Barnett Prize for Local Distinguished Author

Southern Lit Alliance presents annually an award to recognize an outstanding local author.  Called the Barnett Prize for Local Distinguished Author, the award is given to a local author based upon their demonstrated lifetime work awards and other reviews and the quality of their writing in their submitted sample.  Nominees can work in the various genres of fiction, non-fiction, short story or poetry but must reside in Hamilton or the contiguous counties of Sequatchie, Marion, Rhea, Meigs, Bradley counties in Tennessee. Eligible Georgia authors must reside in Catoosa, Walker or Dade counties. The Barnett Prize is offered through the generosity of Warren Barnett, art philanthropist and President of Barnett & Company.

The 2020 Barnett Prize will awarded in the spring and we will have a date posted in Jan.  Applications will be available then on the website.

For more information or questions, contact Lynda LeVan at


About the 2019 Winner

Richard Jackson is pictured here receiving the Barnett Prize from supporter, Warren Barnett at the 2019 FocusLit luncheon.


Richard Jackson is UC and UTNAA Distinguished Professor of English at UT-Chattanooga since 1976. He has published twenty five books including fifteen books of poems, most recently:

The Barnett Prize designed and created by local sculptor, Isaac Duncan.
  • Broken Horizons (Press 53, 2018, Silver Concho Award and Sundress Publications mention for 10 best poetry books of 2018)

  • Traversings (Anchor and Plume, 2016) 

  • Retrievals (C&R Press, 2014), Out of Place (Ashland, 2014), 

  • Resonancia(Barcelona, 2014, a translation of Resonance  from Ashland, 2010), 

  • Half Lives: Petrarchan Poems (Autumn House, 2004), 

  • Unauthorized Autobiography: New and Selected Poems(Ashland, 2003), and Heartwall (UMass, Juniper Prize 2000),

  • as well as four chapbook adaptations from Pavese and other Italian poets, and a chapbook of prose poems, Fifties. The Heart’s Many Doors is a collection of poems by American poets on the artists Metka Krasovec (Wings press, 2017).

His own poems have been translated into seventeen languages including Worlds Apart: Selected Poems in Slovene. He has edited three anthologies of Slovene poetry and Poetry Miscellany, a journal. He was awarded the Order of Freedom Medal for literary and humanitarian work in the Balkans by the President of Slovenia for his work with the Slovene-based Peace and Sarajevo Committees of PEN International.  Originator of VCFA’s Slovenia Program, he was a Fulbright Exchange poet to former Yugoslavia and returns to Europe each year with groups of students.


At UT-Chattanooga he has taught creative writing, literature, and University Honors . He also directs the Meacham Writers' Conference. 



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