My first date with Andrew Burrows-Trotman ( aka ABT) was almost our last. Don’t get me wrong, I was into him but one thing I can’t stand or abide is a messy man and lord was he ever messy! ABT’s bedroom (yes he still lived with his mother!) was less a honey trap and more a science experiment. But before I could exit stage left my eye caught on to a wall of VHS movies most of which I had never even heard of — to his horror and excitement. ABT couldn’t shut up about Julie Dash, Jane Campion John Sayles, Charles Burnett, Jim Jarmusch, and some dude named Quentin Tarantino. But so what, I was still out of there! As I was checking my watch for the right time to dip I noticed jagged piles of historical and critical thought books peeking out from under piles of dirty clothes. These weren’t just any kind of books, they were the kind you have to hunt down at rare “Hotep” book stores, everything from Walter Rodney to Franz Fanon to bell hooks. And get this, he’s actually read them! As a budding historian, I was drawn in by this strange juxtaposition. So much for exiting stage left…
Hours later, ABT was still going on and on with unbridled passion. I was stupefied for the most part, how could a man who doesn’t make his bed speak at length about bell hooks?! I was compelled to look past his troubling disinterest in cleanliness (I fixed that shit!) and gave him a couple more dates and… Twenty years later, I’ve witnessed all the bursts of joy with every creative breakthrough but also the tantrums and fury when he’s let down. ABT’s pepper pot of interest boils with the same rich ingredients — post-colonial history, comics, sports, cats, sneakers, soca, reggae and hip hop and is even tastier and more refined now. Being raised by a single Black Guyanese woman, questions of gender, poverty and class penetrate every story he tells with unbridled fury as if he’s trying to awaken his ancestors. Thankfully, Andrew’s resilience has paid off and he’s finally hitting his stride as a writer. I couldn’t be more proud. No matter what twists and turns are left on ABT’s artistic sojourn I will be right there with him, lock and step.
-Denise Challenger (Pseudo-Wife)
Which ‘hood are you in?
I’ll forever be from Scarborough but I now live in the land of smash burgers and alcoholic ice cream (aka Queen West).
What do you do?
I am a screenwriter. I mostly ply my trade in TV but I also have a couple of feature projects I’m currently writing as well.
What are you currently working on?
I am excited to have been chosen for the inaugural Warner Media X Canadian Academy Writers Access Program. The remainder of this year will be spent writing an original pilot with their financial and creative support. I also wrote an episode of the upcoming CBC/BET+ series THE PORTER which I’m incredibly proud to be involved with and can’t wait for the world to see.
Where can we find your work?