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Urban farmer Novella Carpenter featured at Fall Convocation Sept. 6

BOONE—Novella Carpenter, author of the 2012 Summer Reading Program selection “Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer” and co-author of “The Essential Urban Farmer,” will be the featured speaker at Appalachian State University’s Fall Convocation. Convocation will be held on Thursday, Sept. 6, at 10 a.m. in the Holmes Convocation Center on campus.

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In addition to speaking at Convocation, Carpenter will participate in a panel discussion beginning at 2 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union’s Calloway/MacRae Peak Room (note new location of first floor, Room 137). Carpenter will also open the university’s Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series with a lecture and book signing beginning at 7:30 p.m., in the Plemmons Student Union’s Blue Ridge Ballroom.

All events are free and open to the public.

Additionally, Carpenter will present a reading and sign her book Friday, Sept. 7, at 10:30 a.m. at the Watauga County Library as part of the library’s Watauga Reads program.

Carpenter’s bestseller, “Farm City,” chronicles her efforts to live off the land on the fringes of an urban ghetto and highlights her efforts to have a sustainable source of food for herself – with some for friends and neighbors. Inspired by Henry Thoreau, Euell Gibbons and her mother, the experiment to eat exclusively from her urban squat farm tries her will and ingenuity while bolstering her spirit with a sense of connection with all around her.

“Farm City” was provided to all incoming freshmen as part of their orientation to Appalachian. The summer reading program is a shared reading experience that helps incoming students develop a sense of community and introduces them to a part of the academic life they are beginning at Appalachian. It includes small-group discussions about the book and its themes when students arrive on campus, and some professors incorporate it into their courses throughout the semester.

Carpenter graduated from University of California Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism where she studied under Michael Pollan. She has written for Mother Jones, Salon and SF Gate and is also the co-author of “Don’t Jump! The Northwest Winter Blues Survival Guide.”

Convocation will also include the presentation of the 2012 Appalachian Staff Award Winners: Monique Eckerd, Animal Facility Laboratory; Elaine Hartley, Department of Theatre and Dance; Carolyn (Jo) Hoosier, Building Services; and Elizabeth (Betsy) Payne, Budget Department.

Additionally, Dr. Elaine O’Quinn, a professor in the Department of English, will be recognized for receiving the UNC Board of Governors Award for Teaching Excellence.
For more information about Carpenter and the Summer Reading Program, visit http://www.summerreading.appstate.edu/years-selection-events. For information about the visiting writers series, visit http://english.appstate.edu/news-events/visiting-writers-series.

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