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Arnoult is recipient of the 2017 Chaffin Award

Darnell Arnoult of Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, received the Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Achievement in Appalachian Writing Thursday, Sept, 28, in a ceremony held at CoffeeTree Books. She also read from her works.

A question-and-answer session with Arnoult and MSU students took place earlier Thursday in the Bert Combs Building.

The 22nd individual to receive the award, Arnoult joins such illustrious writers from the region as James Still, Donald Ray Pollock, Crystal Wilkinson, George Ella Lyon and Scott McClanahan.

“It never ceases to amaze me how generous and kind our awardees are when they come to campus, but Ms. Arnoult’s visit charmed us almost as much as her poetry,” said Dr. Thomas S. Williams, associate dean of the School of English, Communication, Media and Languages.

Arnoult is the writer in residence at Lincoln Memorial University. Her latest book, a collection of poems titled Galaxie Wagon, earned her the Chaffin Award. She has published two other books: another poetry collection, What Travels With Us, and a novel, Sufficient Grace. Shorter works have appeared in such publications as Southwest Review, Now and Then, Southern Exposure, and Appalachian Heritage. She also been awarded the Weatherford Award for Appalachian Literature, SIBA Poetry Book of the Year Award, Mary Frances Hobson Medal for Arts and Letters, and in 2007 was named Tennessee Writer of the Year by the Tennessee Writers Alliance.

The Chaffin jury received more than 100 submissions for the 2017 prize.

Administered through MSU’s Department of English, the Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing gives students the opportunity to interact with a published author writing from the region. The award, which includes a cash prize of $1,000, recognizes outstanding Appalachian writers in poetry, fiction and nonfiction.

The award is supported by the Buckner and Sally S. Hinkle Endowment for Humanities, Morehead State Public Radio, MSU’s Department of English and Caudill College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Additional information is available by calling Williams at 606-783-9448.

Pictured above, from left, are Darnell Arnoult and Dr. Thomas S. Williams.