October 21, 2019

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Monday, October 14, 2019

CSM Writing Award Honors Wayne Karlin

Wayne Karlin
Wayne Karlin, left, was one of three professors at the College of Southern Maryland who helped to create the CSM Connections Literary Series in 1990. Since its inception, these readings connect the audience with national award-winning contemporary writers, poets, and artists as well as regional emerging writers who share their work and time with residents of Southern Maryland.

Professor Emeritus Wayne Karlin has been honored at the College of Southern Maryland with a creative writing award established in his name.

CSM has created the Wayne Karlin Creative Writing Award to recognized the professor emeritus who helped inspire the college’s Connections series. Announced by CSM Languages and Literature Professor Neal Dwyer, the award was also created to encourage CSM students who show exceptional skill with creative writing in their coursework or participation in the college’s literary magazine, Connections.

Mr. Karlin, a resident of St. Mary’s City, is a veteran, author, and former faculty member with more than 30 years’ connection to the college.

“He’s been with CSM for 30 years,” Mr. Dwyer said. “He created this reading series along with CSM Professors Emeriti Roger Horn and Dr. Edna Troiano. He has inspired students and community with his stories of loss and redemption, cycles of violence, and how they can be broken. He has dedicated his life to reminding us of our shared humanity, how precious it is, how easily we can lose it.”

Through both his teaching and his writing, Mr. Karlin has modeled the idea that we have an obligation to leave this world better than we found it, Mr. Dwyer said. “This is what Wayne has done.”

Professor Dwyer announced the new award at the academic year’s final Connections Literary Series reading, describing the honor as “a small but heartfelt gesture of gratitude for all Wayne has done for our community.”

“One of the joys of working at the college came from knowing that CSM understood and encouraged the arts and literature as essential components of any student’s education, and in so doing encouraged and gave opportunities for students to develop their own creativity,” Mr. Karlin said. “One of the other joys has been seeing our students engaged passionately in that creativity, telling their own stories and finding their own voices, in literature courses, in creative writing courses and in the Connections magazine. This award furthers that encouragement, and I’m delighted CSM initiated it and honored that it is in my name.”

The Wayne Karlin Creative Writing Award will be offered each year to a CSM student as part of the college’s academic excellence awards. Instructors at the college will announce the award at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. Students will submit a portfolio of their best works. An award committee will review and rate the portfolios, then pick one winner for fiction and one for poetry, Mr. Dwyer said.

In addition to Mr. Karlin’s teaching career as a professor of languages and literature, he is the author of seven novels: “Marble Mountain,” “The Wished-For Country,” “Lost Armies,” “Prisoners,” “The Extras,” “Us,” and “Crossover,” and three non-fiction books: “Rumors and Stones,” “War Movies,” and “Wandering Souls.” His work also includes extensive editing projects, screenwriting, essays reviews, short stories, and anthologies.

Mr. Karlin has received two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Paterson Prize in Fiction, five state of Maryland Individual Artist Awards in Fiction, the Vietnam Veterans of America Excellence in the Arts Award, and the Juniper Prize for Fiction for 2019 for his novel “A Wolf by the Ears.” This most recent novel will be published by University of Massachusetts Press in 2020.

A decorated Vietnam veteran, Mr. Karlin served in the US Marine Corps from 1963 to 1967. His experiences there and his reaction to them have played a major role in the themes of his subsequent work.

Mr. Karlin, Mr. Horn, and Ms. Troiano created the CSM Connections Literary Series in 1990. Since it was created, the series has featured writers such as National Book Award winners Tim O’Brien and Robert Stone, Pulitzer Prize-winning poets Yusef Komunyakaa and Henry Taylor, Maryland Poet Laureates Lucille Clifton and Michael Glaser, and US Poet Laureate Kay Ryan.

Also, the Connections Literary Magazine is a regional literary journal published twice a year that features poetry, stories, artwork, and photography of Southern Maryland. Videos from past literary events are available on the College of Southern Maryland’s official YouTube Educational Channel. Visit CSM online for information on the college’s Connections series and journal.

 

The College of Southern Maryland’s Wayne Karlin Creative Writing Award honors the professor emeritus who helped inspire the college’s Connections series. Announced by CSM Languages and Literature Professor Neal Dwyer, the award is also designed to encourage CSM students who show exceptional skill with creative writing as expressed in their coursework or participation in the college’s literary magazine, Connections.

For more about the College of Southern Maryland, visit its Leader member page.

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