Baby – you know, the really crazy 70’s looking version of Tar Baby that is! In elementary school, during the seventh grade, I was introduced to the first chapter of Invisible Man by Ralph Ellis. That was the first and only time I was taught black fiction in all of my time at high school. So coming to college and discovering Morrison’s Beloved alongside a complete copy of Invisible Man was obviously, for me, very fortifying. The first time I met Morrison was in 2008 at Princeton where she had taught for many years. One day she said to me “let’s go have lunch” and I was like “sure.” But in my head I was thinking out loud “Me – have lunch with Toni Morrison? No – I’m me and she’s her.” So we did not have lunch because I was too ashamed of my personality. But we did meet on various other occasions like at a benefit for Obama and she was always very nice and very giving in a way that you want when you meet your idol. I say this because usually they can come across as unlikable and egotistical but in her case she was even more magnificent than you would think.

Pulitzer Prize-winning Author – Toni Morrison receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama

During his visit to the UK last year, Whitehead told readers that his award winning novel, The Underground Railroad, had been adapted for the small screen, with its premiere in the United States. Directed by the Academy Award winning director of Moonlight, Barry Jenkins, the adaptation is set to hit UK screens this Summer on Amazon Prime.

The Nickel Boys (2019) by Colson Whitehead is available now in all major bookstores.

Meeting Colson Whitehead

(C) Copyright 2020, Darell J Philip


Thanks To All Followers


Less than two weeks ago there had been 200 likes on this blog which was amazing! Now to see that the number has more than doubled with 500 likes is absolutely bonkers!!!

Thanks so much for following this blog. All the likes and comments are greatly appreciated and the time you take to actually read the blogs posted here is truly humbling.

Many thanks again to each and everyone of you and may you all continue to shine through the stellar work being posted on your own blogs! 

(C) Copyright 2020, Darell J Philip

Vincent Ehindero Blogging Award x2


This is absolutely surreal! Another award nomination! Wow! I am truly humbled and honoured to receive the Vincent Ehindero Blogging Award from two fellow bloggers. Firstly, I would like to thank Eromonsele Emmanuel for his nomination of me for this great award. His travel blog is hands down one of my favourites and will be yours too – please follow it here:

Secondly I would like to thank Ishan Dhyani who has also nominated me for this award. His blog – The Shooting Stars – has something for everyone from poetry to historical fiction and opinion pieces. Please follow it here:

It would be wrong of me to thank Eromonsele and Ishan without also thanking the creator of this award – the man himself – Vincent Ehindero. Not only does he have a great blog himself but also through the creation of this award he has given a platform whereby bloggers can be discovered and recognised for the work that they do and for that I would like to say thank you. Please follow Vincent’s blog here:


1. Thank the person who nominated you with a link to their blog.
2. Make a post of the award (with a photo of the logo).
3. Post the rules
4. Ask 5-10 questions of your choice.
5. Nominate 10-30 other bloggers (or more) and notify them.


1. What’s on your mind?

How humbled I am at receiving this nomination from an awesome blogger in Eromonsele.

2. What activities inspire you to feel like you are living your life to the fullest?

Definitely writing, connecting with friends and family and vacations.

3. Three things that make you happy?

Relationship with God; Family and seeing others happy.

4. How do you think your future self will remember your current self?

As a work in progress on a purposeful journey. 

5. If today were the last day of your life, what would you be proudest of?

Never giving up on my dream of being a published author and full-time journalist making a positive difference in the world through the pen.

6. If you could teach the entire world just one concept, what would it be?

We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).

7. How many countries have you visited?


8. What’s the farthest you’ve been away from home?

New York

9. What country is still on your bucket list?


10. If they were to ever make a movie about one or all of your adventures, what would the title and plot summary be?

Red and White Army – it would go into an awesome experience I had as a member of the official Arsenal Football Club Ballboy Squad during the first season of Arsene Wenger – currently the most successful manager in the club’s history! 😀


1. Do you like watching cartoons? Sometimes

2. Do other people’s opinions matter? Sometimes

3. Do you consider hobbies a waste of time? No

4. How much important is it,for you to study the past? It’s important

5.Being goal oriented or being process oriented, which option do you prefer? Goal oriented

6. Are drugs, alcohol and other substances that make you feel”high” useful or worth using on your body? No

7. What is your advice for the high school you? Keep pursuing your dreams

8. Is social media an essential part of your life? Sometimes

9.How to escape the Karmic trap? Don’t understand the question sorry.

