The Georgia Writers Hall of Fame, begun by the University of Georgia Libraries in 2000, will receive a 2011 Governor’s Award in the Humanities Oct. 6 at an annual luncheon.
“We are delighted to learn that the Writers Hall of Fame will be recognized for fostering a greater appreciation of Georgia’s literary culture,” said Dr. P. Toby Graham, deputy university librarian, in a release.
The UGA Libraries established the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame (GWHF) to recognize Georgia writers, past and present, whose work reflects the character of the state – its land and its people.
Earlier this year, on March 22, Melissa Fay Greene, James Kilgo (1941-2002), Johnny Mercer (1909-1976), and Natasha Trethewey were inducted into the GWHF.
“I especially like the fact that the selection committee has always defined the state’s ‘writers’ in such broad terms – acknowledging the significance of the written work of people like Jimmy Carter, W.E.B. DuBois, and Elias Boudinot – and this year, songwriter Johnny Mercer,” history professor John Inscoe, editor of the New Georgia Encyclopedia, said. “As such, the Hall of Fame is as vital a resource for promoting Georgia history and culture as it is for the state’s more traditional literary heritage.”
Previous inductees to the GWHF include Joel Chandler Harris (1848-1908), well-known for his tales of Uncle Remus, and described by the GWHF as “the chronically shy, red-headed, illegitimate son of an Irish day-laborer [who] began his work as a typesetter and book reviewer, which led to editorial positions on papers in Forsyth, Savannah, and ultimately The Atlanta Constitution.” Harris is a charter member of the GWHF. Also a member of the GWHF is Robert Burch (1925-2007), a Fayette County native who wrote ground-breaking juvenile novels, geared toward both boys and girls, about growing up in the Georgia countryside in the 1930s and 40s. Burch was inducted to the GWHF in 2009.
The Governor’s Awards in the Humanities luncheon will be held at the Old Georgia Railroad Depot. Also recognized at the event will be UGA English Professor Judith Ortiz Cofer, who was inducted into the writer’s hall of fame in 2010, and former Georgia Poet Laureate David Bottoms, inducted in 2009. Tickets to the luncheon are $65 and can be purchased at www.GeorgiaHumanities.org.
More information on the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame, as well as biographies of the members, can be found at the GWHF website.