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N.C. Poet Laureate Visits Appalachian March 3

022505byer_dl_1.jpgBOONE – North Carolina’s new poet laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer will speak at Appalachian State University March 3 as part of the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series.

Jackson County resident Byer was named poet laureate by Gov. Mike Easley on Feb. 24. The post, vacant for the past two years, was last held by Fred Chappell. Byer is the first woman to hold the honor and the state’s fifth poet laureate.

Byer and novelist and poet Isabel Eggers Zuber will read from and discuss their works Thursday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union’s Linville Falls Room. Byer also will give a craft talk titled “A Stitch In Time: Thoughts on Poetry” from 2-3:15 p.m.

Admission to both events is free. Books will be available for sales and signing. For more information, call (828) 262-2871 or visit

” Kathryn’s talents have earned her many honors and awards, and I know she will be an outstanding representative of North Carolina’s rich literary arts,” Easley said in a press release issued by his office. “She will be an important connection between our writing community and the public.”

Byer is a former poet in residence at Western Carolina University and Lenoir-Rhyne College. She is the author of four collection of poems: “Catching the Light,” “Black Shawl,” Wildwood Flower” and “The Girl in the Midst of the Harvest.”

” Wildwood Flower” received the Lamont Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets and “Black Shawl” received the Roanoke-Chowan Award and Brockman-Campbell Award.

Zuber, a Boone native, has had her poetry and short fiction appear in a number of literary magazines, including “The American Voice,” “Poetry,” “Now & Then,” “Pembroke Magazine” and “Shenandoah.”

She has received the publication prize in North Carolina Writers’ Network poetry chapbook contest, the Lee Smith Award for Fiction from the Appalachian Writers Association, the University of Tennessee Press prize for Short Story, a Forsyth County Arts Council grant, and was selected as one of the readers in the Blumenthal Writers and Readers Series.

Her debut novel, “Salt,” was published in 2003 by Picador USA. It received Virginia Commonwealth University’s First Novel Award in October 2003. “Salt” tells the complexities of a rural North Carolina woman’s life at the turn of the 20th century.

She resides in Winston-Salem.

The Spring 2005 Visiting Writers Series is supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, with funding from the State of North Carolina and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

The series also is supported by the Appalachian State University Foundation; Appalachian’s Offices of Academic Affairs, Multicultural Student Development and Cultural Affairs; the College of Arts and Sciences; the University Bookstore; The Appalachian Journal; and The Richard T. Barker Friends of the University Library. Business sponsors are The Gideon Ridge Inn and The Red Onion Restaurant.

Community and other sponsors are The Friends of Kathy Fitzpatrick, Mildred Luckhardt, John and Marjorie Idol, The Dover Foundation, and the late Robert Moren.

The Visiting Writers Series is named in honor of Hughlene Bostian Frank, class of 1968. She is a member of the university’s Board of Trustees.