Friday, January 2, 2009
N.C. Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer grew up in south Georgia. She graduated from Wesleyan College and UNC Greensboro, where she studied poetry with Allen Tate, Fred Chappell and Robert Watson. She married James Byer and settled in the small western Carolina mountain of Cullowhee.
Kathryn Stripling Byer continued to practice poetry and has become a major poet with five full length collections in print: Coming To Rest, Catching Light, Black Shawl, Wildwood Flower, and The Girl in the Midst of the Harvest. Her first book, The Girl in the Midst of the Harvest was awarded an American Writing Program Series Award.
Her poems reach far back to her Georgia home, and others are near as a breath of mountain air. Some of her poems reach across oceans. Recently her Alma poems were set to music. She traveled to Budapest, Hungary for the European Premier of Harold Schiffman’s Contata titled Alma.
Even more recently, on Thanksgiving Day, An Applachian Songbook was featured on WDAV Radio in which Kathryn Stripling Byer read her Appalachian poems. The recording was made in September at St. Peter’s Church as a part of the Charlotte Chamber Music Series.
Byer is the winner of the Southeast Booksellers Association Award for Poetry, The Lamont Poetry Prize, Roanoke-Chowan Poetry Prize and the Brockman-Campbell Award. She received the N.C. Artist Fellowship for Poetry the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Her books are available at book stores, at L.S. U. Press and on Amazon.com.
Kathryn Stripling Byer continues to live and write poetry here in our western Carolina mountains.
READ THREE POEMS BY POET KATHRYN STRIPLING BYER in the November, December Archives.