SPOKANE, Wash. – Humanities Washington will honor poet and Gonzaga University English Professor Tod Marshall with the 2015 Humanities Washington Award for Scholarship and Service at the Bedtime Stories fundraiser Oct. 23 at the Spokane Club. The reception will begin at 6 p.m.
The Humanities Washington Award annually recognizes outstanding achievement in the public humanities in the categories of “Philanthropy and Leadership” and “Scholarship and Service”; Marshall’s award is in the latter category. The awards are presented to two individuals or organizations whose time and talents enlarge the meaning of the humanities and whose work reflects the spirit and programs of Humanities Washington.
Marshall was the first in his family to attend college, which inspired him to bring humanities education to underserved populations. He participated in Humanities Washington’s first Clemente Course in the Humanities, a program that teaches the humanities to economically disadvantaged college students. More recently, he became a scholar for Prime Time Family Reading, a program serving primarily at-risk children and families that combines reading, storytelling, and discussion to encourage reading and library use. In Prime Time, he worked tirelessly to increase participation in the program and even revised the curriculum to increase families’ comfort level with the material.
“As a first generation college graduate, I never forget how empowering exposure to culture can be, and I know that it’s very important to build cultural bridges between academia, where I work, and larger communities, where I live,” said Marshall.
Elisabeth Mermann-Jozwiak, dean of Gonzaga’s College of Arts and Sciences, lauded Marshall’s contributions as both a professor and a poet.
“Over the past 16 years that he has worked at Gonzaga University, Dr. Marshall has consistently worked to produce humanities-based programming, including the Gonzaga University Visiting Writers Series,” Mermann-Jozwiak said. “He has hosted visiting scholars of national and international renown, and has himself been major contributor to a vibrant arts scene in the Pacific Northwest. He understands the crucial role of the humanities in today’s work and is a tireless advocate.”
Marshall earned a master of fine arts degree from Eastern Washington University and a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. His first collection of poetry, “Dare Say,” was the 2002 winner of the University of Georgia’s Contemporary Poetry Series. His second collection, “The Tangled Line,” was published by Canarium Press in 2009, and was a finalist for the Washington Book Award. Marshall has also published a collection of his interviews with contemporary poets, “Range of the Possible” (EWU Press, 2002), which was named to the New York City Public Library Poetry Book List for 2003, and an accompanying anthology of the interviewed poets’ work, “Range of Voices” (2005). In 2005, he was awarded a Washington Artists Trust Fellowship. His third collection of poetry, “Bugle,” was published in 2014 from Canarium.
Marshall, for the past several years, has also helped to recruit other scholars to participate in Humanities Washington’s Bedtime Stories fundraiser. The dinner event features presentations by Northwest writers of original short works inspired by an annual theme.
For tickets to the Oct. 23 event at the Spokane Club, event sponsorship, and information about purchasing a table, contact KayLee Jaech at (206) 682-1770 x103 or KayLee@humanities.org