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Shara McCallum wins silver Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica.

Jamaican poet Shara McCallum, current Penn State Laureate and Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English, has been awarded the silver Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica.

The Musgrave Medal is awarded to those who demonstrate excellence in literature, the arts and science, and is the oldest such award in the Western hemisphere (founded in 1889).

The Institute of Jamaica awarded the medal to McCallum for her 'extensive high-quality work in relation to her numerous collections and accolades, as well as being a nurturer of Jamaican talent'.

No Ruined Stone is a verse novel which imagines the Scottish poet Robert Burns' life had he migrated to Jamaica as an accountant on a plantation, as he initially planned, rather than staying in Scotland to enjoy the success brought by his poetry.

Speaking of the book, McCallum said, 'It is a question not only for history but for our present moment: How, as individuals and nations, do we hold the ideals we profess yet take actions that fall short of our beliefs?'

She continued, 'Writing No Ruined Stone gave me the opportunity to explore again this and other questions involving personal and collective accounts of history, for which we don’t have easy answers.'

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