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Poet Maggie Smith to Receive 2023 Raymond J. Hanley Award

in Press Releases October 4, 2023 2 min read

Credit Devon Albeit Photography

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Poet Maggie Smith, known for her collections of poetry, recent memoir You Could Make This Place Beautiful and viral hit “Good Bones,” has been selected as the 15th recipient of the Raymond J. Hanley Award.

The annual award from the Greater Columbus Arts Council’s (GCAC) Raymond J. Hanley Fund at The Columbus Foundation is given to an artist who has demonstrated a high level of achievement while working at least five years in the arts in Columbus in any discipline. The award money of $15,000 is given without restriction, so that the artist can use it to further his or her career as needed. The winner is selected by a committee of the GCAC board of trustees.

Born in Columbus in 1977, Maggie Smith holds a BA from Ohio Wesleyan University and an MFA from The Ohio State University. She is the author of seven books of poetry and prose, including Lamp of the Body, The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison, Good Bones, Goldenrod, and Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change. Her memoir You Could Make This Place Beautiful, released in April, was an instant New York Times bestseller. Her next book, My Thoughts Have Wings, an illustrated picture book for children, will be published in February 2024. Smith’s poems and essays have appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Guardian, TIME, The Nation, The Atlantic and The Best American Poetry. A 2011 recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Smith has also received multiple Individual Excellence Awards from the Ohio Arts Council. She lives in Bexley with her two children.

Smith will be honored at the GCAC’s Big Arts Night on Thursday, Nov. 2 at the Southern Theatre and Westin Great Southern Hotel. Visit to reserve your free seat now!

The Raymond J. Hanley Fund at The Columbus Foundation was created by past chairs of the GCAC board upon Hanley’s death in 2006. It is administered by GCAC and continues the spirit of advocacy, partnership and support for artists that GCAC has encouraged since its inception.

Mission of the Greater Columbus Arts Council: To support and advance the arts and cultural fabric of Columbus.

The Greater Columbus Arts Council receives major financial support from the City of Columbus, Franklin County Commissioners, the Ohio Arts Council and The Ohio State University.

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CONTACT: Jami Goldstein
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