“Walking into April” Poetry Day Scheduled for Saturday, April 8

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WILSON, N.C. — March 9, 2017 — Make plans to attend the annual “Walking into April” Poetry Day to be held at Barton College on Saturday, April 8, in The Sam and Marjorie Ragan Writing Center. This year brings another distinguished group of poets to celebrate the written word in the spirit of Sam Ragan.

Featured poets for the “Walking into April” morning sessions are Beth Copeland and Bruce Lader. The day will also feature Amber Flora Thomas, Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for Eastern North Carolina, and the Gilbert-Chappell student poets. “Walking into April” is sponsored by the North Carolina Poetry Society, Barton College, and the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Series, and funded by the late Marie Gilbert.

The program is open to the public at no charge, with the exception of lunch. Participants may reserve space for lunch, at $10.00 per person, by emailing Dr. Rebecca Godwin at rlgodwin@barton.edu, or by calling Joyce Sutton in the School of Humanities at 252-399-6454. The deadline for lunch reservations is April 6. Participants may bring their payment for these advance reservations on April 8.

The daylong event will begin at 9:15 a.m. with “Coffee and Conversation.” Copeland and Lader will kick off the morning session at 9:45 a.m. and moderate the “Roundtable Discussion” before lunch. The afternoon will include a time for book signing followed by the presentations by Thomas and the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Series Student Poets. The “Open Microphone” session, for all participants to share their work, will conclude the poetry event.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Godwin at rlgodwin@barton.edu. All poets are welcome to bring items for the book table.

Featured Speakers:

Beth Copeland has published “Transcendental Telemarketer” and “Traveling Through Glass,” winner of the 1999 Bright Hill Press Poetry Book Award. Her poems have won awards from “Atlanta Review,” “North American Review,” “Peregrine,” and the North Carolina Poetry Society. Her personal essays have appeared in “The Chicago Tribune,” “Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul 2,” and “Christian Science Monitor.” She teaches English at Methodist University.

Bruce Lader has published five poetry books, including “Fugitive Home,” “Embrace,” “Discovering Mortality,” and “Landscapes of Longing.” His poems have appeared in journals such as “Poetry,” “New York Quarterly,” “International Poetry Review,” “Asheville Poetry Review,” and anthologies such as “Against Agamemnon: War Poems.” He is winner of the 2010 Left Coast Eisteddford Poetry Competition and is founding director of Bridges Tutoring in Raleigh.

Amber Flora Thomas, Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet, has published “Eye of Water: Poems,” winner of the Cave Canem Prize, and “The Rabbits Could Sing: Poems.” Her poems have appeared in journals such as “Crab Orchard Review,” “Callaloo,” “American Literary Review,” and “Zyzzyva,” as well as in “Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry.” Recipient of the Dylan Thomas American Poet Prize, she teaches creative writing at East Carolina University.

Student poets selected for this year’s Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Series are Barton College student Tevin Aitken and adult student poets John Gray of Tarboro and Suzannah Cockerille of New Bern.

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