New online map helps visualize North Carolina’s literary landscape

UNC Greensboro and the North Carolina Center for the Book have collaborated to develop their new Web-based tool, A Literary Map of North Carolina. You can use the map to browse by geographic location, author, or genre, according to the UNC Library system.

The comprehensive project includes works (fiction, biographies, histories, poetry, plays, and children’s literature) written about North Carolina, works set in North Carolina, and works by authors who were born in North Carolina, who live or have lived in North Carolina, or who have written about North Carolina.

The map tool is located at

And don’t forget to visit NCM’s sister blog, Read North Carolina Novels, which allows you to search for North Carolina novels by author’s county, genre, region, series, place setting, year of publication. This site is at:

— Original post is at

About Jeff Fobes
As a long-time proponent of media for social change, my early activities included coordinating the creation of a small community FM radio station to serve a poor section of St. Louis, Mo. In the 1980s I served as the editor of the "futurist" newsletter of the U.S. Association for the Club of Rome, a professional/academic group with a global focus and a mandate to act locally. During that time, I was impressed by a journalism experiment in Mississippi, in which a newspaper reporter spent a year in a small town covering how global activities impacted local events (e.g., literacy programs in Asia drove up the price of pulpwood; soybean demand in China impacted local soybean prices). Taking a cue from the Mississippi journalism experiment, I offered to help the local Green Party in western North Carolina start its own newspaper, which published under the name Green Line. Eventually the local party turned Green Line over to me, giving Asheville-area readers an independent, locally focused news source that was driven by global concerns. Over the years the monthly grew, until it morphed into the weekly Mountain Xpress in 1994. I've been its publisher since the beginning. Mountain Xpress' mission is to promote grassroots democracy (of any political persuasion) by serving the area's most active, thoughtful readers. Consider Xpress as an experiment to see if such a media operation can promote a healthy, democratic and wise community. In addition to print, today's rapidly evolving Web technosphere offers a grand opportunity to see how an interactive global information network impacts a local community when the network includes a locally focused media outlet whose aim is promote thoughtful citizen activism. Follow me @fobes

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3 thoughts on “New online map helps visualize North Carolina’s literary landscape

  1. LiteratureLover

    A peculiar Web site, not at all the “comprehensive project” indicated above. Missing from our area at least appear to be Carl Sandburg, Josefina Niggli and our own Poeticus Narcissus, David Hopes.

    Some of the omissions are strange: only “The Lost Colony” cited for Paul Green, and not his Pulitizer-Prizewinnng “In Abraham’s Bosom.” Missing from the Chapel Hill listing is the extremely important figure of Louis Rubin. Where is Lillian Jackson Braun? Where is Ann B. Ross? Where is Horace Kephart?

    Perhaps MtnX readers could supply more of the lost and missing.

  2. Jeff Fobes

    Maybe someone in WNC needs to start their own site, or ask for access to the state site in order to bring it up to snuff.

  3. Jennifer Motszko

    Our long-term goal is to make this site a “comprehensive project.” It takes an incredible amount of work and research to get even SOME accurate information on each author. I am working on a web-submission form right now that will allow those who search the sight to send information to me for inclusion. Until then, anyone who contacts me via email is given a form to fill out.

    We are also working on funding to get another 1000 authors added to the site.

    Anyone and everyone is welcome to come to me with authors for submission. This is the only way that it can become comprehensive. We’ve only just begun!

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