Department of English News

The 10th Eastern Annual North Carolina Literary Homecoming

GREENVILLE, N.C. — East Carolina University will honor the region’s literary traditions September 20 – 21. The Eastern North Carolina Literary Homecoming (ENCLH) presented by the “North Carolina Literary Review and Joyner Library will offer interactive writing workshops in addition to panel presentations. This year’s theme, “North Carolina: A State of Change, A Changing State,” focuses on change in North Carolina and how it is reflected in the state’s literature.
For ten years, the ENCLH has been nourishing and revitalizing the creative spirit for writers as the event provides a place where artists and community members can interact and share ideas. The theme of the annual event mirrors the theme of the award-winning “North Carolina Literary Review’s” special feature section. The writers coming to ECU are featured in the pages of NCLR’s current and forthcoming print and online issues.
Each year, the Literary Homecoming kicks off on Friday evening with the presentation of the Roberts Award for Literary Inspiration. This year the award will be presented to former North Carolina Poet Laureate and UNC–Greensboro Professor Emeritus Fred Chappell for his significant influence upon the literature of North Carolina.
Also on Friday evening, guests can enjoy a reading from Wiley Cash, author of “A Land More Kind than Home, and music by poet-musician Jim Clark of Barton College.
“Joyner Library is pleased to host the Literary Homecoming again this year,” says Jan Lewis, interim dean of the library.  “The Friday evening dessert reception, sponsored by the Friends of Joyner Library, is always a wonderful way to start the weekend.  We invite members of the community to celebrate the literary traditions of North Carolina with us at this two-day event.”
On Saturday, several North Carolina writers will take part in two different panels. The first will focus on “Tarheel Literature in Black and White.” The second will focus on the emerging Latina/o voices among North Carolina writers and the resulting literary and cultural production that represents the experiences, needs, and aspirations of the Latina/o communities in the state.
According to Javier Lorenzo, Chair of the Spanish Curriculum Committee at ECU, “Given the extraordinary growth of the Hispanic population in Eastern NC, there is no better time to meet the authors featured in the Homecoming and to get acquainted with a literature that reflects the changing face of our state.”
At the lunch Saturday, Fred Chappell will present the 3rd James Applewhite Poetry Prize to the 2013 recipient, and Anna Jean Mayhew, author of “The Dry Grass of August, will read from her new novel in progress, “Tomorrow’s Bread.
The afternoon will feature six different workshops with visiting authors, covering the writing and presenting of poetry, fiction, playwriting, and memoir.
NCLREditor Margaret Bauer invites everyone to read interviews and essays from many of the writers participating in this year’s Literary Homecoming, in the recently released 2013 issue of the “North Carolina Literary Review, and then join us at ECU to meet these literary stars in person in September.
All events, except for Saturday author’s luncheon ($12) are free and open to the public. For program and registration information, go to, call 252.328.1537, or


Twain expert to speak on ‘Civil War Confessions’

Author and Texas A&M University Distinguished professor Jerome Loving, a Mark Twain biographer, is set to give a lecture at ECU.

Author and Texas A&M University Distinguished professor Jerome Loving, a Mark Twain biographer, is set to give a lecture at ECU.

Author and Texas A&M University Distinguished English Professor Jerome Loving, whose published works include a Mark Twain biography, will give a lecture titled, “Mark Twain’s Civil War Confession,” as part of FaculTea. The event will take place at 3:30 p.m. April 25, at Joyner Library.

Loving, author of 2010’s “Mark Twain The Adventures of Samuel L. Clemens,” also has written biographies of Walt Whitman and Theodore Dreiser.

Loving’s honors include a 2007 National Endowment of the Humanities Fellowship, and the 2007-2008 “We the People” project for biography for the Mark Twain John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.

He earned his Ph.D. in English from Duke University.

Poet’s venue mirrors his influences


Dave Smith, a well-known Southern poet and professor, will give two readings in Greenville.

Dave Smith, a well-known Southern poet and professor, will give two readings in Greenville.

