First, the news . . .
The Modern Language Association of America announced earlier this week that it is awarding its thirty-sixth Mina P. Shaughnessy Prize to Vivette Milson-Whyte, senior lecturer in language, linguistics, and philosophy at the University of the West Indies, Mona; Raymond A. Oenbring, assistant professor of English and linguistics at the University of the Bahamas; and Brianne Jaquette, associate professor in the Department of Language, Literature, Mathematics, and Interpreting at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, for their book Creole Composition: Academic Writing and Rhetoric in the Anglophone Caribbean, published by Parlor Press. The prize is awarded for an outstanding work on language, culture, literature, or literacy with strong application to the teaching of English. Here is what the selection committee wrote:
Creole Composition: Academic Writing and Rhetoric in the Anglophone Caribbean, edited by Vivette Milson-Whyte, Raymond Oenbring, and Brianne Jaquette, is politically attuned, well researched, and cohesive. It is both ambitious and focused, casting a wide net around the conditions for the teaching of composition, the technology and equipment needed, and the problem and value of resistance. While the focus is almost exclusively on specific issues faced by those living and working in the Caribbean, the analyses have clear implications for the teaching of composition more broadly. Creole Composition is also a model for local communities to reflect on and study themselves, their teaching practices, their students, and their institutions and to do so in close dialogue with theories of language, pedagogy, rhetoric and composition, and social context.
Second, why this recognition matters for Parlor Press and its authors . . .
As the citation from MLA notes, Creole Composition is a major achievement shared by its editors and all of the contributors. The previous thirty-five winners of the Shaughnessy Prize were published by major university presses or international commercial publishers. This is the first for a publisher like Parlor Press, which is run and supported exclusively by writers and scholars in the respective fields we represent. The recognition also signals to current and future authors that Parlor Press books and series editors match up with the best of them and that with experience, expertise, and hard work anything is possible.