Soul-Sustaining Arts

In an increasingly frenetic world, in an unparalleled Age of Technology with screens of distraction, this course will center on the crucial idea of sustaining the soul through direct engagement with the arts, especially those of poetry, philosophy, music, theatre, photography, storytelling (oral history), and visual arts. An additional and unique strand to this course will be a focus on creative writing out of Ireland. Students will keep writer's notebooks (collected periodically with feedback provided) and produce short reflection papers based on such arts activities, along with creative writing pieces from related creative writing assignments.

NOTE: This course is offered as a hybrid with 67% required in-person meeting times and 33% asynchronous.


Course Details
Course Number: 
Section Number(s) and Day/Times Taught: 
719: MW 2:00pm-2:50pm - hybrid
720: MW 3:00pm-3:50pm - hybrid
Fall 2024
The Arts

Adrian Rice

Adrian Rice

Dr. Adrian Rice is from Northern Ireland. He graduated from the University of Ulster with a BA in English & Politics, and an MPhil in Anglo-Irish Literature, and holds an EdD from Appalachian State University (his doctoral dissertation being - Between ‘The Planter & The Gael’: A Cross-Community Education in Poetry). Adrian has delivered writing workshops, readings, and lectures throughout the UK & Ireland, and America.  His first sequence of poems appeared in Muck Island (1990), a collaboration with leading Irish artist, Ross Wilson. Copies of this limited edition box-set are housed in the collections of The Tate Gallery, and The Boston Museum of Fine Arts. In 1997, Rice received the Sir James Kilfedder Memorial Bursary for Emerging Artists.  In autumn 1999, as recipient of the US/Ireland Exchange Bursary, he was Poet-in-Residence at Lenoir-Rhyne College, Hickory, NC.  His first full poetry collection – The Mason’s Tongue (1999) – was shortlisted for the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Literary Prize, nominated for the Irish Times Prize for Poetry, and translated into Hungarian by Thomas Kabdebo (A Komuves Nyelve, 2005).  In 2002, he co-edited a major Irish anthology entitled, A Conversation Piece: Poetry and Art (The Ulster Museum in association with Abbey Press).  His poems and reviews have been broadcast internationally on radio and television, and have been published in several international magazines and journals.  He has lectured, and given poetry readings, at several conferences, and published articles and book chapters on Irish literature. Selections of his poetry and prose have appeared in both The Belfast Anthology and The Ulster Anthology (Ed., Patricia Craig, Blackstaff Press, 1999 & 2006) and in Magnetic North: The Emerging Poets (Ed., John Brown, Lagan Press, 2006). A chapbook, Hickory Haiku, was published in 2010 by Finishing Line Press, Kentucky. Rice returned to Lenoir-Rhyne College as Visiting Writer-in-Residence for 2005.  Since then, Adrian and his wife Molly, and youngest son, Micah, have settled in Hickory.  During his time in Hickory, Adrian has taught English and Creative Writing at several local colleges, including Lenoir-Rhyne College, and Catawba Valley Community College, and also taught at Appalachian State University for the Reading Program.  Accepting a full-time position at App State in 2020, Rice is now a Senior Lecturer in First Year Seminar. In 2020, he received the Rennie W. Brantz Award for Outstanding Teaching in the First Year Seminar. Adrian's passion is centered on proving the educational, sustaining power of Poetry and the Arts in his Appalachian classrooms. Turning poetry into lyrics, he has also teamed up with Hickory-based and fellow Belfastman, musician/songwriter Alan Mearns, to form ‘The Belfast Boys’, a dynamic Irish Traditional Music duo.  Their album, Songs For Crying Out Loud, regularly airs across the Carolinas.  Recent poetry titles,  The Clock Flower (2013) and Hickory Station (2015), are both published by Press 53 (Winston-Salem).  Hickory Station was nominated for the Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry, and a poem from Hickory Station, “Breath”, first published in the Asheville Poetry Review, was a Pushcart Prize nomination. Adrian's poems are also included in Arlen House/Syracuse University Press's, Open-Eyed, Full-Throated: An Anthology of American/Irish Poets (2019), and in Crossing the Rift: North Carolina Poets on 9/11 & Its Aftermath (Press 53, 2021). His latest book is The Strange Estate: New & Selected Poems 1986-2017, and a new collection, The Chances of Harm, is due in Fall 2024.


Rice book covers