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."
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
POETRY READINGS THIS WEEKEND
This weekend offers two reading/signing events in the WNC area. Cecilia Woloch and Kathryn S. Byer will be featured in both. On Saturday evening at 7:00 p.m. at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva,Woloch and Byer will join Mary Adams as she launches her new chapbook Commandment, hot off the press from Spring Street Editions. Mary is a member of the WCU English Faculty; she has been awarded an NEA fellowship and saw her first collection, Epistles from the Planet Photosynthesis, published by the University of Florida Press.
On Sunday, December 6, 2009, Malaprop's Bookstore/Café (55 Haywood Street in downtown Asheville, NC) will host poets Kathryn Stripling Byer reading from ARETHA'S HAT: INAUGURATION DAY, 2009; Julia Nunnally Duncan with AN ENDLESS TAPESTRY and new, unpublished poems; and Cecilia Woloch, author of CARPATHIA.
Kathryn Stripling Byer, poet laureate of North Carolina from 2005 through June 30, 2009, was born in Southwest Georgia but moved to North Carolina in 1968 and has lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains ever since. She is the author of five poetry books, including COMING TO REST (2006), and most recently (in collaboration with Penelope Scambly Schott) of the chapbook ARETHA'S HAT: INAUGURATION DAY, 2009. Writing on the topic "Why We Love North Carolina" for the February 2009 issue of Our State magazine, Kathryn Stripling Byer noted these particular highlights of her term as Poet Laureate: the "generous community of [North Carolina] writers . . . who continue to amaze me with their talent and energy" and most of all, "the students I've met in our schools . . . these young faces looking back at me, ready to say who they are. May we all listen well to them." As poet laureate, Kathryn Stripling Byer's primary goal was to "help make poetry accessible in as many ways as I could," through frequent visits to schools and with writing groups; appearances at bookstores, literary events, and a variety of public celebrations; a regularly updated poetry page on the North Carolina Arts Council web site; and her own generous laureate blog -- as well as by continuing to write and give public readings of her own poetry. In the process, she has demonstrated the perseverance and constant delicate balance of energies required to lead a very public life as a dedicated writer. Asked why she writes poetry, she recently replied, "It's the best way I know to sing with the world" (Writer's Digest interview with Robert Lee Brewer, July 2009). We are very happy to welcome Kathryn Stripling Byer back to "sing" her poetry at Malaprop's.
Julia Nunnally Duncan writes both poetry and fiction. She has previously published two collections of stories and a novel, and her second novel, WHEN DAY IS DONE, is just out from March Street Press. Her Appalachian poems have appeared in scores of literary journals, and her first published collection of poetry, AN ENDLESS TAPESTRY (2007), was named a finalist for the 2008 Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry. She recently completed the manuscript for a second collection of poems, AT DUSK. Rob Neufeld, book columnist for The Asheville Citizen-Times, wrote of Julia Nunnally Duncan that she is one of four Western North Carolina "poets to watch." He remarked that her poems "make the greatest possible use of line breaks, so that individual phrases glow like haiku observations. Metaphors develop naturally and emotionally." In a recent article in North Carolina Literary Review, Jeffrey Franklin observed of AN ENDLESS TAPESTRY, "Duncan always makes the place solid, the people real, the situation, in all its emotional complexity and perilousness, rendered with a deceptive simplicity that quietly resonates. . . .[Her] people are as recognizably human as any in Shakespeare[.]" Like our other readers for December 6, Julia Nunnally Duncan is at once a dedicated writer and an experienced teacher; she has served as a full-time English instructor at McDowell Community College for nearly two and a half decades. At Malaprop's, she will read selections from AN ENDLESS TAPESTRY and from her manuscript, AT DUSK. CARPATHIAis Cecilia Woloch's fifth poetry collection. Published in 2009, it went into a second printing about two months after its official publication date. Natasha Trethewey, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, has written of CARPATHIA, "The poems . . . are guided by an exquisite lyricism and heartbreaking emotional honesty. . . . This is a gorgeous book by a poet who is passionately alive in the world." Cecilia Woloch has traveled widely and taught just as widely, offering poetry workshops for children and adults across the United States and in several locations abroad. She serves as a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Southern California and is founding director of the Paris Poetry Workshop. The recipient of numerous awards for her writing, teaching and theatre work, in 2009 alone, Cecilia Woloch has been recognized as a finalist in the California Book Awards of The Commonwealth Club of California for her 2008 chapbook, NARCISSUS; as a finalist for the Pablo Neruda Prize in Poetry at Nimrod; as the first prize winner of the New Ohio Review Prize in Poetry; and as a Fellow at the Center for International Theatre Development/US Artists Initiative in Poland.
Please join us in welcoming three distinguished poets on December 6, and begin your holiday season with poetry!
Poetrio: Kathryn Stripling Byer, Julia Nunnally Duncan, Celia Woloch Sunday, December 6, 2009, 3:00 p.m. Malaprop's Bookstore/Café 55 Haywood Street Asheville, NC 28801 (828) 254-6734 www.malaprops.com
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.