Mon | Feb 18, 2019

Lorna Goodison pleasantly surprised by RJRGLEANER Honour Award

Published:Friday | January 18, 2019 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Ian Allen/Photographer RJRGLEANER honour awardees pose for the camera. From left: Poet Laureate Lorna Goodison, honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Arts and Culture; Alia Atkinson awarded for Sports; Dr L'Antoinette Stines from L'Acadco Dance Troupe was honoured for Art and Culture; Hue Menzies and Sophia Harris representing the Reggae Girlz, which got a Special Award for Sports; and Dr Parris Lyew-Ayee from the Mona Geoinformatics Institute was awarded for Science and Technology. The awards were presented at the second of three category awards luncheon at the media house’s North Street, Kingston office yesterday. [See story on A3]
Ian Allen/Photographer RJRGLEANER honour awardees (from left): Poet Laureate Lorna Goodison, honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Arts and Culture; Alia Atkinson awarded for Sports; Dr L'Antoinette Stines from L'Acadco Dance Troupe was honoured for Art and Culture; Hue Menzies and Sophia Harris representing the Reggae Girlz, which got a Special Award for Sports; and Dr Parris Lyew-Ayee from the Mona Geoinformatics Institute was awarded for Science and Technology. The awards were presented at the second of three category awards luncheon at the media house’s North Street, Kingston office yesterday.
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Jamaica's first female poet laureate, Lorna Goodison, was among a distinguished field of five who were awarded the prestigious 2018 RJRGLEANER Honour Awards at the newspaper's North Street offices in downtown Kingston yesterday.

Goodison received the Lifetime Achievement Award in the category of Arts and Culture for her role in creating a culture in literacy excellence in Jamaica and for bringing international recognition to its people.

An accomplished author, her impressive body of work continues to highlight the culture of Jamaica and the triumph of its people.

Goodison said that she was pleasantly surprised to be selected as the category winner as her storied journey as a poet began as a teen, when several of her poems were published in The Sunday Gleaner.

"The Gleaner continues to play a significant role in my career. Even as a little girl, I took to writing poems, writing anonymously as a teenager. I was too embarrassed to show anyone what I was doing," said the poet laureate.

"Then at some point, I would just let everybody know, and then at about age 21, I began publishing under my name. So thank you to The Gleaner for always being there."

Champion swimmer Alia Atkinson, the national Sportswoman of the Year and the first black woman to win a world swimming title, picked up the Honour Award in the category of Sports.

The Special Award (Sports) category went to the Reggae Girlz for the significant achievement of becoming the first Caribbean nation to qualify for the FIFA Women's World Cup.

Also awarded was the Mona Geoinformatics Institute (Science and Technology) for its success in providing advance geographic information and science solutions in Jamaica.

Leading dance ensemble L'Acadco, a unified Caribbean dance force, was the recipient of the award in the category of Arts and Culture.

Yesterday was the second of three category awards luncheons. The RJRGLEANER Honour Awards 2018 will culminate with a gala affair at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston in February.

The RJRGLEANER Honour Awards recognises the initiatives, accomplishments, and courage of individuals or organisations that have made a sterling contribution to Jamaica's development in the categories of art and culture, sports, science and technology, entertainment, business, public service, education, voluntary service, and health and wellness.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com