Professor Steve Yarbrough of Writing, Literature and Publishing has been elected to the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and, in addition, will receive the 2015 Robert Penn Warren Award for Fiction this spring from the same organization.
“It means the world to me,” said Yarbrough, who is receiving the Penn Warren Award for his novel The Realm of Last Chances (Knopf, 2013).
The fellowship’s past and current members include some of the country’s greatest writers, including Eudora Welty; Ralph Ellison; Edward P. Jones; and Rita Dove, the youngest and first African American appointed as U.S. Poet Laureate, who received an honorary degree from Emerson College in 2013.
“To see my name alongside theirs is both gratifying and humbling,” Yarbrough said.
The Fellowship of Southern Writers’ mission is to recognize and encourage literature in the South through commemorating outstanding literary achievement; encouraging young writers through awards, prizes, and fellowships; recognizing outstanding distinction in writing by election to membership; and through other appropriate activities, according to the organization’s website.
Yarbrough will officially receive the Penn Warren Award next April in a ceremony at the Tivoli Theatre in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Yarbrough, the son of Mississippi Delta farmers, is the author of nine books. He recently won the 2014 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for The Realm of Last Chances.