Apr 15, 2010 at 2:26 pm

The Metro Times has received six awards — including top honors in two categories — in an annual contest held by the Detroit chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Competing against the city’s two major daily papers, MT Arts & Culture Editor Travis R. Wright won first place in the criticism category for his review of a Leonard Cohen concert. Calling the piece “great,” one judge wrote that Wright’s prose really made them want to be at the show. Wright accomplished the rare feat of taking home an award for photography as well as writing by capturing second place in the feature photography category for his cover photo of poet M.L. Liebler.

Also winning first place at the awards ceremony held Wednesday evening in Troy was the MT freelance contributor who writes under the name Detroitblogger John. He won in the feature writing category for his moving portrayal of an impoverished Detroit family. “this unique profile of a struggling family says so much about the last year,” wrote the judges. “The writer has a clear sense for the human condition and an eloquent talent for conveying that to readers.” Noting the strength of the competition in this category, the judges added, “Detroitblogger wins because his article combines an inspiring command of storytelling with an ability to find and connect with his subjects.”

Film critic Jeff Meyers took home a second place award for his reviews that judges commended for their “great use of film history. “Also capturing a second place award was editorial cartoonist Mikhaela Reid.

Editor W. Kim Heron and News Editor Curt Guyette received an honorable mention for their editorial endorsing candidate Ken Cockrel in last year’s Detroit mayoral race. Guyette was also one of three finalists in the journalist of the year competition won by Jennifer Dixon of the Free Press. Judges praised his coverage of issues surrounding Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel “Matty” Moroun, and described as “groundbreaking” a story he did about the problem of poor parents losing their children to the child welfare system.

“Nobody does an official per capita count at the awards,” said Heron, “but year after year, our small staff plus our core freelancers continue to leave these award dinners with more than our share of accolades. It’s a fine testament to the hard work of a great crew.”

Speaking of Mikhaela Reid, some readers have asked about her recent absence from the paper. With motherhood impending, Reid has called a halt to her “Boiling Point” feature. MT expects to add a new cartoon in the near future.

Full details of all awards at at