Bland Simpson

North Carolinian Professor, Author, Musician to Give Thomas Harriot Lecture ECU Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series

East Carolina University soon will welcome to campus guest lecturer Bland Simpson, North Carolina native and Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Co-sponsored by the ECU Department of History, Simpson will present this season’s Thomas Harriot Lecture in the Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series at 7 p.m., February 2, in Wright Auditorium. He will discuss, “‘Temperate Air, Requisite Care’ from Thomas Harriot’s ‘Conclusion’ in ‘A Briefe & True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia.’”

Simpson is a celebratedauthor and musician. He has written more than seven books, including “Heart of the Country, A Novel of Southern Music” and “The Coasts of Carolina: Seaside to Sound Country.”

Since 1986, Simpson has been a member of the Tony Award-winning, internationally acclaimed string band The Red Clay Ramblers, touring extensively in North America, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. In addition, Simpson has collaborated on or contributed to many musicals, including, “King Mackerel and The Blues Are Running: Songs and Stories of the Carolina Coast;” “Life on the Mississippi;” “Lone Star Love, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Texas;” Tony-nominee “Pump Boys and Dinettes;” “Kudzu, A Southern Musical;” and three-time Broadway hit and Tony Award-winning production “Fool Moon.”

Over the years, Simpson has received numerous awards and recognitions, including a 1999 Governor's Award for Conservation Communicator of the Year, presented by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation; the 1999 North Carolina Folklore Society’s Brown-Hudson Award for writing and music concerning state and regional heritage; and in 2005, the North Carolina Award for Fine Arts, the state's highest civilian honor in the arts.

One complimentary ticket for Simpson’s lecture is available to ECU students, faculty and staff members with a valid ECU ID. Tickets are $10 for the general public. For tickets, call the ECU Central Ticket Office at 252-328-4788 or 1-800-ECU-ARTS. Individuals requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours prior to the event.

A final lecture in the 2011-12 Voyages series, the Jarvis Lecture on Christianity and Culture, cosponsored by the ECU Religious Studies Program and Jarvis Memorial United Methodist Church, will be held March 13, featuring Dr. J. Kameron Carter, associate professor of theology and Black church studies atDuke University.

The Voyages of Discovery Lecture series is made possible through contributions from Harriot College’s Dean’s Advancement Council, various university organizations, and many friends and supporters. To make a contribution, or for additional information, contact director of the series Dr. John A. Tucker at 252-328-1028 or Visit the series’ Web site at