Judson Mitcham was born in Monroe, Georgia, where he grew up and where much of his work is centered. He was not formally trained as a writer. Instead he studied psychology at the University of Georgia, where he earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees. He received his Ph.D. in 1974. He is recently retired from Fort Valley State University, where he taught psychology for many years. He has also served as adjunct professor of creative writing at the University of Georgia and at Emory University, where he has directed the Summer Writers' Institute and currently teaches fiction. His poetry has been widely published, appearing in such journals as Harper's, Georgia Review, Chattahoochee Review, Gettysburg Review, Poetry, Southern Poetry Review, and Southern Review. His poetry collection, Somewhere in Ecclesiastes (1991), earned him both the Devins Award and recognition as Georgia Author of the Year. His second poetry collection, This April Day, was published in 2002. His novel The Sweet Everlasting (1996) won him the Townsend Prize for Fiction and a second Georgia Author of the Year award. Mitcham's second novel, Sabbath Creek (2004) also won the Townsend Prize, the first time an author has twice won the award. Mitcham has received fellowships from the NEA and the Georgia Council for the Arts. He resides in Macon with his wife, Jean. They are the parents of two children.