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Six award-winning poets will read from original work at the Fairview Library’s inaugural Fairview Poetry Festival on Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 6:30 p.m. Librarian Jaime McDowell says, “There is such a wealth of literary talent in Western North Carolina, we thought it was a fun idea to bring together a group of poets to perform original work. I’m confident the audience will be pleased with the evening.”
The poets include:
Keith Flynn has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, was awarded the Paumanok Poetry Prize, and has served as the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for North Carolina. He is founder and editor of The Asheville Poetry Review and his many works include The Skin of Meaning; The Rhythm Method, Razzmatazz and Memory: How To Make Your Poetry Swing; and Prosperity Gospel: Portraits of the Great Recession. Keith is also known to burst into song in the middle of a reading.
Pat Riviere-Seel, who calls herself “a recovering journalist,” is the author of 2021’s When There Were Horses; The Serial Killer’s Daughter, winner of the Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry; Nothing Below but Air; and No Turning Back Now. In 2020, she started Burnsville’s Poetry in Plain Sight program. Her literary citizenship includes teaching poetry classes for UNC-Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program, and she once spent a week as Writer-in-Residence at the North Carolina Zoo.
Greg Lobas won the 2022 Dogfish Head Poetry Prize for his book, Left of Center, which draws upon his experience as a former firefighter, and he has also received awards from the Poetry Society of South Carolina and the South Carolina Writers’ Association. His work has appeared in, among other outlets, Outdoor Life; Tar River Poetry; Cimarron Review; Vox Populi; Gray's Sporting Journal; Ekphrastic Review; Broad River Review; Kakalak; and Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel.
Caleb Beissert is a poet, editor, event organizer, musician with his band the Lactones, and hosts the weekly Poetry Open Mic Asheville, consistently recognized by Mountain Xpress as Best Open Mic in Asheville. He is author of BEAUTIFUL: Translations from the Spanish, English-language adaptations of Federico Garcia Lorca and Pablo Neruda. He serves as North Carolina’s Western Region Chair of the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Series; Artistic Director of Poetry Cabaret Collective; and his work has appeared in numerous publications, to include Asheville Poetry Review; International Poetry Review; and Tar River Poetry.
Kathy Ackerman was awarded the North Carolina Poetry Society’s 2019 Lena Shull Book Prize for her collection A Quarrel of Atoms, which discusses Nobel Prize laureate Marie Curie’s discovery of Radium, and relates it to her own mother's illness and radiation treatments. She is also the author of The Heart of Revolution, the only book to date about longtime Asheville resident Olive Dargan, a proletarian novelist of the 1930s. Her latest book is Repeat after Me.
Lee Stockdale, a Fairview resident, has won the United Kingdom National Poetry Prize, the Sidney Lanier Poetry Prize, is author of the book Gorilla, and hosts the Upstairs Artspace’s monthly Literary Open Stage. He has served as Buncombe County’s Regional Representative for the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and his poems have appeared in, among other publications, The Guardian; The Church Times; Ekphrastic Review; Pinesong: The North Carolina Poetry Society’s Annual Anthology of Contest Winners; Reed Magazine; and BlazeVOX.
The event will include book sales and signings by the authors and live music during the after-readings reception. The library thanks Friends of the Fairview Library for making this evening possible.
The Fairview Poetry Festival takes place Wednesday, Nov. 29, at 6:30 p.m. The library is located at 1 Taylor Rd, Fairview, NC 28730.