The Georgia Writers Hall of Fame added four more literary talents to its roll on Monday with an induction ceremony at the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library on the University of Georgia campus.
Attending the ceremony were Southern culture and history author James C. Cobb, and poets Alfred Corn and Kevin Young. Renee Pearman of Middle Georgia State University accepted the award on behalf of novelist Eugenia Price, who died in 1996.
The Hall of Fame was created in 2000 with the induction of 12 writers and now contains 61 women and men who have distinguished themselves in writing. Some are Georgia natives, while others achieved success while living in Georgia.
Cobb is a long-time history professor at UGA, who retired last year and now lives in his native Hart County. Cobb is the “most imminent, most versatile scholar and writer on the American South today,” said UGA history professor John Inscoe, who introduced Cobb.
The author of several books on the south, Cobb said his mother, Modena, who was a “voracious reader” herself, was “the single greatest influence on my life.”
Corn’s vast body of work includes 10 books of poetry on numerous subjects, a novel, and literary criticisms on art and literature.
A native of Bainbridge who grew up in Valdosta, Corn said he was given a tour of Athens by Peggy Galis, a member of the Writers Hall of Fame Board of Judges. He told of his childhood in south Georgia, where he told stories to children in his neighborhood.
‘The instinct to narrate was instilled in me very early,” said Corn, who has taught at six universities across the nation.
Renee Pearman of Middle Georgia State University reviewed the substantial works of Eugenia Price, a writer whose books sold more than 40 million copies and were published in 14 different languages. The West Virginia native, was living in Chicago when she and a friend stopped at St. Simon’s Island. She became fascinated by the people and landscape of the Golden Isles, which became the setting for a trilogy of books that cemented her place in historical fiction.
Price left Chicago and lived at St. Simons for 31 years, where Pearman said Price became a voice for protecting the coastal environment.
“I believe Ms. Price would be proud and humbled that she is being inducted in the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame,” Pearman said.
Jericho Brown, an associate professor of creative writing at Emory University, praised the numerous works of Young, his colleague who taught at Emory for nearly a decade. Brown described Young — who at 47 years of age is one of the youngest inductees in the Hall — as a literary prodigy.
“He is first a poet,” Brown said.
Young was born in Nebraska to parents who were from rural Louisiana, but he has strong ties to Athens as he lived here for 17 years and taught at UGA. Young, who has written 11 books of poetry, read a poem from a book he wrote while living in Athens.
Young became poetry editor for The New Yorker magazine this month.