N.C. Literary Hall of Fame to Induct Three
Best-selling poet and memoirist Maya Angelou, former state poet laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer, and 18th-century explorer and naturalist John Lawson will be inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame this fall.
The induction ceremony will be held 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 14, at the Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities in Southern Pines, where the NCLHOF is housed. The ceremony is free and open to the public.
In addition to the three new inductees, the NCLHOF has launched a new website, www.nclhof.org, with expanded, multimedia resources on the 50 North Carolina writers currently enshrined.
Maya Angelou is the Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University. A celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist, Angelou is perhaps best known for her 1970 memoir, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings."
Kathryn Stripling Byer served as North Carolina's poet laureate - the first woman to serve in that role - from 2005 to 2009. She has published six books of poetry, with a seventh due from the Louisiana State University Press this fall, and taught for many years at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.
Byer and her work have won the AWP Award, the Roanoke-Chowan Award, the Brockman-Campbell Award, the SIBA Book of the Year Award in poetry, fellowships from the National Endowment for Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Hanes Award in Poetry from the Fellowship of Southern Writers.
John Lawson came to the Carolina colony in 1700, appointed by the Lords Proprietors to survey the colony's interior, flora and fauna, and native peoples. His findings were were published in England in 1709 with the title "A New Voyage to Carolina," considered "the first significant effort to describe the natural history and the natives" of North Carolina and North America, and "a classic of early American literature."
Lawson also helped to found New Bern, and was the first casualty of the 1711 Tuscarora War.
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