S.C. Arts Awards Spotlight Series: Ed Madden

Governor’s Award: Individual Category

As the day nears for the 2022 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is focusing on this year’s recipients: four receiving the South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts and three 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.

Ed Madden is a poet, activist, and a professor of English, with a focus on Irish literature, at the University of South Carolina.

Ed Madden (left) received his Governor’s Award from SCAC Executive Director David Platts on May 19, 2022. Click image to enlarge. SCAC photo by Jason Rapp.

There, he is also director of the women’s and gender studies program. His academic areas of specialization include Irish culture; British and Irish poetry; LGBTQ literature, sexuality studies, and history of sexuality; and creative writing and poetry.

In 2015, Madden was named Columbia’s first poet laureate, a post he maintains today. His poetry collection Prodigal: Variations was published in 2011. His chapbook, My Father’s House, was runner-up for the 2011 Robin Becker Chapbook Prize. His latest books of poetry are Nest (2014) and Ark (2016).

Madden is author of several critical articles on modern British and Irish poetry including Tiresian Poetics: Modernism, Sexuality, Voice, 1888-2001, a book on representations of Tiresian liminality in modernist poetry. He co-edited two texts, Irish Studies: Geographies and Genders, and The Emergence of Man into the 21st Century – an anthology of essays and poems on male experience. Finally, he penned “An Open Letter to My Christian Friends,” which makes appearances in various textbooks, including Everything’s an Argument.

In addition to his literary criticism, he also publishes on issues involving sexuality and spirituality. He has published “Gospels of Inversion: Literature, Scripture, Sexology” in a collection of essays entitled Divine Aporia: Postmodern Conversation About the Other (edited by John C. Hawley). Another foray into the intersection of religion, literature, and sex came in the essay “The Well of Loneliness, or the Gospel According to Radclyffe Hall,” published in Reclaiming the Sacred: The Bible in Gay and Lesbian Culture.

Madden has been a South Carolina Academy of Authors Fellow in poetry twice and was South Carolina Arts Commission Prose Fellow in 2011. In 2019 he was named a Poet Laureate Fellow of the Academy of American Poets and a visiting artist fellow at the Instituto Sacatar in Bahia, Brazil. He has been writer-in-residence at the Riverbanks Botanical Garden and at Fort Moultrie in Charleston as part of the state’s African American Heritage Corridor project. He also works with the South Carolina Poetry Initiative and was 2006 artist-in-residence for South Carolina State Parks.

Madden won the single-poem contest co-sponsored by The State newspaper and the South Carolina Poetry Initiative (with “Prodigal: Variations”) and won the South Carolina Poetry Book Prize, with Signals, published by the UofSC Press. He was selected as one of the top 50 New Poets by Meridian Magazine (which is published by the University of Virginia Press) for his poem, “Sacrifice,” which was included in the Best New Poets of 2007 anthology.

The South Carolina Arts Awards are coming live to SCETV on Monday, June 13, 2022 at 9 p.m. ET.

South Carolina ETV, the state’s public educational broadcasting network, will broadcast the awards ceremony through its 11-station TV network that spans the state. Viewers can access the broadcast via livestream on the homepage of SCETV.org; by using a digital antenna; or through cable, satellite, and streaming live TV providers. Further information about accessing SCETV is available here.