Michael McFee wins North Carolina’s highest civilian honor

Michael McFee, a distinguished writer and poet in Carolina’s English and Comparative Language Department, received the 2018 North Carolina Award for Literature.

McFee is the author of 16 books and has published 11 volumes of poetry and two essay collections. He is also the editor of several anthologies of North Carolina literature. His celebrated works include “Vanishing Acts” and “We Were Once Here.” McFee is a devoted teacher, mentor and dedicated champion of the literary culture of North Carolina. He has been at Carolina since 1990, and his honors include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry and the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award.

Michael McFee teaching a poetry class at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Michael McFee teaching a poetry class at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

McFee is the eighth faculty member in the department of English and comparative literature to receive a North Carolina Award. Alan Shapiro (2014), Doris Betts (1975), Louis D. Rubin Jr. (1992), Elizabeth Spencer (1994), Jill McCorkle (1999) and Randall Kenan (2005) received the North Carolina Award for Literature in their respective years. Bland Simpson received the North Carolina Award for Fine Arts in 2005.

William Roper, CEO of UNC Health Care, dean of the School of Medicine and vice chancellor of Medical Affairs, received the 2018 North Carolina Award for Public Service. Roper was recognized for offering groundbreaking approaches and responsive programs during a period of rapid change and complex demands in the medical field. Under his leadership, Carolina has seen an expansion of UNC Health Care to serve rural and urban communities, while promoting programs to ensure medical students go on to practice in underserved communities across the state. His innovative approach to medical education and expanding access to affordable care led to his recognition as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare by “Modern Healthcare.”

Governor Roy Cooper will present the awards Nov. 16 at the Raleigh Convention Center. The award was created by the General Assembly in 1961 to recognize significant contributions to the state and the nation in fields of fine arts, literature, public service and science.

“It is an honor to pay tribute to these outstanding individuals who have made North Carolina better by their extraordinary involvement in this state,” said Susi H. Hamilton, secretary of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. “Each of them has enriched the lives of North Carolinians through their lasting achievements in the arts and public service.”

To learn more about the 2018 North Carolina Awards, visit the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

By University Communications