Thomas Wolfe Prize and Lecture

2019 Thomas Wolfe Lecture

Dorothy Allison

“Two or three things I know for sure, and one of them is what it means to have no loved version of your life but the one you make.

Dorothy Allison, Two or Three Things I Know for Sure

Works Include: Bastard Out of Carolina; Trash; Two or Three Things I Know for Sure; Cavedweller; and Skin: Talking about Sex, Class, and Literature

Tuesday, October 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Free and open to the public. No tickets required.
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100 Genome Sciences Auditorium
250 Bell Tower Road
UNC Campus

$1 parking in Bell Tower Lot available after 5:00 p.m.

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Read more about Dorothy Allison HERE


History of the Thomas Wolfe Prize and Lecture

The Thomas Wolfe Prize and Lecture honor the memory of one of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s most famous alumni, Thomas Clayton Wolfe (Class of 1920). Established in 1999 with an endowed gift to the Department of English, the program recognizes contemporary writers with distinguished bodies of work. And in doing so, the program seeks to give University students and the surrounding community the opportunity to hear important writers of their time.

The Department of English bestows this prize each fall, around the time of Wolfe’s October 3 birthday. In addition to receiving prize money and a medal, the honored writer comes to campus as the University’s guest and delivers a lecture, which is free and open to the public. This event is a well-attended major campus and community occasion.

Thomas Wolfe is best known for his novel Look Homeward, Angel, which was published to rave reviews in 1929. Before his death in 1938, Wolfe also published Of Time and the River (1935). His novels The Web and the Rock (1939) and You Can’t Go Home Again (1940) were published posthumously. Wolfe’s writings reflect a largeness of spirit and an expansive vision of life, while anchored in geographic place.

Sponsors of the 2018 Thomas Wolfe Lecture are alumnus John Skipper (BA English 1978), The Thomas Wolfe Society, and the Department of English and Comparative Literature. The prize money comes from the Thomas Wolfe Endowment Fund. UNC Alumnus Ben Jones (class of 1950) gave the medals that each recipient receives.

Previous Thomas Wolfe Prize Recipients

2018 – Gillian Welch (Revival, Hell Among the Yearlings, Time (The Revelator), Soul Journey,The Harrow and The Harvest, and Soul Journey LP)

2017 – Kevin Young (Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems 1995-2015, Jelly Rolls: a blues, Dear Darkness, and Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News)

2016 – Jill McCorkle (Life After Life, Going Away Shoes, Creatures of Habit, Final Vinyl Days and Other Stories, Carolina Moon, The Cheer Leader)

2015 – Clyde Edgerton (Rainey, Walking Across Egypt, Floatplane Notebooks, Lunch at the Piccadilly, Last Night Train)

2014 – Sandra Cisneros (My Wicked Wicked Ways, Loose Woman, Woman Hollering Creek, Caramelo, Have You Seen Marie?)

2013 – Ron Rash (Eureka Mill, One Foot in Eden, Serena, The Cove)

2012 – Josephine Humphreys (Dreams of Sleep, Rich in Love, The Fireman’s Fair, Nowhere Else on Earth)

2011 – Al Young (Something About the Blues: An Unlikely Collection of Poetry, Coastal Nights and Inland Afternoons: Poems 2001-2006, Seduction By Light and more)

2010 – Lee Smith (Oral History, Fair and Tender Ladies, The Last Girls, Me and My Baby View the Eclipse, Mr. Darcy Meets the Blue-Eyed Stranger and more)

2009 – Roy Blount, Jr. (Alphabet Juice, Crackers, Roy Blount’s Book of Southern Humor, First Hubby, Robert E. Lee)

2008 – Robert Morgan (Gap Creek, The Strange Attractor: New & Selected Poems, Boone: A Biography)

2007 – Reynolds Price (A Generous Man, The Surface of Earth, Blue Calhoun, The Good Priest’s Son, A Whole New Life)

2006 – George Garrett (Death of the Fox, Do, Lord, Remember Me)

2005 – Fred Chappell (Midquest, I Am One of You Forever)

2004 – Ellen Gilchrist (In the Land of Dreamy Dreams, Victory Over Japan, Ellen Gilchrist: Collected Stories)

2003 – Pat Conroy (Prince of Tides, The Lords of Discipline, The Great Santini, Beach Music)

2002 – Elizabeth Spencer (The Voice at the Backdoor, The Light in the Piazza and Other Stories, The Salt Line, Landscapes of the Heart: A Memoir)

2001 – Larry Brown (Joe, Fay, Dirty Work, Facing the Music: Stories, Big Bad Love: Stories)

2000 – Tom Wolfe (The Right Stuff, Bonfire of the Vanities, A Man in Full)

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