S.C. Arts Awards: Marjory Wentworth

2021 Recipient Feature Series

As the day nears for the 2021 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is focusing on this year’s recipients: seven receiving the South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts and two receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina.

Marjory Wentworth

Special Award | Governor’s Awards for the Arts

Marjory Wentworth, erstwhile poet laureate of the state of South Carolina, is the New York Times bestselling author of Out of Wonder, Poems Celebrating Poets (with Kwame Alexander and Chris Colderley). She is the co-writer of We Are Charleston, Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel, with Herb Frazier and Dr. Bernard Powers and Taking a Stand, The Evolution of Human Rights, with Juan E. Mendez. She is co-editor, with Kwame Dawes, of Seeking, Poetry and Prose inspired by the Art of Jonathan Green, and the author of the prizewinning children’s story Shackles. Her books of poetry include Noticing Eden, Despite Gravity, The Endless Repetition of an Ordinary Miracle and New and Selected Poems. Her poems have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize six times.

Wentworth serves on the board of advisors at The Global Social Justice Practice Academy, and she is a 2020 National Coalition Against Censorship Free Speech is for Me Advocate.

She teaches courses in writing, social justice and banned books at the College of Charleston and formerly taught courses at The Citadel and Art Institute of Charleston in addition to instructing courses through Roper Hospital and the Medical University of South Carolina. Her career in education began with teaching creative writing at the Charleston County School of the Arts. Since 2012 she serves as an artist in residence with Engaging Creative Minds.


…Marjory has been an indefatigable champion for the arts across the state. The office was not ceremonial for her: it was a calling. For 17 years she has followed that calling all over the state, from library to library and school to school, tirelessly (and usually without compensation) promoting the arts, literacy, and creativity to thousands of students, elementary school to college, and teaching us all how writing can help us to understand our world…

Dr. Ed Madden
Professor of English
University of South Carolina

The South Carolina Arts Awards stream live Monday, May 24, 2021. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. on SouthCarolinaArts.com. There is no in-person event in 2021. The virtual ceremony will be available on demand from the S.C. Arts Commission YouTube Channel after the livestream presentation.

Meet the Recipients

Use these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2021 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.