The prestigious Casa de las Am�ricas Prize for Caribbean Literatures in English or Creole has been awarded to a local poet–Dr Jennifer Rahim PhD, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Liberal Arts at the University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine–based of her 2009 poetry publication entitled Approaching Sabbaths (Peepal Tree Press). Notification of the prize was given on 28th January 2010 by Maite Hern�ndez-Lorenzo, director of Communication and Image in Casa de las Am�ricas, which was founded in April 1959 as a Cuban cultural award solely.
In 1976 a jury was established for Caribbean Literatures in English, the prize being then awarded to scholar/writer Edward Brathwaite. The first local to be awarded the Casa de las Am�ricas prize in poetry, Rahim is well-known on the local and international literary circuit, where her poems have appeared in journals and anthologies such as The New Voices; the Trinidad and Tobago Review; the Catholic News; The Caribbean Writer; Creation Fire (1990);; Washerwoman hangs her poems in the Sun (1990); The Atlanta Review; and the Graham House Review. Rahim's distinctive poetic artistry was recognised and honoured as early as Poetry Day 1981 when her poetry earned the Marguerite Curtin Book Prize.
To date, Rahim has published three collections of poems, namely, Mothers Are Not the Only Linguists and Other Poems (New Voices, 1992); Between the Fence and the Forest (Peepal Tree, 2002); and Approaching Sabbaths (Peepal Tree, 2009), the latter being the basis of the Casa de Las Americas prize.
To her further credit, Rahim has authored numerous scholarly publications in literary criticism, published one collection of short fiction entitled, Songster and Other Stories (Peepal Tree, 2007), and edited Heart to Verse: wordlines from UWI (New Voices, 2008), the collection comprising poems by students of Rahim's 2007 Creative Writing class at UWI. Rahim's most recent work is joint editorship of Beyond Borders: Cross-Culturalism and the Caribbean Canon (UWI Press, 2009).
Rahim is currently on sabbatical in Canada and her e-mail address is: