The English Academy of Southern Africa announced this week that the 2011 Thomas Pringle Award for Reviews goes to me for a portfolio of reviews I published in the paper during this year. The Thomas Pringle Awards recognise writers who have demonstrated extraordinary insights in their work. It is an annual award for work published in newspapers, periodicals and journals. They are awarded on a rotation basis for: a book, play, film or TV review; a literary article or substantial book review; an article on English education; a short story or one-act play; one or more poems.
The adjudicators of the award noted the following about my work:
“In reading Corrigall's reviews, one is struck by one outstanding quality - her acuity. Whether she is reading words on a page or looking at shapes and colours at an art or photography exhibition, Corrigall has a particularly rare capacity to see things sharply and keenly. Quite apart from Corrigall's sharpness of perception, however, there is also a pleasing lucidity in the way she writes about the different media she focuses on. Her reviews are commendable, therefore, not only for their insights, but also for the crisp and energetic manner in which these insights are expressed.”
This is the second time that I have won the award. In 2009 I was awarded for a body of reviews published in 2008. So few journalistic or arts awards recognise excellence in art criticism or writing, though everyone acknowledges that quality writing in this sphere must be sustained. For that reason this award is important - it shows that our work is valued!