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Author publishes "What Deathbed Visions Teach us About Living" in The New York Times Magazine, March 12, 2024.



Selected by the N.C. Humanities Council for the 2024 NC Reads statewide book club, February 2024.

Awarded the inaugural Sam Gladding author award by Wake Forest university, April 2023.

South Florida PBS "Between the Covers" airs interview with the author, streaming here.

WNYC's "The Takeaway"replays Melissa Harris Perry's interview with the author. Listen here.

The Assembly excerpts Chapter 18, "The Golden Egg" with an introduction by the author. "Darryl Hunt’s exoneration got him out of jail for a crime he didn’t commit. But it couldn’t undo the trauma and systemic racism that shaped every aspect of his life."

Slate lists Beyond Innocence among the best in 2022 true crime. "Hunt’s story is one of courage and tragedy. The book is a haunting portrayal of the criminal justice system and its impact on the innocent." —Maurice Possley, Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist

Southern booksellers nominate Beyond Innocence for the Southern Book Prize in nonfiction. Vote here.

Scuppernong Editions publishes Inside: Voices From Death Row, with an afterword by Zerwick. Order here.

Author featured in oral history project at University of North Carolina Greensboro. Listen here.

The Greensboro News & Record publishes an excerpt from Chapter 8, "A Chamber of Horrors," June 8.

Trinity School's "PodMissum" airs episode with the author June 15. Listen here.

NC Health News publishes interview with author, focused on the trauma inflicted by prison and wrongful conviction.

Tantor Media releases the audio book May 10, narrated by Sean Crisden. Order here.

NC Policy Watch interviewed the author for its weekly podcast which airs on WRAL-FM.

Rob Warden, co-founder of the National Registry of Exonerations, reviews Beyond Innocence for The National Book Review, writing, " personal bookshelves hold no fewer than 87 titles about wrongful convictions. Of the lot, none has made my blood boil more than Zerwick’s chronicle of the life and death of Darryl Hunt."

The author's op-ed on false conviction, "Five teenagers. Recanted confessions. Convicted. Sound familiar?" published in The Washington Post, March 30, 2022.

The Marshall Project's daily newsletter, "Opening Statement," urges readers to "Buy this book. In “Beyond Innocence: The Life Sentence of Darryl Hunt”, author Phoebe Zerwick chronicles a wrongful conviction in North Carolina that had all the familiar hallmarks of police and prosecutorial misconduct and ended in tragedy.

WUNC's "Tested" features Darryl Hunt's struggle, with the author and excerpts from an interview he gave in 2007 and another with his attorney Mark Rabil. 

WNYC's "The Takeway" features Darryl Hunt's legacy and the trauma of wrongful conviction, with the author and Suzy Salamy, of the Innocence Project.

"Southern Reckoning," a podcast of 103.3 FM Asheville, NC, dug deep into Darryl Hunt's legacy with its March 20, 2022 eposide.

"Telling the Stories of the Wrongly Incarcerated," the author's reading list, published by Literary Hub.

The Southern Booksellers Review includes Beyond Innocence: The Life Sentence of Darryl Hunt as one of its March "Read This Next" books, writing that "the saddest part is what happened to him after freedom, and how it illustrates the plight of most of the exonerated."

"Bookin," a podcast produced by Quail Ridge Books talks with the author for a wide ranging discussion of Darryl Hunt's legacy and the role of journalism.

WFDD, the NPR affiliate in Winston-Salem,  speaks with the author about Darryl hunt's legacy and her hopes for Beyond Innocence.   "Now, Zerwick has written a book about Darryl Hunt and his story — one that she hopes makes cultural conversations about systemic racism, justice, prison reform, and mercy more accessible."

Literary Hub lists Beyond Innocence among "19 new books to get lost in this week"and publishes an excerpt, "Phoebe Zerwick on Family and Loss in Hunt’s Early Years."

The Winston-Salem Journal features Beyond Innocence in "New book by former Journal reporter explores Darryl Hunt's life after exoneration."

Triad City Beat publishes a Q&A with author and a column from its publisher, Brian Clarey, who writes:

"So many of our institutions failed Darryl Hunt, again and again and again. By the time we were through with him, there was barely anything left. Phoebe Zerwick, who has been working this story for 20 years, will not let us forget."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes: “Beyond Innocence” is the story of how what seemed like Darryl Hunt’s happy ending turned out to be a chapter, not an ending, and a testament to how profoundly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can affect prisoners for years after they are released. . . . Zerwick’s research is exemplary . . .”

Kirkus Reviews gives Beyond Innocence a starred review: "An engaging, heartbreaking read."

Publishers Weekly calls Beyond Innocence: "Richly detailed and lucidly written, this is a harrowing story of racial injustice and the lingering traumas of wrongful imprisonment."

Library Journal writes: “The book’s reconstruction of Hunt’s last days is a powerful reminder of incarceration’s effects on the large numbers of Black Americans who have spent time behind bars. Zerwick’s portrait of Hunt is a reminder of the trauma caused by the American justice system and offers an essential narrative of the lasting impacts of incarceration.”

Booklist writes: “Zerwick tracks Hunt’s life as an exoneree and dedicated activist, whose advocacy helped lead to substantive reform for death row inmates until the burden of his trauma led tragically to his taking his own life. Zerwick’s portrait of Hunt humanizes all who are incarcerated, opening out into a well-researched, frustrating, inspirational, and heartbreaking look at profound issues of equality and justice and how racism and injustice destroy lives.”

