Winners Have Yet to Be Announced is a moving collection of prose poems about ’70s soul singer Donny Hathaway.Written by Ed Pavlić, UGA associate professor of English and director of the MFA/Ph.D. program in creative writing, the poems present a complex view of a gifted artist through imagined conversations and interviews that convey the voices, surroundings and clashing dimensions of Hathaway’s life.
Among mainstream audiences, Hathaway is perhaps best know either as the syrupy voice singing with Roberta Flack in Where Is the Love or for his shocking death beneath the open 13th-story window of his New York hotel room in 1979 at the age of 33.
Less well known are the depth of his classical and gospel training, his wide-ranging intellectual interests and the respect his musical knowledge, talent and versatility commanded from collaborators like Curtis Mayfield and Aretha Franklin. Meanwhile, among listeners with special affinity for soul music of the 1970s, even almost 30 years after his death, no voice burns with the intensity of Hathaway’s own in the great solo ballads and freedom songs such as A Song for You, Giving Up, Someday We’ll All Be Free and To Be Young, Gifted and Black.