Like a Tar Heel: North Carolina Place Names
North Carolina place names pronounced by local authors, Bland
Simpson and Michael McFee by clicking on the
county name on the state map or in the list below. (It is recognized that
there are local variations that differ from those shown here--some
Iredell County residents call their home "ARE-dell," for example--but
no attempt has been made to list them here.)
the "Guide to Pronouncing County Names"
by John L. Sanders, former director of the Institute of Government at
the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
North Carolina Collection with your questions,
comments, and suggestions of other North Carolina names that you would
like to hear pronounced: firstname.lastname@example.org
Carolina Cities, Counties, Towns, Mountains, and More: Pronunciations
Read by Bland Simpson and Michael McFee
Bland Simpson directs the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's
Creative Writing Program, and he is a longtime member of the Tony Award-winning
Red Clay Ramblers. His latest book is Ghost Ship of Diamond Shoals,
The Mystery of the Carroll A. Deering (2002), and his earlier
books include Heart of the Country (1983), The Great Dismal
(1990), The Mystery of Beautiful Nell Cropsey (1993), and Into
the Sound Country: A Carolinian's Coastal Plain (1997), with photography
by his wife, Ann Cary Simpson. He has also collaborated on such musicals
as King Mackerel & the Blues are Running, Kudzu,
Diamond Studs, and the three-time Broadway and international hit Fool
Moon. Simpson, who grew up in both Elizabeth City (Pasquotank
County) and Chapel Hill (Orange
County), has won the Governor's Award "Conservation Communicator
of the Year" (1998) and the Brown-Hudson Award from the NC Folklore
Society (1999); he was 2002 Chair of the North Carolina Writers Conference.
was born in Asheville, North Carolina, in 1954, and grew up in the small
town of Arden in the Blue Ridge Mountains. He received his B.A. (1976)
and M.A. (1978) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
He has been poet-in-residence at Cornell and Lawrence Universities, and
is now a Professor of English at his alma mater, where he teaches poetry
writing and contemporary North Carolina literature.
Among his collections of poetry are Earthly (Carnegie Mellon
University Press, 2001), Colander (Carnegie Mellon, 1996), To
See (a collaboration with photographer Elizabeth Matheson: North
Carolina Wesleyan College Press, 1991), Sad Girl Sitting on a Running
Board (Gnomon Press, 1991), and Vanishing Acts (Gnomon,
1989). He has also edited two anthologies of North Carolina literature:
This Is Where We Live: Short Stories by 25 Contemporary North Carolina
Writers (University of North Carolina Press, 2000) and The Language
They Speak Is Things to Eat: Poems by Fifteen Contemporary North Carolina
Poets (UNC Press, 1994).
The recordings of North Carolina
County names are saved as MP3 files. Most current audio players, including
RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, and QuickTime for Macintosh, can play
MP3s. Visit mpeg.org for more information about playing MP3s (http://www.mpeg.org/MPEG/MPEG-audio-player.html).
The recordings of Bland Simpson
and Michael McFee were made by recording engineer John Loy in the Manuscripts
Department's John M. Rivers Audio Preservation Studio.