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Discovering Carl Sandburg: The Eclectic Life of an American Icon – All Things Appalachia speaker series

May 4, 2023 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Program Description

Discovering Carl Sandburg: The Eclectic Life of an American Icon—a lecture by Dr. John Quinley

During the first half of the twentieth century, Carl Sandburg seemed to be everywhere and do everything: poet and political activist; investigative reporter, columnist, and film critic; lecturer, folk singer, and musicologist; Lincoln biographer and historian; children’s author; novelist; and media celebrity. In number of books sold, platform appearances delivered, and honors bestowed, he was one of the most successful Americans of the century. But as time went on, his fame began to fade, and by the twenty-first century, the public knew little, if anything, about his legacy.

In his talk based on his recently published book, Dr. John W. Quinley will reintroduce Sandburg to a new generation. The audience will come to appreciate Sandburg’s work ethic, wide ranging interests, pioneering accomplishments, advocacy for social justice, focus on American history and culture, love of family, and his wisdom, integrity, kindness, and humor. Come discover—or rediscover—this remarkable American icon. He deserves to regain his place in American culture.


Dr. John W. Quinley, a retired college administrator and faculty member, was raised in Maywood, Illinois—just a few blocks away from where Sandburg lived 30 years earlier. He holds an Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration, an M.A. in Humanities, and a B.A in Psychology.

Quinley served as a docent for the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site for several years. He writes articles and gives presentations about Sandburg, and is the author of the book, Discovering Carl Sandburg: The Eclectic Life of an American Icon. He and his wife, Melissa, live in Hendersonville, North Carolina—just a few miles from Sandburg’s former home.

All Things Appalachia is a monthly program series at the Transylvania County Library exploring the people, natural world, culture, and history of the southern Appalachian region.  Presenters include experts in the fields of history, ecology, outdoor recreation, and more.   The programs are on the first Thursday evening of most months at 6:30 pm in the Rogow Room.  Each program lasts approximately one hour. These free programs are supported by the Friends of the Library


May 4, 2023
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Category:


Rogow Community Room, Transylvania County Library
212 South Gaston Street
Brevard, NC 28712 United States

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(828) 884-3151

212 S Gaston St, Brevard, NC 28712