Poet Laureate Visits Milledgeville

By Alaina Minshew

Georgia’s poet laureate, Judson Mitcham, is coming to Milledgeville on Feb. 7 and 8, 2016, to read his works and to make observations regarding Flannery O’Connor.

Mitcham is a poet and novelist who became the poet laureate of Georgia in 2012. He was born in 1948 in Monroe, which became a centerpiece for much of his writing.

“The poet laureate is appointed by the governor in consultation with the Georgia Council for the Arts. I’ve been publishing poems in literary journals for over 30 years, and apparently that work was deemed worthy of the appointment,” said Mitcham.

Mitcham has a wide variety of novels and poems such as “The Sweet Everlasting,” “This April Day” and “A Little Salvation.” The author has many more writings that have associations with the state of Georgia.

“Judson Mitcham’s poetry represents a true voice for all of us, but also a voice heard throughout the nation. We could not wish for a native son more talented and grounded in our home state than Judson Mitcham,” said Martin Lammon, creative writing program coordinator at Georgia College.

During Mitcham’s visit to Milledgeville, he will be at the Andalusia Farm on Feb, 7, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. to discuss Flannery O’Connor’s “Wise Blood” and give a fiction reading. While he is at Georgia College, he will be discussing more about O’Connor and give a poetry reading on Feb. 8 in the Museum Education Room in the library at 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.

“Flannery O’Connor has been very important to me throughout my writing life,” Mitcham said. “I know of no other writer whose work carries such gravitas and humor at once.”

It is very evident that Mitcham has ample respect for O’Connor, which is shared greatly by many residents here in Milledgeville. A large number of students at GC share this same appreciation for O’Connor and enjoy Mitcham’s writings.

“If you study literature and live in the state of Georgia, then you have heard Judson Mitcham’s name at least once,” said Walter Rabon, senior English major. “It’s a real pleasure to have a writer of his stature to visit Georgia College.”

GC students are honored to have such a distinguished writer come and read to them. Mitcham will be an encouragement for many students to keep reaching for success.

“Moving forward is important, of course, but so is remembering where you came from and your heritage, and that’s something us modern college students often forget,” said Leslie Peterson, senior English major. “I’m certainly excited to have the opportunity to slow down and reflect on the past with Georgia’s very own poet laureate.”

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