Barton Welcomes Emily Herring Wilson for Victor R. Small Writers Series on Nov. 9

Emily Herring WilsonWilson, N.C. – Barton College will welcome Emily Herring Wilson: biographer, poet, and author of “Becoming Elizabeth Lawrence: Discovered Letters of a Southern Gardener” for the upcoming Victor R. Small Writers Series this fall semester.

The program is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 9, at 7:30 p.m., and will be held in The Sam and Marjorie Ragan Writing Center on campus. This event is open to the public at no charge, and the community is invited to attend.

A native of Columbus, Ga., Wilson has lived in North Carolina for most of her life. Her favorite book as a child was “The Secret Garden,” and it seems that book initiated her passion for gardens and writing.

Wilson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the former Woman’s College (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro), and a Master of Arts degree in English from Wake Forest University. In the 1960s, she published poetry and taught in North Carolina’s Poetry-in-the-Schools program.

Involved in community advocacy, particularly with civil rights issues and women’s lives, Wilson has traveled and collected oral histories for her book “Hope and Dignit: Older Black Women of the South.” She has also led public programs as a scholar with the North Carolina Humanities Council and collaborated on the North Carolina Women’s History Project.

Her decades-long interest in Elizabeth Lawrence began with while working on the North Carolina Women’s History Project with Margaret Supplee Smith. “I think there is a mystery about [Elizabeth] because she lived a private life,” Wilson shared. “I wanted to pay homage to a woman I thought had been slighted in history-not just Elizabeth Lawrence, but also women like her.”

Wilson is the author of two previous books on Elizabeth Lawrence, “Two Gardeners: A Friendship in Letters/Katharine S. White and Elizabeth Lawrence” and “No One Gardens Alone: A Life of Elizabeth Lawrence.” She is the coauthor, with Margaret Supplee Smith, of “North Carolina Women: Making History.”

Among her recognitions are the North Carolina Award and the Caldwell Award, and she is a MacDowell Colony Fellow.

Wilson lives and gardens in Winston-Salem.

This program is sponsored by the Department of English and Modern Language. For additional information, please contact Dr. Rebecca Godwin, director of The Sam and Marjorie Ragan Writing Center, at 252-399-6364 or email:


Questions?  Please contact Kathy Daughety, director of public relations, at 252-399-6529 or email: