New to the ceremony this year was the Willie Morris Award for Southern Poetry. “The Willie Morris Award for Southern Poetry is a great gift to readers and writers, stimulating hundreds of poems evoking the south,” remarked Susan Kinsolving, director of the award.
“Melissa Cannon’s poem entitled, ‘Mercury Poises on the Pinnacle of Nashville’s Bygone Union Station,’ embraces southern history through the metaphor of a classical statue. Among the many fine submissions, her artistry and specificity were outstanding.” Inaugural poetry winner Melissa Cannon lives and writes in Nashville. Her poems have been published in over 100 small-press journals and anthologies, including HomeWorks and HomeWords, two volumes of Tennessee writers from the University of Tennessee Press.