On Craftsmanship (essay) & 1991 State of Human Rights Address

Jimmy Carter (b. 1924), former governor of Georgia and thirty-ninth president of the United States, is the author of numerous books, ranging from memoir to policy analysis to poetry. With The Hornet’s Nest (2003), a work of historical fiction, he became the first U.S. president to publish a novel. His collection of essays, Our Endangered Values: America’s Moral Crisis (2005), was a national bestseller and was honored by the Georgia Writers Association; his nonfiction book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid (2006) generated international attention and some controversy. His latest books include A Remarkable Mother (2008), a memoir of Lillian Carter; We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land: a Plan That Will Work (2009); White House Diary (2010); and Through the Year with Jimmy Carter: 366 Daily Meditations from the 39th President (Zondervan, 2011) with Steve Halliday. After leaving office in 1981, he founded the Carter Center in Atlanta and has remained active in international politics and human rights advocacy. In 2002 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. (Inducted in 2006)

James Dickey and Georgia

Ward Briggs is Carolina Distinguished Professor of Classics emeritus and Louise Fry Scudder Professor of Humanities emeritus at the University of South Carolina.

From Unmailed Letters Mailed Late & Letter to Arthur Penn

Calder Willingham (1922–1995) published ten novels, including two classic tales set in Georgia, Eternal Fire (1963) and Rambling Rose (1972). In addition to writing his own novels, Willingham’s screenwriting credits for such notable directors as Stanley Kubrick, Robert Altman, Mike Nichols, Richard Fleischer, Elia Kazan, Arthur Penn, and Marlon Brando included Paths of Glory, The Vikings, The Graduate, One-Eyed Jacks, Little Big Man, and Thieves Like Us; his uncredited work included varying degrees of involvement with such productions as Spartacus, The Bridge over the River Kwai, Lolita, Patton, and Malcolm X. (Inducted in 2008)

Letter to the Editor & From The Black Notebook

Byron Herbert Reece (1917–1958) was the author of four books of poetry and two novels. During his short career he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in poetry for Bow Down in Jericho (1950), earned two Guggenheim Fellowships, and served as writer-in-residence at the University of California at Los Angeles, Emory University in Atlanta, and Young Harris College in Towns County, Georgia. Despite being praised by Atlanta Constitution editor and fellow Georgia Writers Hall of Fame honoree Ralph McGill as “one of the really great poets of our time, and one to stand with those of any other time,” Reece never achieved wide recognition. Born near Blood Mountain, Reece often found his studies and writing efforts interrupted by his responsibilities on the family farm and to his parents—both of whom suffered from tuberculosis, a disease he eventually contracted himself. Worn down by depression and illness, Reece took his own life on the campus of Young Harris College in 1958. (Inducted in 2001)

Truth: The Road or the Rug (on Carson McCullers)

Alice Friman’s seventh collection of poetry is Blood Weather, forthcoming from Louisiana State University Press in 2019. She’s the winner of a Pushcart Prize and is included in Best American Poetry. New work is forthcoming in PloughsharesPlume, Shenandoah, Western Humanities Review, and others. She lives in Milledgeville, Georgia, where she was poet-in-residence at Georgia College and State University.

From The Confessions of Willie Styron

John Oliver Killens (1916–1987), an influential essayist, novelist, screenwriter, and teacher, was born in Macon. Co-founder of the Harlem Writers Guild and a vice-president of the Black Academy of Arts and Letters, Killens worked as a teacher and lecturer at many schools and universities, including Fisk, Howard, and Columbia. His first novel, Youngblood (1954), tells the story of an African American family’s struggles in the fictional town of Crossroads, Georgia, during the Jim Crow era of the 1920s; it has been reprinted several times, most recently in 2000 by the University of Georgia Press. Killens’ novels And Then We Heard the Thunder (1963) and Cotillion, or One Good Bull Is Half the Herd (1971) were each nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in fiction.  His other books include the essay collection Black Man’s Burden (1965); a novel about the life and work of poet Alexander Pushkin, Great Black Russian (1989); and two books for young readers, Great Gittin’ Up Morning: A Biography of Denmark Vesey (1972) and—recounting the adventures of John Henry—A Man Ain’t Nothin’ but a Man (1975). John Oliver Killens died in Brooklyn, New York in 1987. (Inducted as a charter member in 2000)

Johnny Mercer: “They Know His Songs”

Glenn T. Eskew has served on the faculty at Georgia State University since 1993. A native of Birmingham, Eskew earned his BA at Auburn University and his MA and PhD at the University of Georgia. In 1997 the University of North Carolina Press published his But for Birmingham: The Local and National Movements in the Civil Rights Struggle, and it received the Francis Butler Simkins Prize of the Southern Historical Association and Longwood College. Eskew also has published two edited volumes, Paternalism in a Southern City (about Augusta, Georgia) and Labor in the Modern South, both with the University of Georgia Press. His latest book is Johnny Mercer: Southern Songwriter for the World, to be published by the University of Georgia Press in 2013.

The Legacy of Erskine Caldwell

A Church, a School & “Ninety Per Cent Are Lunatics” (editorials); & A Matter of Change (review of Lillian Smith’s Now Is the Time)

Ralph McGill (1898–1969) was arguably Georgia’s most influential journalist of the twentieth century. During forty years at the Atlanta Constitution as an editor, publisher, and daily columnist, he built a national following as a white Southern editor who questioned segregation and challenged the demagogues who exploited it. His journalistic courage earned McGill a reputation as “the conscience of the South.” He began working at the Atlanta Constitution in 1938 and in 1942 was named editor-in-chief. By the late 1940s, McGill’s columns appeared regularly in national magazines such as Saturday Review, Saturday Evening Post, New Republic, and Atlantic Monthly, and in 1957 McGill increased his national reach when a syndicate began circulating his column to hundreds of newspapers. He won the 1958 Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing and the prize committee singled out his piece “A Church, a School” for special mention. Then, for McGill’s having “courageously sounded the voice of reason, moderation, and progress during a period of contemporary revolution,” President Lyndon Johnson honored him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964. (Inducted in 2004)