Exhibit honors writersBy Katherine Metcalf | 07/23/2015 7:23pm
The J. Wray and Joan Billingsley Pearce Foyer on the second floor of Gorgas library is home to the Alabama Writer’s Hall of Fame exhibit. CW | Hanna Curlette
On June 8, the inductees were celebrated at an Inaugural Alabama Writers Hall of Fame event held at the Bryant Conference Center. The event included a reception and a gala dinner with a presentation of awards to the inductees. The event was sponsored by both the Alabama Writer’s Forum and the Alabama Center for the Book, which helped create the hall of fame by receiving nominations from the general public.
“The twelve inductees were selected by professional, credentialed group of scholars, arts advocates, and literary and cultural historians, who considered the historical range of Alabama literature,” said Donna B. Adcock, the director of University of Alabama Libraries.
The purpose of the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame exhibit is not only to celebrate Alabama authors’ outstanding literary work, but to also give students and faculty the chance to learn more and revisit these authors’ creations.
Martha Bace, processing archivist at the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library, said that the exhibit reintroduces students and faculty to some of the classics.
“[The exhibit] introduces people to old favorites such as Harper Lee,” Bace said. “It is a way to introduce writers that they might have never heard about.”
The exhibit also includes writer Rick Bragg, a professor in the University’s Department of Journalism. Bragg remembers being “very happy” and “tickled to death” when he received the phone call declaring his induction to the hall of fame.
“It means a lot to me because this is such a rich place for writers. It was just such an honor to be included in that first class of writers,” he said. “There are just so many people in that group living and dead that have left their mark in the world beyond. It was very humbling and gratifying at the same time.”
Adcock also said that students and faculty should go see the exhibit because they can learn about how the 12 authors’ works impacted the state of Alabama and the world of literature.
“Individuals can learn about the wonderful contributions Alabama authors have made to the literary world,” she said. “Students and faculty members not from our state may not be familiar with our authors and have the opportunity to learn more about them.”
For Bragg, a story’s impact is one of the main driving forces of its creation.
“...I have always thought it was my job as a writer to write about the people who lose their fingers in a cotton mill, people who are the foundation out of our society,” Bragg said. “My job is about writing about the dignity in their lives.”
One reason Gorgas Library was chosen to hold the exhibit, Adcock said, was because the Alabama affiliate of the Center for the Book, one of the co-sponsors of the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame, is found in the University libraries.
“Gorgas Library is visited by hundreds of students, faculty and staff each day and makes a perfect venue for exhibits,” Adcock said.
For more information about the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame visit: