Sam Ragan, often called North Carolina’s “literary grandfather,” was an NC poet laureate; helped establish the NC School of the Arts and the NC Literary Hall of Fame, among many other literary programs and institutions; and was twice-nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.
This weekend, Barton College will present “Sam Ragan, Inside the Poetry” as part of their spring New Works Festival. The show plays Saturday, February 25, and Sunday, February 26, at 2:00 pm.
The work is arranged and performed by his daughter, actress Talmadge Ragan, along with other artists, including Stephen Smith and NC poet laureate and 2014 NC Literary Hall of Fame inductee Shelby Stephenson. The piece is co-produced by Barton’s English program in the School of Humanities.
The festival performances will be free of charge; however, monetary donations will be accepted to support theatre programming.
Sam Ragan was North Carolina’s first secretary of the Department of Cultural Resources and first chairman of the North Carolina Arts Council. He published six collections of verse and four works of nonfiction. When Governor Jim Hunt appointed Sam Ragan North Carolina Poet Laureate in 1982, Ragan responded, “I don’t know that I’ll write poetry on demand, but I would like to encourage North Carolinians to read and write poetry. I’ll be happy to do that.”
The Kennedy Family Theatre at Barton College seeks to be “an incubator of creativity.” Each performance will be followed by a “talk-back” session, in which the audience will be encouraged to share in the development and discuss the material with the writers and actors.
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