New Georgia Literary Achievement Award

The New Georgia Literary Achievement Award, given annually and administered by SOTA, honors a writer who exhibits exceptional talent on the printed page, as well as meaningful social commitments on the public stage.


The award is funded and administered by the New Georgia Arts Collaborative. This coalition of forward-thinking patrons, educational entities, and arts-first communities includes the Blackwell Trust, of Newnan, GA; the Warren and Ava Sewell Foundation, of Bremen and Carrollton, GA; AIR Serenbe, of Serenbe, GA; and the School of the Arts at the University of West Georgia. Additional resources and funding come from the Newnan Art-Rez and various universities and high schools in the West Georgia area.

2018 Winner: Charles Bardes

Charles Bardes is a practicing physician whose most recent book, Diary of Our Fatal Illness, is an extended prose poem that narrates an aged man’s illness and death. Other literary works have appeared in AGNI, The New England Journal of Medicine, Ploughshares, Raritan, and elsewhere. Pale Faces: The Masks of Anemia is an extended lyric essay on the cultural and mythological underpinnings of a common disease construct.

Bardes is Professor of Clinical Medicine and Associate Dean at Weill Cornell Medical College. He lives in New York City and Ghent, New York, with his wife, the visual artist Barbara Kilpatrick.


The New Georgia Award comes with an honorarium of $10,000, making it one of the largest—if not the single largest—poetry prize in the South. The prize is set up in a unique way: to celebrate his or her poetic achievements, the winner receives a check for $7,500. The remaining $2,500 of the prize money goes toward providing the poet’s books to students, educators, and friends throughout the West Georgia area.

Events in February 2018

Tuesday, February 20, 2018: Poetry Reading, Kathy Cashen Hall // 6:00pm