Showing posts with label N.C. Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label N.C. Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer. Show all posts

Monday, May 6, 2013

Western Carolina University in Cullowhee hosts this year's Squire Summer Writing Residency

2013 Squire Summer Writing Residency will be July 11–14 on the campus of Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.
The Squire Summer Writing Residency is the Network’s smallest and most intensive conference. Admission is limited to the first fifty registrants who sign up for one of three three-day workshops:
  • Poetry with Kathryn Stripling Byer, North Carolina’s first woman Poet Laureate. Byer has published six full-length collections of poetry, including Descent (LSU Press, 2012), her most recent. A re-print of her first, the AWP Award-winning The Girl in the Midst of the Harvest, is forthcoming from Press 53. Her work has appeared in many journals and newspapers, including The Atlantic, Hudson Review, Boston Globe, and Georgia Review.

  • Fiction with Elizabeth Lutyens. Lutyens returned to her native North Carolina after a career in the Boston area as a journalist in print and television. Her novel-in-progress, Medicine Island, was a semi-finalist in the 2011 William Faulkner – Wisdom Competition. A faculty member of the Great Smokies Writing Program at UNC Asheville since 2006, she currently teaches its by-invitation Prose Master Class and is editor-in-chief of its online literary magazine, The Great Smokies Review.

  • Creative Nonfiction with Catherine Reid. Reid is the author of Coyote: Seeking the Hunter in Our Midst (Houghton Mifflin) and Falling into Place (forthcoming from Beacon Press); she has also edited two anthologies and served as editor of nonfiction for a literary journal. Her essays have appeared in such journals as Georgia Review, Massachusetts Review, Fourth Genre, and Bellevue Literary Review. She is currently the director of creative writing at Warren Wilson College, where she specializes in literary nonfiction and environmental writing.
The Residency will begin on Thursday evening, July 11, with registration and check-in. Workshops begin on Friday morning, July 12, and continue until the early afternoon of July 14. The Residency will also feature panel discussions and readings by faculty and attendees.
Registrants also will enjoy meals together and have the option of staying overnight in on-campus accommodations.
“The small class sizes and extended, intensive format of the Squire Summer Writing Residency makes it especially safe for writers to share their work, get to know other writers, and find inspiration,” NCWN executive director Ed Southern said.
Registration is available online at or by calling 336-293-8844.

The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit

Monday, March 4, 2013

What makes a good blog? Hope Clark has the answer,

“Every piece of content you write on a blog has to either solve
a problem or entertain the reader.”  Hope Clark

Hope Clark is someone I greatly admire. Her blogs and her newsletters are food for writers, in my opinion. So when she says a blog must either solve a problem or entertain the reader, I know she is right.

My Writers Circle blog is designed to give writers information about workshops and classes and the writers who teach at my home studio. At times, I throw in a post on the craft or my opinion.

Writing Life Stories has been all over the place since the beginning. It has changed in theme and content, but that is because I have changed since the blog was started in 2007. Many of my readers manage a blog or many blogs on various subjects. I understand that a blog concentrated on a theme like quilting, chicken farming, or single mothers raising kids, that discuss the problems and offer solutions is going to have a large audience. Those blogs require a concentrated schedule and plan I think. That might be too much work for me at this time in my life.

How I became a blogger and Netwest Writers was Born

It was fall of 2007 at a panel discussion at a writers conference that I realized what a blog was and what it could do. A young mother had written a book on stay at home moms working from home and she found out she could sell more of her books on a blog than by going through a New York Publisher. On the panel were three other writers who had found success from writing a blog.

I came home and told my husband I was going to learn how to blog, not for myself, but for the writers and poets in our chapter of NCWN. I had taken the job of Program Coordinator for NCWN West. Nancy Simpson and I had often talked about the problem of getting the voices of mountain writers in our area over the ridges and past the ranges into the rest of the world. I believed a blog was better than a website. A website at that time was static and unchanging. A blog gave us freedom to share new material everyday if we wanted. And the blog was free!

I was scared. After all, I didn't know anything about this new technology. Would our members accept this and use it? Would it do what I hoped it would? Soon I was holding classes on blogging and some of our members, Brenda Kay Ledford, Nancy Simpson, Carol Thompson, and Sam Hoffer began their own sites. What pleased me the most was that all of us were beyond the young stage. We were all over fifty. It wasn’t long before Netwest member and Poet Laureate of North Carolina, Kathryn Stripling Byer created a blog. When she became Program Coordinator for Netwest, she brought readers from everywhere to the Netwest blog.

I have been disappointed that more of our members have not used the Netwest Writers blog. We have a number of authors listed who have the capability to write posts and other members can ask for and get permission to post on the blog. It was created for our members.

I am so thankful, however, that Netwest Writers blog has been successful in promoting our writers and helping them reach across the state and around the world. We have readers from many different countries every day.

Nicki Leone, president of the NCWN Board of Trustees at that time built a website for the state organization and plopped our Netwest blog right on the front page. Since they have thousands of visitors every single day, those visitors saw us here in the mountains, clicked on our blog with little effort and read about our writers and our poets and playwrights. The voices of our writers have indeed reached beyond the mountains.

Where do we go from here?
I hope that other members of Netwest will post articles that appeal to readers. One of our members said the blog had simply become a bulletin board of upcoming events. We need to change that. We need posts that will keep us worthy of exposure on the home page of the NCWN website. We need an administrator who will help keep the blog on the radar of the search engines. Who out there is ready to do that?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

NOW MIGHT AS WELL BE THEN by Glenda Council Beall

Finishing Line Press is taking pre-orders for Now Might As Well Be Then, poetry chapbook by Glenda Council Beall, Program Coordinator for Netwest since 2007.

It is the second book on the page of new releases coming out in October.

This book is dedicated to her husband, Barry Beall, who was an unofficial member of Netwest as he made many of the photos at writing events, for articles, and of members that are used in publicity today.

Like William Wordsworth, Glenda Beall was raised knowing well the "yoke of earth," how the fields, pastures and woodlands yield both beauty and terror. Her evocations of being a daughter in the deep South, growing up on a farm, riding her mare, witnessing death and tragedy, as well as joy and fruitfulness, ring absolutely true. She gives us love poems from a mature woman's perspective, too, and poems that celebrate the vistas and culture of the mountains where she now lives. Every poem pulses with detail that brings life back to us in all its varied detail and music. The "yoke of earth" is also the poet's yoke, and she bears it gladly. --- Kathryn Striping Byer, NC Poet Laureate

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Coffee with the Poets, Hayesville,NC, Wednesday, February 11, 10:30 AM

will be the featured poet Wednesday, February 11, 10:30 AM for Coffee with the Poets at Phillips and Lloyd Books on the square in Hayesville, NC.

All writers and members of the community are invited. Open mic for poems and short essays or stories.

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.