The Georgia Writers Association is pleased to announce Lifetime Achievement Award winner for 2011, Mr. Terry Kay, as the Red Clay Writers Conference keynote speaker. A 2009 recipient of the Governor's Award in the Humanities and a 2006 inductee into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame, Terry Kay has been a sports writer and film/theater reviewer (Atlanta Journal-Constitution), a public relations executive, and a corporate officer. He is the author of twelve published works of adult fiction,including the recently released collection of short stories, “The Greats of Cuttercane.”
“The Greats of Cuttercane,” which he received another Georgia Author of the Year Award in 2011, is a collection of stories about characters from a small north Georgia town known as Cuttercane and all having some association with a mystical body of water called Asa’s Spring. “I’ve always believed Southern literature could be character driven or caricature driven,” Kay explained. “In ‘Cuttercane,’ I deliberately chose to do it as caricature. For me, it was an interesting exercise in style and great fun in discovering the people.” His other works include Bogmeadow's Wish, The Book of Marie, To Dance with the White Dog, The Valley of Light, Taking Lottie Home, The Kidnapping of Aaron Greene,Shadow Song, The Runaway,Dark Thirty, After Eli and The Year the Lights Came On, as well as a book of essays (Special K) and a children's book (To Whom the Angel Spoke).
Kay’s reflection on his written works: “Though I am best known for To Dance with the White Dog,I think my most important work is The Book of Marie, primarily because it is the view of a white southerner during the civil rights movement — a person born in segregation who becomes a passive witness to and accidental participant in desegregation. I think little has been written about the impact of civil rights on young whites, who experienced incredible change in their lives, change that, in many ways, was equal to the change experienced by young blacks. That grand song -- 'We Shall Overcome' -- was as appropriate for young whites as for young blacks. It's a book I am proud to have written, because I think it represents a facet of history that has essentially been ignored.” The Book of Mariegarnered for Kay a Georgia Author of the Year Award in 2008.
"Terry Kay is a perfect writer for those who love to read. His prose contains music and passion and fire. His work is tender and heartbreaking and memorable. Kay's To Dance With the White Dog is a sensitive portrait - a love/grief story - of a man's final rite of passage,much in the style of Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea. Yet,Kay gives us his old man - Sam Peek - with such clarity and familiarity that the story does not belong wholly to him, but to us as well. And that is what writing is supposed to accomplish. All of us long to understand what Sam Peek understood. All of us want to 'dance with the white dog.'" Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides.
Three of Terry Kay’s novels have been produced as Hallmark Hall of Fame movies –To Dance with the White Dog, The Runaway and The Valley of Light.
He has received the Georgia Author of the Year award four times and in 2004 was presented with the Townsend Prize,considered the state's top literary award. In October, 2006, he received the prestigious Appalachian Heritage Writer's Award from Shepherd University in Shepherds town, WV. In March of 2007, he was presented the Brooke Baker Award from Dunwoody Library honoring his career as a writer.
Also in 2007, Kay was presented the Stanley W. Lindberg Award,named for the late editor of The Georgia Review and considered one of the state's most prestigious literary honors, given for an individual's significant contribution to the preservation and celebration of Georgia's literary heritage.
Terry Winter Kay was born February 10,1938, in Hart County, the eleventh of twelve children of T. H. Kay, a farmer and nurseryman, and Viola Winn Kay. He grew up on a farm, played football for Royston High School, and earned his B.A. degree in social science from LaGrange College in 1959. In August of that year, he married Tommie Duncan.
Kay and his wife, Tommie, now reside in Athens, GA. They have been married for 52 years and have four children, ten grandchildren,and three great grandchildren.
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 June 2013 21:14