Ann Watson / Emory University

An Emory University professor and poet is now the recipient of literature's highest honor, the Pulitzer Prize.

Brett Weinstein; Flickr

Soon after Nikki Giovanni enrolled at Fisk University in 1960, she was asked to leave for expressing “attitudes unbecoming of a Fisk woman.” A decade later, Giovanni was named “Woman of the Year” by Ebony Magazine

Time changed — and the now 77-year-old distinguished professor at Virginia Tech has evolved with them.


Chris Pizzello / Invision/AP

Joy Harjo says it’s not just that the South sometimes glosses over its Native history; it also misses its place in the Native American present.


That’s a major theme of the U.S. Poet Laureate’s new book, from which she will read this month in both Macon and Columbus. 

Charles Kelly / AP Photo

He was a civil rights icon, beloved father and husband, who would be 91 years old this year. On Monday, the nation celebrates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Georgia native was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee a day after delivering one of his most memorable speeches, “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop.”

Stephanie Mitchell

Jericho Brown’s newest collection of poetry, The Tradition, was a National Book Award Finalist in 2019. Lauded by critics as “stunning,” “riveting,” and one of the best poetry collections in 2019, the gut-wrenchingly personal poems in his latest collection explore the complex tensions between love, violence, masculinity and trauma — all within the LGBTQ Black experience in the South.

Brown was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and went to school in New Orleans. He’s lived everywhere from Houston to San Diego to Iowa, and today he’s Director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University.

Bexx Chin

The season of holiday cheer and giving can be especially difficult for people going through loss, illness or other challenges that come with being human. 

Atlanta-based poet, author and playwright Jon Goode is a close observer of how people make their way through the world. You may have seen him on HBO's Def Comedy Jam or CNN's Black in America. He's also host of the StorySLAM events at The Moth in Atlanta. 

GPB/La'Raven Taylor

Karen Head is executive director of the communication center at Georgia Institute of Technology. She's also the Waffle House Poet Laureate. The designation came after a Waffle House fouondation-funded poetry tour project for under-served Georgia high school students.

Head's newest collection of poem is called Lost on Purpose. She stopped by On Second Thought to share her recommendations for the "Southern Reading List." For the series, we invite authors and readers to talk about books that define and reflect the South. 

Lawrence Journal World

The Iliad is one of the oldest surviving stories of Western civilization, and is often referred to as if we know it — or, at least, we should.

The epic is usually credited to Homer, the ancient Greek storyteller who first sat down to orally weave the story for his audiences 3,000 years ago.  The war story chronicles the final weeks of the Trojan War, and it has been translated into dozens of languages — dozens of times.

GPB/La'Raven Taylor

Georgia native Eve Hoffman teaches poetry at Emory University. Her most recent book, Memory and Complicity is a collection of autobiographical poems that tells the stories of a young Eve who grew up by the Chattahoochee River. 

Hoffman stopped by On Second Thought to give her recommendations for our "Southern Reading List" —  a series of authors and readers sharing books that define and reflect the South.

John Amis / AP

The town of Eatonton, Georgia, will honor one of its own this weekend: prolific poet, Pulitzer prize winning novelist and activist Alice Walker. The Georgia Writers Museum will celebrate Walker's 75th birthday with a now sold-out day of festivities.


One highlight at Saturday's celebration is a conversation with Walker and University of Georgia professor Valerie Boyd. Boyd is the curator and editor of a forthcoming collection of Walker's journals. Boyd spoke with On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott about the life and legacy of Walker. 


Courtesy Anya Silver

Anya Silver did not flinch from talking about death.

Death enraged her, moved her to compassion and incited her to worry for her son, all of which she wrote about in her poetry published in four books and dozens of journals, but she was never afraid of talking about it. In fact, as a poet Silver thought it was her job to see that her reader confront death as she had.


Matthew Murphy

On this edition of “Two Way Street,” we’re talking to Tony-award winning director, Kenny Leon, about his Broadway revival of the play, “Children of a Lesser God.”

The GOP tax bill has many concerned the law will negatively impact the middle class while bolstering the rich. But a new study from the union Actors Equity finds another problem: the tax bill could also harm Georgia’s film industry. They looked at how the plan might reduce deductions and reimbursements for contractors and part-time film workers. We talk about this with Chris Joyner with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution -- he writes the AJC Watchdog column. Also Craig Miller, Film Producer and Founder of Craig Miller Productions.

Courtesy of Anya Silver

Poet Anya Silver often writes about depression, fear, and living with cancer. But her latest collection “Second Bloom” is also about life and joy.

Emily Jones / GPB News

A small crowd, many of them students, gathered at Savannah State University’s Payne Hall Thursday afternoon for a first look at a new set of portraits decorating the halls.

The eight large paintings by local artist Scott Stanton - known as Panhandle Slim - feature well-known poets like Alice Walker and Gwendolyn Brooks, including several with ties to the university. In signature Panhandle Slim style, each prominently features a quote from the writer.


Mercer University

Macon poet Anya Silver says her poetry has helped her come to terms with mortality. Silver’s life could have taken a much different turn. She was first diagnosed with an aggressive and lethal form of breast cancer when she was 35 years old and pregnant. It didn’t stop her. She continues to teach English at Mercer University, and she's a writer. Her poetry earned her a spot as one of last  year's Georgia Author of the Year award recipients.