Raleigh-based poet Gibbons Ruark grew up the son of a United Methodist minister, moving from town to town in eastern North Carolina. He graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received his master's degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He taught at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro before settling into a position at the University of Delaware for 37 years, but he never stopped writing about his North Carolina home. His work immortalizes hybrid magnolias and sun lit porches. Ruark is the award-winning author of eight books of poetry, including the most recent, "Staying Blue" (Lost Hill Books/2008).