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The Poets Of North Carolina: A Healer, A Student, A Teacher, A Transplant

Jacinta White, Poet

For National Poetry Month, we talked with four different North Carolina poets about their work and their relationship with the art form.

Name: Jacinta White

Location: Kernersville, NC

Organization: The Word Project, using poetry workshops to help with personal and community healing.

"Often times people are made to come to the workshop... and there's always bound to be at least one person who says 'I'm here because I have to be. I don't write. I'm not creative.' Inside of me, I'm jumping up and down saying 'Yes! They are in the right place." - Jacinta White

Emily Demaionewton, poet
Emily Demaionewton, a senior at Wakefield High School, in Raleigh

Name: Emily Demaionewton

Location: Raleigh, NC

Credits: Senior at Wakefield High, 2013 Poetry Out Loud district winner.

"Especially students, when we read pre-20th century poetry, they get go up in the 'Poetry is so confusing. It doesn't make any sense.' But the process of figuring it out makes you think. And that's what poetry is supposed to do."

Emily Demaionewton reads some of her work and talks about the process of putting it together.

Joseph Banthanti, Poet
Credit Appalachian State University
Joseph Bathanti, poet laureate of North Carolina

Name: Joseph Bathanti

Location: Boone, NC

Title: Poet Laureate, state of North Carolina

“I was this unwashed Yanakee boy who came south who despereatly wanted to be a writer and I was really without having credential one welcomed into the ranks of North Carolina writers.  It is just a generous community there is a not a pecking order or hierarchy I feel like there is not that kind of jealously, vanity.”

Joseph Bathanti speaks about the way he uses place in his poetry.

Image of Nathaniel Mackey, who is one of the country's most respected poets and recently released his new book 'Blue Fasa.'
Nathaniel Mackey, Reynolds Price Professor of Creative Writing, Duke University

Name: Nathaniel Mackey

Location:  Durham, NC

Credits:  National Book Award Winner, Guggenheim Fellow, Reynolds Price Professor of Creative Writing at Duke University

“[Poetry]  is the closest to music. The sound of it, the impact of it on one’s ear and the rest of you via the ear was something that registered with me very early on and I think it stayed with me.” 

Nathaniel Mackey on how poetry has changed.

Special thanks to the North Carolina Arts Council for helping connect us with some of the poets.

Phoebe Judge is an award-winning journalist whose work has been featured on a numerous national radio programs. She regularly conducts interviews and anchors WUNC's broadcast of Here & Now. Previously, Phoebe served as producer, reporter and guest host for the nationally distributed public radio program The Story. Earlier in her career, Phoebe reported from the gulf coast of Mississippi. She covered the BP oil spill and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina for Mississippi Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio. Phoebe's work has won multiple Edward R. Murrow and Associated Press awards. Phoebe was born and raised in Chicago and is graduate of Bennington College and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.
Eric Mennel prepares the afternoon/evening "drive time" newscast on WUNC. Previously, he was a producer for The Story with Dick Gordon. Eric has reported for All Things Considered, This American Life, 99% Invisible and other radio programs. He covered protests and security measures at the 2012 Republican National Convention for WUSF Tampa and NPR News. One day, he hopes to own a home with a wrap-around porch.
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