by Carly Schnitzler, Graduate Communications Editor
Earlier this month, UNC Department of English and Comparative Literature Professor Randall Kenan was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in a ceremony at the Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities in Southern Pines. The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame celebrates and promotes the state’s rich literary heritage by “commemorating its leading authors and encouraging the continued flourishing of great literature.”
Kenan was introduced by UNC Professor of American Studies Dr. Sharon P. Holland at the ceremony, who said of his writing: “I read your work when I am in despair and I read it when I am joyful. It cures what ails me and makes me proud to share breath with you in this place called the North Cack. Congratulations, my friend.” He responded with thanks and gratitude to Dr. Holland, his colleagues at UNC, his fellow inductees, and the legacy of great North Carolina writers that preceded him.
In addition to his professorship, Randall Kenan is the author of a celebrated novel, A Visitation of Spirits; two works of nonfiction, Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century and The Fire This Time; and an award-winning collection of stories, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead. He edited and wrote the introductions for The Cross of Redemption: The Uncollected Writings of James Baldwin and The Carolina Table: North Carolina Writers on Food. Among his other honors and awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, The Whiting Writers’ Award, the North Carolina Award, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Rome Prize.
Fellow 2018 inductees include Dr. James W. Clark, Jr., Jill McCorkle, Penelope Niven, and Marsha White Warren. For more information on the NC Literary Hall of Fame and to listen to the 2018 Induction Ceremony, click here.