Poetry

Jacinta White, Poet
PoetryHeals.com

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.

chain on a park swing
Brent Danley / Flickr/Creative Commons

There is some intense poetry writing happening this month in Eastern North Carolina.  Select groups of students are participating in the Teach for America Poet Warriors project.

Sepia upper half of the cover is a tone image of a marsh and bottom reads Behind My Eyes by Li-Young Lee
books.wwnorton.com / WW Norton and Company

  

When Li-Young Lee's parents received a classical education in China, they memorized dozens of poems. As a child, he heard his parents playfully recite poem after poem to one another. Today Li-Young Lee draws much of his poetic influence from that same classical Chinese poetry. 

Veteran salutes other veterans
flickr.com

  

The complexities of war do not fit neatly into a poem or a novel. Writers grapple with how to address conflict responsibly, honestly and creatively. An April 12th panel at the North Carolina Writers' Network Spring Conference at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro will examine the challenges of writing about war. 

Che on My Mind book cover
dukeupress.edu

In her new book, Che On My Mind (Duke University Press Books, 2013) Margaret Randall, renowned poet and activist, considers the power and the limitations of Che Guevara as a symbol. She will read at the Internationalist Bookstore and Community Center in Chapel Hill tonight at 7 p.m. 

Composer Dan Asia smiling.
danielasia.net

Poet Yehuda Amichai is one of Israel’s most acclaimed artists. His poems explore different aspects of the Jewish faith. American poet Paul Pines also examines the many components of Judaism in his work. American musical composer Dan Asia set both their works to music which will be performed tonight at Elon University

Poetry Meets Dance

Oct 15, 2013
Coffee House Press

  

The poet Lightsey Darst found inspiration for her new book “Dance” (Coffee House Press/ 2013) from some unlikely sources: the Zodiac, Dante, the Guinness Book of World Records and Vogue magazine. 

In dance, Darst finds a metaphor for Hell, Earth, and Paradise.  Host Frank Stasio speaks to Lightsey Darst about dance, writing and her latest work.

Buck: A Memoir by MK Asante
MK Asante / mkasante.com

M.K. Asante grew up in what he calls "Killedelphia," bouncing in and out of schools, hanging out in gangs, and struggling with troubled parents. Discovering a love of writing opened his eyes to new opportunities. His new book, Buck: A Memoir follows his coming-of-age story growing up in Philadelphia (Spiegel & Grau, 2013).

New River Breakdown by Terry L. Kennedy
http://www.unicorn-press.org/books/Kennedy-New-River-Breakdown.html / Unicorn Press

    

Terry Kennedy wanted nothing more than to become a business maven and take over the world when he was in college. Literature was for people with too much free time on their hands. But he gradually learned that he was terrible at business and passionate for creative writing. Kennedy's latest book of poetry is called “New River Breakdown” (Unicorn Press/2013).  

Cover of Lee Ann Brown's book of poetry, 'In The Laurels, Caught' (Fence Modern Poets Series/2013).
Fence Books / fenceportal.org

Lee Ann Brown splits her time between New York City and Marshall, North Carolina, but she has a special love for her southern home.

Jay Bryan speaking at the Carrboro Centennial.
Justin Valas/ Flickr / creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en

The small town of Carrboro was once a prominent mill town in the early to mid-1900s. But after all of the mills closed down and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill continued to grow, the town became a haven to students and an evolving arts scene.

The cover of Boyishly, a new book by Tanya Olson.
yesyesbooks.com

  Tanya Olson will tell you that being an eight-year-old child in the world allows you a lot of room to be whoever and whatever you want. You can be a whale, a man, a spaceship, and few will tell you otherwise. After that age though, the feeling doesn't necessarily go away. She explores that desire to transform in her first book of poems, "Boyishly" (YesYes Books, 2013). Tanya Olson is a poet and an English professor at Vance-Granville Community College.

Fred Moten
http://english.duke.edu / Duke University

Fred Moten grew up in a home and in a time where revolution was not portrayed as a romantic dream for the future, but a vital necessity for survival. He was raised in Las Vegas in the late '60s and '70s by a family who understood the need for change.

