Photo credit: Miriam Berkley
WILSON, N.C. —September 5, 2017 — Barton College will welcome Randall Kenan as the featured author for this year’s Joyce T. Boone Southern Authors Series Lecture. The event will be held on Monday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. in The Sam and Marjorie Ragan Writing Center on the College’s campus. The lecture is open to the public at no charge, and the community is invited to attend.
Kenan grew up in Chinquapin and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He worked on the editorial staff of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., and taught writing at Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia University, Duke University, University of Mississippi, and University of Memphis. Currently, he serves as a professor of English and comparative literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
His novel “A Visitation of Spirits” (1989) was followed by a story collection, “Let the Dead Bury Their Dead” (1992), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. With excursions into the supernatural, it tells the history of the backwater of Tims Creek, N.C., founded by a runaway slave.
Kenan also is the author of a young adult biography of James Baldwin (1993) and the text for Norman Mauskoff’s book of photographs, “A Time Not Here: The Mississippi Delta” (1997). His “Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century” (1999) was nominated for the Southern Book Award. Another work of nonfiction, “The Fire This Time” (2007) blends memoir and cultural commentary. Kenan also edited “The Cross of Redemption: The Uncollected Writings of James Baldwin” (2012).
Kenan is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers Award, the Sherwood Anderson Award, the John Dos Passos Award, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Prix de Rome. He received the North Carolina Award for Literature in 2005 and was inducted into the Fellowship of Southern Writers in 2007.
The Joyce T. Boone Endowed Lectureship for Southern Authors was established in memory of the late Joyce Thornton Boone by her husband, Doug Boone. This endowed lectureship supports special programs featuring visiting Southern writers.
Joyce T. Boone graduated from Atlantic Christian College with degrees in business administration (1978) and nursing (1988). An enthusiastic advocate for students and alumni of Barton College, Boone believed in the mission of the small, private, liberal arts college. She served on both the Barton College Board of Trustees and the Barton Alumni Council. Boone was president-elect of the Barton College Alumni Council when she passed away in October 2004.
For more information about this upcoming program, contact Dr. Rebecca Godwin, director of The Sam and Marjorie Ragan Writing Center, at 252-399-6364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.