Saturday, July 17, 2010

Jerry Ward, Featured Juror for the 2011 Lillian Smith Book Awards

Jerry Ward
Professor of English
Dillard University

The Southern Regional Council (SRC), founded in 1919 to combat racial injustice, established the Lillian Smith Book Awards in 1966 to recognize writing which extends the legacy of the outspoken writer who challenged all Americans on issues of social and racial justice.

Since 2004 the awards have been presented by SRC in a partnership with the University of Georgia Libraries, whose Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library houses a historic collection of Lillian Smith's letters and manuscripts. Since 2007 this partnership has also included Georgia Center for the Book, and the awards ceremony is now presented on the Sunday of the Labor Day Weekend as part of the Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, Georgia. Excerpts from the 2008 and 2009 awards ceremonies may be viewed through the links on this page and through the Video Bar.

The 2011 awards ceremony will be held at the Decatur Branch of the Dekalb County Public Library in Decatur, Georgia on Sunday, September 4th.

This year's jury again includes Dr. Jerry Ward, a distinguished professor of English and African American World Studies at Dillard University, New Orleans, LA.

Ward spent 20 years as the Lawrence Durgin Professor of Literature at Tougaloo College in Jackson. He is recognized as one of the leading experts on Richard Wright.

He is editor of The Richard Wright Encyclopedia, published by Greenwood Press; founding member of the Richard Wright Circle; and author of The Katrina Papers.

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