ECU names writer and teacher as distinguished professor
(Sept. 19, 1996)
Dr. Peter Makuck, a 20-year veteran of the East Carolina University English Department and the author of seven books, has been named a distinguished professor by ECU's College of Arts and Sciences.
The recognition is awarded annually to a faculty member and is a lifetime honor. It includes a cash gift and special support for research, presentations, conferences and other activities. It is among the highest levels of recognition given at ECU.
Makuck, a resident of Emerald Isle, has attained acclaim as a poet, fiction writer and editor. He edits "Tar River Poetry," a journal that is distributed nationally. He also edits the "BYU Studies" and directs the ECU Poetry Forum.
His seven books include "Break and Entering" and "The Sunken Lightship." His "Pilgrims," a volume of poetry, has won national literary awards. Much of his writing draws on his experiences and observations acquired as a resident of eastern North Carolina. He is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys deep sea fishing and scuba diving.
In addition to his work as a teacher at ECU, Makuck has served as a Fulbright Exchange Professor to France and spent another year as a Visiting Writer at Brigham Young University. In 1993, he won the Charity Randall Citation from the International Poetry Forum recognizing his efforts to promote the public performance of poetry.
One of Makuck's former students at ECU and now his colleague in the Department of English -- Luke Whisnant -- recalls the inspiration he received as a student in Makuck's classes.
"He was my first poetry instructor, my academic adviser, and my mentor," said Whisnant, an associate professor.
"In many ways, he set me on the path that I am still traveling today, and to some extent, my successes are his as well," he said.
A public lecture honoring Makuck's achievements is scheduled for Nov. 11. It will feature writer Louis Simpson, who wrote the the preface to Makuck's "Where We Live," published in 1982.