The Hunger of Freedom sings history, 19th century and 20th century, with distinct cadence. The author, Shelby Stephenson explores family, ancestors, ghosts and landscape with razor-sharp clarity. This detailed collection of affecting poems depicts a sense of place and the slaves who toiled there.
Shelby Stephenson graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (B.A. 1960) where he also studied law, University of Pittsburgh (M.A. 1967), University of Wisconsin-Madison (Ph.D. 1974), and worked as a radio and television announcer, salesman, right-of-way agent, and farmer. He was professor of English and editor of Pembroke Magazine until his retirement in 2010. The state of North Carolina presented him with the 2001 North Carolina Award in Literature. And he has received the Bellday Poetry Prize, the Oscar Arnold Young Award, the Zoe Kincaid-Brockman Award, the Brockman-Campbell Award, the Bright Hill Press Chapbook Prize, and the Playwright’s Fund of North Carolina Chapbook Prize. You can find more information about Shelby at http://www.shelbystephenson.com/home.htm
On February 2, 2015 Shelby was installed as the Poet Laureate of North Carolina. The program featured one of his poems from Hunger of Freedom, titled “This Place, Their Praise.”