Though the vagaries of the current economic disruption have caused a parting of the ways between Isthmus and former staff writer Kent Williams, the two continue to be linked in ways that redound to the benefit of both parties.
As I mentioned in my column last month announcing Williams' departure from the staff, he garnered numerous awards for his writing during his tenure at Isthmus, including many Milwaukee Press Club awards for Excellence in Wisconsin Journalism. Word came this week that the MPC has again awarded him first place in Critical Review of the Arts. By our estimation this is the 10th time he has snagged the trophy. But who's counting?
Williams' win this year is credited to his review of last summer's blockbuster movie The Dark Knight, titled "Best Batman Ever" (7/25/08). Williams masterfully dissects the moral conundrums the film describes and analyzes the late Heath Ledger's innovative interpretation of the Joker character.
For this he will be honored, along with many other journalism award winners, at the MPC's 79th Gridiron Awards Dinner in Milwaukee on April 24. Featured speaker at the affair will be Sports Illustrated writer and author Frank Deford.
The Milwaukee Press Club may be one of the oldest press clubs in America, but it's not the only one. Los Angeles has one too, and next week it holds its Second Annual National Entertainment Journalism Awards presentations. Among the five nominees for print critic of the year is Kent Williams. In this competition he's up against critics from the Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg Muse, Las Vegas Review-Journal and L.A. Weekly. We, of course, wish Williams luck, but we're impressed just by the nomination.
And what is he up to these days? Well, to be succinct, he's trying to break through to the next level, or levels, of professional writing. His past performance certainly recommends his future.