The Richard Beale Davis Award
The Richard Beale Davis Award for Distinguished Lifetime Service to Southern Letters is awarded every other year at the biennial conference of the Society for the Study of Southern Literature. The Award honors a writer or scholar who has made distinguished lifetime contributions to southern letters. The award is named after the Society’s first president, Richard Beale Davis, who served in that position from 1969-1970. Davis’s important scholarship about life and literature in the colonial and antebellum South resulted in a number of notable studies, including the three-volume Intellectual Life in the Colonial South, 1585-1763 (1978), which received the National Book Award for History in 1979.
Ernest J. Gaines, author of The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1971), A Lesson before Dying (1993), and other widely-respected works of fiction, received the first Richard Beale Davis Award in 2002. Winners of the award attend and give a reading at the biennial SSSL conference.
Richard Beale Davis Award Winners
2018 Trudier Harris
2016 Patricia Yaeger; Lee Smith
2014 Fred Hobson
2010 Peggy Whitman Prenshaw
2008 M. Thomas Inge
2006 Ellen Douglas
2004 Louis D. Rubin, Jr.
2002 Ernest Gaines