Awards & Honors
2021 John Tyler Caldwell Award for the Humanities, presented by the North Carolina Humanities Council, for “statewide impact and dedication to creative writing, teaching, and humanities advocacy through his life’s work.” Watch the award presentation, which includes a special address on barbecue by John Shelton Reed.
2016 Stuart Thayer Prize, for “Mose McQuitty’s Band and Minstrel Days, 1899-1937” (Bandwagon August 2016), presented by the Circus Historical Society for Most Outstanding Contribution to Circus History for the year.
2015 “Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize” established, to be awarded annually for the best creative nonfiction published by the North Carolina Literary Review.
2014 Finalist, Montaigne Medal, for The Forgotten First: B-1 and the Integration of the Modern Navy. Fountain, NC: R.A. Fountain (2013), presented to an independently published book by the Eric Hoffer Awards.
2012 Brown-Hudson Award (with Elizabeth Albright), from the North Carolina Folklore Society, an annual award for outstanding contributions to the study, practice or preservation of North Carolina folk traditions. First presented in 1970, other previous recipients include Vollis Simpson, Doc & Merle Watson, Alice Gerrard, George Higgs, Paul Green, Bland Simpson, Bill Myers, and Emma Dupree.
2007 Roberts Award for Literary Inspiration (with Eva Roberts & Keats Sparrow), presented by Joyner Library at East Carolina University
2006 Bertie Fearing Award for Excellence in Teaching, presented by the ECU English Department
1998 R. Hunt Parker Award for Lifetime Contribution to North Carolina Literature, presented by the NC Literary and Historical Association.
1991 Jack Kerouac Literary Prize, presented by the Lowell, Mass. Historic Preservation Commission, for Kerouac scholarship, for unpublished essay “Race, the Canon, and Kerouac”
1986 Volunteer of the Year Award, Coastal Plains District PreRelease and AfterCare, for service as instructor of poetry to inmates at Martin County Correctional Institute.
1969 Silver Plate “Best Story” Award, from the Alamance County Arts Council, Graham, NC.