Richard Powers: Writers induct for Lifetime Achievement

Susan EspirituOur Town Neighbors

Friends of Literacy established the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame in 2004 to honor local and regional writers who have created an outstanding body of work. This year, Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Richard Powers is the 2024 Hall of Fame inductee for lifetime achievement.

Powers is the author of 13 novels. His novel The Overstory was awarded the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the William Dean Howells Medal.

Additional recognitions include 2006 National Book Award, TIME magazine’s Book of the Year, two Pushcart Prizes and a MacArthur Fellowship.

He is a fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a recipient of the Lannan Literary Award.

Richard Powers has some special words for this particular recognition: “ I have had many wonderful recognitions over the course of my 40-year career, but this one has a special meaning for me. I have so loved living in Eastern Tennessee over these last several years, and so being inducted into the Writers Hall of Fame here really confirms my feeling of coming home. Tennessee has such a spectacular and important literary tradition, and it’s a thrill and an honor to be considered part of it.”

Powers makes his home in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, where he is an avid hiker and a student of the incredible diversity of life in the Southern Appalachians.

Each week for the past several weeks, we have recognized an inductee prior to the Hall of Fame Awards Gala which will be held this Friday, April 19.

Next week, we conclude our recognition of the nominees with those who received posthumous awards.

Nominations are accepted from the public each year for the categories to include lifetime achievement, fiction, nonfiction, journalism, poetry, social media, playwriting, songwriting, children’s literature, and young adult literature.

An independent panel of judges evaluates nominees based on recognition within the writer’s field, longevity, quality, and volume of work. All nominees must have been born in, currently reside in, or have a body of work related to the East Tennessee region.

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