David Menconi named 2019 Piedmont Laureate

News posted Jan. 04, 2019 - 6:00 am
David Menconi headshot

David Menconi, a Raleigh-based writer of creative non-fiction, has been selected as the region's 2019 Piedmont Laureate. During 2019, Menconi will appear at workshops, reading programs and speaking engagements throughout Wake, Durham and Orange counties.

The Piedmont Laureate program is dedicated to building a literary bridge for residents to come together and celebrate the art of writing. Co-sponsored by the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, Durham Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission and United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County, the Piedmont Laureate program’s mission is to “promote awareness and heighten appreciation for excellence in the literary arts throughout the Piedmont region.”

The program focuses on a different literary form each year, including poetry, novels, creative non-fiction, drama/screenwriting, children’s literature, short fiction, speculative fiction, and mystery fiction.

As Piedmont Laureate, Menconi will receive an honorarium and serve until Dec. 31. His duties will include presenting public readings and workshops, participating at select public functions and creating at least one original activity to expand appreciation of writing.

A schedule of the Laureate’s 2019 activities will be posted on the sponsoring agency websites and on the Piedmont Laureate website at www.piedmontlaureate.com.

David Menconi has been a music critic and arts reporter at the News & Observer in Raleigh since 1991. He has also written for Rolling Stone, Spin, Billboard, New York Times and salon.com. His books include the 2012 biography "Ryan Adams: Losering, A Story of Whiskeytown" (University of Texas Press), and his next book will be a history of North Carolina music for UNC Press.

"I hope to come up with a lively, entertaining schedule of events and workshops throughout the year,” says Menconi. “With 2019 being the state arts council's 'year of North Carolina music,' there should be lots of opportunities to link music and writing through the Piedmont Laureate program. I'm excited and also grateful."

Menconi will be officially recognized as the 2019 Piedmont Laureate at the State of Arts and Culture in Wake County at the North Carolina Museum of History on Jan. 29. This event is free and open to the public.

The Office of Raleigh Arts supports and promotes the arts in Raleigh by administering the programs of the City of Raleigh Arts Commission and the City’s Public Art and Design Board and supporting the Pullen and Sertoma arts centers. The Office of Raleigh Arts is part of the City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department.

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