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Washington and Lee University Editor Named Finalist for Literary Award

Washington and Lee’s R.T. Smith, editor of Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review, is one of three finalists for the poetry prize at the 11th Annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards. His nominated book is “Outlaw Style: Poems,” from the University of Arkansas Press.

Smith, who has edited Shenandoah since 1995, has published 13 collections of poetry, including “The Hollow Log Lounge” and “Trespasser.” In 2002, he received the Library of Virginia’s poetry award for “Messenger.” He has published two collections of stories, “Uke Rivers Delivers” and “Faith.” His work is frequently anthologized in such books as “New Stories from the South: 2008” and appears in many periodicals, including Atlantic Monthly and Gettysburg Review. He also teaches literature and writing at Washington and Lee University.

“Every year these awards are a testament to the variety and robustness of the literary arts in Virginia,” said Smith. “Because I think ‘Outlaw Style’ is my riskiest and most eccentric book, I’m especially delighted that it’s receiving recognition from the Library of Virginia.”

The other two finalists for the 2008 poetry award are Constance Merritt, for “Blessings and Inclemencies: Poems” (Louisiana State University Press) and Charles Wright, “Littlefoot” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). An independent panel of judges selected the finalists in the categories of poetry, fiction and non-fiction from among 138 nominated books. The winners will be announced on Oct. 18 at a gala ceremony at the Library of Virginia, in Richmond.