Georgia College poet becomes ‘Georgia Author of the Year’
Alice Friman, Georgia College poet-in-residence, has earned this year’s Georgia Author of the Year Award in poetry from Georgia Writers Association (GWA) for her fifth full-length collection of poetry, “Vinculum.”
The award is the oldest literary award in the Southeastern United States, and it honors Georgia’s authors of excellence.
“Although I have received many awards for my work, this one is special for it shows recognition for my time and work in Georgia,” said Friman, a New York native who has taught at Georgia College since 2004. “Because I am a relative newcomer to the state, I look at this award as an official welcome from the writers of Georgia. For that, I am very grateful.”
“Vinculum,” meaning connection, published in 2011 by Louisiana State University Press.
“The work is mature and sustained in vision with an eloquence that illustrates poetry as a species of musical speech while retaining a quality still conversational,” said Dr. Ralph Tejeda Wilson, former executive director of GWA and professor in creative writing at Kennesaw State University who reviewed Friman’s work. “The poems are insightful, witty and beautifully made. It is the sort of work young poets can learn from and older poets aspire to.”
During 2011, more than 100 books were nominated for Georgia Author of the Year. The GWA award recognizes both Georgia authors whose books are published independently and by traditional publishing houses.
“This book is a life, and as a life, it stresses what binds us to each other — nature, the inevitable biology of the body, as well as love — that connection of two into one that frees as it restricts,” said Friman.
The poems in “Vinculum” have been published previously in such prestigious venues as “The Georgia Review,” “The Southern Review,” “Poetry” and “The Best American Poetry 2009.”
Friman is professor emerita of English and creative writing at the University of Indianapolis. She joined Georgia College’s creative writing program in 2004.
“Alice works specifically with our graduate and advanced undergraduate students focused on poetry writing,” said Dr. Marty Lammon, MFA and BA programs in creative writing coordinator and Fuller E. Callaway endowed Flannery O’Connor chair. “She has been writing and publishing for nearly 40 years with more books and awards than I can count. Best of all, she demands that her students be devoted to their poetry and never settle for less than what poetry demands of them.”
She has been published in 14 countries and anthologized widely.
The award-winning poet has won a Pushcart Prize, and prizes from the Poetry Society of America and New England Poetry Club. She also earned literary magazine Shenandoah’s James Boatwright III Prize.
Friman has been honored with fellowships at the Yaddo artists’ colony and MacDowell artists’ colony, as well as grants from the Arts Council of Indianapolis and the Indiana Arts Commission.
Currently, she is working on a new collection of poems.
“Vinculum” can be purchased at Georgia College’s Box Office Books, Amazon.com or directly from Louisiana State University Press.
Visit Friman’s website, www.alicefriman.com, to view sample poems, reviews of previous books, excerpts from interviews and additional biographical information.