To a Father, with Love
… “Dad, I don’t know if you can hear me or not. But I love you; I will always love you.” And, what I noticed then, was how good it felt to touch him, to be physically close when for so many years he didn’t hold me, hug me, embrace me, or say those words which I longed to hear: “I love you, son.”
When Ed Sellner’s father died of a stroke seven days after his 74th birthday, the St. Kate’s professor of theology decided it was time to better understand his emotionally distant dad. The excerpt above comes from the introduction of his book The Double: Male Eros, Friendships, and Mentoring — from Gilgamesh to Kerouac.
Recently, the book’s first chapter, “Physician to One’s Pain,” earned Sellner St. Kate’s annual 2014 Denny Prize for Distinction in Non-Fiction Writing.
“It is always difficult, as full-time faculty members, to find time not only to teach well, advise students and serve on various committees, but to also do the kind of research and reflection that goes into any written piece,” says Sellner, who won the very first Denny Prize in 1995. “I always believed, however, that the effort to write contributed significantly to my own teaching, and my students’ comments and questions in class contributed to my writing process.”
Submissions for this year’s Denny Prize came from an impressive group of faculty and staff writers. The awards are presented in honor of Eleanor McCahill Denny ’26, who credited St. Catherine professors for her abiding love of the written word.
THE OTHER WINNERS:
DENNY PRIZE FOR CREATIVE WRITING — April Gibson, assistant director O’Neill Center, The Draping of Broods poetry collection
HONORABLE MENTION — Karen Guth, assistant professor of theology, To See from Below: Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Mandates and Feminist Ethics (nonfiction)
HONORABLE MENTION — Elizabeth Fontaine, assistant professor of liberal arts and sciences, for her short story Tulsi Baug (creative).
SAVE THE DATE
Thursday, October 30
Joan Chittister, OSB, will give the 2014 Myser Initiative on Catholic Identity lecture. She is a best-selling author and international speaker on topics of human rights, women’s issues and contemporary spirituality in the Church and in society.