Leidig Poetry Lectureship

Celebrating Poetry at Emory & Henry College

Tyhimba JessPoet Tyehimba Jess will visit campus on April 14, 2020, to share reading of his work at 7:30 PM in the McGlothlin Center for the Arts. Jess is the author of two books of poetry, leadbelly (Verse Press)and Olio (Wave Books). Olio won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, The Midland Society Author’s Award in Poetry, and received an Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.  It was also nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN Jean Stein Book Award, and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award.  Leadbelly was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. The Library Journal and Black Issues Book Review both named it one of the “Best Poetry Books of 2005.”

 Jess, a Cave Canem and NYU Alumni, received a 2004 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was a 2004–2005 Winter Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Jess is also a veteran of the 2000 and 2001 Green Mill Poetry Slam Team, and won a 2000–2001 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Poetry, the 2001 Chicago Sun-Times Poetry Award, and a 2006 Whiting Fellowship. He presented his poetry at the 2011 TedX Nashville Conference and won a 2016 Lannan Literary Award in Poetry. Jess is a Professor of English at College of Staten Island.  

 Jess’s fiction and poetry have appeared in many journals, as well as anthologies such as Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American PoetryBeyond The Frontier: African American Poetry for the Twenty-First Century, Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature and Art, Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam, Power Lines: Ten Years of Poetry from Chicago’s Guild Complex, and Slam: The Art of Performance Poetry.

Visiting Poets

1997 Charles Wright
1999 Kelly Cherry
2000 Fred Chappel
2001 Marilyn Nelson
2002 Ellen Bryant Voigt
2003 Andrew Hudgins
2004 Susan Ludvigson
2005 Mark Doty
2006 Linda Pastan
2008 Ted Kooser
2009 Margaret Gibson
2010 Naomi Shihab Nye
2011 Robert Morgan
2012 Martin Espada
2013 Terri Kirby Erickson
2014 Kwame Dawes
2015 Joseph Bathanti
2016 Anya Silver
2017 Nikky Finney
2018 Marilyn Kallet

Leidig Poetry Prize

 2018 Christian Tripp
2017 Rachel Tucker
2016 Nina Kerr
2015 Jessie Leniski
2014 Mary Ruth Pruitt
2013 Jessica Hughes
2012 Lauren Trotman
2011 Kylie Dalton
2010 David Gillette
2009 Caroline Lawless
2008 Sally Smith
2006 Maggie Hess
2005 Kathryn M. Bondurant
2004 Patrick Carmody
2003 Kathryn M. Bondurant
2003 Mark Merz
2001 Mark Merz
2000 Jennifer Stewart

History of the Leidig Lectureship

Daniel G. Leidig was born in Rutherford County, Tennessee, the son of the Rev. D. G. and Arta Evans Leidig. He received a B.A. degree in English from Emory & Henry College, an M.A. from Vanderbilt University, and a PhD from Florida State University. Dr. Leidig taught for 30 years at his Alma Mater, where he served variously as Stuart Professor of English, Dean of the College and acting President.

A lectureship in poetry was established by Emory & Henry College in his name in 1996 by Helen Power, former librarian at Emory & Henry College (1943-1971), and Harriette Mooring Horner, an honor graduate of the Class of 1990 at Emory & Henry College.  In appreciation of Dr. Daniel G. Leidig, Jr., and in recognition of his love of poetry, the Leidig Lectureship in Poetry sponsors events during National Poetry Month to introduce students to the world of poetry. 

The purpose of the Lectureship named in Dr. Leidig’s honor is to encourage the study, writing, reading and sharing of poetry as vital human undertakings. In addition, the Leidig Poetry Prize is awarded each spring to an Emory & Henry student after an open competition.