Kathryn Byer Poetry Collection Celebration
It is with great joy and sorrow that Jacar Press announces the posthumous publication of Kathryn Stripling Byer's Trawling the Silences. The book should be available late May, and City Lights Bookstore in Sylva will host an opening reading on Saturday, June 8, at 6:30. Please join us if you can.
Jacar Press will be donating proceeds from sales to a cause Kay valued. We are in the process of narrowing that down and will have a decision on that soon.
When she died suddenly from lymphoma in June 2017, Kathryn Stripling Byer had just completed her 7th, and what would be her last, collection of poetry, Trawling the Silences. It is a book of great beauty and heartbreak, revisiting all her important themes - family and ancestry, the natural world, the inevitable process of aging and death, and the pressing issues of environmental degradation, racism, and international conflict - with an urgency that seems, in retrospect, to have come from an awareness about what fate awaited her. Kay loved the craft of poetry and the expressive possibilities of intricate poetic structures. She wrote free verse, metrical verse, syllabic verse, and used forms as diverse as the sestina and the ghazal. Though often dense with meaning and allusion, her work remains accessible to any careful reader.
During her writing career, Kathryn Stripling Byer received many honors and awards, including the Lamont prize for her second book, Wildwood Flower, the North Carolina Governor’s Award for Literature, in 2001, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council. She was the first woman to be selected as the North Carolina Poet Laureate and served from 2005 to 2009. In 2012 she was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame.
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