10. Do you mediate? If yes, why? If no,why not? If prayer is a form of meditation then yes I do. 


I would like to nominate the following individuals for this awesome award:

1. Anish Nair – follow blog here:

2. Divyanshu Goyal – follow blog here:

3. BriN – follow blog here:

4. The Freethinker – follow blog here:

5. Sandra – follow blog here:

6. Robert Edwards – follow blog here:

7. Florence Ezekafor – follow blog here:

8. Joel Abakah – follow blog here:

9. Nguyen Thi Phuong Tram – follow blog here:

10. Ameet Kothari – follow blog here:

11. Junaisha – follow blog here:

12. Piyush Singh – follow blog here:

13. Francisco Bravo Cabrera – follow blog here:

14. Brothers Campfire – follow blog here:

15. Naveena Shruthi – follow blog here:

16. Lydia Potter – follow blog here:

17. Hannes Van Eeden – follow blog here:

18. Kally – follow blog here:

19. Tanaka – follow blog here:

20. Inner Dialects – follow blog here:

21. Arushi Singh – follow blog here:

22. Aashi D Parekh – follow blog here:

23. Arkaprabha Das – follow blog here:

24. Kiramat – follow blog here:

25. Seth Kelly Curtis – follow blog here:

26. Ayaan Khan – follow blog here:

27. Shreya – follow blog here:

28. Cyn – follow blog here:

29. Dave Bignell – follow blog here:

30. Jason A. Muckley – follow blog here:

31. Sanjay M Bhaskar – follow blog here:

32. Alexis Watts – follow blog here:

Check out her amazing Mother Earth blog post here:

33. Abhisek Pattnaik – follow blog here:

34. Kenesha Collins – follow blog here:

35. Domeka – follow blog here:

36. Sheree – follow blog here:

37. George – follow blog here:

38. Binnzy the Writer – follow blog here:


1. What is an example of something good to have come from your lockdown experience?

2. Which blog is currently your favourite and post the link here?

3. Why do you blog?

4. What are the features of a great blog?

5. Who is your favourite writer and why?

6. What is your favourite book and why?

7. Where in the world would you like to take a vacation?

8. When is the best time to write/blog?

9. Where does your motivation to write/blog come from?

10. If you had the opportunity to be stuck on a desert island with anyone from history to the present day, who would that person be and why?

(C) Copyright 2020, Darell J Philip




  • Thank the blogger who nominated you, and provide a link to their blog
  • Answer the 11 questions given to you
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers
  • Ask your nominees 11 questions
  • Notify your nominees once you have uploaded your post


Wow, this is unbelievable. I would like to thank Anish Nair and Shreya who have nominated me for the above LIEBSTER Award. This is my first ever nomination so I am really chuffed. If you love good quality poetry then that is what you can expect from Anish. Follow his amazing blog here: 

Shreya absolutely blew the blogging community away with her blog post – The Diary of the Corona Virus  – check it out here: 

If you liked that then why not treat yourself to more by following her amazing blog here:

Questions & Answers

Below are the questions Anish has sent me along with my responses:

1. If you could recommend a book, which one would it be and why? (I just love books so this question will keep repeating 🙂 )

I’m Still Standing by Fabrice Muamba – how is it possible that a football player’s heart could stop beating for 78 minutes and he miraculously recover? Well pick up this incredible book and read how from the man himself.

