Gonzaga literature and writing professor and acclaimed poet Tod Marshall will been honored with the Humanities Washington Award, which he'll receive at the Spokane Bedtime Stories fundraiser in October.
Originated in 1995, the Humanities Washington Award is granted to two individuals a year who exemplify "outstanding achievement in the public humanities." Marshall will be honored with the Humanities Scholarship and Service award.
Marshall, a first-generation college graduate, has been spreading the humanities to people of all ages and backgrounds around Washington. Originally from Kansas, Marshall earned his MFA from Eastern Washington University and then a PhD from the University of Kansas before settling in Spokane to teach English courses to Gonzaga students. Beyond his career as a university professor, Marshall was also a participant in a Humanities Washington program called Clemente Course in the Humanities. The course provides humanities education to low-income, college-aged students who might not otherwise be able to engage in such a course.
Outside his work with college students, Marshall has also been devoted to a program called Prime Time Family Reading
. As a scholar for the program, he helped to integrate reading and storytelling into the lives of at-risk families, teaching how important exposure to books is for all children. He worked to finalize the most successful curriculum for the program, and continuously attempts to up the level participation.
Marshall is the author of three collections of poetry: Dare Say
(2002), The Tangled Line
(2009) and most recently Bugle,
which was released this past December. Self-described as "more Dante's Inferno
than anything else," Bugle
is Marshall's darkest collection of the three. In his interview with the Inlander
at the end of last year, he said that a central theme for the collection was the ability to still be able to find some good in disturbing situations, and went on to say that "memories in which we hold little bits of trauma" were yet another source of inspiration.
The Bedtime Stories fundraiser will be held October 23 at the Spokane Club for the official presentation of the award.