Friday, February 17, 2012

Mary Ann Samyn Wins Benedum Award

Congratulations to Mary Ann Samyn, the recipient of the 2011-2012 Benedum Distinguished Scholar Award.

The award is the highest honor a WVU faculty member can receive for research at the university.

Mary Ann, who won in the humanities and arts category, is the author of six books of poems, four full-length (Captivity Narrative, Inside the Yellow Dress, Purr, and Beauty Breaks In) and two chapbooks (Rooms by the Sea and The Boom of a Small Cannon). She has published in the best journals in the country, including Field, Passages North, Mid-American Review, and The Journal.

She has also received the Eberly College Outstanding Teacher Award, the WVU Foundation Outstanding Teacher Award, and the Eberly College Outstanding Researcher Award.

But enough of what, relatively speaking, is mundane about Mary Ann. On to the spectacular. Her poetry. A sample:

Wish and What Happens
—Back to the fe fi ho hum of it. Don't flatter yourself,
I told everyone else in my row on the plane. Or,
kind of did. Nothing could be more delightful
or more fearsome than the good rage I'm doing privately.
Do you consider yourself marked for luck? If so,
stoke it. I went all the way that way. Someday
someone will come after us; you can bet on it.
Someday they'll say she was to him a mighty holler.

Congratulations, Mary Ann!

1 comment:

  1. The first member of our Department to win the Benedum was the late John Johnson, who wrote an important book on World War I poetry (and corresponded with Isaac Rosenberg and others, I do believe, and a second book on "Poetry and the City." The latter was reviewed in TLS very favorably. He was a paratrooper during WWII, and befitting that duty, he had very big feet. Those feet wore big shoes. Congratulations, Mary Ann! Even those shoes are too small for you. Quite an honor, indeed! I hope to be there for your presentation.