ECU and Joyner Library present ECU Joyner Library North Carolina Literary Review vertical white space Rewriting Nature: Impacting Change in the Environment
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KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Charles Frazier
white bar Charles Frazier was born in Asheville, NC, and graduated in 1973 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received his Ph.D in English from the University of South Carolina in 1986. In 1997 he published his most successful novel, Cold Mountain, which follows the story of Inman, a North Carolina native and soldier in the Confederate army who deserts near the end of the American Civil War to reach his home in Cold Mountain, North Carolina.  A winner of the 1997 National Book Award, the 1997 W.D. Weatherford Award and the 1998 Boeke Prize, Cold Mountain was adapted in 2003 into a major motion picture that was nominated for 7 Academy Awards.  His second novel, Thirteen Moons, was selected as the first literary work to be translated into the Cherokee language by the Cherokee Literature Initiative of the Museum of the Cherokee Indians, which was created to preserve the Cherokee language. His recently published third novel, Nightwoods, is like his previous novels set in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina.
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Elisabeth Benfey
Elisabeth Benfey has been acting, writing, and directing for twenty years. She received her MFA in Film from Columbia University in 1991. She has lectured at Boston College and directed plays at the Summer Program at Middlebury College and at the M.I.T. Theater Program in Cambridge, MA. She was a film critic for Nouveau Quotidien, a daily Swiss newspaper. Her film credits include Wild Thing, based on a short story by Charles Bukowski, and Indian Camp based on an Ernest Hemingway short. Her films have been shown at the Montreal and Tel Aviv Film Festivals. She was also a script consultant on the 2009 adapted film Crazy Heart. Currently, she is a Lecturing Fellow in the Department of Theater Studies at Duke University where she teaches classes on screenwriting and directing. One such class adapted several North Carolina short stories into short films.

James Dodson
James Dodson is a North Carolina native from Greensboro, NC where his journalism career began in 1976. He graduated from East Carolina University in 1975 with a BA in English and in 2002 the university awarded him the Distinguished Alumni Award. He recently served as the Distinguished Charles Rubin Writer-in-Residence at Hollins University in Virginia. His journalism awards include the prestigious William Allen White Award for Public Affairs Journalism from the University of Kansas. In May 2011, he was awarded the prestigious Donald Ross Award for his lifetime contributions to golf literature. His bestselling books include Ben-Hogan: An American Life (2005), which won the USGA International Book Award; A Son of the Game (2009), which was named the 2010 Top Golf Book of the Year by the International Network of Golf; and Faithful Travelers (1998), which was turned into the 2001 made-for-TV movie Dodson’s Journey

Lois Duncan
Lois Duncan grew up in Sarasota, FL. She attended Duke University in Durham, NC, and lived on the Outer Banks of North Carolina for a time. Throughout her high school years, she wrote regularly for young people’s magazines, particularly Seventeen, and she continued to publish in such magazines as Ladies' Home Journal, Redbook, McCall's, Good Housekeeping, and Reader's Digest. Duncan is the author of more than 45 books, among which the best known are young adult suspense novels. Her books Hotel for Dogs (1971) and I Know What You Did Last Summer” (1973) have both been adapted into feature films, and several other books including Summer of Fear (1976), Killing Mr. Griffin (1978) and Stranger with My Face (1981) have been turned into made-for-TV movies). Many of her books have won Young Readers Awards and have been selected by the American Library Association for their Best Books for Young Adults list.

David Gessner imageDante James

Dante James, an Emmy-award-winning independent filmmaker, was named an artist-in-residence instructor/filmmaker at Duke University in 2006. That year, he received three nominations for his work as writer, director, and producer of the PBS series Slavery and the Making of America; he was awarded an Emmy for his work as series producer. The following year he produced and directed The Doll, a dramatic short film based on a story by Charles W. Chesnutt that has screened at such international film festivals as the Pan-African International Film Festival of Cannes, France. James was recognized as a distinguished alumnus by Grand Valley State University in 1994, and in December 2007, the university awarded him a Doctorate of Humane Letters following his recognition as one of the university’s Distinguished Alumni.

Randall Kenan
Randall Kenan was born in Brooklyn, NY, and grew up in Chinquapin, NC. He graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with degrees in English and Creative Writing. After working for Random House in New York, he joined the editorial staff of Alfred A. Knopf, while also teaching courses at Sarah Lawrence College and Columbia University. He is now an Associate Professor of English at UNC-Chapel Hill, and he writes fiction based on the meaning of being black and gay in the US. His books, including the novel A Visitation of Spirits (1989)and the collection of short stories, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead (1992), take place in the fictional town of Tims Creek, which is based on the rural community of Chinquapin, NC. He also writes nonfiction, including his books James Baldwin: American Writer (1993) and Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-first Century (1999). He has won many awards for his writing, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a 1997 Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is a noted film enthusiast with a particular interest in literary cinema, and his short story “Foundations of the Earth” has been adapted into a film short by a Duke University film class.

