Sunday, January 31, 2010


NC Governor Bev Perdue named the new NC Poet Laureate: Cathy Smith Bowers. She will be crowned with laurels in Raleigh at The Capitol on February 10, 2010 and will serve for two years.

Photo credit: The Charlotte Observer at time of the announced of the Governor's appointment.

Cathy Smith Bowers, a native of South Carolina, lives in Tyron, and she teaches in the M.F.A. Writing Program at Queens University in Charlotte and at U.N.C. at Asheville.

"Cathy's powerful poems open new avenues of thought," said Gov. Perdue, "and her poems are a reflection of the love of words and learning. She believes poetry inspires and instructs North Carolinians of all ages."

As poet Laureate, Cathy Smith Bowers follows the tenure of Kathryn Stripling Byer. Much of Bower's poetry career path follows the steps of Kathryn Stripling Byer also in that she has published widely in literary publications such as The Atlantic Monthly, Georgia Review, Shenandoah, Southern Review and Southern Poetry Review. Bowers first poetry collection The Love that Ended Yesterday in Texas was published at Texas Tech University Press as the winner of their first book competition, as was Kathryn Stripling Byer's first book, The Girl In The Midst Of The Harvest, published at Texas Tech Press in cooperation with the Association Writing Programs Award Series in 1986.

The Love That Ended Yesterday in Texas was republished by Iris Press in 1997. Cathy Smith Bower's second book, Traveling in Time of Danger (1999) and her third, A Book of Minutes (2004) were also published at Iris. Her poetry craft essay "A moment of Intensity" was published in The Poet's Market (2007.) Bower's most recent book publication is The Candle I Hold Up To See You (2009 Iris.)

Kathryn Stripling Byer, who be ending her tenure as NC Poet Laureate, will attend the "crowning" celebration in Raleigh. She has praised Cathy Smith Bowers as "one of the finest poets writing today," saying that "her work fuses narrative with exquisite lyricism, as well as wit and vulnerability."


Brenda Kay Ledford said...

Thank you for keeping us informed about Cathy becoming the new NC Poet Laureate. I was wondering the other day if someone had been appointed to that position. I don't know Cathy, but sounds as though she will do a great job just like Kay did.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Congratulations to Cathy. If you and Kathrine say she's good, she really must be.

Nancy Simpson said...

Hello all poets, Thank you for your interest. I will be happy to welcome Cathy Smith Bowers as N.C. Poet Laureate. My hope is growing that we will be able to get her to come out to the mountains and talk to us
and give us a chance to hear her read her poems. That is something maybe Clay and Cherokee Counties can work on together, maybe at the folk school or somewhere else. Believe me, she is already getting invitations. We do not have a chance. But lets dream about it.