Thursday, December 1, 2022

2022 North Carolina Book Award Recipients Announced

Dec 1, 2022

 North Carolina’s strong literary tradition is celebrated by the 2022 North Carolina Book Awards, to be presented Dec. 2 during the annual meeting of the N.C. Literary and Historical Association. The annual awards recognize significant works by North Carolina writers.

Since its founding in September 1900, the N.C. Literary and Historical Association has pledged to stimulate the production of literature and to collect and preserve historical material in North Carolina.

The 2022 North Carolina Book Award winners are:

Ragan Old North State Award for Nonfiction: Dr. Warren Milteer for “Beyond Slavery’s Shadow: Free People of Color in the South” (UNC Press, 2021). Milteer is Assistant Professor of History at George Washington University. He is also the author of “North Carolina’s Free People of Color, 1715-1885" (LSU Press, 2020) and the independently published “Hertford County, North Carolina’s Free People of Color and Their Descendants” (2016).

Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction presented by the Historical Book Club of North Carolina: Valerie Nieman for “In the Lonely Backwater” (Fitzroy Books, 2022). She was a 2013-2014 North Carolina Arts Council poetry fellow and has received an NEA creative writing fellowship. Her awards include the Greg Grummer, Nazim Hikmet, and Byron Herbert Reece poetry prizes. Nieman graduated from West Virginia University and Queens University of Charlotte. A former professor and journalist, she now teaches creative writing at conferences and venues such as the John C. Campbell Folk School.

Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry: Joseph Bathanti for “Light at the Seam” (LSU Press, 2022). Bathanti is a former North Carolina Poet Laureate, and recipient of the 2016 North Carolina Award for Literature. He is the author of ten books of poetry. Bathanti is currently Professor of English and McFarlane Family Distinguished Professor of Interdisciplinary Education and Writer-in-Residence at Appalachian State University.

Young People’s Literature Award presented by the American Association of University Women (AAUW): Micki Bare for “Society of the Sentinelia” (Level Best Books, 2022). Set in the Birkhead Wilderness of the Uwharrie Mountains in central North Carolina, it is the first book in a series that chronicles the protagonist’s unique and critical role in saving her species. Bare teaches English language arts in middle school and previously has published three Thurston T. Turtle children’s books.

Hardee Rives Award for the Dramatic Arts for Significant Contribution to the Arts in North Carolina: NC Stage Company, Asheville. Founded by Charlie and Angie Flynn-McIver in 2001, NC Stage Company is a 127-seat, off-broadway style professional theatre, producing several plays per season in the heart of Asheville. NC Stage has been twice recognized for artistic excellence by the American Theatre Wing and the North Carolina Theatre Conference.

Christopher Crittenden Memorial Award for Significant Contributions to the History of North Carolina: Dr. Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, Julia Cherry Spruill Professor Emeritus at UNC-Chapel Hill. Hall is founding director of the university’s Southern Oral History Program, and is past president of the Organization of American Historians and the Southern Historical Association and founding president of the Labor and Working Class History Association.

The 2022 N.C. Book Awards ceremony can be viewed via livestream at 1:30 p.m. Dec 2:

The Office of Archives and History is within the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and administers the North Carolina Book Awards program.

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state's natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR's mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state's history, conserving the state's natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, three science museums, three aquariums and Jennette's Pier, 41 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the N.C. Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, the African American Heritage Commission, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, and the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please visit

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