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Ruppersburg receives Lindberg literary award

Alan Flurry

Congratulations to Emeritus Professor of English, former associate dean and great friend of the Franklin College Hugh Ruppersburg, who received the 2022 Stanley W. Lindberg Award Oct. 11 in Athens. The Lindberg Award is presented to persons who contribute to the literary history of Georgia with previous recipients including Pat Conroy, Marion Montgomery, Tina McElroy Ansa and Terry Kay. Lindberg was editor of The Georgia Review from 1977 until he died in 2000.

“It was an unanticipated surprise,” Ruppersburg said in a statement to the Athens Banner Herald. “I was honored because I knew Stan Lindberg, who was at the university. I thought highly of him. What he did with the Georgia Review was a tremendous achievement that spoke well for him and the university.”

Ruppersburg won the award for his work as the editor of the three anthologies of Georgia literature, “Georgia Voices: Fiction,” “Georgia Voices: Nonfiction” and “Georgia Voices: Poetry,” as well as many other works containing essays on notable Georgia writers.

“I grew up knowing about certain writers from Georgia like Flannery O'Connor, Erskine Caldwell and certainly Alice Walker … but as I went through my education I learned about other writers [and] read their work,” Ruppersburg said. “My mother, in fact, was the first person who said ‘you should pay attention to Georgia writers.’ That made an impression.”

When going through the process of creating the Georgia literature anthologies, Ruppersburg focused on representing the state of Georgia as a whole.

He said he chose a “selection of work…that was representative of the diversity of the state in terms of gender, race and other elements.” Ruppersburg said he wanted a “wide overview of the kind of writing that had been done in this state since its founding as a colony.”

Ruppersburg noted the importance of the press and reflected on his time spent working alongside the UGA Press, UGA Libraries and the New Georgia Encyclopedia. He then turned the focus of his address to the importance of libraries in the education of future generations.

“It is important that we do all we can to support and defend the work that libraries and librarians do,” Ruppersburg said.

“From the first time I entered a College Park Georgia public library as a child, libraries, for me, have been free and unfettered places of discovery. I learned about my state, nation, its history, science, the universe and myself,” Ruppersburg said. “...We need to make sure that everyone, especially young readers, continues to have free access to what they offer.”

Congratulations, Dr. Ruppersburg, on this well-deserved and prestigious career honor.

Image: Emeritus Professor of English and former associate dean Hugh Ruppersburg



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