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GUY DAVENPORT RECEIVES
UK INTELLECTUAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

By Dan Adkins

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The medallion is awarded annually to recognize outstanding intellectual achievements by individuals who have worked in Kentucky or are native Kentuckians.

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April 19, 2000 – (Lexington, Ky.) – Author, poet, critic and artist Guy Davenport has received the University of Kentucky Libraries 2001 Medallion for Intellectual Achievement recognizing his broad contributions to American and world literature.

The medallion is awarded annually to recognize outstanding intellectual achievements by individuals who have worked in Kentucky or are native Kentuckians. The medallion encourages education and the free and creative use of the mind by citizens of Kentucky.

A native of Anderson, S.C., Davenport did his undergraduate work at Duke University. Awarded a Rhodes scholarship, he went to Merton College, Oxford, Great Britain, where he wrote on Joyce’s “Ulysses” before completing his doctoral work at Harvard with a dissertation on Ezra Pound’s “Cantos.”

He joined the University of Kentucky faculty in 1963. That same year he published a book on Harvard natural philosopher Louis Agassiz, followed by several volumes of poetry, translations of works from classical Greek authors and essays on modernist poets. In 1974, Scribner’s published his first collection of short stories entitled “Tatlin!” A second collection of short stories, “DaVinci’s Bicycle,” was published in 1979.

“Ecologues” appeared in 1981 as well as a collection of 40 essays, “Geography of the Imagination.” Other publications include: “Thasos and Ohio,” a volume of poems, in 1986; “The Jules Verne Steam Balloon” short story collection in 1987; “A Table of Green Fields“ in 1993; “The Cardiff Team” in 1996 and “A Balance of Quinces,” an edition of his paintings and drawings. In 1997 he published “The Hunter Gracchus,” a collection of essays on literature and art; and in 1998, “Objects on a Table,” an aesthetic meditation on the representation of objects in literature and still-life painting.

Along with his published works, Davenport has received numerous awards including the O. Henry Award for short stories, the 1981 Morton Douwen Zabel award for fiction from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, translation awards from PEN and the Academy of American Poets, the Leviton-Blumenthal Prize for poetry and the 1990 MacArthur Fellowship.

Davenport retired in 1990 as a UK Distinguished Alumni Professor of English.


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