Chowan History Professor Pens Book on NC’s Longest Serving Poet Laureate James L. Pearson

He was, in essence, the epitome of the Tar Heel spirit: whenever confronted by a hardship or dilemma, he stuck to his task, battled on, refused to yield, and ultimately succeeded.

Chowan University’s Associate Professor of History, Dr. Greg S. Taylor, has released his third book highlighting the history of the Tar Heel State,James Larkin Pearson: A Biography of North Carolina’s Longest Serving Poet Laureate.

“Although he reached the pinnacle of his field, Pearson’s life was one of true struggle and this biography demonstrates his lifelong ability to overcome personal, financial, and professional difficulties,” explains the author. “He was, in essence, the epitome of the Tar Heel spirit: whenever confronted by a hardship or dilemma, he stuck to his task, battled on, refused to yield, and ultimately succeeded.”

Put to work on the family farm at an early age, Pearson received only fifteen months of formal schooling, yet due to his innate knowledge and poetic ability, he had composed his first poem by the age of four. Continuing to speak in rhyme, he was beaten as punishment for being suspected of having a mental defect. Overcoming his family troubles and the deep-seated complexes they developed into, as well as fighting a lifetime of financial impoverishment, Pearson composed over 1,000 poems, mostly self-published until the age of 90 - even after being appointed as poet laureate at 74 in 1953.

Published by Lexington Books, this new biography tells the complete story of one man’s long-delayed triumph over a lifetime of struggle to achieve artistic success. James Larkin Pearson: A Biography of North Carolina’s Longest Serving Poet Laureate is now available through Amazon, Google, Kindle and other sources.

Associate Professor of History at Chowan University, Dr. Greg S. Taylor’s two previous publications focused on North Carolina’s communist party and their leaders in The History of the North Carolina Communist Party and The Life and Lies of Paul Crouch: Communist, Opportunist, Cold War Snitch. 

University Relations - J.E. Barker - barkej@chowan.edu

Posts from September 2015

September 24, 2015
M. Christopher White, President of Chowan University, will give this year’s Taylor Religious Heritage Lectures on Monday, September 28th, and Wednesday, September 30th, at 11:00 am in Turner Auditorium within Chowan’s historic Columns building.
September 23, 2015
The newest class of Honors College students at Chowan University were formally inducted on Sunday, September 20th during a special ceremony in Vaughan Auditorium.
September 22, 2015
Chowan University’s Associate Professor of History, Dr. Greg S. Taylor, has released his third book highlighting the history of the Tar Heel State,James Larkin Pearson: A Biography of North Carolina’s Longest Serving Poet Laureate.
September 21, 2015
Conjuring images of dusty landscapes spotted with cactus and tumbleweeds, gunslingers squinting into the sun at high noon, and poker game brawls that spill out of the saloon and into the streets, Professor of English Dr.