Essayist and poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil will receive the 2023 John William Corrington Award for Literary Excellence, presented annually by the Centenary College English Department, in a ceremony on October 23. The 2023 Corrington Award celebration begins at 6:30 p.m. in Anderson Auditorium at Centenary’s Hurley School of Music. Nezhukumatathil will give a 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 Corrington Award provides our community with the extraordinary opportunity to engage with a celebrated author,” said Dr. Chrissy Martin, assistant professor of English and a member of the Corrington Award selection committee. “Our goal is for the Corrington Award to be a moment in which the campus and community can think through ideas together. At Centenary, we are proud to be a part of Shreveport’s thriving art community and hope members of the community will join us as we celebrate writing, art, and wonder.”
Nezhukumatathil is the author of a book of nature essays, World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, & Other Astonishments, which was named a finalist for the Kirkus Prize in non-fiction, and four award-winning poetry collections, most recently, Oceanic. Awards for her writing include fellowships from the Mississippi Arts Council, Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for poetry, National Endowment of the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Her writing has appeared in NYTimes Magazine, ESPN, and Best American Poetry. She is professor of English and Creative Writing in the University of Mississippi’s MFA program.
“We chose to honor Nezhukumatathil with the Corrington Award this year because her books are not only brilliant, but also provide a great opportunity for the entire campus to come together to read, write, and think about wonder,” explained Martin. “Nezhukumatathil’s books center on slowing down and paying attention to the natural world and the ways that can teach us connection, survival, and joy. I believe we are all coming from the isolation of COVID in search of human connection and light, so we have worked hard to make this year’s Corrington a community event where we can share in joy together.”
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.