March 11, 2009


Record Numbers Attend Annual Arts and Humanities Speaker's Forum

Northeast Alabama Community College in Rainsville, Alabama, held its annual Arts and Humanities Speaker’s Forum recently. Guest speaker was award-winning author Pamela Duncan, who addressed a group of over 300 in the college’s Tom Bevill Lyceum. Immediately following the reading, Duncan signed books and returned to the college’s library that evening for another reading and book signing. Duncan also addressed Joan Reeves’ Southern literature class the next day at an informal breakfast before visiting Fort Payne Middle School, where she read and answered questions for the 7th graders.

Duncan is the author of three novels—Moon Women (2001), Plant Life (2003), and The Big Beautiful (2007). Her first novel was a Southeastern Booksellers Association Award Finalist; her second novel was awarded the 2003 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction. Pamela Duncan also is the recipient of the 2007 James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South by the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

Pamela Duncan addressing NACC audienceDuncan was born in Asheville, North Carolina, but grew up in Black Mountain, Swannanoa, and Shelby, North Carolina. She holds a BA in journalism from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MA in English/Creative Writing from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. She lives in Cullowhee, North Carolina, and teaches creative writing at Western Carolina University.

The Washington Post writes about Duncan’s Plant Life, “Duncan has a fine ear for dialect, which finds expression in a series of striking set-pieces...Well crafted, with expert attention to the cadence of regional speech patterns, these short pieces ring with the authority of oral history...It is a novel with heart.” About Duncan’s Moon Women, Publisher’s Weekly states, “In the tradition of Fannie Flagg and Rebecca Wells comes a Southern-fried debut.... Duncan shows promise as a from-the-heart, quirky storyteller.” Furthermore, Southern author Lee Smith states about Duncan’s The Big Beautiful, “Jane Austen meets Mayberry: for once, a real romance, with a heroine worthy of it! Smart, sweet, and funny. This is one big, beautiful, life-affirming novel.” For more information about Pamela Duncan, visit her webpage,

Dr. David Campbell, President of NACC, began the Arts and Humanities Speaker’s Forum in 1994. Since that first year, the Forum has hosted such writers as Janisse Ray, Mary Hood, Dori Sanders, Thomas Cook, Jerry Ellis, Ron Rash, and Michael Knight. This event is offered for the community as well as the students, faculty, and staff at Northeast.

Pamela Duncan with Joan Reeves and student

For more information about events at the College, see the Calendar of Events. To view more photos of Ms. Duncan’s visit, go to

Author Pamela Duncan poses for a snapshot with a Northeast student. On the left is Joan Reeves, NACC Director of the English and Fine Arts Division.

Below, Pamela Duncan autographs books in the Northeast Learning Resource Center. 

Article and photos provided by Cindy Holland.

Pamela Duncan in NACC Library