Showing posts with label N C Arts Council. Show all posts
Showing posts with label N C Arts Council. Show all posts

Friday, April 4, 2008


--Nancy Simpson

What better way to celebrate poetry on the first day of National Poetry Month than to hear a poet laureate read her original poems? No better way for me and for other Netwest members who drove over to Young Harris, Georgia, on April 1st to hear N.C. Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer read her poems.

Kathryn Stripling Byer is the 2008 Byron Herbert Reece Speaker , and she visited the college especially to work with students. In the afternoon, she met with them in Wilson Hall and read some poems.
They had been studying her poems in English class, and they asked many questions. She asked them questions too, such as , “What else have you been reading?”

In the evening, Kathryn Stripling Byer read her poems to a packed auditorium of students, faculty, and citizens of the community. She read from a number of her collections, showing her development from a young poet interested in family and home to a mature poet struggling with issues of humanity, life and death.

Collections Kathryn Stripling Byer read from were: The Girl In the Midst of the Harvest, Wildwood Flower, Black Shawl, Catching Light, and Coming to Rest. Her books can be found in all mountain libraries and can be bought in most area bookstores. The Craftshop at John C. Campbell Folk School has a full selection of her books.

Again, she was open to questions and there were many asked. Bettie M. Sellers, former Georgia Poet Laureate asked her to tell the students about her appointment as Poet Laureate of NC. She talked mainly about her visits throughout the Old North State and about her Poet Laureate Web Site set up by the NC Arts Council ( where she discusses and promotes poetry and where she has featured poems by North Carolina's poets.

Kathryn Stripling Byer said her most important responsibility as Poet Laureate is to continue to write about issues that matter and to continue to celebrate and defend language itself.