The Thomas Harriot Lecture
“Temperate Air, Requisite Care”—from Thomas Harriot’s “Conclusion” in A Briefe & True Report on the New Found Land of Virginia (1588)
February 2, 2012 | 7PM | Wright Auditorium
Bland Simpson is Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of many books including Heart of the Country, A Novel of Southern Music (University of Georgia Press, 1996); The Great Dismal, A Carolinian's Swamp Memoir (UNC Press, 1998); The Mystery of Beautiful Nell Cropsey, A Nonfiction Novel (UNC Press, 1993); Into the Sound Country: A Carolinian's Coastal Plain (UNC Press, 1997), with photography by Ann Cary Simpson; Ghost Ship of Diamond Shoals: The Mystery of the Carroll A. Deering (UNC Press, 2005); The Inner Islands: A Carolinian's Sound Country Chronicle (UNC Press, 2010); and The Coasts of Carolina: Seaside to Sound Country (UNC Press, 2010).
Since 1986, Simpson has been a member of the Tony Award-winning, internationally acclaimed string band The Red Clay Ramblers. Simpson has toured extensively in North America, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and collaborated on or contributed to the following musicals: King Mackerel and The Blues Are Running: Songs and Stories of the Carolina Coast; Diamond Studs; Hot Grog; Life on the Mississippi; Lone Star Love, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Texas; Tony-nominee Pump Boys and Dinettes; Cool Spring; Tar Heel Voices; Kudzu, A Southern Musical; and three-time Broadway hit and Special Tony Award-winning production Fool Moon.
In 1999, Simpson received the Governor's Award, "Conservation Communicator of the Year," presented by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation, as well as the North Carolina Folklore Society’s Brown-Hudson Award for writing and music concerning state and regional heritage. He served as Chair of the North Carolina Writers Conference for 2001-2002 and received the University of North Carolina’s Tanner Faculty Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2004. In November 2005, Simpson received the North Carolina Award for Fine Arts, the state's highest civilian honor in the arts.