Mildred K. Barya Wins the 2020 Linda Flowers Literary Award

Mildred BaryaMildred Barya (photo by Todd Crawford)
October 7, 2020

The following news release was issued by the North Carolina Humanities Council.

CHARLOTTE, NC (October 2, 2020) The North Carolina Humanities Council is pleased to announce Mildred K Barya as the recipient of its 2020 Linda Flowers Literary Award for her creative non-fiction entry, “Being Here in This Body.”

This year’s judges, Luke Hankins, Terry L. Kennedy, and Zelda Lockhart, selected Barya’s work based on its literary merit and its ability to provide inspiring portraiture of North Carolina. The judges commented that the piece was “at once philosophical…and well crafted” and “provocative from the beginning [and] draws a picture of North Carolina through the musings of the piece” and that the writing “connects the reader to the [author’s] inner musings, memories, and outward observances seamlessly.”

As the award recipient, Barya will receive $1,500 and a week-long residency at Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities in Southern Pines.

A version of “Being Here in this Body” will be published in the next print issue of North Carolina Literary Review, coming in 2021. Subscriptions can be purchased at

Coming this November 2020, the North Carolina Humanities Council will co-host a virtual reading event with the 2020 Linda Flowers Literary Award winner and other authors featured in the upcoming North Carolina Literary Review issue. The event will stream on YouTube. Event information including more on how you can attend, is forthcoming.

The Linda Flowers Literary Award is a statewide literary contest that honors the late Linda Flowers who served as a North Carolina Humanities Council Trustee from 1992 to 1998. The annual award recognizes humanities excellence and celebrates North Carolina experiences through fiction, nonfiction, and poetry writing. The North Carolina Humanities Council thanks all who submitted their entries for consideration.

About Barya: Mildred K Barya is a writer from Uganda and assistant professor at UNC-Asheville. She teaches poetry, fiction, hybrids, and world literature. Her publications include three poetry books: Give Me Room to Move My Feet, The Price of Memory after the Tsunami, and Men Love Chocolates But They Don’t Say, as well as prose, poems, or hybrids in Tin House,, Poetry Quarterly, Asymptote Journal, Matters of Feminist Practice Anthology, Prairie Schooner, New Daughters of Africa International Anthology, Per Contra, and Northeast Review. She received a Ph.D. in English from the University of Denver, MFA in creative writing from Syracuse University, and B.A. in Literature from Makerere University. She serves on the board of African Writers Trust and hosts the Poetrio Reading Events at Malaprop’s Independent Bookstore/Café in Asheville.

Photo Credit: Todd Crawford