2. What’s the last song you listened to?
 What a beautiful name (Gospel track)

3. What is your most treasured possession?

 My pen

4. Describe yourself in three words.

Introverted, calm, reflecter

5. Which three people would you invite to a dinner party (contemporary, historical, or fictional)?

Nelson Mandela, Mary Seacole and Jesus Christ

6. What’s the last movie that you watched?

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I am

7What made you click the follow button on my blog?

Quality poetry alongside interesting introspective prose

8. What’s the best gift you’ve gotten and from who?

Bible from my late grandmother

9. Are you in your dream job? If not, what is your dream job?

No. To be a print journalist and published author

10. Hardback. Paperback or E-book?


11. Which blog is currently your favorite?

Suzette Benjamin’s blog. Follow it here:

Divyang Rajput’s blog. Follow it here:

Below are the questions Shreya sent me along with my responses:

  1. Would you prefer writing to speaking? No
  2. Which was your favourite phase in life? University Life
  3. If not for “Earth”, what do you think our planet should be called? Globlue
  4. What natural phenomenon fascinates you the most? The Sun
  5. If you were given the opportunity to live in a different time period, which time period would you choose ? Time of Christ
  6. If you could make all schools stop teaching one subject, which would it be? Extended Writing
  7. Which word do you think, although sounds easy, is tricky to spell? Conscientious
  8. Do you think life without social media will be better than life with it? Yes
  9. Describe time in a sentence. Time is a continued progression
  10. Would the barter system be efficient in our time? No
  11. Which do you think is the greatest invention? The pen

My Nominations

I would like to nominate the following bloggers for this great award:

1. Nyaradzo D. Muchena – follow blog here:

2. Abhin Thulasidas – follow blog here:

3. Glenda Lubuto – follow blog here:

4. Tangie T. Woods – follow blog here:

5. Sewe Brandy – follow blog here:

6. Eromonsele Emmanuel – follow blog here:

7. Saima – follow blog here:

8. Prashant Singh – follow blog here:

9. Kevin Kinge – follow blog here:

10. Douglas Moorezart – follow blog here:

11. Laker Fiona – follow blog here:

12. True Living – follow blog here:

13. Maureen Nyasha Hove – follow blog here:

14. Michael Reynoso – follow blog here:

15. Vincent Ehindero – follow blog here:

16. Morenike Alugo – follow blog here:

17. Amit – follow blog here:

18. Helena Emvula – follow blog here:

19. Shubhangi Srinivasan – follow blog here:

20. Creative Envision – follow blog here:

21. Jeofrey Ogire – follow blog here:

22. Shavanie Dillon – follow blog here:

23. Erik Shinker – follow blog here:

24. Tom Alexander – follow blog here:

25. WAEL – follow blog here:

26. Ms Abigaba – follow blog here:

27. Nani – follow blog here:

28. Murali – follow here:

29. Rishika Jain – follow blog here:

30. Vikas Karmani – follow blog here:

Questions for my nominees

The above 30 named nominees are to answer the following questions: 

1. What is your favourite book and why?

2. What song do you currently have on repeat?

3. Which season (Autumn, Spring, Summer or Winter) of the year best describes you?

4. In the event of an emergency home evacuation what is the first item you grab?

5. Which historical figure would you most like to meet and why?

6. What makes a good blog?

7. Back to the past or forward to the future?

8. Your dream vacation?

9. The greatest movie of all time?

10. Wealth or health?

11. Your proudest moment?

(C) Copyright 2020, Darell J Philip




This was a pleasant surprise and I thank all who are following my blog. I appreciate each and everyone of you for taking the time out of your busy schedules to read, like and follow my blog. Over 200 likes along with over 100 follows is truly overwhelming for me. I am thankful to you all and will continue to use the creative and artistic gift God has given me to bless and inspire others including yourselves.

Thanks again and let’s continue to support, encourage and motivate each other to greater heights! 

Blessings to one and all! 😊

(C) Copyright 2020, Darell J Philip

100 Follows


100 Follows

Thanks to all who have followed my blog. I appreciate each and everyone of you and am blessed to follow some gifted and talented writers and bloggers which you all are. So thanks again and may we all continue to motivate and inspire each other creatively through our art!

