From our friendly neighborhood North Carolina Humanities Council:
GREENSBORO, NC (June 28, 2010) – The trustees of the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, have chosen North Carolina author and educator Fred Chappell as the recipient of the 2010 John Tyler Caldwell Award for the Humanities, the state’s most prestigious public humanities honor. The award ceremony is scheduled for Friday, October 8, at 7:00 p.m. at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s School of Music Recital Hall. The event is free and open to the public.
Chappell, born in Canton, NC, earned graduate and undergraduate degrees at Duke University and for forty years taught at UNCG, where he helped establish the M.F.A. Writing Program. In 1999 UNCG established the Fred Chappell Creative Writing Fellowship. Author of over two dozen books of poetry, fiction, and criticism, Chappell was the Poet Laureate of North Carolina from 1997-2002 and a North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee in 2006.
Chappell has received the O. Max Gardner Award, the highest honor the University of North Carolina system can bestow on a faculty member, and was appointed the Burlington Industries Professor of English in 1988. Among Chappell’s other awards are the Sir Walter Raleigh Prize, the Prix de Meilleur des Livres Étrangers (Best Foreign Book Prize) from the Academie Francaise, the North Carolina Award in Literature, and an Award in Literature from the National Institute of Arts and Letters. For his poetry he has been awarded Yale University’s Bollingen Prize, the Aiken Taylor Prize, and the Roanoke-Chowan Poetry Prize eight times over. Chappell is also the recipient of the North Caroliniana Society Award, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the Ragan-Rubin Award, the Thomas Wolfe Prize, and the Zoe Kincaid Brockman Award.
Chappell’s latest books are Shadow Box, a collection of poetry, and Ancestors and Others, a volume of new and previously published short stories. His work has been translated into many languages, including Finnish, Arabic, Hindi, Chinese, and Farsi. North Carolina writer Lee Smith has called Chappell “our resident genius, our shining light.”
Hephzibah Roskelly, UNCG’s Linda Carlisle Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies, will deliver the annual Caldwell Lecture in the Humanities at the award ceremony on October 8. Roskelly is former director of the Composition Program and a North Carolina Humanities Council trustee.
With the John Tyler Caldwell Award for the Humanities, the North Carolina Humanities Council recognizes those exceptional individuals who throughout their lives and careers have strengthened the educational, cultural, and civic life of North Carolinians. The award is named for the late Dr. John Tyler Caldwell, former chancellor of North Carolina State University.
Past Caldwell Laureates include Reynolds Price, Anne Firor Scott, Doris Waugh Betts, John Hope Franklin, Emily Herring Wilson, Walt Wolfram, and Marsha White Warren.