Bland Simpson’s life well-lived began to take shape when he moved to Chapel Hill at 10 years old with his mother and two younger sisters.
Now 70 and a decorated professor of creative writing at UNC, Simpson’s life as a musician, songwriter and composer took him to Broadway and back — while his writing career led him to author seven books with UNC Press. He found fame with the Tony Award-winning string band Red Clay Ramblers and recaptured contentment in rural Orange County with his wife Ann — an accomplished photographer — along with a family of three grown children.
But it all congealed in Glen Lennox, where the real-life Simpsons settled into a three-bedroom apartment at 24 Flemington Road in the summer of 1959. Bland’s first 10 years were spent in Elizabeth City exploring Albemarle Sound, which he has continued to recall in his writing.