The Georgia Writers Association (GWA) announced via Facebook Live the winners and finalists of the 56th annual Georgia Author of the Year Awards. Poet Leon Stokesbury was awarded posthumously awarded the lifetime achievement award.

Leon Stokesbury was born in Oklahoma City, OK, but grew up in southeast Texas. Leon retired from Georgia State University in 2018, where he taught in the creative writing department for 30 years. He earned an MFA in poetry at the University of Arkansas with an MFA in poetry, and a Ph.D. in creative writing at Florida State University. Author and editor of several poetry collections, he received the Distinguished Georgia Poet of the Year Award in 1992. His first national publication was the poem “The Lamar Tech Football Team Has Won its Game,” published in The New Yorker in 1967, while he was a student at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. His first book of poems, Often in Different Landscapes, was a co-winner of the first AWP Poetry Competition in 1975. He edited several poetry anthologies, including The Made Thing: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern Poetry; Articles of War: American Poetry about World War II; and The Light the Dead See: The Selected Poems of Frank Stanford. His most recent book, You are Here: Poems New & Old, was published by the University of Arkansas Press in 2016. Among other awards, he was selected for a Robert Frost Fellowship in Poetry from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference; was awarded The Poets’ Prize; and received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Stokesbury was widely admired as a masterful reader of poetry.

Read more about the Georgia Author of the Year awards in the Savannah Business Journal.