MAURICE MANNING NAMED 2012 LEE SMITH AWARD RECIPIENT
June 27, 2012 - Harrogate, Tennessee, July 27, 2011—Kentucky poet and Pulitzer Prize finalist Maurice Manning has been presented the prestigious Lee Smith Award by Lincoln Memorial University (LMU). The prize recognizes an individual who has worked to preserve and promote Appalachian culture.
Manning is a critically acclaimed poet who has been associated with the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival (MHLF) since its founding. A native of Kentucky, he often writes about the land and culture of Appalachia. His first book of poems, Lawrence Booth’s Book of Visions, was chosen by poet and judge W.S. Merwin for the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. His subsequent books include A Companion for Owls: Being the Commonplace Book of D. Boone, Long Hunter, Back Woodsman & c. and Bucolics. His fourth book of poetry, The Common Man, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2011. A new collection called The Gone and The Going Away is forthcoming.
Manning’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Shenandoah, The Southern Review, Washington Square, Green Mountains Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, Wind, Hunger Mountain Review, Black Warrior Review, Virginia Quarterly Review and elsewhere. He has held a fellowship to The Fine Arts Works Center in Provincetown, Ind. Additionally, he has been featured on National Public Radio’s poetry series.
Manning received a Master’s of Fine Arts in Poetry from the University of Alabama, and also holds degrees from Earlham College and the University of Kentucky. He has previously taught at Depauw University and Indiana University. Manning teaches in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, and in the fall will begin teaching at Transylvania University in Lexington. He resides in Kentucky and is currently a Guggenheim fellow.
The Lee Smith Award, named in honor of Appalachia’s most well-known writer, is a way to honor Smith and other people doing good work in the region. Smith’s publications include Fair and Tender Ladies, On Agate Hill and many others. Prior recipients of the Lee Smith Award have been Silas House, Earl Hamner, Jr., Sheila Kay Adams, George Ella Lyon and Beverly May.
Also awarded during the festival was the Jean Ritchie Fellowship, believed to be the largest monetary award for emerging Appalachian writers. This year’s Jean Ritchie Fellowship went to Amy Clark of Big Stone Gap, Va.
The Mountain Heritage Literary Festival continues to grow and have a positive influence on the thriving, living literature of Appalachia. The festival was created to carry on the long literary tradition that exists at LMU, which claims such literary alums as James Still, Jesse Stuart, Don West and George Scarbrough.
Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAPTION: Author Silas House (left) presents Maurice Manning (right) with the 2012 Lee Smith Award at Lincoln Memorial University’s Mountain Heritage Literary Festival.
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