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Georgia’s Poet Laureate is Judson Mitcham, an award-winning poet and novelist. He was born in Monroe, Georgia, where he grew up and where much of his work is centered. His poetry has been widely published in literary journals, including Poetry, Chattahoochee Review, Harper’s, Georgia Review, Hudson Review, and Southern Review. His first poetry collection, Somewhere in Ecclesiastes, earned him both the Devins Award and recognition as Georgia Author of the Year. He has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Creative Writing and has been the recipient of a Pushcart Prize. Mitcham is also the first writer to twice win the Townsend Prize for Fiction – once for his first novel, The Sweet Everlasting and then for his second, Sabbath Creek. He received his Ph.D. in 1974 and began teaching psychology at Fort Valley State University, where he taught until his retirement in 2004. He has served as adjunct professor of creative writing at the University of Georgia, Georgia College & State University, and Emory University, where he directed the Summer Writers’ Institute. Mitcham currently teaches writing at Mercer University in Macon. His most recent book is A Little Salvation: Poems Old and New, published by the University of Georgia Press
The position of Georgia’s poet laureate was established in 1925. Previous laureates include Oliver F. Reeves, Conrad Aiken, John R. Lewis, and Agnes Bramblett, the state’s first female to serve in the position. In addition to increasing literacy awareness, the poet laureate is also featured at public events and interacts with diverse audiences in a variety of communities.
Georgia’s poet laureate Judson Mitcham and the late Toni Cade Bambara were inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame on November 11, 2013 at 10 a.m. The Georgia Writer's Hall of Fame recognizes Georgia writers, past and present, whose work reflects the character of the state - its land and people.
As part of the induction ceremony, Mitcham along with GCA announced a new series of statewide initiatives to foster appreciation for and awareness of the art of poety and the work of Georgia writers.
To request an appearance by Judson Mitcham at an event, please complete and submit the Georgia Poet Laureate Appearance Request Form.