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David Gessner imageEleanora E. Tate
Eleanora E. Tate was born in Canton, MO; grew up in Des Moines, IA; and currently lives in Knightdale, NC. She graduated from Drake University in Des Moines with a degree in journalism. She has worked as a folklorist, creative writing teacher, and newspaper reporter. She has taught children's literature at North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC; at the Institute of Children's Literature in West Redding, CT; and at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. She is the author of eleven books for children and young adults, including To Be Free (2004), set on the North Carolina coast, and Celeste’s Harlem Renaissance (2007), which takes place in Raleigh, NC. Her essays and short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals, including African American Review, Scholastic Storyworks Magazine, and American Girl Magazine. Several of her publications have received awards, including Celeste's Harlem Renaissance, which was named the 2007 American Association of University Women North Carolina Book Award Winner in Juvenile Literature. She has won the Zora Neale Hurston Award, the highest honor given by the National Association of Black Storytellers, Inc., of which she is a former national president. She has been honored by the South Carolina Senate and House of Representatives for her contributions to literature and community activism. She has won the Dr. Annette Lewis Phinazee award from NC Central University and the Iowa Author award from the Des Moines Library Foundation. Most recently, she received an “Esteemed Elders Award” from the Storytellers Association. Her book Just an Overnight Guest was adapted for a short film starring Richard Roundtree and Rosalind Cash. The film was named to the “Selected Films for Young Adults 1985” list by the Young Adult Library Services Association of the American Library Association.

Zelda Lockhart imageTimothy Tyson
Timothy B. Tyson is a North Carolina native from Oxford, NC. He received his PhD in history at Duke University in Durham, NC, where he is a Senior Research Scholar at the Center for Documentary Studies and Visiting Professor of American Christianity and Southern Culture at Duke Divinity School. Blood Done Sign My Name (2004), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and winner of the Christopher Award and the North Carolinian Book Award, was the 2005 selection of the Carolina Summer Reading Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, assigned to incoming students. The book was also adapted into a feature film released in 2010 that starred Ricky Schroder, Michael Rooker and Omar Benson Miller. Tyson's previous book Radio Free Dixie: Robert F. Williams and the Roots of Black Power (1999) won the James A. Rawley Prize and was co-winner of the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize.  The book was the foundation for the documentary film, Negroes with Guns: Rob Williams and Black Power. He also co-edited, with David S. Cecelski, Democracy Betrayed: The Wilmington Race Riot of 1898 and Its Legacy (1998), which won the 1999 Outstanding Book Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in North America.

David Gessner imageDaniel Wallace
Daniel Wallace was born and raised in Birmingham, AL, but has lived in Chapel Hill, NC, longer than anywhere else in his life, graduating in 2008 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is currently the J. Ross MacDonald Distinguished Professor of English. He is the author of four novels, including Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions (1998), which was adapted into a feature film and directed by Tim Burton. He recently wrote an adaptation of his short story, The Full Boat, which was made into a critically acclaimed short film Two-Legged Rat Bastards.  His work has been published in over two dozen languages. His illustrations have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Italian Vanity Fair, and many other magazines and anthologies.


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James Applewhite is a four-time recipient of the Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry given by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association. His other honors include a National Endowment for the Arts Award, the Jean Stein Award in Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Associated Writing Programs Contemporary Poetry Prize, and the North Carolina Award in Literature. In 1995, he was elected to membership in the Fellowship of Southern Writers. In 2007, the North Carolina Writers Conference honored his achievements, and in 2008, he was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame.

David Gessner imageJeffrey Franklin
Jeffrey Franklin is the Poetry Editor for the North Carolina Literary Review and holds an MFA and PhD from the University of Florida. He has a BA from UNC-Chapel Hill and taught at ECU from 1996 to 2000. His poems have appeared in such journals as The Hudson Review, New England Review, New Orleans Review, NCLR, Poet Lore, Shenandoah, Southern Humanities Review, Tar River Poetry, and Third Coast, as well as in Best American Poetry (2002). His poetry collection, For the Lost Boys (2006), was co-recipient of the 2001 Robert H. Winner Memorial Award from The Poetry Society of America. He teaches Victorian literature and creative writing and is the Associate Dean of Students at the University of Colorado at Denver.

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Sally Rosen Kindred 
Sally Rosen Kindred was born and raised in Greensboro, NC, and is a graduate of Duke University, where she held the Margaret Rose Knight Sanford Scholarship in Creative Writing and studied with Professor James Applewhite. She has received fellowships from the Maryland State Arts Council and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and her poems have appeared in Best New Poets 2009, Quarterly West, and storySouth.  Her first full-length poetry collection, No Eden (2011), explores the narrative landscapes of a North Carolina girlhood.