May 28, 2015 — Philip J. Metres III, a professor of English at John Carroll University in Cleveland, has been named the inaugural recipient of the George W. Hunt, S.J. Prize for Excellence in Journalism, Arts & Letters.
Selected by the boards of trustees of America Media and the Saint Thomas More Chapel and Center at Yale University, Metres will be awarded a $25,000 prize at a reception at the Saint Thomas More Chapel and Center in September, where he will also deliver a lecture to be published later as a cover story in America magazine.
A poet and essayist, Metres’ writing — which has appeared widely, including in Best American Poetry — has been called “beautiful, powerful, magnetically original.” His poems have been translated into Arabic, Polish, Russian and Tamil.
After graduating from the College of the Holy Cross in 1992, Metres spent the following year in Russia on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, pursuing an independent project called “Contemporary Russian Poetry and Its Response to Historical Change.” Since receiving a Ph.D. in English and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Indiana University in 2001, Metres has written a number of books, including “A Concordance of Leaves” (2013), “abu ghraib arias” (2011), and “To See the Earth” (2008).
“Philip Metres’ work encapsulates both the breadth and spirit of the Hunt Prize,” said Jesuit Father Matt Malone, president and editor-in-chief of America Media. “His poetry, literature and translations are infused with a deep sense of justice and concern for others, the kind of graceful sympathy that characterized George Hunt’s writing.”
The George W. Hunt, S.J. Prize for Excellence in Journalism, Arts & Letters, was established in 2014. The Hunt Prize was made possible through the generous gift of Mr. Fay Vincent, Jr., a longtime and cherished friend of the late Jesuit Father George Hunt, the longest-tenured editor-in-chief of America magazine. The Hunt Prize seeks to encourage writers under the age of 45 who employ a Catholic imagination in their writing. [Source: America Magazine]