Beaufort News

This children’s author and poet is the first honored with Pat Conroy award

Kwame Alexander is the first recipient of the Conroy Legacy Award, named for late Beaufort author Pat Conroy.
Kwame Alexander is the first recipient of the Conroy Legacy Award, named for late Beaufort author Pat Conroy. Submitted photo

An honor created to carry on Pat Conroy’s memory has its first recipient.

Kwame Alexander, a Virginia-based children’s author and poet, is the first recipient of the Conroy Legacy Award, the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance announced Friday.

The award was established this year to recognize writers who support independent bookstores and other authors, and who write about their home communities, a news release said.

“I met Pat once,” Alexander was quoted in the news release. “He was witty, connected, caring, and a brilliant storyteller – as much in person as he was on the page. He was all the things a writer should want to be. All the things I’ve wanted to be. I am filled with wonderment and humbled deeply to be honored in his remembrance.”

Alexander has written 24 books, including the 2014 novel “The Crossover,” which received the 2015 John Newberry Medal for Most Distinguished Contribution to American Literature for Children, the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor, The NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award and the Paterson Poetry Prize.

Stephen Fastenau: 843-706-8182, @IPBG_Stephen

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