ST. GEORGE — A plaque recognizing the contributions the late Annie Atkin Tanner made to the Southern Utah literary community, and Dixie State University students specifically, was dedicated in the university’s Holland Centennial Commons July 20.
Commissioned by Tanner’s last surviving child, Jordan Tanner, and his wife, Pat Tanner, the plaque honors Annie Atkin Tanner, who was born in St. George and was a member of Dixie Academy’s first graduating class in 1913.
Annie Atkin Tanner, a prolific and talented writer, accompanied her zoologist/entomologist husband on trips into the field and wrote poetry and stories surrounded by nature that inspired her.
During the ceremony, Jordan Tanner presented President Richard B. Williams with a $25,000 endowment to go toward the Annie Atkin Tanner Memorial Poetry Scholarship Fund.
Vasco M. Tanner established the scholarship fund in 1972 in memory of his wife after she passed away. Each spring, the scholarship fund awards prizes to first-, second- and third-place finishers in the annual Annie Atkin Tanner Memorial Poetry Scholarship Contest. Poems submitted by students to The Southern Quill, a literary journal that includes poems, short stories and artwork, are automatically considered for the prizes.
The editorial staff of The Southern Quill reviews the entries, identifies the strongest contenders and sends them to the Tanner family to select the winners. Produced each spring, the student-edited journal has been in circulation since 1951 and includes submissions from Southern Utah residents of all ages.
The plaque aptly hangs in the Holland Centennial Commons, the center of the English department, where students study, give presentations and work on group projects. Students majoring in English at Dixie State develop writing skills that are useful in numerous professions and broaden their understanding of the complex relationship between the aesthetic and intellectual aspects of literature and the cultural environment in which important literary works were produced.
English majors can choose from four emphasis options: creative writing, English education, literary studies and professional and technical writing.
- For more information about Dixie State University’s English Department, visit the Dixie State University website
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