ECU’s Joyner Library hosts 7th literary homecoming

East Carolina University celebrates the region’s literary traditions September 17 and 18. The Eastern North Carolina Literary Homecoming at Joyner Library will offer interactive workshops in addition to panel presentations.

This year’s theme “Contrasting Cultural Expressions: Perceptions of Place and Self” explores the impact of shared values and traditions on the perceptions of self and one’s place in the larger world context. Artists from eastern North Carolina will interact with artists influenced by other regions to explore differences and how they capture the culture of their regions in their work.

For seven years, the Eastern North Carolina Literary Homecoming 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 works represented by the award-winning authors encompass a variety of genres including poetry, fiction, historical nonfiction, and drama and how they tie into Eastern North Carolina culture.

This year, the Literary Homecoming will kick off with the presentation of the Roberts Award for Literary Inspiration to Nancy Olson for her work as the owner of Quail Ridge Books and Music in Raleigh and her dedication to promoting and supporting local artists. The presentation to Olson will include tributes from and readings by North Carolina writers Jill McCorkle and Michael Malone.

On Saturday, panel discussions and small interactive workshops with authors encourage in-depth discussion regarding process and inspiration. Time will allow for audience members to interact directly with authors to explore issues raised in the sessions and audience members can meet the authors during book signings.

“The Eastern North Carolina Literary Homecoming, now in its 7th year, provides an extraordinary opportunity for the ECU family and area residents to meet regional authors ‘up close and personal,’” says Dr. Larry Boyer, Dean of Academic Library and Learning Resources.  “You can hear them talk about their work, the writing process, and their careers in a very comfortable setting, Joyner Library. I know of no other literary or book festival which gives the participants such an intimate view into the lives of working authors and poets. No book lover should miss it!”

A luncheon with guest speaker Pamela Duncan, author of “Moon Women,” “The Big Beautiful” and “Plant Life,” will be held on Saturday. A native of Asheville, Duncan teaches creative writing at Western Carolina University.

Award-winning author Josephine Humphreys will deliver the keynote address at 5:15 p.m. Saturday. Her first three novels were mainly about contemporary family life in the South, but her fourth work, “Nowhere Else on Earth,” is a historical novel based on a true story from the Civil War. The novel includes historical events and characters relating to the Lumbee tribe of North Carolina and won the Southern Book Award for 2001.

Other presenters include ECU alumna Margaret O’Connor, director of photography for The New York Times when the paper won the 2002 Pulitzer Prizes for Breaking News Photography and Feature Photography, who will present “Recording the Moment When Cultures Clash” and poet Michael White, who teaches creative writing and poetry at the University of North Carolina–Wilmington, who will present a workshop on writing poetry.

All events, except for Saturday author’s luncheon ($15), are free and open to the public. Visit the Homecoming online at, call 252.328.6514, or e-mail

Literary Homecoming schedule of events:

Friday, September 17, 2010 Mendenhall Student Center

7:00-7:30 p.m. Registration

7:30-9:30 p.m. Program

Roberts Award for Literary Inspiration Presented to Nancy Olson with Tributes from and Readings by Jill McCorkle and Michael Malone

Saturday, September 18, 2010

8:00-8:30 a.m.             Registration, Joyner Library Lobby

8:30-9:00 a.m.             Opening Remarks, Exhibit Gallery, 2nd floor

9:00-10:00            Plenary Session: West Looks East, East Looks South – Pamela Duncan and Jim Grimsley


10:30 – 11:30            Looking Back To Look Forward: Historical Fiction – Josephine Humphreys and Carole Boston Weatherford

11:45 – 12:45            Recording the Moment When Cultures Clash – Margaret O’Conner

2:30 – 3:30            Outsider Looking In, Insider Looking Out: Two Perspectives – Michael White and Michael Malone

3:45 – 4:45       The Age of Perspective: Teaching Adults and Children History – Alice Eley Jones and

Carole Boston Weatherford


10:30 – 12:30            Writing Poetry – Michael White

2:30 – 4:30        Changing Spaces: Playwrighting Across Cultures – Jim Grimsley

Book Signings

10:00-10:30, 12:30-1:00, 4:30-5:00

1:00 – 2:30            LUNCHEON SPEAKER, Pamela Duncan, author of The Big Beautiful

5:15                   KEYNOTE, Josephine Humphreys, author of Nowhere Else on Earth

For more information, contact Dawn Wainwright, Director of Marketing, at or 252.328.4090.

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