By Erica Plouffe Lazure
Authors and readers from North Carolina will convene at ECU Sept. 29-30 for the Third Eastern North Carolina Literary Homecoming.
The annual free event, offered by ECU’s J.Y. Joyner Library and Sheppard Memorial Library, aims to increase appreciation for eastern North Carolina’s literary traditions and authors, said Margaret Bauer, editor of the North Carolina Literary Review and Rives Chair of Southern Literature at ECU.
“From the Outer Banks to I-95 you will find the home towns of some of North Carolina’s greatest literary stars, like previous keynote speakers Allan Gurganus and Jill McCorkle,” Bauer said. “We are fortunate that many, like Michael Parker, still live here and those who have moved away are happy to have an excuse to come home.”
Maury York, North Carolina librarian at Joyner Library, said that area residents look forward to hearing and interacting with authors from the region.
“People in the audience nod their heads as the writers discuss how eastern North Carolina has influenced their writing. Attendees can identify with the issues the writers raise and enjoy discussing these issues with them,” York said. “Two years ago, a woman said that the Homecoming had added a year to her life. We want everyone to feel that way.”
• Friday, Sept. 29: A 7:30 p.m. dessert reception for William S. Powell, a North Carolina historian, who will receive ECU’s Roberts Award for Literary Inspiration at Club Level at the Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Authors Timothy Tyson, a native of Oxford, and Shelby Stephenson of Johnston County will offer remarks on Powell. Tyson will read from his work and Stephenson and his wife Linda will provide musical entertainment.
• Saturday, Sept. 30: Clinton native Michael Parker, author of If You Want Me To Stay and Hello Down There, will offer the keynote address at 4 p.m.
• A panel discussion on North Carolina folklore will feature Nancy Roberts of Charlotte and Barbara Braveboy-Locklear of Robeson County at 9:15 a.m.
• A children’s literature panel will feature author Elisa Carbone, author of Storm Warriors, and illustrator James Ransome of Rich Square at 11:15 a.m.
• Authors Louise Shivers, originally from Stantonsburg and author of Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail and A Whistling Woman, and Linda Beatrice Brown, author of Rainbow Roun’ Mah Shoulder and Crossing Over Jordan, will talk about being Southern women writers at 2 p.m.
Saturday events will take place at ECU’s Willis Building on the corner of First and Reade Streets. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and events conclude at 5 p.m. A box lunch will be offered for seven dollars at the Willis Building.
Registration is recommended, as space is limited. Advance notice is required for those interested in purchasing a box lunch. Public school educators can earn up to one continuing education unit for professional development.
This project is made possible in part by the N.C. Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the North Caroliniana society. For information, call 328-0292, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.ecu.edu/cs-lib/ncc/brochure.cfm.