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 January 29, 2019. This event is free and open to the publiced in 1985 as the official government agency on the arts by a Resolution of the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), the Orange County Arts Commission (OCAC) serves as a clearinghouse for arts information, facilitator of arts programs and advisor to the Orange County Board of County Commissioners regarding the arts. As the Designated County Partner of the North Carolina Arts Council in Orange County since 1985, the OCAC is responsible for sub-granting state and county funds to arts organizations, schools and artists throughout the county. Our mission is to promote and strengthen the artistic and cultural development of Orange County, North Carolina.