N.C. Literary Hall of Fame Inducts Three
Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities will be the setting at 2 p.m. Sunday for the 2008 induction ceremonies for the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame.
This year's inductees include poet James Applewhite, historian William S. Powell and novelist Lee Smith. These three will be added to 42 others inducted since the founding of the hall in 1996.
"The three inductees represent North Carolina's best literary traditions and achievements in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction," said Jim Clark, North Carolina State University professor emeritus who chaired the selection committee.
J. Peder Zane of The News & Observer of Raleigh will serve as master of ceremonies, and Jill McCorkle, Jaki Shelton Green, and Rebecca Godwin are among those taking part in the induction ceremonies.
Applewhite, a North Carolina native, was born in 1935 in Stantonsburg. He received the 1995 North Carolina Award in Literature, as well as the 1992 American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Jean Stein Award in Poetry.
He is a Guggenheim Fellow and professor of English at Duke University. His books of poetry include "Quartet for Three Voices," "Daytime and Starlight," and "A Diary of Altered Light."
Powell, professor emeritus of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is the author or editor of dozens of books, including "The Encyclopedia of North Carolina" and "The North Carolina Gazetteer." He received the North Carolina Award for Literature in 2000.
Smith was born in Grundy, Va., in 1944, and moved to North Carolina in 1974. She is the author of 11 novels, including The New York Times bestseller "The Last Girls," and her most recent, "On Agate Hill." A retired professor of English at N.C. State University, Smith received an Academy Award in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1999.
"The nine-member selection committee cast only one ballot in reaching its decision," Clark said.
The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame celebrates and supports North Carolina's rich and varied heritage by commemorating its literary leaders and encouraging the continued flourishing of excellent literature in this state. Housed permanently in the Boyd Room on the second floor of the Weymouth Center, the Literary Hall of Fame is more than a museum housing photographs and literary archives.
Working closely with libraries and schools, it honors North Carolina's great writers with on-going programs, services and opportunities for children and adults. The Hall of Fame celebrates North Carolina's vital contemporary literature as well as the proud and diverse past that informs and nurtures the writers of today and tomorrow.
The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame was established under the leadership of the late Sam Ragan in 1993 by a Joint Resolution of the State's House and Senate, and funded with a grant for literary programming to the North Carolina Writers' Network from the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. Ragan, who died in May 1996, was formerly the owner, publisher and editor of The Pilot as well as poet laureate of North Carolina. He was inducted into the Hall in 1997.
Other previous inductees with a connection to Moore County, include James Boyd, author of several historical novels (and former owner of Weymouth); Manly Wade Wellman, who lived in Pinebluff and was well-known for his fantasy and science fiction tales; Glen Rounds, who lived in Southern Pines, and was a prolific author and illustrator of children's books. Inductees Thomas Wolfe and Paul Green were good friends of Boyd's and often spent time in Southern Pines.
The Network is a statewide literary nonprofit organization founded in 1985, exists to serve, support and connect readers and writers. The Network offers programs and opportunities as well as resources and advocacy to its varied constituencies.
The Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities, through the Friends of Weymouth, continues James and Katharine Boyd's tradition of supporting the arts and artists with a year-round series of arts programming, including the writers-in-residence program, initiated in 1979.
This year is the first in which the Network and the Weymouth Center collaborate with the North Carolina Center for the Book, the North Carolina Humanities Council and the North Carolina Collection of the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to produce the induction ceremony and to promote the Hall of Fame and North Carolina's literary heritage.
"These organizations share many of the same goals as the Network and the Literary Hall of Fame," said Ed Southern, executive director of the N.C. Writers' Network. "They're very excited to help honor this year's inductees and to make sure more North Carolinians know about this state's contributions to literature."
"As living authors, these inductees can join forces in free public programming that promotes reading and writing statewide," Clark said.
Contact Faye Dasen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 693-2475.
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