On Saturday, June 19, the sixth annual Nine Mile Community Arts Award was presented to David Lloyd, director of Le Moyne’s Creative Writing Program, at the YMCA/Downtown Writers Center. Sponsored by Nine Mile Books and Magazine, the award is given annually to a person who has shown “significant contribution in the arts of writing and poetry in this community.”
Nine Mile founders and editors Bob Herz and Steve Kuusisto noted that as director of the Le Moyne program, Lloyd has partnered with local art organizations, including the Downtown Writer's Center and Nine Mile. He has instituted a series of poetry readings and craft talks with diverse writers, including Hayden Carruth, Adrienne Rich, Linda Gregg, Michael Harper, Jack Gilbert, Jackie Warren-Moore, Phil Memmer and many others, that brings the town, the College, and the national poetry community closer together. He is author of 10 books, including three poetry collections, two story collections, and a novel, and has won the Poetry Society of America’s Robert H. Winner Memorial Award and two Fulbrights.
“First, congratulations to all the winners tonight,” Herz said. “Not only for your much-deserved achievement, and its recognition with the awards given, but also for what comes with these awards for your area — the increasing recognition that we and you and all of us together are slowly but surely and wonderfully creating a literary community here in CNY. Each year here the CNY awardees get better, the quality of the work gets better, the publications get better.”
“We instituted the Nine Mile Community Award as a way to recognize that fact and to recognize someone who has done something significant for this community or writers and artists,” Kuusisto said. “Community is so important, a fact to which I can testify as someone who hails from a marginalized community. As a blind person I’ve been on the outside most of my life. Working to overcome this I’ve learned a few things about what community really means. It means celebrating our respective talents, hopes, ambitions, with an eye toward making the civic square larger. This is a form of celebration. It is important that we take the time to honor our local leaders who’ve worked hard to promote literary work in our place.”