Showing posts with label NC Arts Council. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NC Arts Council. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

New NC Poet Laureate named by Governor

Shelby Dean Stephenson, poet, editor and teacher, has been named by Governor McCrory as the new poet laureate of North Carolina. He will be installed in February, 2015.

Earlier this year the governor set off a storm among poets when he appointed a woman, Valerie Macon, without going through proper procedure with the NC Arts Council. This time he chose Stephenson from a field of nominations using a panel of respected poets and writers.

Read more here.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Are You Feeling Isolated? You Don't Have to

As writers in this modern world, we have many opportunities online to read and reach out for information we can use. Our Network site, www.ncwriters.org is filled with places we can visit with a simple click. Many writers have their websites and their blogs listed. You would be surprised at how much you can learn by reading what these writers post.

As writers in North Carolina it helps us to read about what is happening in our government that affects us and our parent organization, North Carolina Writers Network. We have an active and supportive Arts Council which needs our support as literary artists. 

As writers we often become self-absorbed and expect to receive much but don't give much back in return. I enjoy visiting the website of the NC Arts Council and the site of NCWN. I learn about other writers in our state and what is happening in the literary world.

Here in the mountains we sometimes feel isolated, but we don't have to be. We can reach out to writers across the state. I enjoyed a recent email exchange with our former Haywood County Rep, Al Manning who is on the Board of Trustees for NCWN. He lives in Pittsboro now and we discussed how the writing world has changed no matter where you live. He holds Writers Morning Out in his area to keep everyone connected. We all yearn for those good times we have when we like-minded people can gather and talk about writing. We learn from each other and how nice it is to help another writer if we get the opportunity.

I urge everyone to visit our writing sites and connect with a writer who lives in another part of the state. In the world of cyberspace today we don't have to ever feel isolated. We simply have to reach out.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

NEW POET LAUREATE CROWNED

(At the state Capitol with Linda Carlisle, Head of the Dept. of Cultural Resources, and new Poet Laureate Cathy Smith Bowers)
On Wednesday Feb. 10, Cathy Smith Bowers was officially installed as North Carolina Poet Laureate. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xAk6fOzaNE )I was delighted to place the laurel wreath on her head. My Lasso blog will now be archived here, so please visit it as often as you wish. The NC Arts Council will be setting up its own laureate website soon and will link to this blog.
Thank you for visiting this blog. Please visit my other blog now--Here, Where I Am, where I will be now and then featuring poets and new books from NC and elsewhere.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Country Music, for Debbie McGill

For Debbie McGill's Farewell party, I wrote a poem for her, which I thought you might like to see. The short poem before it is today's ncpoetlaureate header, written by a 5th grader at an elementary school in Taylorsville. I received 48 poems from the 5th grade!
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Bring me all your hopes,
you hopers.
Bring me all your heartbeats of hope.
That I may wrap them in a deep red cloth,
Away from the rejecting souls of the world. -CB -----Sugar Loaf Elementary School
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(Jennifer Nettles, of Sugarland. Getty Images)


COUNTRY MUSIC

(a letter-poem written for Debbie McGill while traveling back home to North Carolina)

Dear Debbie, Last night I watched the Country Music Awards,
thinking all the way through it how seldom real melody
burst through that slick Nashville razzle-dazzle: The worst of it?
A black leather mini-dress hugging a backside that looked to be
bigger than mine. Or, those false sequined eyelashes
three inches long on the bland baby-blues of the mistress of ceremonies--
two dozen changes of wardrobe and two dozen layers
of lipstick! Why did I keep watching? Waiting for Sugarland,
the duo from Georgia whose singer wears nary a false eyelash
and does her own hair.* Who sings like a dove
or a diva, depending on whichever song she writes. Heck, why be pompous
about it? A good song’s a good poem. And Lordy, how I wanted one
to rise out of that racket and make me sit stock still and listen.
We both wanted that, you and me, and for almost four years we found
it. Well, most of the time. Yep, we made a good Search Party,


savvy and just enough serious, just enough silly to giggle through
e-mails and telephone calls, and you patient enough to put up with
my own diva tantrums. ( You know what I’m talking about!)
Now I feel like I’m losing my lodestar, my compass, my native scout
leading the way through the sagebrush. A real poet herself,
though she never would talk about that. Whose editor’s pen
could work magic. (Pero siempre con palabras muy dulce.)
I found my own Sugarland there at the Arts Council,
the two of us singing duets that we’ll never forget,
like a good country song, or the aria I’m listening to now
on the radio, praising the ongoing sweetness of art. Love you,

Kay

* Jennifer Nettles

Below, a new country music duo (now that Debbie is no longer Literature Director, she can be the real poet that she is): The Sweet Heartbeats! Stay tuned to your favorite country blogspot for their songs!