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2017 Byron Caldwell Smith Book Award Lecture

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

LAWRENCE – The Hall Center for the Humanities has announced the winners of the 2017 Byron Caldwell Smith Book Award. One award for fiction and one for nonfiction is given each competition cycle.

The winners will receive their awards and deliver a public talk at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12, at the Hall Center. The event is free and open to the public. A reception and book signing will also take place.

The nonfiction committee selected Henry Bial, University of Kansas professor of theatre, to receive the award for "Playing God: The Bible on the Broadway Stage" (University of Michigan Press). The book, according to nominators, is “an innovative and original work of outstanding scholarship. In topic and methodology, it advances the fields of theatre/performance studies, American studies and religious studies through rigorous, relevant and accessible research in the arts.”

The fiction committee selected Megan Kaminski, KU assistant professor of English, to receive the award for "Deep City" (Noemi Press).  A review in The Rumpus notes, “Decentralizing and deconstructing the familiar notion of single speaker in the landscape, Kaminski both challenges the Romantic ideal of pastoral poetry and enlivens the concrete and girders we live in but so often fail to imagine.”

The Byron Caldwell Smith Award was established at the bequest of Kate Stephens, a former KU student and one of KU’s first women professors. As an undergraduate, Stephens learned to love the study of Greek language and literature from Professor Byron Caldwell Smith. In his name, she established this award, given biennially to individuals who live or are employed in Kansas and who have written an outstanding book published in the previous two years. The next Byron Caldwell Smith Award will be given in 2019.

For more information, please contact the Hall Center at hallcenter@ku.edu or call (785) 864-4798.

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