Judson Mitcham, an award-winning poet and novelist, will speak at East Georgia State College in the auditorium of the Gambrell Center on Thursday, October 23, at 11 a.m. Sponsored by the EGSC Vision Series, a privately funded initiative that seeks to bring programs of cultural and intellectual enrichment to East Georgia State College and its constituency, the event is free and open to the community.
Mitcham was named poet laureate of Georgia in 2012. His writings, which examine basic human themes within the specific landscape of Georgia, are both poignant and powerful.
Judson Cofield Mitcham was born in 1948 in Monroe, the seat of Walton County, where he grew up and where much of his work is centered. His parents, Myrtle and Wilson Mitcham, figure prominently in his poetry. Mitcham was not formally trained as a writer. Instead, he studied psychology at the University of Georgia, where he earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees. He received his Ph.D. in 1974. From then he taught in the psychology department at Fort Valley State University until his retirement in 2004, with the rank of associate professor.
In 2002 Mitcham began teaching workshops in poetry and fiction at Mercer University in Macon. He has also served as adjunct professor of creative writing at the University of Georgia and at Emory University, where he has directed the Summer Writers' Institute. In 2013 Mitcham was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame. He resides in Macon with his wife, Jean. They are the parents of two children and have three grandchildren.
Mitcham's poetry has been widely published, appearing in such journals as Chattahoochee Review, Harper's, Georgia Review, Gettysburg Review, Hudson Review, Poetry, Southern Poetry Review, and Southern Review. His first poetry collection, Somewhere in Ecclesiastes, earned him both the Devins Award and recognition as Georgia Author of the Year, an honor bestowed annually by the Georgia Writers Association.