Poetry Pays

By Emily Gold / November / December 1999
November 5th, 2007
Two brown writers are among the winners of one of this year's most prestigious literary prizes. Poet and Professor of English C.D. Wright and fiction writer Joanna Scott '85 A.M. each won a $75,000 Lannan Literary Award given by the family-owned Lannan Foundation. The awards honor established or emerging writers who have made significant contributions to English-language literature or who show the potential to do so.

"What it gives me is time," says Scott, a professor of English at the University of Rochester. Next year she will take time off from teaching to work on her next project, which she says will be either a collection of related stories or a novel. She is the author of five novels, including Arrogance and, forthcoming from Little, Brown in February, Make Believe, the tale of a small child who has to endure an ugly custody battle.

Wright will use at least part of the prize to finance her current project, a collaborative effort with a photographer to explore life in Louisiana prisons. "It's very gratifying to be singled out," Wright says, "It's just a very nicely carved-out dollop of money which you can use wisely or foolishly." A former Rhode Island poet laureate, Wright has written nine books of poetry, including Deepstep Come Shining and Just Whistle.

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November / December 1999