UNCW’s Edgerton to Formally Receive Thomas Wolfe Prize, Deliver Lecture

Monday, September 14, 2015

Noted Southern author and UNCW Thomas S. Kenan III Distinguished Professor in Creative Writing Clyde Edgerton will officially be honored with the 2015 Thomas Wolfe Prize and Lecture during a two-day celebration in Chapel Hill in October.

The award honors the memory of American novelist and UNC alumnus Wolfe (1900-1938) by annually recognizing contemporary writers for their contributions to Southern literature. Past recipients include Reynolds Price, Ellen Gilchrist, Pat Conroy and Roy Blount Jr.

In addition to receiving prize money and a medal, Edgerton will deliver a free lecture at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 6 in the Genome Sciences Building Auditorium on the UNC campus.

“This is a very special honor to me because of its connection to such a distinguished group of writers and teachers at UNC-Chapel Hill,” said Edgerton. 

Edgerton, also a UNC graduate, has taught at UNCW since 1998. In 2013, he was named the Thomas S. Kenan III Distinguished Professor in Creative Writing for international prominence in his field.

The author of 10 novels and two books of nonfiction, five of Edgerton’s novels were selected as New York Times Notable Books. Three of his books have been adapted into motion pictures. Most recently, Raney, his first novel, was performed as a dinner theater show in downtown Wilmington. Another of his works, Lunch at the Piccadilly, will debut at Charlotte’s Booth Playhouse on Sept. 17.

His short stories and essays have been published in Best American Short StoriesNew York Times MagazineSouthern Review and Garden and Gun, among other publications. He is a regular columnist for Salt magazine. He also has work forthcoming in the anthologies A Book of Uncommon Prayer; Carolina Writers at Home and The Good Book: Writers Reflect on Favorite Bible Passages.

A past Guggenheim Fellow, Edgerton has also been honored with a North Carolina Award for Literature (the state’s highest literary honor) and the University of North Carolina Education Department Distinguished Alumni Award. An avid musician who plays the keyboard, banjo, mandolin and guitar, he was the featured artist for the 2015 N.C. Azalea Festival. 

Michael White, professor and chair of the UNCW department of creative writing, said, “This is further proof, as if it were needed, of the state’s abiding love for Clyde and for his distinguished body of work. It also speaks to UNCW’s great fortune to have him here in the classroom and in our halls.”

UNCW’s Department of Creative Writing offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Fine Arts and a Certificate in Publishing.