KENNESAW — Two Mercer University Press authors won awards in their respective categories at the 46th Annual Georgia Author of the Year Awards, presented by the Georgia Writers Association at a ceremony held at Kennesaw State University Center on June 19. Mercer business and law professor James L. Hunt won the award for creative nonfiction – biography and Philip Lee Williams won the award for fiction.
Hunt won the biography award for his work, Relationship Banker: Eugene W. Stetson, Wall Street, and American Business 1916-1959, about Mercer alumnus and namesake of Mercer’s Stetson School of Business and Economics. Hunt is an associate professor of law at Mercer and holds joint appointments in the Stetson School of Business and Economics and the Walter F. George School of Law. Hunt’s work, representing 10 years of research, examines the rise of Stetson through the lens of his relationships. The key to Stetson’s banking success — as well as the key to the larger question of who received capital — was his skill at creating and sustaining personal relationships. Stetson’s best clients and associates included Coca-Cola’s Robert Woodruff, financier and railroad baron Averell Harriman, IBM’s Tom Watson Sr. and Morgan’s Thomas Lamont. It is through these relationships that both Stetson and Wall Street banking in the middle decades of the 20th Century can be understood.
Williams’ novel, The Campfire Boys, is his 14th published work and his third with Mercer Press. The novel is a work set during the Civil War. He will release his fourth work with the Mercer Press later this year, a book-length epic poem following the journey of young naturalist William Bartram, titled The Flower Seeker: An Epic Poem of William Bartram. The poem is part of Mercer Press’s effort, titled the Bartram Project.
In addition to Williams' book, the project will also release Bartram’s Living Legacy: the Travels and the Nature of the South, which includes a reprint of Bartram’s classic work alongside essays acknowledging the debt Southern nature writers owe the man called the “South’s Thoreau.” The anthology includes contributions from 16 of the South’s finest nature writers and strikingly illustrated with Bartram-inspired landscape paintings of Philip Juras. Among the authors to contribute to the work are: Bill Belleville, Kathryn Braund, Dixon Bynum, Christopher Camuto, Thomas Rain Crowe, Dorinda Dallmeyer, Doug Davis, Jan DeBlieu, Whit Gibbons, Thomas Hallock, John Lane, Drew Lanham, Roger Pinckney, Janisse Ray, Matt Smith and Gerald Thurmond.
Georgia Author of the Year Awards
The Georgia Writers Association sponsors the annual Georgia Author of the Year Awards. Shortly after its founding, the Georgia Writers Association assumed responsibility for the awards, which were first given in 1964 by the Dixie Council of Authors and Journalists.
About the Georgia Writers Association
Founded in 1994, The Georgia Writers Association supports writing conferences, seminars, and monthly workshops that are held on the 2nd Saturday of most months on the campus of Kennesaw State University. The association is currently housed in the English Department in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw.
About Mercer University Press
Established in 1979, Mercer University Press is celebrating its 30th anniversary and has published more than 1,200 books. Operated by an eight-member staff, the press publishes more than 35 books annually. The reputation of the Press significantly enhances the academic environment of the University and carries the name of Mercer throughout the world. The Press seeks and acquires manuscripts that contribute to the advancement of knowledge; publishes monographs and other texts in the humanities, primarily in history, philosophy, religion, and Southern studies; and disseminates these publications internationally to students, scholars, and libraries. The annual Authors Luncheon is a fundraiser for Mercer University Press. For more information, visit www.mupress.org.
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