Lanier Library receives Foothills Chamber grant

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Lanier Library received a $2000 grant from the Carolina Foothills Chamber of Commerce Foundation to help fund the Library’s first Annual Poetry Festival, which took place on Friday and Saturday, April 25 and 26.
Sally McPherson, Lanier Library Board President, said, “Our organization is grateful for the Chamber’s support and we hope the Poetry Festival will help preserve and promote Tryon’s extraordinary literary heritage as well as bring new visitors and business to the area.
Poets and poetry fans from across Western North Carolina and the Upstate descended on Tryon for the event.
The festival kicked off on Friday with “Poetry Under the Stars,” an “open-mic” reading celebration held at the Peterson Amphitheater. The exciting evening was led by former North Carolina Poet Laureate Cathy Smith Bowers and sponsored by the Tryon Fine Arts Center.
On Saturday the festival was packed with a variety of poetry workshops and readings by George Bilgere, Cathy Smith Bowers, Phebe Davidson, Elizabeth Cox, Kathy Ackerman, Rhett Iseman Trull and Malaika King Aalbrecht.
The luncheon, at Holy Cross Episcopal Church, featured a keynote address by well-known New York poet Mark Doty, winner of the National Book Award, National Book Critics’ Circle Award and the T. S. Eliot Prize.
The festival’s finale, Saturday evening, was a reception at the Lanier Library hosted by current North Carolina poet laureate Joseph Bathanti who announced the winners of the library’s sixth annual Sidney Lanier Poetry Competition.
Gina Atkins from Providence High School in Charlotte won in the student division for her poem “Chou” and the winner for the adult division was Monica Jones of Tryon for her poem “Silvertown.”
In the student division, other winners were: Second Place: Ryan Herrera of Charlotte for “And I Rot;” Third Place: Leah Mell of Charlotte for “Date Night;” Honorable Mention: Christina Jaquith of Charlotte for “The Eternal Love Letter.”
In the adult division, other winners were: Second Place: Susan Lefler of Brevard, N.C. for “Litany at End of Day.” Third Place: Brian Heston of Atlanta for “My Father Wakes in a Summer of His Youth”; Honorable Mention – Susan Lefler of Brevard for “The Red Socks and the Shroud.”
This April, for the first time, Lanier Library published a collection of all past Poetry Competition winners, 2009-2013. The book is available for purchase at the library.
The Lanier Library is the oldest civic organization in continuous operation in the Tryon community. As a nonprofit organization, the library is supported by annual dues and donations. Membership is open to everyone.
The continuing purpose of the Lanier Library Association is the promotion of literary and cultural activities in the community and the care and maintenance of this unique library – one of only eighteen membership-supported libraries in the nation.

– article submitted
by Alan Smith

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