Published: March 21, 2017

Donald Morrill, associate dean of graduate and continuing studies and Dana professor of English, received Carolina Wren Press’ 2017 Lee Smith Novel Prize for his novel, Beaut.

The Lee Smith Novel Prize recognizes authors living in, writing about or originally from the U.S. South.

“The press sees this prize as a way to acknowledge Lee Smith’s contributions to Southern literature as a writer, teacher and mentor while at the same time working to explore and expand the definition of Southern literature,” said Robin Miura, co-director of Carolina Wren Press.

Beaut, selected from more than 100 contest entries, is a first-person account of a woman whose difficult children have ruled her life. Her life story unfolds throughout the novel, including an early love affair that comes to frame the rest of her life. The book will be released by Carolina Wren Press in March 2018.

“This beautifully written novel is the full-length fiction debut of an already established and accomplished poet and nonfiction author,” said Miura. “We are excited to present this powerful novel to the world.”

Morrill, who has taught at UT for 30 years, is the author of three volumes of poetry, including Awaiting Your Impossibilities (winner of the 2016 Florida Book Award), and four books of nonfiction.