Lenard D. Moore—poet, essayist, writer, and playwright, and Associate Professor of English at the University of Mount Olive—has been awarded the North Carolina Award for Literature.
Created by the General Assembly in 1961, the North Carolina Awards have been presented annually since 1964. The award recognizes significant contributions to the state and nation in the fields of fine arts, literature, public service. and science.
Alan Shapiro, a poet, novelist, and translator and the Kenan Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was also recognized in the Literature category.
From the press release:
“Lenard D. Moore believes in the magic and the music of words. The experiences of his eastern North Carolina roots spring forth in the poems, short stories and haiku that flow from him. Whether writing about jazz musicians, the smell of war or the music of elm trees, he concisely transports the reader to each specific time or place. His power with the economical use of words is best illustrated in the haiku, a Japanese form traditionally of three lines totaling seventeen syllables. He mastered the form so well that he became the first Southerner and the first African American to be president of the Haiku Society of America. He is winner of the Haiku Museum of Tokyo Award and executive chairman of the North Carolina Haiku Society. For all of his awards and recognitions, he considers teaching his most important work. Currently a professor at the University of Mount Olive, he organizes its literary festival and teaches and mentors young writers. He is founder of the Carolina African American Writers Collective and co-founder of the Washington Street Writers Group. He inspires and encourages all students to do their best work. His essays and reviews have appeared in more than 350 publications, poetry in over forty anthologies, and his work has been translated in several languages. His achievements as poet, mentor, and teacher earn him a place of recognition in the rich North Carolina literary pantheon.
“Alan Shapiro is among the nation’s most distinguished poets. He takes on difficult topics, including loss and grief, but he also celebrates the daily lives of real people. Born and raised in Boston, Shapiro is the author of twelve books of poetry (including Night of the Republic, a finalist for both the National Book Award and The Griffin Prize), two memoirs (The Last Happy Occasion, which was a finalist for the National Book Circle Critics Award in autobiography, and Vigil), a novel (Broadway Baby), a book of critical essays (In Praise of the Impure: Poetry and the Ethical Imagination) and two translations (The Oresteia by Aeschylus and The Trojan Women by Euripides, both published by Oxford University Press). Shapiro’s poems have appeared in more than forty journals and magazines, including The New Yorker. Twice Shapiro has received the highest prize for a North Carolina poet, the Roanoke-Chowan Award. Twice he received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Other awards have come from the Los Angeles Times, the Folger Shakespeare Library, Wellesley College, and the Poetry Society of America. Shapiro was elected in 2004 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has taught at Stanford University, Northwestern University, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Warren Wilson College.”
The award will be presented to six distinguished North Carolinians Thursday, November 13, at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center in Durham. Governor Pat McCrory will present the awards at the 7:30 pm banquet and ceremony, following a reception for the recipients at 6:30 pm.
The 2014 honorees include Dr. Betsy M. Bennett of Chapel Hill for Public Service; Robert A. Ingram of Durham for Public Service; Lenard D. Moore of Raleigh for Literature; Dr. Jagdish (Jay) Narayan of Raleigh for Science; Alan Shapiro of Chapel Hill for Literature and Ira David Wood III of Raleigh for Fine Arts. The awards are administered by the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.
“It is an honor to pay tribute to these remarkable individuals who have made North Carolina better by their extraordinary involvement in this state,” said Susan Kluttz, Secretary of the N. C. Department of Cultural Resources. “Each has enriched the lives of our citizens and propelled North Carolina onto the national and world stages.”