Fred Chappell’s works to be featured in Nov. 15 performance

Western Carolina University’s Department of English will host a performance of “Look Back the Maytime Days: From the Pages of Fred Chappell,” featuring the prose and poetry of the former North Carolina poet laureate, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15.

The presentation by the Touring Theatre of North Carolina will take place in the recital hall of WCU’s Coulter Building. Admission is free.

Fred Chappell

Chappell provided input as Brenda Schleunes, the theater’s founder and producing artistic director, wove together his writings with traditional dances and ballads to create an oral tapestry of early 20th-century North Carolina mountain voices. Material in the production includes stories or parts of stories from Chappell’s novels “I Am One of You Forever,” “Brighten the Corner Where You Are,” “Farewell, I’m Bound to Leave You” and “Look Back All the Green Valley” and from two books of poetry.

A native of Canton, Chappell taught for 40 years at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Inducted into the N.C. Literary Hall of Fame in 2006, he is author of more than two dozen books of poetry, fiction and criticism. Among his other honors are the Sir Walter Raleigh Prize, the North Carolina Award in Literature and an Award in Literature from the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

Chappell will attend the performance at WCU and take part in a question-and-answer session. Copies of his books will be available for purchase after the performance and the author will participate in a book-signing.

The presentation is made possible by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Touring Theatre of North Carolina is a 31-year-old professional company that brings literature and history to the stage.

For more information, contact WCU’s Department of English at 828-227-7264.