The University of Georgia Library has announced the 2009 inductees for the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame. Coleman Barks, who taught poetry and creative writing at UGA for more than 30 years, and Georgia poet laureate David Bottoms, whose honors include the Walt Whitman Award, will be inducted at the ceremony in March, along with two posthumous honorees: Raymond Andrews and Robert Burch.
Barks received worldwide acclaim for his translations of the work of the Sufi mystic Jelaluddin Rumi. He has also published six collections of his own poetry.
Bottoms first book, Shooting Rats at the Bibb County Dump, was chosen by Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist and poet Robert Penn Warren from more than 1,300 submissions as winner of the 1979 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets. He teaches at Georgia State University where he co-founded the literary journal Five Points.
Raymond Andrews was born into a sharecropping family in rural Georgia in 1934. He won the James Baldwin prize for his first novel, Appalachee Red, and went on to publish two more novels in what would become known as his Muskhogean Trilogy. Walter Cronkite called Andrews’ first memoir, The Last Radio Baby, “One of the truest and best pieces of writing I have ever come across.” Andrews died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Athens, GA, in 1991.
Robert Burch is the author of 19 books and is best known for his children’s stories, including Queenie Peavy and Ida Early Comes Over the Mountain. Burch’s stories frequently focus on rural life during the Great Depression. Burch died Christmas Day, 2007.
The ceremony takes place at March 24 in the Frank Daniel Foley, Jr. Rotunda of the Miller Learning Center. There will also be an Author’s Discussion on March 23 at at the Reading Room of the Miller Center. Both events are free and open to the public. Join in, and be a part of Georgia literary history.