Hall of Fame: Three Writers Set for Induction
The North Carolina Writers' Network (NCWN) announces three inductees for 2006 to The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, a biennial program begun in 1996.
Past inductions have been held at the historic Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities, in Southern Pines, but this year the ceremony, free and open to the public, will be at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Durham on Friday, Nov. 10, at 7:30 p.m.
"Please join us for an evening's entertainment all North Carolinians can enjoy," says a spokesman.
To be honored are poet Gerald Barrax, poet and prose writer Fred Chappell, and journalist and mystery writer Elizabeth Daniels Squire. The induction opens NCWN's annual Fall Conference expected to be attended by more than 400 writers from beginners to published professionals.
Acclaimed writers Kathryn Stripling Byer, North Carolina's Poet Laureate; James Applewhite; Shelby Stephenson; Betty Adcock; Lenard Moore; and Margaret Maron will be the presenters. UNC-TV's "Bookwatch" host, D.G. Martin, will be the master of ceremonies.
Poet, teacher, and literary editor Gerald William Barrax, who was born in 1933, earned a bachelor's degree from Duquesne and his master's degree from the University of Pittsburgh.
He was professor of English and writer-in-residence at N.C. State University from 1970 until his retirement in 1997. He was the editor of Obsidian II: Black Literature in Review; and poetry editor for Callaloo, the premier African Diaspora literary journal.
A major influence on young writers, Barrax has been anthologized in more than three dozen works.
His noted book, "Leaning Against the Sun: Poems" (1992) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Among his other awards are the Raleigh Medal of Arts (1993) and the Sam Ragan Award for Contribution to the Fine Arts.
Fred Davis Chappell was born in Canton, in 1936. He earned a bachelor's degree in fiction writing and later a master's degree from Duke. Upon graduation in 1964, he went on to teach English at UNC-Greensboro, retiring in 2004 after a long and distinguished career.
Chappell is author of over 40 books of poetry, fiction, and essays. He was Poet Laureate of North Carolina from 1997-2002, and reviewed poetry for The News & Observer of Raleigh, publishing his last column on June 25. One reviewer called him "truly a national treasure."
Both humorist and visionary, with a gifted eye for details of character, Chappell writes poetry and fiction that has earned the following accolades: The North Carolina Award for Literature; Yale University Library's Bollingen Prize in Poetry; France's prestigious Prix de Meilleur des Livres Etrangers; and the T.S. Eliot Prize. "Anybody who knows anything about Southern writing," Lee Smith said in 2005, "knows that Fred Chappell is our resident genius, our shining light."
Elizabeth Daniels Squire (1926-2001), reporter, philanthropist, nationally syndicated columnist, and mystery writer, was born in Raleigh, to Jonathan Daniels and Elizabeth Bridgers Daniels. She graduated from Vassar College, then became a reporter for The New York Times.
Squire published fiction and non-fiction on palmistry, mail-order shopping, journalism heroes, and crime detection. She told a reporter, "My life has been interesting every minute, which is why I constantly steal bits of it to weave in with my fiction -- like a flood or an encounter with a rattlesnake."
In 1994 she created the character of Peaches Dann, an absent-minded detective. An Agatha Award winner, Squire was working on her ninth mystery at the time of her death.
For more details about the event, visit www.ncwriters.org.
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