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Showing posts with label NC Poet Laureate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NC Poet Laureate. 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.

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!
----------------------------------------------------

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
_________________________________________________________



(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!



Friday, February 22, 2008

WRITING HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT

Writing Lesson and Homework Assignment:

Nancy Simpson: Instructor
Write a Persona Poem

The word persona comes from the greek language. Persona means mask.

A persona poem is a poem written in the voice of someone other than the poet. It is written in first person. The I speaker is not the poet. In practice, a poet takes on the identity of someone real or imagined, and talks as they would talk, sees what they see, hears what they hear. When the Persona Poem is spoken aloud, it is dramatic monologue.

Why would anyone want to write a poem presenting themselves as someone else? It is an exercise in walking a mile in someone else’s shoes, and when you do that, you learn something you did not know before, or you remember, with a thump in the chest, some truth you knew, but suppressed it so deeply you almost forgot it.

It is wise to choose to write about a critical moment in the person’s life. The classic example is Elizabeth Bishop’s “Caruso in England”. Kathryn Stripling Byer, our NC Poet Laureate, made much of her early fame in writing the Alma poems, in which she speaks as a woman who lived in the mountains long ago.

Is persona the same as personification? No, don’t get sidetracked. Personification is a poetic device in which the poet gives animals or objects characteristics of a person. Stay with the person I give you:

Assignment: Write a persona poem in the voice of Christopher Columbus in present time, returning to San Salvador, the place where he first landed in 1492.

or

Write a poem in the voice of a man or a woman who is hunting ginseng in a mountain forest in Appalachia, who finds something else instead.

Send me a copy, if you want my comments.
nance@dnet.net. Cut and paste please.