DUBLIN — On Monday, Nov. 16, at 11 a.m., Bladen Community College will welcome author, editor, playwright, and college professor Alex Albright to the campus library (building 7) as part of the Writers Series hosted by the college. The community is invited to hear Albright speak about beloved poet and Columbus County native, Archie Ammons.
Recognized as “unquestionably one of the best-loved poets of our time” by prolific poet David Lehman, Ammons grew up on a farm in Columbus County during The Great Depression. The impressions made upon him by the local people, farm animals, and rural life were woven into his poetic journey throughout his life, richly impacting his works.
When World War II ended, Ammons was able to attend college at Wake Forest on the G.I. Bill. While a professor at Cornell University, he wrote poetry, endearing himself to his colleagues. Poet Frederick Morgan remarked that Ammons was the “best perceiver of the natural world we have.”
Ammons died in 2001, having won virtually every major award an American poet can receive. Poet and editor, William Harmon (Professor Emeritus in the Humanities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) has stated that Ammons is “the state’s greatest poet ever.”
The North Carolina Humanities Council hopes that through this presentation, audiences will have a better understanding of contemporary poetry and how it is constructed. The presentation also encourages audiences to find poetry in their own lives.
Distinguished presenter Alex Albright is a native of Graham. He earned a bachelor of art degree at UNC-Chapel Hill and a master of fine art at UNC-Greensboro. Albright worked in bookstores in Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Gastonia before joining the faculty at East Carolina University, where he has taught English and creative writing since 1981.
Albright was the founding editor of the North Carolina Literary Review. He has written and co-produced two music programs. The UNC-TV documentary Boogie in Black and White (1988) is about the making and restoring of the 1947 black cast musical comedy Pitch a Boogie Woogie. Coming into Freedom – The End of the Civil War in Eastern North Carolina is a one-woman show which was performed by Louise Anderson and the North Carolina Symphony in 1990.
In 2013, he authored The Forgotten First: B-1 and the Integration of the Modern Navy. Albright has edited numerous poetry publications including Leaves of Greens: The Collard Poems (1984), Dreaming the Blues: Poems from Martin County Prison (1984), The North Carolina Poems (1994), and Mule Poems (2010).
His literary awards include the Jack Kerouack Literary Prize, the 1998 R. Hunt Parker Award for lifetime contributions to North Carolina literature, and the Roberts Award for literary inspiration.
He and his wife Elizabeth were awarded the 2012 Brown-Hudson Award from the North Carolina Folklore Society.
Albright lives in Fountain with Elizabeth and their son, Silas, where they operate the R.A. Fountain General Store.
This program is made possible by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Bladen Community College. The event is free and open to the public.
For information about the BCC Writers Series, contact Joyce Bahhouth at 910-879-5540.
Cathy Kinlaw is the public information director for Bladen Community College.