Senator Thom Goolsby, Republican, is the primary sponsor of a bill repealing the Racial Justice Act
thomgoolsby.com

This week the North Carolina Senate voted along party lines to repeal the Racial Justice Act. Also in the legislation are measures designed to restart executions, which have been unofficially on hold in the state since 2006.

Critics contend that eliminating the Racial Justice Act will prevent those unfairly sentenced to death because of racial bias from getting justice. More than 150 people in the state are awaiting execution.

Republican Senator Thom Goolsby of New Hanover County sponsored the legislation repealing the Racial Justice Act, and he said on The State of Things that the Act isn’t necessary.

http://ltabgso.tumblr.com/ / Louder Than a Bomb Greensboro

The Louder Than a Bomb Poetry Slam competition started in Chicago in 2001. Inspired by the competition and a documentary about it, local group Poet.she Female Performing Arts & Spoken Word decided to bring the competition to Greensboro.

Poet Natalie Diaz
coppercanyonpress.org

Natalie Diaz grew up on the Fort Mojave Indian Reservation. While many of those around her struggled with the lack of opportunities, she saw basketball as her way out.

Ron Rash's latest collection of short stories is 'Nothing Gold Can Stay.'
Harper Collins Publishers

  Author Ron Rash has been chronicling the Appalachian way of life for nearly two decades. His poetry and fiction have earned him wide acclaim and a position alongside other esteemed writers from western North Carolina. He joins host Isaac-Davy Aronson to discuss his latest book of short stories: “Nothing Gold Can Stay” (HarperCollins/2013).

When you go to a poetry slam, you’ll probably notice the majority of spoken word artists who hit the stage are men. But that’s not representative of the spoken word community at large. Starr, a slam poet, will represent the Bull City Slam team next year in the 2013 Women of the World Poetry Slam in Minneapolis. Host Frank Stasio talks to her about what it’s like to be a woman in the slam world.

Triangle poet Jeffery Beam has been prolific since his retirement last year.

He has two new books coming out called “The Broken Flower” (Skysill Press/2012) and "The New Beautiful Tendons" (Triton Books/2012). Along with his book “Gospel Earth” (Skysill Press/2010), they form a trilogy. “The Broken Flower” in particular is Beam’s exploration of brokenness and how we put ourselves back together. Host Frank Stasio talks to Jeffery Beam about his new book.

Poet Peter Cole is known for his translations of Hebrew literature and medieval Hebrew poetry, but in his latest translation, "Poetry of Kabbalah: Mystical Verse from the Jewish Tradition" (Yale University Press/2012),  he explores the spiritual side of Jewish faith.

Terri Kirby Erickson's third volume of poetry, "In the Palms of Angels" (Press53/2011) won a 2012 Nautilus Silver Award for poetry. The national award is given for a book of poetry that “engenders compassion, wisdom, greater understanding, empathy, or passion through the artful use of language.”

In 1976 Judy Hogan was a poet, editor and young mother when she founded Carolina Wren Press in her Chapel Hill Apartment. At the time, she was dismayed at how difficult it was for women and poets of color to publish their work. So she took the extraordinary leap of starting a press.

Meet Lou Lipsitz

Apr 25, 2011
Lou Lipsitz
www.loulipsitz.com

Lou Lipsitz spent 30 years as a professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and several more as a psychotherapist. Lipsitz is also a poet, often combining the art of teaching and counseling with his writing. His new collection of poems is called “if this world falls apart” (Lynx House Press/2011).

Staying Blue

Apr 15, 2011

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).

Writer, poet, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou has been awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor. President Obama presented the Wake Forest professor with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a ceremony yesterday. Mr. Obama said Angelou’s work has spoken to millions:

"By holding on, even amid cruelty and loss, and then expanding to a sense of compassion and ability to love…. By holding on to her humanity, she has inspired countless others who have known injustice and misfortune in their own lives."

Reynolds Price
Duke University

Reynolds Price has died. The prolific author and professor of English at Duke University passed away yesterday. He was 77 years old.

Reynolds Price had a motto. The man who wrote dozens of books, poems, essays, and plays and taught for six decades at his alma mater lived his life by words offered to him by a teacher at Oxford University more than 50 years ago.

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