Students are often showcased for their great achievements and milestones, but sometimes there is a faculty member who should be recognized for their successful endeavors. Dr. Diana Polley recently won the Western Kentucky University’s (WKU) Warren Brooks Award for her book “Echoes of Emerson: Rethinking Realism in Twain, James, Wharton, and Cather.”

Named after Robert Penn Warren and Cleanth Brooks, this award is representative of the ideologies of two people who Polley described as “powerhouses in literary history and whose ideas and practices inform how [I] teach and write.”

Officials at The Robert Warren Penn Center at WKU said the award “was established by the Warren family to honor an outstanding work of literary scholarship that embodies the spirit, scope and integrity of the work produced by Warren and his frequent collaborator, Brooks.”

Polley won the award just around two years after publishing it.

The germ to write the book came to Polley in 2001 when she was in graduate school, and the book was officially published in 2017. She spent many years revising it before releasing it to the public.

Polley was actually unaware that she was in contention for the award as publishing companies submit author’s work without notifying them. So, when she was notified by Western Kentucky University about winning the award, she was surprised.

“I was pleasantly surprised,” she said. “In part because I didn’t know the book had been submitted for the award.”

The award was not the only thing that Polley gained from writing her book. Polley said that Echoes of Emerson inspired her to write a monograph about changes in masculinity during the 19th century.

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