This year’s Lillian Smith jury is chaired by Mary A. Twining, Emeritus Professor of English and Folklore at Clark Atlanta University. Noted for her study of the Sea Island Communities of Georgia and South Carolina and their cultural ties to West African, her published work has included Sea Island Roots: African Presence in the Carolinas and Georgia, edited with Keith E. Baird (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press 1991); Names and Naming in the Sea Islands, a contribution to the Crucible of Carolina: Essays in the Development of Gullah Language and Culture, edited by Michael Montgomery and Louise Ferrell, University of Georgia Press, 1994; The New Nomads, Art, Life, and Lure of Migrant workers in New York State, published in The Journal of the New York Folklore Society 1987; and numerous contributions to the Journal of Black Studies.
James Taylor has managed the Atlanta Fulton Public Library’s Buckhead Branch and hosted the System’s Writers in Focus, “a meet-the-author” television show produced by Fulton County Television (FGTV) . He previously managed the Library Express Department, the Circulation Department, and the Ivan Allen Reference Department.
Also serving on the jury this year is Chana Kai Lee, Associate professor of History at the University of Georgia and author of For Freedom's Sake: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer.
Earl Picard holds degrees in political science from Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University), where he specialized in comparative politics and the politics of developing countries. Since 1985 he has pursued a career in international development, serving stints with the Institute of International Education (IIE) in Zimbabwe (1985-88) and South Africa (1997-99). He has organized and managed training programs for professionals from the Philippines, Kazakistan, Usbekistan, Russia, Ukraine, Haiti, El Salvador, Burundi and Guinea. He has secured and managed USAID development assistance contracts in Nepal, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Egypt, Rwanda, South Africa and Benin and directed a technical assistance and training project in Zambia and a capacity building project in Ghana. He has worked as a consultant to a number of national and international organizations. Most recently, Picard has directed the Program Development and Management unit at Georgia State University.
E. Delores Stephens is a Professor of English at Morehouse College, where she teaches World Literature, Shakespeare, and British literature survey courses. Her areas of scholarship and research include women's fiction, Caribbean literature, and biography.