Richard Jackson Receives the 2009 AWP/
George Garrett Award For Outstanding Community Service in Literature

At the 2009 AWP Conference and Bookfair in Chicago, AWP announced its recipient of the George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature, presenting the award to Richard Jackson of University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. Jackson's humanitarian contributions had previously earned him the Order of Freedom Medal for literary and humanitarian work from the President of Slovenia in 2000. Jackson wrote about the conflict in the Balkans in The Writer's Chronicle (March/April 1993). 

“Ellen MucCulloch-Lovell once remarked that ‘Politics polarize; arts humanize.’ In his efforts to bring poetry, scrutiny, compassion, and justice to the people of what was once Yugoslovia, Richard Jackson is one of those great practitioners of the humanizing powers of literature during polarizing times,” said David Fenza, Executive Director of AWP. “We are in Richard’s debt for being such a generous teacher, a fine poet, editor, and citizen of the world, and an effective builder of literary communities.”

The winner of Fulbright, NEA, and NEH fellowships as well as four Pushcart Prizes, among other awards, Jackson also teaches in the low-residency writing program of Vermont College MFA Programs.

Jackson is the author of four books of poems, the most recent of which, Heartwall, was published by the University of Massachusetts Press and received the 2000 Juniper Prize. He has published two books of criticism and two anthologies, as well as several chapbooks of translations. His reviews and essays have been featured in journals such as Georgia Review, Verse, Contemporary Literature, Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, and Best American Poems 1997.


Each year, AWP welcomes nominations for the George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature. Consult our award guidelines for more information. Award recipients are selected by AWP's Board of Directors.