North Carolina Book Awards highlight great works

Published 9:37 am Tuesday, November 22, 2016

RALEIGH – The 2016 North Carolina Book Awards were presented Nov. 18 by the N.C. Literary and Historical Association, which has pledged to stimulate the production of literature and to collect and preserve historical material in North Carolina.

The first award went to Ayden resident Sheila Turnage for juvenile literature for “The Odds of Getting Even.”

The Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry went to North Carolina’s poet laureate Shelby Stephenson of Benson for “Elegies for Small Game.” The Sir Walter Award for Fiction went to Terry Roberts of Asheville for “That Bright Land.” The Ragan Old North State Award for Nonfiction went to Rocky Mount native Karen Zipf for “Bad Girls at Samarcand: Sexuality and Sterilization in a Southern Juvenile Reformatory.”

The R.D.W. Connor Award was given to Warren Milteer for “From Indians to Colored People: The Problem of Racial Categories and the Persistence of Chowans in North Carolina,” as the best article published in the “North Carolina Historical Review” in 2016. Milteer teaches at the University of South Carolina and also won the award in 2013.

The Hugh T. Lefler Award went to Eric Andro Walls for “Fractured Legacy; The Clash of Race, Politics, and Public Education in North Carolina from Reconstruction Through the Progressive Era,” as the best paper by an undergraduate in 2016 on North Carolina history. Walls is a senior at East Carolina University.

The R. Hunt Parker Award for Literary Achievement went to Gerald Barrax, of Raleigh, for lifetime literary achievement. Barrax, a poet, taught writing at N.C. State University.

The Hardee-Rives Award for Dramatic Arts went to the National Black Theater Festival in Winston-Salem, being accepted by artistic director Nigel Alston.

Historians David Cecelski and Timothy Tyson, both of Durham, jointly received the Christopher Crittenden Memorial Award for lifetime contributions to North Carolina history. They collaborated on “Democracy Betrayed,” and are, respectively, the authors of “Fire of Freedom: Abraham Galloway and the Slaves Civil War” and “Blood Done Sign My Name.”

The Federation of N.C. Historical Societies Albert Ray Newsome Award recognizes local history preservation efforts. The History Museum of Carteret County received the award for fundraising and mobilizing volunteers to build the outstanding exhibit, “Beach Town in a Forest: The Story of Pine Knoll Shores.” The Swansboro Historical Association received the award for its collaborative effort with town staff, high school students and the community to produce the “Haunted Hayride” event that was both historical and entertaining.

The American Association for State and Local History Awards of Merit were also presented The N.C. Office of Archives and History received the award for “The Old North State at War: The North Carolina Civil War Atlas,” by Mark A. Moore, Jessica Bandel and Michael Hill. The N.C. Museum of History received the award for the “Starring North Carolina” exhibit on filmmaking.

The Student Publication Awards, High School Division, recipients were: “Stone Soup,” Enloe High School, Raleigh, first place; “Portraits in Ink,” Durham School of the Arts, second place; “Stark Contrast,” Carolina Day School, Asheville, third place.

Middle School Division Awards recipients are “Illusions,” Martin Middle School, Raleigh, first place; “Paw Printz,” Randleman Middle School, Randleman, second place; “The Pawprint,” Culbreth Middle School, Chapel Hill, third place.

Grant Wacker, Duke University Divinity School, gave the keynote address on “Billy Graham and American Culture.”

For additional information on the North Carolina Book Awards, please call (919) 807-7290. The Office of Archives and History is within the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and administers the program.

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan Kluttz, NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit