Lombardo Appears with Prize Winning Poet

Paul Lombardo, Regents Professor and Bobby Lee Cook Professor of Law at Georgia State Law, was not surprised that he was invited to speak at Hofstra University to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the sterilization of Carrie Buck. After all, the New England Journal of Medicine described his book, Three Generations, No Imbeciles: Eugenics, the Supreme Court and Buck v. Bell, as “the authoritative history of the Supreme Court’s infamous decision.” 

What surprised Lombardo was that he would be appearing on a panel with a Molly McCully Brown, author of The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded, a new book of poems that captures the spirit of the institution where Carrie Buck, and thousands of others, endured eugenic sterilization surgery sanctioned by 20th Century eugenic laws.

“In the summer before I went to Hofstra, I heard Molly on “Fresh Air” talking about her poetry. The New York Times had praised her book, likening it to James Agee’s classic Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. As a former English teacher myself, I was excited to meet a poet who had written so powerfully about a topic on which I spent large parts of my career,” he said.

Recently Brown’s book was picked as a New York Times Critics’ Top Books of 2017 and in January, she won the prestigious 2018 United States Artist Fellowship.

“This is a powerful literary voice of a new generation, said Lombardo. “I’m really pleased I got to work with her.”