Noted poet and professor Dave Smith of Johns Hopkins University will give a free reading at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, at the Greenville Museum of Art. On Wednesday, Smith will give another reading as the guest speaker at the Robert Penn Warren Exhibit at Joyner Library, part of the Contemporary Writers Series, hosted by the library from 4 to 5:30 p.m. 

Smith is the Elliott Coleman Professor of Poetry at the Maryland university. His poetry depicts our country’s changing landscape and its changing South. Smith’s influences include the late Robert Penn Warren, a writer, critic, and professor, who won three Pulitzer Prices, and served as the first Poet Laureate. Warren’s impact on Smith makes the library exhibit an ideal venue for his performance.

Smith’s other influences include the late James Dickey and the late A.R. Ammons, a North Carolinian, who was a renowned poet and novelist.

The event will be held amid an exhibit that contains some of the most notable work from the Stuart Wright Collection and the largest collection of Warren material outside of Yale University.

For information, contact Tom Douglass at 328-6723 or email him at


Genre discussion through the lens of literature and history

Andrew Hadfield

Andrew Hadfield

Gerald Prokopowicz

Gerald Prokopowicz

A roundtable discussion titled, “Biography or Creative Nonfiction?: Problems and Possibilities,” will feature a guest literature scholar and an ECU historian at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, at Joyner Library, Room 2409. Then, at 6:30 p.m., a paper on a topic about Early Modern England, will be presented at the Science Technology Building.

Andrew Hadfield, of the University of Sussex’s Department of English, Centre for Early Modern Studies, will lead the afternoon discussion, along with ECU’s Gerald Prokopowicz.

Hadfield is the author of the 2012 book, “Edmund Spenser: A Life,” and Prokopowicz, is the author of the 2008 book, “Did Lincoln Own Slaves? And Other Frequently Asked Questions about Abraham Lincoln.”

Hadfield also will present a paper in the evening at the Science Technology Building, OC Room 309, titled, “The Culture of Lying in Early Modern England.”

The free event includes coffee afterward. It’s jointly sponsored by Wichard Chair funds, the English and History departments, the Medieval and Renaissance Studies program, and the journal, “Explorations in Renaissance Culture.”

Professor to discuss ‘Literary Studies in the Digital Age’

English professor Kenneth Price of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is the guest speaker at an event featuring ECU digital humanities projects.

English professor Kenneth Price of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is the guest speaker at an event featuring ECU digital humanities projects.

Kenneth Price, the Hillegass University Professor of American Literature at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will share his expertise on the topic of “Literary Studies in a Digital Age,” at a free event held at the Greenville Museum of Art from 5 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3.

Price is the featured speaker at the Downtown Dialogues on the Humanities: Digital Humanities at ECU and Beyond event.

In addition to Price, highlights of the program will include about seven ECU digital humanities projects, including two from the English Department:  associate professor of English Thomas Herron’s “Centering Spenser: A digital resource for the Munster Plantation” and Whichard Professor of English Gary Stringer’s “Digital Donne”.

To attend, please RSVP by March 29 to

For information, contact Kate LaMere at


A reading on a Sci-Fi director’s work

Anna Froula

Anna Froula

The body of work of Sci-Fi filmmaker Terry Gilliam will be the focus of the third talk in the Faculty Speaker series, featuring assistant professor Anna Froula.

Froula, associate editor of ECU’s “Cinema Journal,”  the journal of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, will read excerpts from the book, “The Cinema of Terry Gilliam: It’s a Mad World,” at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 4, at Bate 1001.

If you have a yen to discuss Sci-Fi and fantasy fare with kindred film buffs, or you just want to explore a new genre with an emphasis on an “outsider” filmmaker known for delivering movies with a satirical edge, come and learn more. Good conversation and eats are free.

Contemporary Writers Series Presents Sherman Alexie

Picture of Sherman Alexie
Native American writer Sherman Alexie will speak in Wright Auditorium on March 26, 2013, 8:00 PM in Wright Auditorium as part of the Contemporary Writers Series.

Sherman Alexie has received numerous awards for his work, including the National Book Award for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, the PEN/Hemingway Award for The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, and the PEN/Faulkner Award for War Dances.