FLORENCE – The Jones Thomas and Carolyn Stroman Hunter Chair in English Literature at Francis Marion University will present Anthony S. Abbott, poet and professor of English at Davidson College, as the fall 1999 Hunter Lecturer.
Abbott, a contemporary drama scholar and poet, will read from his work on Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the Cauthen Educational Media Center Lecture Hall, room 114. The event is free and open to the public.
Abbott is the author of two poetry collections, “The Girl in the Yellow Raincoat” and “A Small Thing Like a Breath,” as well as two critical studies, “Shaw and Christianity” and “The Vital Lie: Reality and Illusion in Modern Drama.” Born in San Francisco and educated in Massachusetts and Connecticut, he received his A.B. degree from Princeton University, Magna cum laude, in 1957. With the support of a Danforth Fellowship, he received his A.M. degree in 1960 and his Ph.D. in 1962 from Harvard University.
From 1961 to 1964, he was instructor in English at Bates College. In 1964, he became assistant professor of English at Davidson College. He was promoted to associate professor in 1967 and full professor in 1979. In 1990, Abbott was named Charles A. Dana Professor of English. He served as chairman of the Davidson English department from 1989 to 1996.
His major fields of interest are modern drama and creative writing. He has directed eight plays for the Davidson Community Players. His poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and journals including New England Review, Southern Poetry Review, St. Andrews Review, Pembroke, Tar River Poetry, Theology Today. St. Andrews Press will publish Abbott’s third book of poems, “The Search for Wonder in the Cradle of the World,” next year.
Honored for his teaching, Abbott received the Thomas Jefferson Award in 1969 and the Hunter-Hamilton Love of Teaching Award in 1997. He has won the Thomas H. McDill Award of the North Carolina Poetry Society three times. In 1978, he was a William Atherton Scholar at the Bread Loaf Writers Conference.
In 1996 St. Andrews College honored him for his writing and his service to the literary community of North Carolina by awarding him the Sam Ragan Award. He is past president of the Charlotte Writers Club and the North Carolina Writers Network and also past chairman of the North Carolina Writers Conference.
The Hunter Chair in English Literature funds two lectures per year. Percival Everett, a novelist and South Carolina native currently teaching at the University of Southern California, will be the 2000 Spring Hunter Lecturer at FMU.
The Jones Thomas and Carolyn Stroman Hunter Chair in English Literature at FMU was established in 1991 by three sisters - Dorothy Hunter Thames Ellis, Adelle Hunter West, and Hattie Costa Hunter King - as a memorial to their parents, Jones Thomas and Carolyn Stroman Hunter.
Mr. Hunter lived in Marion County, was once mayor of Marion, contributed to many different organizations throughout the Pee Dee area, and operated a successful Ford dealership in Florence for 40 years. Mrs. Hunter came to Marion as a school teacher and was active in church work and taught Sunday School for more than 50 years. She was a charter member of several literary clubs, garden clubs, and community organizations.