Lanier Library offers poetry workshops with N.C. Poets Laureate

Published 6:30 pm Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Lanier Library is pleased to offer two poetry writing workshops in April and May as part of the library’s annual celebration of National Poetry Month. Named for 19th century poet Sidney Lanier, the library will offer several free programs during the month in addition to the workshops. But it is the workshops that will offer local poets the opportunity to work directly with and learn from two of the state’s most celebrated poets.

Former North Carolina Poet Laureate Cathy Smith Bowers will teach “The Physiology of Sound” on Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.  Smith Bowers uses her poem “Salt” to explain how the repetition of the word in a different context can be as pleasing as a rhyme. For her, properly sounded and placed words can have miraculous effects.

“Language affects our physical bodies,” she says. “Language affects our brains. Putting forth the effort to phrase something in the best way it can be phrased is putting positive energy into  the world.”

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Join her for an exploration of sound, energy and the miracle of language.

Shelby Stephenson

Current North Carolina Poet Laureate Shelby Stephenson will teach “Writing the Living Life” on Friday, May 12 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.  Stephenson grew up on a small farm near Benson, in the coastal plain of North Carolina, and credits those years as being the most influential on his writing.

“Most of my poems come out of my childhood background on the farm,” he says. “I have written many poems about the mules we worked until I was in the seventh grade, and after that-the tractor. My early teachers were the 35 foxhounds my father hunted. The trees and streams, fields, the world of my childhood—all that folklore—those are my subjects.”

Join him to explore the influences in your life—your folklore—that deserve a poetic outlet.

For more information about the workshops and to register, visit, call the library at 828-859-9535 or stop in at the library, 72 Chestnut St., Tryon.

– article submitted by Clare O’Sheel