Poet Laureate

Shelby Stephenson (left) is North Carolina's new Poet Laureate.

North Carolina's new poet laureate, Shelby Stephenson, will be installed Monday, February 2, 2015. 

Jacinta White, Poet

For National Poetry Month, we talked with four different North Carolina poets about their work and their relationship with the art form.

Name: Jacinta White

Location: Kernersville, NC

Organization: The Word Project, using poetry workshops to help with personal and community healing.

Jay Bryan speaking at the Carrboro Centennial.
Justin Valas/ Flickr / creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en

The small town of Carrboro was once a prominent mill town in the early to mid-1900s. But after all of the mills closed down and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill continued to grow, the town became a haven to students and an evolving arts scene.

The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame recently brought Kay Byer onto its hallowed roster.

Byer was North Carolina's first female poet laureate, serving from 2005 to 2009. She spent her adult life in the mountains of western North Carolina, channeling the landscape and voices into her work. Her new book of poetry is called "Descent" (Louisiana State University Press/ 2012). Byer joins host Frank Stasio to talk about her writing.

Joseph Bathanti was born and raised in Pittsburgh. He even went to college and graduate school there. So it's a testament to his passion for North Carolina that he was just announced as the Tar Heel state's newest poet laureate. Bathanti came to North Carolina in the late 1970s to be a VISTA volunteer.