RALEIGH, N.C. -- At the 110th annual joint meeting Nov. 12 of the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association and the Federation of North Carolina Historical Societies, authors whose work in some way relates to recollections will receive the top awards. The theme for the conference itself is the Civil War and Reconstruction Era, a prelude to the Sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) events and programs.
The meeting will convene at the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel on Friday, Nov. 12, at 9 a.m. Registration closes on Nov. 3; the fee is $55. For information call the N.C. Office of Archives and History (919) 807-7280 or visit the Web site at http://www.history.ncdcr.gov/affiliates/lit-hist/programs/programs.htm.
The Old North State Award for Nonfiction will be presented to “Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color,” which examines the artistry of North Carolina’s noted African American craftsman and entrepreneur. Authors Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll and the late Patricia Phillips Marshall addressed the social and historical significance of Day’s accomplishments, in addition to architectural innovations. The book includes full-color photographs of more than 160 pieces that illustrate Day’s unique approach to his craft, which led to the success of his furniture-making business in the days before the Civil War.
A grieving mother struggling with the loss of a son leads readers into a family’s dynamics in “By Accident,” from author Susan Kelly, recipient of the Sir Walter Award for Fiction. The mother is emotionally paralyzed, the teen-aged daughter disconnects, and dad is busy with his construction business. Things shift when a cheerful young gardener moves in next door. Betrayal, chaos and secrets spring forth with clarity and understated honesty.
The Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry will be presented to “Restoring Sacred Art,” by Joseph Bathanti. The author shares rich ethnic associations, religious themes and amazing memories. His poetry captures through memory the physicality of Pittsburgh, Pa., and takes turns both mad and tender in a relationship of love and hate. Fights, binges, discoveries, hard jobs, agonies, old cars and more are shared in strong, eloquent poetry.
Ray, a grieving young runaway, stumbles into a world of sideshow performers while escaping haunting memories of his father. The performers are heroes and defenders of the wild in “The Nine Pound Hammer,” by John Claude Bemis, recipient of the American Association of University Women Award for Juvenile Literature. Ray learns that his father had been a sideshow rambler who helped John Henry defeat the Gog, a captain of industry and champion of the machine. The medicine show performers now are defending a mythical swamp siren from the ancient, evil Gog, who would build a more powerful machine to control the will of men and spread darkness in the world.
For only the second time, the Hardee-Rives Award for Dramatic Arts will be presented. East Carolina University Professor Ralph Hardee-Rives endowed the award to recognize achievement in dramatic arts. The recipient is Bland Simpson, creative writing teacher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a member of the Red Clay Ramblers band.
Elon University history professors George and Carole Troxler are co-recipients of the Christopher Crittenden Memorial Award for contributions to North Carolina history. Michael McFee, poet and UNC-Chapel Hill creative writing teacher, will receive the R. Hunt Parker Memorial Award for literary achievement.
The Hugh Lefler Award for best undergraduate history paper will be presented to Elinor Landess, recent Davidson College graduate. This year’s R.D.W. Connor Award for the year’s best article in the N.C. Historical Review goes to Jerry Gerschenhorn of N.C. Central University. The Gaston County Museum of History will receive the Albert Ray Newsome Award, presented by the Federation of North Carolina Historical Societies, for its exhibit “Helping the Children: The North Carolina Orthopedic Hospital.”
An award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History will be presented to the Digital Scholarship and Publishing Center of N.C. State University Libraries for the Web site “North Carolina Architects and Builders: A Biographical Dictionary.”
The 2010 Student Publications Awards in the High School Division will be presented to: “Roars and Whispers,” Providence Senior High School of Charlotte, first place; “Pegasus,” Myers Park High School of Charlotte, second place; “Crinkum-Crankum,” Northern Vance High School of Henderson, third place; and “Stone Soup,” Enloe High School of Raleigh, honorable mention.
The Middle School Division awards will be presented to: “Illusions,” Martin Middle School of Raleigh, first place;”Cougar Voice,” Wake Forest-Rolesville Middle School of Wake Forest, second place; and “Paw Print,” Randleman Middle School of Randleman, third place.
The Office of Archives and History within the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources administers the awards program. Cultural Resources is the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities, and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future. Information on Cultural Resources is available 24/7 at www.ncculture.com.
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