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Nan Watkins Collection of Thomas Rain Crowe, 1976-2022

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Biographical Sketch

Nan Watkins is a writer, translator, musician, and librarian. She holds degrees from Oberlin College and Johns Hopkins University, with further study at the University of Munich and the Academy of Music in Vienna. She worked as reference librarian at Western Carolina University for over twenty years. Watkins lives in the Tuckasegee community of Jackson County with Thomas Rain Crowe.

Born Thomas Dawson in 1949 in Chicago, Ill., Thomas grew up in North Carolina and graduated from Furman University in 1972 with a major in anthropology. Dawson changed his name to Thomas Rain Crowe in 1979. Crowe is an internationally known poet, translator, essayist, editor, publisher, anthologist and recording artist and author of over thirty books of original and translated works.

Early in his career, Crowe lived and wrote in Europe, publishing translations and anthologies of poems. He also was editor of Beatitude magazine in San Francisco, and co-founder and director of the San Francisco International Poetry Foundation. When he returned to North Carolina, he became a founding editor of Katuah Journal: A Bioregional Journal of the Southern Appalachians, and was also editor-at-large for the Asheville Poetry Review. He also founded the Cullowhee-based publishing company New Native Press (1979), and Fern Hill Records (1994), a recording label devoted exclusively to the collaboration of poetry and music. Crowe was also “American literature and arts correspondent” for W.P. Journal published in Cavan, Ireland.

Crowe currently resides in the Tuckasegee community of Jackson County in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, where he writes features and columns on culture, community and the environment for the Smoky Mountain News.