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Carden to receive State’s Literature Award

Gary Neil Carden will be one of six Tarheels recognized in Raleigh on October 30th. As has been reported several times Carden will receive this highly deserved recognition for literature.  A literature and drama teacher turned storyteller, Gary Neil Carden is an award winning playwright whose tales are informed by mountain life in North Carolina. Growing up with his grandparents in Jackson County, he heard stories at family reunions, funerals and weddings. Instructive, frightening, funny, or downright peculiar, these stories fueled several collections, including “Mason Jars in a Flood,” that received the Appalachian Writers Association Book of the Year prize. The tales also provided inspiration for the PBS documentary “Mountain Talk.” His play, “The Prince of Dark Corners,” is based on a real life outlaw and now is a PBS film. He has been honored by the North Carolina Folklore Society and presented an honorary doctorate by Western Carolina University.