Celebration will honor 2022 recipients of Langston Hughes writing awards

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A recent college graduate and a local nonprofit administrator have been named the recipients of this year’s Langston Hughes Creative Writing Awards.

First presented in 1997, the awards recognize Douglas County writers of poetry and prose who, like Hughes, use their craft to share stories of human experience. The 2022 recipients receive a $500 prize and will share readings of their work at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St.


Poetry prize winner Faith Maddox recently earned a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing from the University of Kansas. She is a writer, artist and musician whose work explores personal vulnerability and the relationships between gender, spirituality and the natural world. An album of Maddox’s music, Subtle Hauntings, is scheduled for release in 2022 through French Exit Records.

Lawrence writer Brett Salsbury received the award for fiction. Salsbury is a native Kansan who earned a master of fine arts from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is currently the director of finance and development for Just Food. His writing has been featured recently in journals including the Westchester Review and deLuge, with additional pieces scheduled for release in The New Territory.

The Langston Hughes Awards, which took a hiatus in 2021, are co-sponsored by the Raven Book Store and the Lawrence Arts Center. The event recognizing this year’s award winners will also be a celebration of Hughes’ 120th birthday.

The event will be free and open to the public. Masks are required in addition to proof of full vaccination or a recent negative COVID test.

Past Langston Hughes Award Winners:

2020 Kate Lorenz // Tracey Lien

2019 Molly Weisgrau // Jameelah Jones

2018 Kim Condon // Rachel Atakpa 

2017 Mercedes Lucero // Chloe Seim 

2016 Kate Russell // Tai Amri Spann-Wilson 

2015 Alyse Bensel // Matthew O’Connell 

2014 Justin Runge // Crystal Boson

2013 Becky Mendelbaum // Brendan Allen

2012 Amy Ash // Callista Buchen // Iris Moulton 

2011 Mary Stone Dockery // Beth Reiber 


2010 Jeff Tigchelaar // Amy Stuber

2009 Judy Bauer // Nancy Pistorius

2008 Stephen Bunch // John Mark Connolly

2007 Jean Grant // Douglas M. Crawford-Parker

2006 Mary G. Wharff // Christopher Citro 

2005 Kevin Rabas // Max Keith Sutton 

2004 Tasha Haas // Nedra Rogers 

2003 Kelly Barth // Sarah Kanning

2002 Alice Ann White // Thomas Yeahpau

2001 Katrina Vandenberg // John Reimringer

2000 Joy Clumsky // Daniel Dyer 

1999 Gary Lechliter // Terry Wierman 

1998 Kathleen Johnson // Michele J. Lubbers

1997 Allan Grohe // Barbara Seaman 

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