Linda Flowers Literary Award
The North Carolina Humanities Council was privileged to have Linda Flowers as one of its members from 1992 to1998. During the years we shared with her, she taught us many things. Above all, Linda showed us what it means to live by one's belief that "the humanistic apprehension is as necessary for living fully as anything else... [it must ] be recognize[d] and nurture[d]... to realize more fully the potential of the human spirit."
In addition to honoring Linda Flowers (1944–2000) with an award named for her, the Humanities Council seeks to draw to the attention of others something special that Linda passed on to us. We want to celebrate excellence in the humanities achieved by people like her, those who not only identify with our state, but who explore the promises, the problems, the experiences, the meanings, in lives that have been shaped by North Carolina and its many cultures.
Linda Flowers was somewhat surprised by the strong connections readers made to her book Throwed Away: Failures of Progress in Eastern North Carolina in 1990. She believed they were responses to "the book's humanistic dimension: the focus on real men and women having to make their way in the face of a changing, onrushing and typically uncaring world." This is true to the portraits in Throwed Away; it is just as true of "I Have Come Home," the essay Linda wrote about her experience with cancer for NC Crossroads (May 1999). Both are superb examinations of intimate, provocative, inspiring portraiture of North Carolina, its people and cultures. The Linda Flowers Literary Award is intended for a literary work that demonstrates these powers of recognition.
Previous Linda Flowers Award winners include:
- 2001 — Karen Gilchrist, "The Cure"
- 2002 — Joseph Bathanti, "Land of Amnesia"
- 2003 — Heather Ross Miller, "Miss Jessie Dukes and Kid Heavy"
- 2004 — Barbara Presnell, "Sherry's Prayer: NC Textiles 1967-2004"
- 2005 — Kermit Turner, "Tongue-Tied"
- 2006 — Kathy Watts, "Goin' Fishin'"
- 2007 — Susan Vogel, "The Pick-up Line"
- 2008 — Kirsten Hemmy, "Carolina Landscapes: Poems"
- 2009 — Katey Shultz, "Amplitude"
- 2010 — Traci Lazenby Elliot, "Legacy"
- 2011 — Nancy Dew Taylor, "Mill Creek Suite"
- 2012 — Angela Kelly, "Semper Fi of Appalachia"
- 2013 — Steve Lautermilch, "Where Waters Meet"
- 2014 — John Thomas York, "O Beautiful Bug"