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March 09, 2017, 09:47:00 AM

Rosenblatt Honored for Shaping American Literature

October 23, 2015- 5:04 PM

GAMBIER, Ohio — Roger Rosenblatt, author of “Kayak Morning” and “Making Toast” among numerous books, essays, plays and award-winning journalism, is the recipient of the 2015 Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement.

Rosenblatt is the 15th person to win the honor from one of the country’s oldest and most respected literary magazines, given to writers whose influence has shaped the American literary landscape. He will accept the prize at a benefit gala on Thursday, Nov. 5, in New York City.

"The KR literary award is the professional honor of my life. That's the truth,” Rosenblatt said.

The award recognizes careers of extraordinary literary value and celebrates courage of vision, unparalleled imagination and the beauty of the winners' art. Past recipients include Elie Wiesel, Margaret Atwood and Joyce Carol Oates.

Rosenblatt’s work probes the human condition with a wry sense of humor and penetrating point of view, appearing in Time, “PBS NewsHour,” six off-Broadway plays and 17 books, including bestsellers “Unless It Moves the Human Heart,” “Rules for Aging” and “Children of War.”

"He has been one of America’s most distinguished writers for four decades," said Review editor David Lynn, a professor of English at Kenyon College, home to the literary magazine.

As part of receiving the award, Rosenblatt headlined a literary festival this fall at the central Ohio college, where he discussed his book “Kayak Morning: Reflections on Love, Grief, and Small Boats.” Describing his solitude in his kayak in the mornings, the book explores handling grief after the death of his 38-year-old daughter, Amy Solomon, from an undetected heart condition

The New York gala, featuring exceptional food and wine at the Four Seasons Restaurant, previously has included luminaries such as Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Gloria Vanderbilt and the late George Plimpton. Proceeds benefit the magazine and its programs for young writers at Kenyon, one of the nation’s top liberal arts schools that traces its literary prominence to 1939, when poet and critic John Crowe Ransom founded the Review. The college has distinguished itself as an exceptional institution for aspiring writers, counting E.L. Doctorow, Laura Hillenbrand and John Green among its alumni.

Even Rosenblatt quipped, “There's no place like Kenyon for a writer.”

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