THIS BLOG IS NO LONGER OPERATIONAL. PLEASE ENJOY WHAT IS HERE, AND DO LEAVE A COMMENT IF YOU WISH. NORTH CAROLINA'S NEW POET LAUREATE IS CATHY SMITH BOWERS. SHE WILL SOON HAVE HER OWN WEBSITE THROUGH THE NORTH CAROLINA ARTS COUNCIL SITE. I WILL BE SHIFTING MY ATTENTION TO HERE, WHERE I AM, (SEE SIDEBAR)USING IT TO DRAW ATTENTION TO WRITERS WHOSE WORK DESERVES ATTENTION. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT ME THERE. For a video of the installation ceremony, please go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xAk6fOzaNE.
Go to http://www.yourdailypoem.com/, managed with finesse by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer, who says, "Our intent is to make visitors to Your Daily Poem aware of the joy and diversity of poetry."
Thursday, September 4, 2008
In Praise of Libraries and Librarians, Part 1: Dana Edge
This is a photo of Dana Edge, a woman I admired tremendously and with whom I lost contact during the months of her terminal illness this spring. (This photo shows Dana's sense of humor as Western Carolina University's Reference Librarian and Consultant to the School of Business. Its title: Dana Shocked! I love it.) I'll make no excuses. Yes, I was busy with poetry/travel commitments, but I could have made time to get in touch, at least by email. To visit. Now it's too late. And a woman who gave the label "librarian" special meaning is gone without my having told her how much I valued her friendship and regard for my work. Dana cared about poetry, the environment, politics, travel. She bought my books and she made comments about my work. How rare is that? As a librarian she took her job seriously. She was efficient and passionate (the two are not mutually exclusive), and she cared about literature. I had never officially met her until the day she came up to me in Western Carolina University's Hunter Library to tell me that she liked an op-ed I'd written for the Asheville Citizen-Times shortly before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, one that had been posted on the library bulletin board. Yesterday Hunter Library held a "Celebration of Dana Edge," a reception with good food, good friends, and displays of Dana's photos, posters, various brochures she had put together for the library and other mementoes from her time in our library. In them one could see a woman involved in life in its many unfoldings.
Here is the announcement from WCU. If you wish to honor a woman you most likely don't even know, by a contribution to The Hope Chest or the Canary Coalition, that would be wonderful. The Canary Coalition is a local environmental organization fighting to save what we have here in Jackson County and WNC, by the way.
Dana Merrill Edge, Reference Librarian, Liaison to the College of Business , and Assistant Professor at Hunter Library, died Sunday morning, August 24, after a brief illness. Dana came to Western in January, 1995, leaving behind a successful business career managing resorts at the Grand Canyon, Napa Valley , and Death Valley . Academic librarianship was a second career for Dana, and we were lucky she chose WCU, where projects she took on benefited from her intelligence and high standards. Quick wit and an elegant demeanor marked all of her endeavors here. Dana loved her time in Cullowhee and the many friends she made here. We will all miss her!
Dana’s family asks that memorial gifts be made to Hope Chest – A Women’s Cancer Center , P.O. Box 16948, Asheville , NC 28816, or to The Canary Coalition, P.O. Box 653, Sylva , NC 28779.
Dana's obituary in the Asheville Citizen Times: http://obituaries.citizen-times.com/obituaries/obit.php?id=56409
Here is the video that WLOS ran last weekend. The piece with Dana is called "Outrunning Time." She appears toward the end of the video. (It's less than 10 minutes long.): http://www.wlos.com/shared/newsroom/absolute_le/wlos_index.shtml
(Passion Flower in our garden)
PART 2, coming up, The Wilson County Public Library
I've lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina since 1968, though I'm a native of SW Georgia. My paternal grandmother was born in the Blue Ridge, and I grew up wanting to live here. Where I am.
I've published five collections of poetry, the most recent 4 being with LSU Press, and have published poetry in magazines ranging from The Atlantic Monthly to Appalachian Heritage. But I also hike, bang pots and pans around in my kitchen, and love several dogs who leave fur all over my carpets. I write poetry because it's my way of singing back to the world both within and without.