Prolific Antigua and Barbuda writer Joanne Hillhouse has just added to the many accolades she has accumnulated for her writing and works in literarcy when she received the Antony N. Sabga Award for Caribbean Excellence in March, 2023.
Only five people have won the award since it started in 2006, and Hillhouse is the first Antiguan. The winner will get a commemoratice coin, a citation and cash.
"The goal of the Award is to recognize significant Caribbean acheivement, to encourage and to support the persuit of excellence by Caribbean Caribbean persons, for the benefit of the region. The foundation is convinced that talent needs to be sought out, brought to light and encouraged. It is in this context that the awards were conceived", said the organizers of the prize.
The creative writer, poet, journalist, producer and educator who has written novels, poems, short stories and childrens books, has contributed to many regional and international publications and has published six books and scored numerous prizes including an Unesco Honour Award, Ten Outstanding Young Persons from the Caribbean, the Michael and Marilee Fairbanks International Fellowship and the David Hough Literary Prize.
The Otters-born product attended the Holy Family School then Christ the King High School before studying at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, where she was mentored by the influencial poet and academic Mervyn Morris, Jamaica's first Poet Laureate.
Hillhouse has honed her literary skills studying at many fiction and writing programs and fellowships before setting out on he own carreer in letters. along the way, she has become a major force not only in her island and the region but also internationally and has made a mark across the Caribbean, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.
In Antigua and Barbuda, she is a major fornce in arts literature and literacy, espcecially through her Wadadli Pen nurturing and mentoring young writers with workshops teachings awards and competitions.