“Walking into April” Poetry Day Scheduled for Saturday, April 11

WILSON, N.C. — March 23, 2015 — Make plans to attend the annual “Walking into April Poetry Day” to be held at Barton College on Saturday, April 11, 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 Scott Owens and Amber Flora Thomas. The day will also feature Eric Weil, 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 $9.50 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 8. Participants may bring their payment for these advance reservations on April 11.

The daylong event will begin at 9:15 a.m. with “Coffee and Conversation.” Owens and Thomas 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 Weil 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:

Owens has published “Eye of the Beholder,” “Shadows Trail Them Home,” “Book of Days,” “Paternity,” “Something Knows the Moment,” “For One Who Knows How to Own Land,” and “The Fractured World,” as well as other titles. His work has appeared in publications such as “Main Street Rag” and “Pirene’s Fountain.” Owens is editor of “Wild Goose Poetry Review” and founder of the reading series “Poetry Hickory.”

Thomas has published “Eye of Water: Poems,” winner of the Cave Canem Prize, and “The Rabbits Could Sing: Poems.” Her work has appeared in “Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry” as well as in journals such as “American Literary Review.” Thomas is the recipient of the Dylan Thomas American Poet Prize. She teaches poetry and creative writing at East Carolina University.

Weil, Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for Eastern North Carolina, has published “A Horse at the Hirshhorn,” “Returning from Mars,” and “Ten Years In.” His poems have appeared in publications such as “Dead Mule,” “Poetry,” and “The Greensboro Review.” Three of his one-act plays have been produced, including “Heart to Heart” at Triangulate in 2014. Weil teaches English at Elizabeth City State University.

Student poets selected for this year’s Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Series are Elizabeth City University student Leland March, Barton College student Mara Price, and adult student poets Mellanie Crouell of New Bern and Andrea Young of Wilmington.