Centenary College to host Corrington Award for Literary Excellence November 14

Mary Jo Salter

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary will honor writer Mary Jo Salter with the 2022 John William Corrington Award for Literary Excellence. The 2022 Corrington Award will be presented in a ceremony at the College’s Marjorie Lyons Playhouse on Monday, November 14, at 7:00 p.m. Salter will also give a poetry reading during the event, which is free and open to the public. A live stream of the Corrington Award ceremony will also be available on Centenary’s Facebook page at facebook.com/CentenaryCollegeLa.

"The English Department of Centenary College of Louisiana is very proud to announce Mary Jo Salter as the 32nd recipient of the John William Corrington Award for Literary Excellence,” said Dr. Jeff Hendricks, professor of English at Centenary. “She has been influential in promoting and celebrating the cultural value of formal poetry; in her own work, she displays the power of the poet's voice to wake us to the intimate details of daily life that give our lives meaning. Whether writing about Japan, or France, or Iceland (she travels widely and has lived in several different countries), she focuses upon the world an American eye that transcends national boundaries and reaffirms our common humanity.”

Salter is a poet, essayist, editor, playwright, lyricist, and children's book author. She is co-editor of the Norton Anthology of Poetry, one of the leading poetry textbooks in the world, and is the Krieger-Eisenhower Professor in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Salter has also served as an editor at Atlantic Monthly and The New Republic.

A graduate of Harvard University and Cambridge University in England, Salter is the author of several collections of poetry, including Henry Purcell in Japan (1985), Unfinished Painting (1989), Sunday Skaters (1994), A Kiss in Space (1999), Open Shutters (2003), Nothing by Design (2013), and The Surveyors (2017). Her most recent collection, Zoom Rooms, was published by A.A. Knopf in 2022.

The John William Corrington Award for Literary Excellence is presented annually by the Department of English at Centenary on behalf of the Centenary student body and faculty to an established, critically-acknowledged writer. The award honors a Centenary alumnus and English major, Bill Corrington (1932-1988), who was variously an English professor, an attorney in private practice, and, with his wife, Joyce, the head writer for several television series, including Search for Tomorrow and General Hospital. A prolific poet, he also published four novels, two short novels, and three collections of short stories.

In 1991 Eudora Welty became the first recipient of the Corrington Award when she read her short story "A Worn Path" at Centenary's spring Commencement. The Award takes the form of a bronze medal designed by the internationally-exhibited Louisiana sculptor Clyde Connell. The medal depicts two primitive figures, one of them slightly in front of the other, carrying a long object. A presentation box, hand-made by a local craftsperson, accompanies the medal. For more information on the Corrington Award and a full list of past winners, visit centenary.edu/corrington.

The annual Corrington Award presentation is generously underwritten by the Attaway Professorships in Civic Culture.


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