Forsyth Tech Welcomes North Carolina Poet Laureate Shelby Stephenson on Oct. 9

Shelby Stephenson, North Carolina’s current
Poet Laureate, will present a lecture at
Forsyth Tech on October 9,
which is free and open to the public.
Forsyth Tech will be hosting North Carolina Poet Laureate, Shelby Stephenson, for a lecture on Friday, October 9 from 11 am – noon, in the Oak Grove Center Auditorium on the college’s Main Campus, 2100 Silas Creek Parkway.   

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Stephenson is the second Poet Laureate who has visited Forsyth Tech as lecturer in the ongoing Humanities Enrichment Series. This series has been in place for three years and is designed to generate an overall awareness of and appreciation for the humanities and arts for Forsyth Tech’s students, faculty, staff and the public.

Lisa Stanley-Smith, an English instructor at Forsyth Tech and coordinator of the event says, “Most people don’t get the opportunity to sit down and listen to someone so inspirational, talented, and entertaining. Having the North Carolina Poet Laureate visit our school is an honor. It is exciting.”

“I was lucky enough to have Shelby Stephenson as a college instructor during my studies, and can remember his simplistic perspective on writing,” Stanley-Smith recalls. “He used to say, ‘There’s no big trick to writing. Sit down in a quiet place, put pen to paper, and something you write will be good.’”

About poetry, Stephenson himself says, “It’s about the sunset, and the shadows changing on the grass in a different way, all the time. I think the poem is already written. It’s all there to begin with, and has got to be put on the page.”

Stephenson grew up on a small farm in Benson, NC, and uses his pastoral upbringing as inspiration for many of his poems. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and continued his studies at the University of Pittsburgh (M.A.) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Ph.D.)

Until his retirement in 2010, Stephenson was a professor of English at UNC-Pembroke and editor of Pembroke Magazine.

He has received wide-spread recognition for his work including the Bellday Poetry Prize, the Oscar Arnold Young Award, the Zoe Kincaid-Brockman Award, the Brockman-Campbell Award, the Bright Hill Press Chapbook Prize, and the Playwright’s Fund of North Carolina Chapbook Prize, to name a few.

In 2001, the State of North Carolina presented Stephenson with the North Carolina Award in Literature."

- A Press Release

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