Jerry and Pat Donaho-North Carolina-Blue Ridge Mountains

I’ve always thought of the calendar as a square, with autumn on the right side, sliding down into winter. Now that I’m back from our Writeaways in France and Italy, I’m very aware that we’re sliding toward the end of my wonderful year as Piedmont Laureate. I’ve had ten months of creating the workshops and readings and events of my dreams, with the support of the four marvelous directors of the Piedmont Laureate program: Eleanor Oakley, Belva Parker, Margaret DeMott and Katie Murray.

The good news is that between now and December 31st when I hang up my tiara, we have a glorious fall and early winter bouquet of upcoming Laureate events, which I’ll describe here in the hopes that you’ll join me for some of them.


The Geography of Your Life – Sertoma Arts Center
1400 W Millbrook Road, Raleigh, NC 27612

Saturday, November 4, 2017
10:00 am-12:00 pm
Free and Open to the Public (ages 6 and up)

This is a workshop for kids and grownups—and families composed of both kids and grownups. You’ll delve into the important events, people and places from your history through art and poetry by making a map of the journey of your life. Discover your own personal history in a whole new way, by making a map of your life. You’ll find intersections between important people, landmark events, and detours you’ve taken along the way as you use art and poetry to create a three-dimensional map. You’ll explore, create and discover in this journey into what really matters to you. Bring your friends, your family and your memories. 
To register, go to and enter 219231 in the barcode search.

By the way, I’ve just been invited to teach a weeklong version of this workshop–including writing, visual art, dance, theatre and music–this summer for Family Week at Ghost Ranch, Georgia O’Keefe’s home and inspiration in New Mexico. I hope some of you will be able to join me there!


The Laureate’s Thanksgiving
Orange County Public Library
137 West Margaret Lane, Hillsborough, North Carolina 27278
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
7:00 pm
Free and Open to the Public

We have so much for which to be thankful. Piedmont Poets Laureate Emeritus James MaxeyKaty MungerScott Huler and 2017 Piedmont Laureate Mimi Herman invite you to a reading in which we’ll express our gratitude for the things, people and events that have changed our lives.


Educator Trek: Find Your Muse on the Millpond –  NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Robertson’s Millpond
Saturday, November 11, 2017
12:30-5:00 pm
Open to Educators of All Kinds

Join Museum Educators and Piedmont Poet Laureate Mimi Herman in an exploration of the connections between nature and writing. Discover an amazing swamp ecosystem as we paddle on beautiful Robertson Millpond in eastern Wake County, and use the beauty of nature and the wonder of science as a means to express yourself through poetry. This workshop is generously supported by the United Arts Council of Raleigh, the Raleigh Arts Commission, the Durham Arts Council and the Orange County Arts Commission.
To register, go to

unnamed-1Hands-on Poems of Gratitude – Durham Art Walk Holiday Market
Durham Arts Council, 120 Morris Street, Durham, NC 27701

Saturday, November 18, 2017
1:30-3:30 pm
Free and Open to All Ages

In this hands-on poetry-writing workshop, I’ll be carrying on the theme of gratitude from our Laureate’s Thanksgiving at the Orange County Library, as you learn to write poems to share your own various gratitudes. You’ll learn a few simple techniques for writing poetry and then create a poem suitable for sharing at Thanksgiving Dinner.


A Gathering of Laureates
Workshops and Reading with Piedmont Laureates Past and Present
Mordecai Holiday Open House
1 Mimosa Street, RaleighNC 27604

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Scott Huler, 2011 Piedmont Laureate in Nonfiction
Ian Finley, 2012 Piedmont Laureate in Playwriting
James Maxey, 2015 Piedmont Laureate in Speculative Fiction
Katy Munger, 2016 Piedmont Laureate in Mystery and Crime Fiction
Mimi Herman, 2017 Piedmont Laureate in Poetry

Visit the Mordecai Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 9th to experience five Piedmont Laureates in one place. Mimi Herman, the current Piedmont Laureate, will offer a morning workshop in poetry, “This is My Letter to the World: Epistle Poems for the New Year” for ages 8-adult. In the afternoon, visit the historic buildings for 20-minute workshops with the Laureates. Finish out your day with a reading by all the Laureates and a chance to chat with them over seasonal treats.


CHPL-Logo_300Author’s Tea – Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library
Chapel Hill Public Library, 100 Library Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Thursday, December 14, 2017
3:30-5:00 pm
Free and Open to the Public

Possibly my final reading of the year as your 2017 Piedmont Laureate. The Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library invite you to join us for a reading and refreshments. I’ll try to remember to keep my pinky up, and limit my petits fours consumption to three!


Holiday Card Making – Third Friday Art Walk
Durham Arts Council, 120 Morris St, Durham, NC 27701
Friday, December 15, 2017
5:00-8:00 pm
Free and Open to the Public

Bring your kids, family and friends to create handmade art and poetry cards for the holidays. This is your chance to take the time to remember the people who matter to you, and custom-design cards so they’ll always know how much they mean to you.


Autumnal Beauty,” Valerie, flickr, Creative Commons, 2012
Blue Ridge Parkway,” Jerry and Pat Donoho, flickr, Creative Commons, 2008
“Chapel,” Belva Parker, 2017