RALEIGH — The North Carolina Book Award recipients this year have woven the elements of surprise and irony in their works. The awards will be presented on Nov. 16, the second day of the annual meeting of the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association in Asheville. The Conference theme is “The Cultural Roots of North Carolina.” Award winning authors of fiction, non-fiction, juvenile literature, and historical papers will be recognized for their cultural interpretations on the written page.
Charles Frazier of Asheville earns the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction for Nightwoods, a tale of a woman in a remote, abandoned mountain lodge suddenly forced to raise the two wild children of her dead sister. Frazier employs vivid yet sparse prose in this tale from Appalachia, crafting a worthy companion to Cold Mountain which won him the award in 1997.
Often remembered as a political theorist, practical politician and unassuming man, America’s fourth president is the subject of James Madison: A Son of Virginia and a Founder of the Nation, by Jeff Broadwater of Wilson. The examination wins for Broadwater the Ragan Old North State Award for Nonfiction, and is a studied examination of Madison’s role in the battle for religious freedom, his views on slavery, his performance as commander during the War of 1812, and his relationship with wife Dolley Madison, of Guilford County.
The unexpected ways poetry simultaneously makes possible comedy and sadness are readily apparent in Long Division, by Alan Michael Parker of Davidson, the recipient of the Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry. “Sadness remains my politics,” Parker writes, and demonstrates that wit and irony have much to offer us all.
The imagination of middle school students is the playground of John Claude Bemis of Hillsborough, author or The White City, and recipient of the American Association of University Women Award for Juvenile Literature. The third in a trilogy, the tale of epic fantasy continues with characters and legends from American mythology and lore. Bemis also won the award in 2010 for The Nine Pound Hammer.
The Hardee Rives Dramatic Arts Award recipient is the Roanoke Island Historical Association for ongoing sponsorship of the outdoor drama, The Lost Colony.
Former deputy secretary of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources Jeffrey Crow of Cary receives the Christopher Crittenden Memorial Award for contributions to North Carolina history. Former North Carolina Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer of Cullowhee is recipient of the R. Hunt Parker Memorial Award for literary achievement.
The Hugh Lefler Award for best undergraduate history paper will go to Katie Skeen of Summerfield, for “A Comparative Study of the Role of Black Women in Greensboro and Durham’s Freedom Struggles.” She graduated from Greensboro College in 2011 and majored in elementary education.
The R.D.W. Connor Award for the best article in the North Carolina Historical Review this year will go to Gael Graham of Laurinburg for the article, “The Lexington of White Supremacy: School and Local Politics in Late 19th Century Laurinburg, N.C.”
Two winners of American Association for State and Local History Awards will be recognized at the meeting. Betty Jamerson Reed of Balsam Grove won an Award of Merit for “School Segregation in Western North Carolina: A History, 1860s-1970s.” The N.C. Museum of History won an Award of Merit for The Story of North Carolina chronology exhibit.
Outstanding achievements in preserving local history are recognized with the Albert Ray Newsome Awards from the Federation of North Carolina Historical Societies. This year’s recipient is the Cape Fear Museum of History and Science for conservation work on three significant Civil War artifacts.
Student Publication Awards, High School Division, will be presented to Stone Soup, Enloe High School, Raleigh, first place; Crinkum-Crankum, Northern Vance High School, Henderson, second place; and Spectrum, Arendell Parrott Academy, Kinston, third place.
The Middle School Division winners are Illusions, Martin Middle School, Raleigh, first place; Cougar Voice, Wake Forest-Rolesville Middle School, Wake Forest, second place; and Paw Printz, Randleman Middle School, Randleman, third place.
The conference address on Nov. 16, “The Roots of Confederate Loyalty in Western North Carolina,” will be given by Gordon McKinney, professor emeritus from Berea College. The conference will be held at the DoubleTree Biltmore Hotel in Asheville. Registration is $50 for the entire conference, which includes a Friday reception at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m. Registration is due by mail by Nov. 8. Call (919) 807-7280 or visit the conference website for information. The Office of Archives and History within the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources administers the program.
The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council, and the State Archives.
Cultural Resources champions North Carolina’s creative industry, which employs nearly 300,000 North Carolinians and contributes more than $41 billion to the state’s economy.
To learn more, visit us online.