2019 Laureate David Menconi


David Menconi, Creative Nonfiction

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Photo by Scott Sharpe

David Menconi has been a music critic and arts reporter at the News & Observer in Raleigh since 1991. He has also written for Rolling Stone, Spin, Billboard, New York Times and salon.com. His books include the 2012 biography Ryan Adams: Losering, A Story of Whiskeytown (University of Texas Press), and his next book will be a history of North Carolina music for UNC Press.

He also hosts “That Old North State Radio Hour,” a weekly show about North Carolina music, on That Station, 95.7-FM in Raleigh, NC.

“I hope to come up with a lively, entertaining schedule of events and workshops throughout the year,” says Menconi. “With 2019 being the state arts council’s ‘year of North Carolina music,’ there should be lots of opportunities to link music and writing through the Piedmont Laureate program. I’m excited and also grateful.”

For more information about David, please visit his website.

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REFLECTIONS

I’ve been a fulltime newspaper journalist for more than one-third of a century now, most of that time at the News & Observer. But it hardly feels like the same job or even the same company, given how much the field has changed. My career has coincided with the industry being completely upended, from stories and pictures printed on paper the next day to videos and words going online immediately. We’ve all had to learn to work faster and with less of a safety net. The past decade has been especially challenging, with newspapers facing the squeeze from the economy as well as accusations of “fake news” from the corridors of power. In the face of all this, I’ve diversified into things like books and radio as well as writing. And I keep the faith as best I can, believing that there will always be a place for the old-fashion virtues of storytelling, hard work and bearing witness.