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N.C. Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer reads from her work Oct. 5 at Appalachian

Byer_Cropped.jpgBOONE—North Carolina Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer will read from her work Thursday, Oct. 5, at Appalachian State University. The reading begins at 7:30 p.m. in Plemmons Student Union’s Table Rock Room and is part of the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series.

Books will be available for sale and signing.

A pre-reading reception, sponsored by the Department of English, will begin at 6 p.m. in the Multicultural Center in the student union. The public is welcome to attend.

For more information about Appalachian’s Visiting Writers Series or Creative Writing Program, call 262-2871 or see

Byer is the author of five poetry collections, “The Girl in the Midst of the Harvest” (1986), “Wildwood Flower” (1992), “Black Shawl” (1998), “Catching the Light” (2002), and “Coming to Rest” (2006), and several chapbooks including “The Evelyn Poems” and “Wake.”

She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council. In 2001, she won the North Carolina Award for Literature.

As poet laureate, Byer serves as an ambassador of North Carolina literature, past and present. She succeeded Fred Chappell.

“Kay has a wonderfully populist, inclusive view of her role as poet laureate,” said Debbie McGill, literature director for the North Carolina Arts Council. “Through her syndicated monthly column (Language Matters), her visits to schools, libraries and festivals,

and her regular features of poetry by North Carolina writers on the state arts council’s web site, she in effect sets the table for a literary feast and says, to quote from her inaugural poem, ‘Piece of Cake': ‘Try this! Believe me, you’ll like the way poetry tastes!'”

In addition to reading in the Visiting Writers Series, Byer is the 2006-07 Rachel Rivers-Coffey Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing for fall semester, offering a seminar course for advanced writing students and several community appearances.

Honoring the late newspaperwoman and writer Rachel Rivers-Coffey, the Rachel Rivers-Coffey Distinguished Professorship in Creative Writing annually sponsors the residency of a writer of national prominence at Appalachian.

The residency rotates among various distinguished authors of all creative genres; distinguished professors teach a creative writing seminar, conduct community outreach and other off-campus activities, and are featured annually in the Visiting Writers Series.

Parking is available for non-university community members after 5 p.m. in the parking lot below Raley Hall off Rivers Street or the lot across from the Presbyterian Church, behind the University Post Office, off Howard Street. For further parking information or a map, visit or call the Parking and Traffic Office (828) 262-2878.

The Fall 2006 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 is also 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 Department of English, the Summer Reading Program, 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 sponsors include John and Marjorie Idol and The High Country Writers.

The Visiting Writers Series is named in honor of Hughlene Bostian Frank, class of 1968, a trustee and generous supporter of Appalachian State University.