On Tuesday, April 27, Lees-McRae College’s prize-winning historian will provide a glimpse into his creative process. Dr. Allen Speer will present his program My Little Postage Stamp of Native Soil in the Stafford Room of the Carson Library at 3:30 p.m. as part of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia Lecture Series.
Based on the three volumes of his survey of his family heritage, his presentation will focus on the final volume recently published by Overmountain Press, From Boonville to Banner Elk. Speer’s personal memoir draws together his heritage and his life in a moving account of his growing up surrounded by physical and emotional monuments to the past in his family’s homeplace in Boonville, NC.
Speer’s trilogy has won a total of eight awards, including the prestigious American Association for State and Local History Award. His final volume before publication had received the Robert Bruce Cooke Award for an unpublished manuscript.
Allen Speer’s concluding volume to his Voices trilogy ties the past to the present in a convincing and moving fashion. In From Banner Elk to Boonville, Speer recounts the story of his growth and development by vividly narrating his personal history as well as by retelling tales told by his forebears, the Speers whose voices continue to speak from Cemetery Hill. He shows how genetics, family and community mythology, and his own experiences have created the Allen Speer whose voice joins those of his ancestors to create a poignant portrait of a Southern family and their culture.
“Allen Speer’s Voices from Cemetery Hill trilogy presents a unique look at our mountain culture from before the Civil War to the present, showing how the threads from the past form an important part of the cloth of today,” said Dr. Michael Joslin, director of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia at Lees-McRae College. “We are proud to host his program on this significant body of work.”
A reception and book signing will begin at 3:00, with Speer’s presentation at 3:30. The event is open to the public and free of charge. For information contact Meghan Wright at 898-8729.