Joanne C. Hillhouse

Joanne Hillhouse is one of Antigua and Barbuda’s foremost contemporary writers. She is the author of seven books: two novellas, an adult contemporary novel, a teen/young adult novel, and three children’s picture books. She resides in Antigua and has said: “The Antigua I write about is the Antigua I live and breathe every day, and I write it as we experience it, now.” 

Much of Antigua’s literary culture rests on the author’s shoulders. She runs the non-profit, Wadadli Pen, which organises a range of activities to support local writers and awards an annual prize. Her service to the literary arts also includes a newspaper column, a blog, and her longtime participation in the Cushion Club, reading to children.  

The 50-year-old writer was the first runner-up for the coveted Burt Award for Young Adult Caribbean Literature in 2014, for her manuscript Musical Youth, which was published later that year.

She has also won the David Hough literary prize, awarded to writers working in the Caribbean. Her work has been published in international journals, including Columbia Review and PEN America.  

Her books include The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, and Oh Gad! Caribbean writer and critic, UWI Professor Emeritus Mervyn Morris, says of her: “Joanne Hillhouse deserves to be better known. I believe that as the word spreads, she will be recognised as an important Caribbean writer doing distinctive work.”