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Gerald Barrax, RIP

NC Literary Hall of Fame inductees Ronald H. Bayes & Gerald Barrax, w/ poet Li-Young Lee, circa 1991.

Beloved author, teacher, and North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee Gerald Barrax died Saturday in Raleigh. He was 86.

Barrax was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street. The driver has been charged.

Winner of the 2009 North Carolina Award for Literature, the state’s highest civilian honor, Barrax was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for his poetry collection, Leaning Against the Sun. He joined the faculty of North Carolina State University in 1969 as the university’s first African American professor.

Author of five poetry collections, he served as editor of Obsidian, a major contemporary journal, and as poetry editor for Callaloo. He was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 2006.

Funeral services will be held Friday, December 20, at 12:00 pm at Lea Funeral Home Chapel, 2500 Poole Rd., Raleigh. Visitation will be 11:00 am – 12:00 pm preceding the funeral service at the chapel.

We’ll update this post with more information as it becomes available.