Poetry month in Tryon

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Lanier Library is named for 19th century poet Sidney Lanier, so it is not unexpected to find a month’s worth—and a bit more—of poetry-themed events at the library during April’s Poetry Month.

April 1 marks the beginning of National Poetry Month, the closing of the Sidney Lanier Poetry Competition and the beginning of judging. Begun in 2008, the prestigious competition is open to North and South Carolina residents, with adult and school-age categories. This year’s competition will be judged by local poet Kathy Ackerman, dean of Isothermal College’s School of Arts and Sciences, and author of Coal River Road. Ackerman will read from her work, and competition winners will be announced on Saturday, May 6, 4 p.m. at the library. A reception will follow.

The quarterly Literary Open Stage (LOS) on Thursday, April 20, 7 p.m., is dedicated to the love of poetry. No original works this night, everyone who has a poem they love is invited to “take the mic” and share it.   

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The month continues with a writing workshop, “The Physiology of Sound,” with former North Carolina Poet Laureate Cathy Smith Bowers on Saturday, April 29, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., at the library.

Library events conclude on Thursday, May 11, and Friday, May 12 with current North Carolina Poet Laureate Shelby Stephenson. He will read from his work on the May 11 at 7 p.m. The following day he will conduct a workshop: “Writing the Living Life,” 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Both events take place at the library.

In addition, the Tryon Fine Arts Center will host “Pure Poetry: Readings by Area Writers,” Tuesday, April 18 at 7 p.m. Poets include Kathy Ackerman, Cathy Smith Bowers, Greg Lobas, Lee Mink, Nancy Holmes, David Riddle and Lee Stockdale.

With the exception of the poetry writing workshops, all events are free and open to the public.  For more information, and to register for the workshops, visit lanierlib.org or stop in at the library, 72 Chestnut Street, Tryon.

– article submitted by Clare O’Sheel