Six to receive N.C. Awards

Six to receive N.C. Awards
October 31
00:00 2014
(pictured above:  Poet and author Lenard D. Moore.)

Gov. McCrory will present the latest round of North Carolina Awards on Thursday, Nov. 13 at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center in Durham.

Created by the General Assembly in 1961, the North Carolina Awards have been presented annually since 1964. The award recognizes significant contributions to the state and nation in the fields of fine arts, literature, public service and science.

Acclaimed writer Lenard D. Moore of Raleigh will receive the award for Literature. His eastern North Carolina roots spring forth in his poems, short stories and haikus.

Whether writing about jazz musicians, the smell of war or the music of elm trees, he concisely transports the reader to each specific time or place. His power with the economical use of words is best illustrated in the haiku, a Japanese form traditionally of three lines totaling 17 syllables. He mastered the form so well that he became the first Southerner and the first African-American to be president of the Haiku Society of America. He is winner of the Haiku Museum of Tokyo Award and executive chairman of the North Carolina Haiku Society.

For all of his awards and recognitions, he considers teaching his most important work. Currently a professor at the University of Mount Olive, he organizes its literary festival and teaches and mentors young writers. He is founder of the Carolina African American Writers Collective and co-founder of the Washington Street Writers Group.

The Public Service Award will go to Dr. Betsy M. Bennett, who served as the director of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences for more than 20 years. During her tenure, she transformed it from exhibit space in a cramped state office building to a landmark, pioneering institution that has garnered national recognition and record attendance.

Robert A. Ingram will also received the Public Service Award. Ingram has had a esteemed career in pharmaceuticals. He co-led the merger that formed GlaxoSmithKline. He serves or has served on the boards or as director to Valeant, Cree, Quintiles and others. He was asked by President George H.W. Bush to form the CEO Roundtable on Cancer and appointed by President George W. Bush to the National Institutes of Health Cancer Advisory Board.

Dr. Jagdish “Jay” Narayan will receive the Science Award. He is the John Fan Family Distinguished Chair Professor in the Department of Material Science and Engineering at N.C. State University, where he leads research on infinitely small nano-materials. He holds more than 40 patents, has published over 500 scientific papers, edited nine books and has mentored more than 100 Ph.D. and postdoctoral students. Through his research and teaching, he brings us tomorrow today.

Alan Shapiro, Kenan Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will also receive a Literature Award. He is one of the nation’s most distinguished poets, having authored 12 books of poetry, including “Night of the Republic,” a finalist for both the National Book Award and The Griffin Prize.



The Fine Arts Award will go to Ira David Wood III, who for 40 years has earned raves as the miserly Dickens villain in “A Christmas Carol” at Theatre in the Park, where Wood is executive director.
A graduate of The North Carolina School of the Arts, he was raised in Enfield, and became his hometown’s first Eagle Scout.

“It is an honor to pay tribute to these remarkable individuals who have made North Carolina better by their extraordinary involvement in this state,” said Susan Kluttz, Secretary of the N. C. Department of Cultural Resources. “Each has enriched the lives of our citizens and propelled North Carolina onto the national and world stages.”

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