Centenary College to present 30th annual Corrington Award October 7

Jericho Brown

SHREVEPORT, LA — Acclaimed poet and Shreveport native Jericho Brown will receive Centenary’s John William Corrington Award for Literary Excellence during a ceremony on Monday, October 7. The 7:00 p.m. event in Centenary’s Kilpatrick Auditorium includes a reading from Brown and is free and open to the public. The Corrington Award marks its 30th anniversary in 2019.

Brown grew up in Shreveport and graduated from Byrd High School in 1996. He continued his education in New Orleans, graduating magna cum laude from Dillard University and completing an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of New Orleans before earning his Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from the University of Houston. He currently lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia, where he is an associate professor in English and director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University.

“Jericho Brown is a vital and energetic voice in the landscape of contemporary poetry,” says Centenary assistant professor of English Emily Leithauser. “In his nationally-recognized work, we see a deep exploration of America’s troubled past, and also the glimmering potential of how truth-telling can protect and sustain us. We in the English Department look forward to welcoming a writer who will challenge students to imagine how poetry enriches both our daily lives and the culture we share.”

Centenary students will be reading Brown’s third collection of poems, The Tradition, in courses this fall and will have a chance to discuss the work with Brown when he visits campus to accept the Corrington Award. Brown will be available to meet with students and community members at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Monday, October 7 in the Whited Room in Bynum Commons.

Brown’s first book, Please (New Issues 2008), won the 2009 American Book Award, and his second collection, The New Testament (Copper Canyon 2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. He is also a past recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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.