Joanna Catherine Scott
Filed under: Authors
Born during an air raid over London, Joanna Catherine Scott was raised in Australia by a mother who had been a radio actress but got saved and became instead a Pentecostal preacher, exorcist and healer, and a father who was very silent. She tutored formal logic and British analytic philosophy at the University of Western Australia where she met a visiting Ph.D. student from Duke who persuaded her that Duke was better than Oxford, so she gave up her scholarship and followed him to Duke where she did an MA in Philosophy, then went to work as a consultant in the nuclear electric industry, writing words for engineers who couldn't write.
In the eighties she went to live in Manila where her husband was ambassador to the Asian Development Bank. There she wrote her first book, Indochina's Refugees: Oral Histories from Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, taping interviews while sitting in the dust at the refugee camp in Bataan. After adopting three Korean orphans, she and her husband came back to the US, raised them with enormous effort, and now live in Chapel Hill where Scott is a full time novelist and poet.
Ms. Scott has published three novels: Pursuing Pauline, a bedroom farce set against the women's revolution; Charlie and the Children, a war story set in Vietnam (VVA Veteran Book-of-the-Month); and The Lucky Gourd Shop, a novel of South Korea inspired by the true story of her adopted children's family (Book Sense Top Ten Titles and Book Sense 76 pick).
New Jerusalem, a collection of poems set in Australia, won the Capricorn Poetry Award. Birth Mother, poetry of adoption, won the Longleaf Award and is available from Longleaf Press (contact firstname.lastname@example.org). Coming Down from Bataan, poetry of the Philippines, won the Acorn-Rukesyer Award from Mekler & Deahl.
Ms. Scott's awards for the short story are from Literal Latté, Georgia State University Review, and Crucible and she has numerous awards for individual poems, most recently the americas review Award for Social Poetry and the 2002 North Carolina Poet Laureate Award.
Ms. Scott sponsors the Joanna Catherine Scott Award for Formal Poetry offered by the North Carolina Poetry Society and the Joanna Catherine Scott Novel Excerpt Prize offered by PEN/Nob Hill in San Francisco.
Winning Entry: Lying in the Dark
Contest Won: War Poetry Contest 2002, Finalist