Congratulations to Lesley Wheeler, the Henry S. Fox Professor of English at Washington and Lee. She is one of three finalists in the poetry category of the 2011 Library of Virginia Literary Awards, for her book Heterotopia (Barrow Street Press).
Lesley, in fact, won a prize for the volume when it was still in manuscript, the 2009 Barrow Street Poetry Book Prize. We blogged about it at the time; you can read it here. Heterotopia is Lesley’s second book of poetry.
For the poetry award, judges selected three finalists out of a pool of 24 nominees. The Library of Virginia will bestow the Literary Awards on Oct. 15. You can read more about them here.
Lesley and her family, which includes her husband, Chris Gavaler, visiting assistant professor of English at W&L, recently returned from six months at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. Lesley worked there under the auspices of a Fulbright Scholar senior research grant.
It’s not the first time the library has recognized W&L faculty members for their literary talents. Rod Smith, editor of Shenandoah, won the poetry prize in 2002 and 2008 and was a finalist in 2004; Dabney Stuart, professor of English emeritus, was a finalist for fiction in 1998 and the winner for poetry in 2006; and Domnica Radulescu, professor of Romance languages, won the fiction prize in 2009.
Alumni have won recognition too. In 2007, Tom Wolfe, of the Class of 1951, received the library’s Lifetime Achievement Award.