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Looking back at 2018 Albright Honorable Mention Essay

Friday from the Archives:

We asked the student staff in the fall to pick content from our archive to write about. Graduate student Daniel Moreno chose one of the 2018 Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize Honorable Mention winners to discuss.

In times as ideologically and politically charged as we find ourselves today, Angela Belcher Epps’s “Sandhill: A Symphony of Souls” is not just an incredibly refreshing read, but a sobering one as well. Her essay on the social melting pot of Sandhill, Plymouth, North Carolina, paints a palpably honest and charmingly colorful picture of the community she grew up in, while commenting on the judgmental distance we have such a tendency to keep between us. 

Closing her musings and recollection of that colorful, spirited community she keeps us humble with, “When I become too judgmental and analytical about how other people should live, I reel myself in. I recall that it takes all kinds to make a world.” My personal favorite from that ending is, “When we are hell-bent on designing a blueprint for community, we create a caricature of the world.” No wonder, then, that Epps calls such a genuine community “A Symphony of Souls.”

Epps’ essay was published in the 2019 Online issue along with the other honorable mention, Joel Thomas’ essay Whimsyton, NC. Nancy Werking Poling’s prize-winning essay, Leander’s Lies, and Jennifer Harding’s second-place essay Looking for Charles were both published in the 2019 print issue.

The Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize is open for submissions from January 15th through March 1st. The winner receives an honorarium and publication in the following calendar year.

The 2019 issue featured African American writers of North Carolina. Read it via Proquest or buy it from our online store.