Fred Chappell & John May

Fred Chappell with Friends of the UNCG Libraries Co-Chairperson John May

Fred Chappell was born in Canton, in the mountains of western North Carolina. He took undergraduate and graduate degrees at Duke University and for many years has taught in the MFA Writing Program at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he is the Burlington Industries Excellence Professor of English. Author of a dozen books of verse, two volumes of stories, one of criticism, and eight novels, he has been awarded the Sir Walter Raleigh Prize, the Best Foreign Book Prize from the Academie Francaise, the North Carolina Medal in Literature, and an Award in Literature from the National Academy of Arts and Letters. For his poetry he has been awarded the Bollingen Prize and the Aiken Taylor Prize. He is currently North Carolina Poet Laureate. His work has been translated into many languages, including Finnish, Arabic, Hindi, Chinese, and Farsi. He and his wife Susan live in Greensboro. Their one son, Heath, lives in Chicago, where he plays jazz drums.

Excerpt from Letter of Support for Jackson Library's Application for the Designation of Literary Landmark

The Walter Clinton Jackson Library is much more than a repository. It is one of the active forces which has helped The University of North Carolina at Greensboro receive much well-deserved acclaim as one of the strong southern and national literary centers…

Perhaps a single example might suggest the power it has wielded over authorial imaginations. When the renowned novelist Doris Betts was an undergraduate at UNCG she used to hide in the stacks, remaining there after the library closed. Then she would spend the night writing stories, surrounded on all sides by her literary forebears and heroes. That is the kind of spirit Jackson Library fosters....

- Fred Chappell