Intersections, a magazine of the

Forsyth County Library speaks with me about Hunt's legacy,

see p. 17.

5(ish) Questions: Phoebe Zerwick and “The Last Days of Darryl Hunt”


March 9, Lexington Book Festival, Lexington, N.C., 202 N. Main St., 2 pm book signing, 4 pm panel discussion.

Feb. 27, Zoom, North Carolina Humanities Council, NC Reads 2024, panel discussion with Mark Rabil, 6-7 pm. Link to video coming.

Feb. 21, 2024, Winston-Salem, N.C., MUSE museum, book talk, 4-5 pm.


Nov. 3-5, Storyfest, Columbia, S.C., South Carolina Writers Association fall conference.


Sept 29-30, Get Lit! Literary Festival, Hudson, N.C., Mitford Museum.


June 15, Greensboro, N.C., History Museum, in conversation with David Wright Falade, author of Black Cloud Rising.

April 22, 10:30, Greensboro, N.C. 1111 Spring Garden St., "The Spirit of Place," NC Writers Network Spring Conference, registration required here.

March 17, 5:30 pm, West Palm Beach, FL, "Between the Covers," WXEL PBS South Florida, April 8, 6 pm, WPBT

March 12, 2 pm,  Delicious Reads, Spartanburg, S.C., AC Marriott, 225 W. Main St., hosted by the Hub City Writer's Project, with 19 authors.

Feb. 2, 3:30 pm, Salemtowne Retirement Community, Black History Month author talk, Winston-Salem, NC. 

Jan. 21, 10:30 am, Southern Author Expo, Greenville, SC, Hughes Main Library, in conversation with Scott Gould, author of The Hammerhead Chronicles.

Nov. 11, 6 pm, Scuppernong Books, panel discussion as part of the "Carceral Country" series of book talks. Greensboro, NC. 

Nov. 5, noon, Texas Book Festival, Austin, Tx., in conversation with Keri Blakinger, author of Confessions in Ink, moderated by Maurice Chammah, journalist at the Marshall Project.

Oct. 25, Panel discussion with author Ben Gilmer. Akland Museum of Art. Chapel Hill, NC. 5 pm. 

Oct. 24, 2 pm, in conversation with Kim Cook, author of Shattered Justice, Wilmington, NC. Details to come.

Oct. 3, 1 pm, in conversation with Jamie Lau, clinical law professor with the Duke University Wrongful Convictions Clinic,  streaming with programming for International Wrongful Conviction Day,  Durham, NC.

Sept. 29, 5 pm, panel discussion, Wake Forest University, moderated by Corey Walker, chairman of African American Studies, to launch an archive of Darryl Hunt's papers at the Law School library. Details to follow.

Sept. 8, 6:30 pm, panel discussion with Dr. Ben Gilmer, author of The Other Dr. Gilmer, on mental health and the prison system, moderated by Jonathan Milner, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC. register here.

Aug. 25. 8:30 am, panel discussion with Sarah Shourd, aithor of "The Box," a play on solitary confinement, moderated by Mike Wakeford, director of MUSE, UNCSA, Winston-Salem, NC.

Aug. 4, 4 pm, ZSR Library virtual book club, register here.

July 14, 6 pm, book talk at Pig City Books, Lexington, N.C.

June 10, 4-7 pm,  book festival  and signing with other authors, Camden  Library, 118 North Hwy 343, Camden, NC. 

May 28, 1 pm, SECCA, book talk in conjunction with Sherrill Roland's exhibit, "The Odds." Winston-Salem, NC. Details here.

May 21, 10 am, Van Dyke Performance Space, Greensboro Cultural Center, 200 N Davie Street, Greensboro Bound  Literary Festival, Greensboro, NC. Register here

May 19, 8:30 am, virtual conversation with Rose Hoban, editor-in-chief of NC Health News, for the "Health Care Half Hour NC." Listen here.

May 14, 2 pm, virtual book club discussion, WFDD, Winston-Salem, NC. Register here.

April 24, 4 pm, book talk, Forsyth County Public Library, 660 W. 5th Street, Winston-Salem, NC. Details to follow.

April 9, 6 pm, in conversation with Valena Beety, author of Manifesting Justice and co-leader of the Academy of Justice at Arizona State University, Changing Hands, Tempe, AZ. Register here.

March 31-April 24, MUSE, community read, with in-person and virtual events, Winston-Salem, NC. Register here

March 23, 7 pm, Virtual Event, a conversation with Tim Tyson, author of The Blood of Emmett Till and Blood Done Sign My Name, sponsored by A Capella Books and The Carter Center, Atlanta. Watch the video here.

March 11,  6 pm, Virtual Event,  in conversation with Joe Neff, reporter at the Marshall Project,  Malaprops, Asheville, NC.  Watch the video here.

March 10, 5:30 pm book signing, 6 pm in conversation with Carissa Byrne Hessick, author of Punishment Without Trial and director of the Prosecutors and Politics Project at he University of North Carolina School of Law, Flyleaf Books, 752 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Chapel Hill, NC. Register here.

March 9, 7 pm, in conversation with David Zucchino, author of Wilmington's Lie,  Quail Ridge Books, 4209-100 Lassiter Mill Road, Raleigh, NC. Register here.

March 8, 7 pm, book launch at Bookmarks, 634 W. 4th Street, Winston-Salem, NC. Register here.

Feb. 26 and 27, Moveable Feast of Books, hosted by Bookmarks, at the

Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts, 251 N. Spruce Street, Winston-Salem, NC. Register here.



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