North Carolina Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green will read from her work and take questions from the audience at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 30th, in the Blue Ridge Conference Room at Western Carolina University. Her work is lively and accessible, both personal and universal.
Jaki Shelton Green is the first African American and the third woman to be appointed as the North Carolina Poet Laureate. When he appointed her in 2018, Governor Cooper stated that "Jaki Shelton Green brings a deep appreciation of our state's diverse communities to her role as an ambassador of North Carolina literature. Jaki's appointment is a wonderful new chapter in North Carolina's rich literary history."
Jaki Shelton Green is the author of eight collections of poetry: Dead on Arrival, Masks, Conjure Blues, singing a tree into dance, Breath of the Song, published by Carolina Wren Press and Blair Publishers. Her other publications; Feeding the Light, I Want to Undie You are published by Jacar Press. Her poetry has been published in over eighty national and international anthologies and featured in magazines such as Essence and Ms. Magazine.
Her collegiate and professional experiences include currently teaching Documentary Poetry at the Duke University Center for Documentary Studies and serving as Visiting Professor for the Carlow University MFA Program; Writer-in-Residence at Lenoir-Rhyne University; Teaching for Equity Fellow at Duke University; serving on the NC African America Cultural Heritage Commission; and a host of other positions from the regional to the international. She is the owner of SistaWRITE and co-partner with Dream Yourself Awake and Vertikal Creative Ventures providing writing retreats and travel excursions for women writers.
Her awards include the 2019 NC Humanities Council Caldwell Award, the 2019 American Academy of Poets Laureate Fellowship, 2014 induction into the NC Literary Hall of Fame Inductee, service as the Poet Laureate of the Piedmont, the 2007 Sam Ragan Award for Contributions to the Fine Arts of North Carolina, and the 2003 Carolina Award for Literature (the highest award the state can bestow for significant contributions in science, literature, fine arts, and public service).
The Poet Laureate’s presentation is co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs, the Office of Intercultural Affairs, and the Department of English. For more information, please contact the Department of English at (828) 227-3268 or Dr. Catherine Carter at 227-3931.