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Renowned author to appear in his hometown on 'Robert Morgan Day'

Robert Morgan, the Green River native who has had a 54-year career as a successful poet, best-selling novelist and author of deeply reported biographies, will appear at the Historic Courthouse Saturday to talk about his newest book.

On what the Henderson County Board of Commissioners declared as Robert Morgan Day, the author and longtime Cornell University professor of English will talk about Fallen Angel: The Life of Edgar Allan Poe, and sign copies. The event is scheduled for 2 p.m. in the community room on the second floor of the courthouse. Two of Morgan's colleagues and friends — a professor of literature at UNC Asheville and a professor of poetry at East Tennessee State University — will also attend.

"They're going to talk about the book but also talk about his life's work," said Jim Toms, who organized the event. After the short talk, Morgan will sign books. The Poe biography and other books will be available for sale.

Here is the resolution commissioners adopted on Oct. 18 honoring the author:

WHEREAS, Robert Morgan was born in Hendersonville, North Carolina, on October 3, 1944, he grew up on a family farm in the Green River valley; and
WHEREAS, Robert Morgan was interested in writing poetry, fiction, and music at a young age, however, he was encouraged to study science in college instead, but after starting his higher education at North Carolina State University in engineering and applied mathematics, he transferred to UNC-Chapel Hill and graduated with a B.A. in English in 1965; he received a Master of Fine Arts degree from UNC-Greensboro; and
WHEREAS, In the late 1960s, Robert Morgan began writing poetry with the support and encouragement of his teachers, friends, and peers, many of his poems were published and a first book, "Zirconia Poems," was born in 1969; and
WHEREAS, After beginning his career at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York in 1971, Professor Morgan received NEA grants in 1974, 1981, and 1987; in 1988, he was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship and a Rockefeller Foundation fellowship, followed by the James G. Hanes Poetry Prize by the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and the North Carolina Literature Award; and
WHEREAS, In 1991, Robert Morgan’s novel, “Gap Creek” was published and it was selected for the Southern Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction for 2000, and was chosen as Notable Book by the New York Times. Gap Creek was a selection of the Oprah Book Club and a New York Times bestseller. It was chosen by the Appalachian Writers Association as Book of the Year for 2000; and
WHEREAS, Robert Morgan became the Kappa Alpha Professor of English at Cornell University in 1992, a position he held until retirement his retirement in 2022 as Kappa Alpha Professor of English Emeritus; and
WHEREAS, Robert Morgan is the author of 15 books of poetry, nine volumes of fiction, including the sequel to “Gap Creek”, “The Road from Gap Creek”, and three nonfiction books; he also served as visiting writer at Davidson College, Furman, Duke, Appalachian State, and East Carolina universities; and Robert Morgan was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 2010; and
NOW, THEREFORE, the Henderson County Board of Commissioners expresses its deep admiration for the gifts and talents that Robert Morgan has brought to Henderson County, and the world at large, as a man of great academic achievement and a highly-prolific author of admired literature. On behalf of the citizens and staff of Henderson County, we proclaim November 18 as Robert Morgan Day.