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Past president of the NCPS to be honored with Fortner Award at St. Andrews

Laurinburg, N.C. – St. Andrews Presbyterian College will honor Dr. William Blackley by presenting him with the Ethel N. Fortner Writer and Community Award on Thursday, February 17.

College President Paul Baldasare will confer the recognition on Blackley during an awards ceremony prior to the weekly writers’ forum in the Carol Grotnes Belk Main Room. Blackley will share a collection of his work at the forum.

“Not only is Dr. Blackley a talented poet himself, but he has also given his time, enthusiasm and professional experience to promote poetry in North Carolina,” said Dr. Ted Wojtasik, chair of the Fortner Awards Committee at St. Andrews. “Through his work as a member and as a past president of the North Carolina Poetry Society, he has fostered the reading, writing and enjoyment of poetry in North Carolina.”

Blackley is the co-founder and state director of the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Series. He is also a poet, physician, blues harp player and environmental health activist.

His poetry has been published in numerous journals and twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He has been a volunteer poetry teacher and involved with Great Books for Juniors. Blackley also served as a speaker on “Poetry in Medicine” at the Duke Medical School, Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities and History of Medicine event.

Blackley is a co-founder of the Tri-County Soccer League, Chief of Staff of Hugh Chatham Hospital, president of the Surry County Medical Society and is currently Chairman of the Elkin Greenways Committee. He served as an Artillery Officer in the U.S. Army and completed two tours in Vietnam.

Blackley graduated from Dunn High School before receiving his B.A. in English Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He then attended the UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine where he earned his M.D. He completed his residency in family medicine at Duke University.

The Ethel N. Fortner Writer and Community Awards began in 1986 to honor Ethel N. Fortner, who was a friend to writers and frequent contributor to the St. Andrews Review. Fortner earned a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University in New York. After a career in teaching at the Oregon School of the Blind, she and her husband moved to Estacada, Ore. She committed herself to writing and became editor of Human Voice Quarterly. She believed that a full community embraced and encouraged the craft of writing.

For more information about the Writers' Forum, creative writing at St. Andrews or the St. Andrews College Press, call 910-277-5310 or email press@sapc.edu.

About St. Andrews Presbyterian College

An innovative and bold academic venture, the distinctive character of St. Andrews has been marked by an interdisciplinary curriculum, a highly acclaimed college press, an award-winning pipe band, national champion equestrian teams, and first-rate scholarship. In addition to classes on the main campus, adult learners also choose the Center for Adult and Professional Studies opportunities through St. Andrews @ Sandhills and St. Andrews ONLINE.

On Aug. 29, 1958, the merger between Presbyterian Junior College and Flora Macdonald College became official with the formation of St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C. Further information may be obtained by visiting the College's website www.sapc.edu, calling 800-763-0198 or sending an e-mail to info@sapc.edu.


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St. Andrews University
A branch of Webber International University
1700 Dogwood Mile
Laurinburg, NC 28352
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