Professor Julia Corbett received the Honorable Mention for the Manfred Award in Creative Writing at the annual conference of the Western Literature Association on Sept. 23, 2016, in Big Sky, Montana. The award was for the essay “Out of the Woods,” which is a chapter in her book A Regular Day for the Moon: Culture and Everyday Nature, which is currently under review.
The chapter braids her father's collapse from a stroke in his beloved woods with the cultural histories of what the phrase "out of the woods" means. Though for Corbett and her father woods have been a place of solace and sanctuary, the phrase conveys that woods are full of danger and difficulties, a place one must leave to be safe and secure. Throughout cultural histories, woods have represented enchantment and the sublime but also danger, demons, and fears of our own mortality.
The Frederick Manfred Award for Creative Writing was instituted in 2001 and named for a celebrated writer and longtime Western Literature Association member. The annual award goes to the writer of the best piece of creative writing, whether poetry, short story, memoir or other creative nonfiction, read by the writer at the fall conference.
Professor Corbett's scholarship investigates environmental communication from a macro-sociological view of social conflict and change, primarily now in the form of creative nonfiction essays about human relationships with the natural world, such as her newly recognized piece, "Out of the Woods."
Learn more about Professor Corbett and her interesting research and writing here.