Slide to Unlock book coverBETHANY, W.Va. – A Bethany College alumna’s debut poetry collection was recently named to the Georgia Center for the Book’s annual “Books All Georgians Should Read.”

“Slide to Unlock” by Julie Bloemeke ’94 was one of two poetry collections to be included on the eighth annual list.

Bloemeke said the poems in the collection, which was released by Sibling Rivalry Press on March 12, 2020, examine spaces of intimacy and connection through technology.

“I am thrilled and humbled, and still in a state of joyful stun,” Bloemeke said of the list.

The Georgia Center for the Book also recognized three works of fiction and five of nonfiction.

“The Georgia Center for the Book believes that the ‘Books All Georgians Should Read’ and the ‘Books All Young Georgians Should Read’ lists are a wonderful way to honor the extraordinary talent of these authors and illustrators and give us the opportunity to inform readers across our state of the contributions being made to Georgia’s literary heritage,” said Joe Davich, executive director of the Georgia Center of the Book.

Both lists are the result of months of discussions by the Georgia Center for Book Advisory Council, which considered more than sixty books, published before May 31, 2020, according to the center. The books are written by Georgians or about Georgia.

Bloemeke also is nominated for the Georgia Writers Association’s Georgia Author of the Year in the full-length poetry category. The winners and finalists are scheduled to be announced June 12 via Facebook Live.


Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.