IMG_4614It hasn’t been much of a winter, despite a couple of good days when I got to break out my yard sale cross-country skis and tour the snowy neighborhood, doing my best to stay upright and make forward progress at the same time. So when we achieved bathing suit temperatures last week, I felt guilty. How could we be getting spring so soon, when we hadn’t even endured winter yet? Surely we didn’t deserve such beautiful weather. Maybe this weather was being given to those of us who believe in global warming so we could say, “See, it really is true.”

But as someone who needs lots of light to stay upright and make forward progress, the sunlight and warmth came as a welcome gift, and got me even more excited about some of the events I’m planning as Piedmont Laureate. Now that the temperatures have dipped a bit again, here are a few tidbits about upcoming events to keep you going until the next warm spell.

In the upcoming months, I’ll be holding an Art Poetry Treasure Hunt at each of the Friday Art Walks, followed by an open mic reading to share the poems you’ve written. The first one will occur at Second Friday on April 14th in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, where you’ll receive your own treasure map of art galleries, a pad of paper to carry with you as you explore those galleries, and a variety of ways to write poetry. Then we’ll all gather to read the marvelous poems you’ve created on your art adventure.


On April 8th, from 1:00 to 2:30, I invite you to join me at a Poetry Party in Duke Gardens to celebrate spring. In ancient Japan, poets traveled miles for poetry parties. We’ll travel to the Culberson Asiatic Arboretum for our inspiration and collaborate to write a 100-stanza Haikai no Renga style of poem, considered the origin of modern haiku. No poetry experience or knowledge of Japanese needed, just the desire to enjoy nature and beauty in great company. All ages and writing abilities welcome! We’ll meet at the Doris Duke Center to be escorted to the poetry party. In my next blog post, on March 29th, I’ll tell you more about Haikai no Renga, and you can start practicing with Twitter haiku.

Over the next few months, I’ll be offering various free workshops at libraries throughout Orange, Wake and Durham counties, with subject ranging from “Innovative Approaches to Revision” to “The Geography of Your Life” (where you’ll create three-dimensional maps of your life) to “Flirting with Your Reader.”

Then, keep looking ahead to autumn, when I’ll team up with the amazing educators from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences for a paddle and science poetry tour, so you can exercise your body while you strengthen your powers of observation.

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Keep your eye on the Piedmont Laureate Events page for details on these events and more as they develop. I look forward to seeing you soon!