Blessings to all! 😊

(C) Copyright 2020, Darell J Philip

Here’s to another seven great years and more


Today marks seven years since I started this blog and what a journey it has been. From my very first entry – Heaven’s Bounty – a poem on the beauty of nature and creation to the most recent entry – Author Encourages Readers to Join Her in the Break – on the release of a spiritual inspired devotional by a first time author, I have seen the almost natural like progression in my writing and passion for it grow stronger than ever. Ever since the days of my childhood when one would often find me with a notebook and pen in my hand given to me by my mother (herself a writer) or sitting on the bed of my late grandmother (my rock and spiritual inspiration) dictating on paper her shopping list or writing letters to members of her family overseas in the Caribbean and Americas, writing has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. It would be true to say that writing is my life and passion – for me writing is breathing – I come alive when given an opportunity to express my thoughts and feelings on the page or screen as well as being given the chance to interview and then share the stories of others who are influential in making a positive difference in the lives of others.


While everyone has an ability to write, I do believe that like many talents the world has to offer, that it is a gift from God which if used correctly can make a lasting difference in the world and in the lives of others. I thank God for inspiring me to write since childhood and for the journey He’s taken me on thus far. I am thankful to my mother who introduced me to a dazzling world of books (at home and through our local library) and to creative writers groups where I could further develop the talent which often laid buried within me. A writer and poet herself, my mother has in many ways passed on her passion to me which, with both hands, I have gladly taken hold of and run with. My brother, aunties, uncles, cousins and late grandfather have all supported me in this journey and alongside my mother and late grandmother, I cannot thank them enough.

Then there are those in the world of writing and media who have inspired and made an impact in my life which drives me to continue to do what I’m doing today. Gary Younge and Maya Wolfe Robinson (The Guardian) who ran my first opinion feature Teaching assistants are invaluable to learningso why are we being axed? during a week where all the news, both online and in print, was heavily dominated on Brexit. Then there is Rodney Hinds (The Voice Media Group) who told me during my summer work experience there last year that the only thing keeping me back from going far in Journalism was a lack of opportunity and with that he opened a door where I have now been able to regularly contribute stories to the newspaper. News Editor, Vic Motune ran my first submitted story to The VoiceWere Not To Blame For Knife Crime Epidemic this time last year for which I am forever grateful. 

Being an associate member of the Afrikan Heritage Writers group in my local borough, I have made and built up a network of friends and writing colleagues who are all talented within their own right and have progressed in leaps and bounds under the direction of the group founder, Ngoma Bishop – a writer and activist who raised a successful campaign which overturned local council plans to remove the name of a renowned black writer by the name of CLR James from off the newly purpose built library where we meet. 

Deniece Dobson, who spotted a feature on me (aged 16 at the time) in the New Nation newspaper and through contacting the editor, offered me the opportunity to become a member of Children’s Express – a programme of learning through Journalism for young people aged 8-18. After graduating from university I would return to work there. 

Antoine Allen (ITV London News) – who responded to a random Facebook message inviting him to interview a group of young people from my local church marching against youth violence and knife crime in the area.

Neil Nunes (BBC Radio) who has encouraged, advised and just been available whenever needed and is an inspiration both professionally and spiritually. 

Dr Brighton Kavaloh who’s depth of knowledge in education, the law and matters of religious liberty is astounding and whom I have had the priviledge to know and assist.

Divinia Reynolds, talented teacher, author and film maker who I now assist in the Creative Writing for Evangelism Class having previously graduated under her tutelage.  

Then there are the editors within the BUC, SEC, Stanborough Press and Adventist Radio London (Richard Daly, Sam Davies, David Marshall, Julian Hibbert, David Neal, Mike Johnson and Nigel Maugandize) who have supported the work I do within my local church as a PR and Communications Assistant.

Without these special people around me, my journey would not be what it is today. So, to them and the many others who have supported and encouraged me along the way, including members of my immediate, extended and church family, I say thank you and here’s to another 7 great years and beyond!   

(C) Copyright 2020, Darell J Philip