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Gilbert-Chappell reading features diverse poetry

Laurinburg, N.C. – “Events like this bring together strange bedfellows,” said Ann Deagon, Central Region Distinguished Poet for 2011-2012 during the reading held Thursday in DeTamble Library at St. Andrews University.

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. The Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Series supports the mission of the North Carolina Poetry Society to foster reading, writing and the enjoyment of poetry across the state.

This year, Deagon worked with Caitlin Johnson, Beebe Barksdale-Bruner and Susan Seawolf Hayes. After doing individual readings with each, Thursday’s reading was the culminating event.

“I like to give a title to these readings,” said Deagon. “We were going to be the ‘Four Calling Birds’ but since Beebe couldn’t be here tonight, you will have to be satisfied with the ‘Three French Hens.’”

Johnson, a St. Andrews graduate and current Office Manager and Editorial Assistant at the St. Andrews College Press, shared her poetry, including pieces written as recently as Monday.

“I want to thank (Central Region Coordinator) Ted (Wojtasik), Ann, and all involved with the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poets Series for giving me this opportunity.”

Hayes, a writing workshop facilitator, former mezzo-soprano and criminal defense attorney, shared some of her strongly personal poetry during the event. In addition to getting to work with Deagon during this event, she holds a geographic connection to the Distinguished Poet.

“I live in a log cabin Ann built as a writer’s retreat,” Hayes shared. “Every time I sit down to write I can channel Ann. It is my home but it’s really Ann’s space.”

Deagon ended the reading with several of her own pieces.

“I want to thank the three poets for their spiritual and electronic company over the past several months and for what they’ve taught me,” Deagon said. “Cate with her fiction, Beebe as an artist and Susan as a soloist and voice teacher all helped me with shaping my own work.”

Deagon will serve a second term as the Central Region Distinguished Poet for the 2012-2013 cycle. Submissions from the 32 county region will be accepted beginning in September. For additional information, visit http://www.ncpoetrysociety.org/gcdps/ or http://www.sleepycreek.org/poetry/dpsappstudent.htm.

About St. Andrews University

St. Andrews is a student and teaching-focused University which offers a broad range of undergraduate majors in a curriculum that is global in scope and practical in its application. The quality of the St. Andrews educational experience has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and GI Jobs among others. In addition to its academic programs, the University has an acclaimed university press, men’s and women’s athletic teams, a nationally competitive equestrian program, and an award-winning pipe band. St. Andrews is a branch of Webber International University, Florida. Further information may be obtained by visiting the University’s website www.sapc.edu, calling 800-763-0198, or sending an e-mail to info@sapc.edu.


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A branch of Webber International University
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