Welcome to ECU
ECU - Tomorrow starts here.



Schedule of Events

Literary Home coming videos

First panel: Our Visual Society and Peace Poetry
Allison Hedge Coke and Lenard Moore

Second Panel: Playwrighting Poetry
Lenard Moore and Samm-Art Williams

Third panel:  From the Page to the Stage 
Robert Inman and Samm-Art Williams

2009 Eastern North Carolina Literary Homecoming
September 25–26, 2009
“Evolving Expressions:  Shaping the Written Word”

Culture today is constantly evolving. As America steadily becomes a country moving away from reading, preferring instead to watch, the Homecoming strives to bring people “back to the book.” In 2009, we want to engage participants in activities that merge, challenge, and blur the lines between what is seen and what is read.


Friday Evening, September 25, Mendenhall Student Center:

7 -7:30 Registration
7:30 - 9:30 Program

  • Presentation of the Roberts Award for Literary Inspiration to Reynolds Price, by Barbara Bennett
  • A Theatre Piece based on the works of Reynolds Price – performed by ECU School of Theatre and Dance students, compiled and directed by Tracy Donohue


Saturday, September 26:

Registration 8:30 to 9:00, Joyner Lobby

Opening Remarks 9:00 – 9:20, exhibit area, 2nd floor


  • 9:30 – 10:45, exhibit area, 2nd floor: Our Visual Society and Peace Poetry– Allison Hedge Coke and Lenard Moore
  • Hedge Coke compiled Coming to Life, an anthology of migrant and rural children’s poetry responses to the events of 9/11. In today’s America, adults often overlook the fact that children spend a great deal of their time immersed in the visual. Because of the immediacy of 9/11 on television and the internet, there was no way to shield children from the horrors of and around the attacks and their aftermath. Moore has also collected peace poetry in both English and Japanese, demonstrating the overall power and healing abilities of writing, particularly in the genre of poetry. This panel seeks to address how visual experiences affect writing and also how writing can be used to promote peace and heal personal wounds.

  • 11:30 – 12:45, exhibit area, 2nd floor: Playwrighting Poetry – Lenard Moore and Samm-Art Williams
  • Poet Moore and playwright Williams, both African American, will discuss the importance of expressing minority experiences in various genres of writing, including poetry and drama. Both authors will address how they challenge minority stereotypes in their work and how their genres play into the formation of an idea.

  • 3:00 – 4:15, exhibit area, 2nd floor: From the Page to the Stage – Robert Inman and Samm-Art Williams
  • Inman and Williams have both worked on adapting fiction into plays. These authors will discuss this shift in genre, how it affects the message, and why they believe in the importance of transforming these works into visual experiences.


  • 9:30 – 11:30, Special Collections, 4th floor:  Produced – Allan Gurganus and Robert Inman
  • As writers who have had novels turned into television movies, Gurganus and Inman will discuss the experience of having their written word adapted for the silver screen. The authors will discuss the experience of having their works interpreted by others, how the switch in genre is beneficial to the piece, and how it reaches a wider audience. Participants may find it useful to read Gurganus’s Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All and Inman’s Home Fires Burning beforehand in order to compare and contrast the different genres.

  • 11:00 – 1:00, North Carolina Collection, 3rd floor: Making the Ocean Sing:  Transforming Waves into Song – Bland Simpson and Don Dixon
  • Simpson and Dixon, two members of the Coastal Cohorts, will discuss how they create lyrics out of visual phenomena, such as pier fishing and hurricanes. Through their songs, their audience is able to experience these visual themes in a medium that is not visual in the same way. They will briefly play for the audience to show the translation of experience into music.

  • 2:45 – 4:45, conference room, 2nd floor: Still Life:  The Message of a Moment Allison Hedge Coke
  • The message presented in the written word versus the message rendered visually in photography impacts the viewer in different but complementary ways. In this workshop, Hedge Coke addresses the accessibility and impact of each medium and the importance of both for the creative mind. With a sampling of work from both text and photography, the roundtable will involve the participation of the audience and their impressions of the work. The audience will enjoy a first-hand experience examining the differences between imagery in text and imagery in photography, as well as the similarities and differences in the interpretation by the audience versus the message the artist is trying to convey. 

Author Luncheon, Mendenhall:

  • 1:00 – 2:30: A reading by Allan Gurganus


Music, Mendenhall:

  • 5:00 – 6:30: Musical Performance by Coastal Cohorts Don Dixon and Bland Simpson with Special Guest, Jamie Hoover
  • These three will perform selections from King Mackerel & The Blues are Running.