Centenary College Home Centenary News

News Service

2911 Centenary

Post Office
Box 4188


318 869-5120

318 841-7266


Contact: Jennifer Strange, 318-869-5256, or Lynn Stewart or Natalie Schoppe, Centenary News Service, 318-869-5120

Poets Debora Greger and William Logan to Receive Centenary College’s Annual Corrington Award for Literary Excellence Nov. 9

SHREVEPORT, LA — For the first time ever, Centenary College will award its annual Corrington Award for Literary Excellence to two people: poet-artist Debora Greger and poet-literary critic William Logan.

William Logan

The presentation, free and open to the public, will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9, in Centenary’s Kilpatrick Auditorium, located in the Smith Building.

Following the awarding of the bronze medals designed by the renowned sculptor Clyde Connell, the two will read from their works. Greger and Logan become the 15th and 16th recipients of the award, which is named in memory of Centenary alumnus John William Corrington.

Greger Art Exhibit

Following the readings, Greger will open her exhibit “Daily Life in the Memory Palace” in the Anderson Choral Building Atrium during a public reception from 8:30-9:30 p.m. The exhibit consists of 20 different paper collages sewn together with nylon filament. It will remain open to the public until Dec. 10.

On Nov. 10 at 5 p.m. in the Anderson Choral Building Atrium, Logan will “holler” his talk “Prisoner, Fancy-Man, Rowdy, Lawyer, Physician, Priest: Whitman’s Brags.” Free copies of Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself will be given to the first 30 students attending. Whitman, a poet of the late 19th century, was born in 1819 and survived being a prisoner of war during the American Civil War. His life experiences were shaped by the war and displayed in his Song of Myself.

Debora Greger

Greger and Logan will remain at Centenary from Nov. 8-12 as Attaway Fellows in Civic Culture. Endowed by Douglas and Marion Attaway and funded in 2001 by the Louisiana Board of Regents, Attaway professorships bring to the community the view of public intellectuals, a perspective that strengthens the link between Centenary and Shreveport-Bossier City and the national and global community.

The Corrington Award carries a special feature at Centenary. A book by its recipient serves as a text in all sections of the fall First-Year Experience courses. Some 300 students and faculty are reading one poetry collection by each of the award winners: Logan’s Night Battles and Greger’s Desert Fathers, Uranium Daughters. As Corrington honorees, the two poets will meet informally with English 101 and other classes, in addition to their public reading. Debora Greger

William Logan

As a widely published contemporary poet and literary critic, Logan has contributed to the public discussion of ideas for more than 20 years, earning a reputation as “the most hated man in American literary criticism” for his sometimes harsh but arguably honest assessment of modern poetry. His own poetry and scholarly life represents a wide range of interests: popular music and film alongside architecture and shoeshine boxes and travel.

Logan’s critical wit depends on his liberally educated mind and his ethical practice of the intellectual life. Poets respond to Logan’s remarks in various ways, but those who have received his unfavorable reviews concede that Logan’s opinions are underrepresented in the literary community and the larger culture. He finds fault where others shy from it, and he withholds praise until he truly thinks it due. Thus, he has produced a flavor of literary discussions likened to Randall Jarrell’s and has received national acclaim in his relentless pursuit of good lines (not just published ones).

Logan, who earned a B.A. from Yale in 1972 and M.F.A. from the University of Iowa in 1975, is professor of English at the University of Florida, where he served as the director of creative writing from 1983 to 2000. He has written six books of poetry: Sad-faced Men (1982), Difficulty (1985), Sullen Weedy Lakes (1988), Vain Empires (1998), Night Battle (1999), and Macbeth in Venice (2003). He has also published three books of criticism: All the Rage (1998), Reputations of the Tongue (1999) which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award in criticism, and Desperate Measures (2002). He co-edited a book, Certain Solitudes (1997), on Donald Justice’s poetry and regularly writes poetry criticism for the New York Times Book Review and provides a biannual verse chronicle for The New Criterion.

Most recently, he won Poetry magazine’s J. Howard and Barbara M. J. Wood Prize and Southwest Review’s Elizabeth Matchett Stover Memorial Award

Debora Greger

Having earned the B.A. from the University of Washington in 1971 and the M.F.A. from University of Iowa in 1974, Greger became professor of English at the University of Florida in 1988. She has written seven books of poetry: Western Art (October 2004) Movable Islands (1980), And (1985), The 1002nd Night (1990), Off-Season at the Edge of the World (1994), Desert Fathers, Uranium Daughters (1996), God (2001), and Western Art (Fall 2004).

She has won various poetry awards including the Grolier Prize, a Discovery/The Nation Award, the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the Peter I. B. Lavan Younger Poets Award, the Brandeis University Award in Poetry, and the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship. She has also received grants from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation.

As an artist, Greger’s collages demonstrate the beautiful precision that only a visual artist and poet can combine: images cropped scientifically from birding journals and other sources, then hand-stitched onto various media like blank sheet music. Thus, she capitalizes on intellectual connections and found objects, ideas and images.

She has been a fellow at the Bunting Institute and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She teaches poetry workshops and seminars in poetry.

Forthcoming Poems

Logan and Greger have poems recently or forthcoming in Antioch Review, Gettysburg Review, Hudson Review, The Nation, New Criterion, New England Review, New Republic, Paris Review, Partisan Review, Poetry, Sewanee Review, Southern Review, Southwest Review, TLS, and Yale Review.

For more information about Greger, Logan, or the Corrington Award, see http://www.english.ufl.edu/faculty/dgreger, http://www.english.ufl.edu/faculty/wlogan, and http://www.centenary.edu/english/corrington.html.

Previous Corrington Recipients

Last year’s recipient of the Corrington Award was Michael Longley, a poet from Ireland. Previous recipients were Eavan Boland, Eudora Welty, Ernest J. Gaines, James Dickey, Miller Williams, Lee Smith, Paul Auster, Elizabeth Spencer, Anthony Hecht, Richard Wilbur, Eleanor Wilner, Richard Power and C.K. Williams.

Corrington Award Honors Alumnus

Corrington, the author of short stories and novels, is perhaps best known (thanks to the 1990 film) for his novel Decoration Day. He also edited with Miller Williams (another Corrington recipient) two influential anthologies of Southern poetry and fiction in the 1960s.

Attaway Fellowships in Civic Culture

Corrington Award recipients typically spend two days on campus, but Logan and Greger will extend their visit to one week by accepting a joint appointment as Attaway Fellows in Civic Culture.

Attaway Fellows (who have included Dava Sobel, Simon Singh, and, most recently, documentary filmmaker Laura Dunn) have made significant contributions to the public discussion of ideas. As such, Logan and Greger will discuss students’ various interests—the arts, film and literary criticism, ornithology, etc—with students and faculty in various forums.

Centenary College of Louisiana

Centenary College of Louisiana, the oldest chartered college west of the Mississippi, celebrated its 175th anniversary in 2000. The private liberal arts college is located in northwest Louisiana. The college aims to equip students as good citizens, teaching them to think and produce scholarship across the disciplines

The annual Corrington Award event is sponsored by Centenary’s Department of English.

- 30 -