The Independent‘s venerable longtime columnist Hal Crowther has recently been awarded yet another recognition of distinction: A 2001 Lillian Smith Book Award, presented by the Southern Regional Council, for his collection of essays, Cathedrals of Kudzu. The awards are presented each year in tribute to Smith, the eminent mid 20th-century Southern writer and activist.

In praise of Crowther’s collection, Duke University English professor and Smith jury member Elizabeth Cox writes, “Hal Crowther has written many articles and essays over the years that have moved me, angered me, or disturbed me into a new way of thinking. This new book, Cathedrals of Kudzu, is his best work–a blend of intelligence and great heart that proves to be a worthy celebration.”