Athens, Ga. – Andrew Zawacki, assistant professor of English and creative writing at the University of Georgia, has been invited by his alma mater, The College of William and Mary, to attend a campus visit by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. The visit comes 50 years after Her Majesty’s first visit to the college in 1957, just a few years after her succession and coronation.
The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, will visit Virginia this week to mark the 400th anniversary of the Jamestown settlement. In addition to her visit to William and Mary, other highlights include an arrival ceremony at the White House and a visit to the Kentucky Derby.
Zawacki, both a Rhodes and Fulbright Scholar, earned a B.A. in English from William and Mary and went on to earn an M.Phil. in modern English literature and society from the University of Oxford and an M.Litt. in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews. He was also an exchange fellow at the University of Paris IV-La Sorbonne in 2005.
“My wife Sandrine’s father used to joke, when she was a kid, about her poor table manners: ‘What are you going to do someday if you have dinner with the Queen of England,'” says Zawacki. “I don’t think either of us will be dining with the Queen, but hopefully these fifteen minutes of proximity to fame will earn me some street cred with my in-laws anyhow.
“I have never met a queen before-let alone one who was queen when my grandmother was my age-so this is obviously a wonderful reason to return to my alma mater. I owe William and Mary a very great deal, from the education I got there and the many friends I made to opportunities that have come up since leaving,” continued Zawacki.
Zawacki is the co-editor of Verse magazine and the author of two volumes of poetry, Anabranch (Wesleyan University Press, 2004) and By Reason of Breakings (UGA Press, 2002), which won the Contemporary Poetry Series Competition. He edited Afterwards: Slovenian Writing 1945-1995 (White Pine, 1999) and co-edited The Verse Book of Interviews (Verse, 2005).
Buckingham Palace has announced Her Majesty’s complete itinerary on the British Monarchy website at www.royal.gov.uk/output/Page5531.asp.