Book critics honor two Penn faculty

For Lecturer in English Paul Hendrickson, the third time was the charm.

“Sons of Mississippi” (Knopf), Hendrickson’s meditation on the legacy of the civil rights era in the South, received the 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award for general nonfiction at an awards ceremony in New York City March 4. Hendrickson had been nominated for the prestigious literary award on two previous occasions.

Hendrickson is one of two Penn faculty honored by the book critics’ organization this year. Donald T. Regan Professor of English Susan Stewart won the poetry award for her book “Columbarium” (Chicago).

Al Filreis, professor of English and director of the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing, said, “Students of writing and people who gather around the Kelly Writers House have been graced by the presence of these two powerful and wonderful writers, and this only confirms what we knew about them.”

“I am honored more than I can say, and I am so thrilled for Susan Stewart,” Hendrickson wrote in an e-mail from New York. “This is a good day for the University of Pennsylvania, and for the struggle at this university to find the right words to make things matter.”

Originally published on March 18, 2004