Several Mercer Press Books Honored, Including Dr. Scott Walker's Bio of James McAfee Jr.
MACON – Dr. Anya Silver, professor of English at Mercer University, received one of the 51st annual Georgia Author of the Year Awards (GAYA), presented June 27 at Kennesaw State University's Continuing Education Center.
Dr. Silver won in the Poetry category for her book I Watched You Disappear (Louisiana State University Press, 2014), which explores themes such as faith, redemption, memory and family, seeking to find the eternal within the ordinary world.
"I am very honored to receive the Georgia Author of the Year Award," said Dr. Silver, who dedicated the prize to all those who, like her, have lived with cancer. "I hope that through this award, I can bring awareness to the ways that poetry can both help us see the beauty in everyday life and cope with its trials."
I Watched You Disappear was also a finalist for the Julie Suk Awards and was listed as one of the top books of poetry in 2014 by both The Christian Century and Image magazine.
Her previous book, The Ninety-Third Name of God, was a GAYA finalist in the Poetry category, and her third book of poetry, From Nothing, is forthcoming from LSU Press in 2016.
Dr. Silver's poetry has been published widely in literary journals, including The Harvard Review, The Georgia Review, Image, The Christian Century, The Shenandoah Review, Five Points and many others. Her poems have been featured by Garrison Keillor on "The Writer's Almanac," in Ted Kooser's syndicated column "American Life in Poetry," as an Academy of American Poets "Poem of the Day," and on Poetry Daily.
Her work has been anthologized in Poetry in Medicine: An Anthology of Poems about Doctors, Patients, Illness, and Healing (Persea Press, 2015), How to Write a Poem (T.S. Poetry Press, forthcoming), At the Still Point: Poems about Lent (Paraclete Press, forthcoming) and Imago Dei: Poems from Christianity and Literature (Abilene Christian University Press, 2012).
Dr. Silver joined the faculty at Mercer in 2000. She earned her Ph.D. in English literature from Emory University and her bachelor's degree in English literature and creative writing from Haverford College.
Her teaching and research interests include 19th century British literature, children's literature, poetry, creative writing, and women's and gender studies.
Also at Saturday's GAYA ceremony, Dr. Scott Walker, director of Mercer's Institute of Life Purpose, was a finalist in the Biography category for To Make a Difference: James T. McAfee, Jr. (Mercer University Press, 2014), his book on the former chairman of the University's Board of Trustees.
Mercer Press had three additional books honored, including Carolyn Newton Curry's Suffer and Grow Strong: The Life of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas, 1834-1907, which won in the Biography category; Sam A. Williams' The CEO as Urban Statesman, which was a finalist in the Essay category; and Raymond Atkins' Sweetwater Blues, which was a finalist in the Literary Fiction category.
The Georgia Writers Association assumed responsibility for the GAYA shortly after the association's founding in 1994. The awards were first given in 1964 by the Dixie Council of Authors and Journalists. Commercially and independently published authors from Georgia are eligible for nomination.
This year's GAYA included 116 nominees in 17 different fiction and non-fiction categories.