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Becky Gould Gibson to Mentor Winners of
Gilbert-Chappell Poets Series

Stephanie Kjelgaard
Communications Intern

Laurinburg, N.C. – The Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poets Series gives aspiring poets a chance to grow under the tutelage of a distinguished poet. The distinguished poet for the central region of the seventh annual Gilbert-Chappell series is Becky Gould Gibson.

Gibson, a professor Emeritus of English and Women’s Studies at Guilford College, has written several books of poetry, including Need-Fire, Aphrodite’s Daughter, and Off-Road Meditations.

A believer in the impact of the subconscious on writing, Gibson plans to help the winners of the Gilbert-Chappell Poets Series in many ways.

“I’m a teacher at heart and love to help students find their voice— not just in poetry but in life,” Gibson said. “What is serious poetry for if not to help us become more human and humane?

“I write to find out what I’m thinking… at a deep level,” she said. “If I know exactly what I am going to say or exactly how I want the poem to turn out, there is no energy there, no spark.”

Under Gibson’s tutelage, aspiring poets will learn to find their own unique voices. By using a “dream-state” of writing, Gibson keys into a more spiritual and mysterious side that may only be found in the rhythms and sounds of words. Words eventually flow of their own accord, leaving even the poet amazed at what is released. This turns into a self-discovery for the poet and, in turn, the literary world the poet shares it with.

Gibson finds her own inspiration throughout history.

“Looking back through the ages, one notices that many women’s voices have been silenced or over-ridden by the men of that particular era,” Gibson said. “I attempt to give these women voices of their own.”

Through a conscious research of Old English writing and history, Gibson slowly began fueling her unconscious with what it needed to span across time and relate to these long dead women.

“I had no illusions about actually channeling these women— but I did dig down into my own unconscious more effectively than I had hitherto done,” Gibson said.

To enter the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poets Series, each student must submit an application form available at http://www.sleepycreek.org/poetry/dpsguidelines.htm, a personal statement, representative poetry, and an instructor’s recommendation. All information is available online at www.ncpoetrysociety.org. The deadline for entry is October 15.

Material can be submitted electronically to Dr. Ted Wojtasik at wojtasik@sapc.edu or mailed to Dr. Ted Wojtasik, Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poets Series, St. Andrews Presbyterian College, 1700 Dogwood Mile, Laurinburg, NC 28352.

The Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poets Series originated in 2003 upon the advice of then North Carolina Poet Laureate Fred Chappell. It is named after Chappell and former NCPS president Marie Gilbert.

About St. Andrews Presbyterian College

An innovative and bold academic venture to an interdisciplinary curriculum, a highly acclaimed college press, an award-winning pipe band, national champion equestrian teams, and first-rate scholarship have marked the distinctive character of St. Andrews. In addition to classes on the main campus, adult learners also choose the Center for Adult and Professional Studies opportunities through St. Andrews @ Sandhills and St. Andrews ONLINE.

On Aug. 29, 1958, the merger between Presbyterian Junior College and Flora Macdonald College became official with the formation St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C. Further information may be obtained by visiting the College's website www.sapc.edu, calling 800-763-0198 or sending an e-mail to info@sapc.edu.


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