WCU Cherokee studies professor wins Oklahoma book award

Robert Conley, the Sequoyah Distinguished Professor of Cherokee Studies at Western Carolina University, is winner of the 2009 Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Oklahoma Center for the Book.

An enrolled member of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, Conley is a noted scholar and prolific author, with poems, short stories, articles and 80 books of fiction and nonfiction to his credit.

The Oklahoma Center for the Book, a state affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, encourages interest in books and reading. Named for the center’s first president, the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award is given annually and honors Oklahomans who have contributed to the state’s literary heritage. Past winners include Joy Harjo, S.E. Hinton, N. Scott Momaday and Tony Hillerman.

For more information about the Cherokee studies program at Western Carolina University, call 828.227.2306.

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