Carrboro Rec&Parks



If you have questions about the festival after reading the information below, please contact
Gary Phillips (, 919-444-1075),
Susan Spalt (, 919-818-0687), or
Celisa Steele (, 919-451-0075).

Friday, October 18, 2013 | Flyleaf Books | 6:30 to 8:30 pm

Opening Celebration with Readings and Reception | 6:30 to 8:30 pm | facilitated by Celisa Steele

Enjoy hors d'oeuvres and wine and time to socialize before and after readings by five poets. Buy books to have the poets sign.

Beth Copeland
Phillip Shabazz
Claudine Moreau
Michael Chitwood
Alan Shapiro

Saturday, October 19, 2013 | Century Hall -Century Center | noon to 8:30 pm

Nature and Poetry | noon to 1:15 pm | facilitated by Jay Bryan
Nature-landscape and seasons and flora and fauna-has long been the stuff of poets, some of whom specialize and others who turn occasionally to the world around us. A panel of poets will read from their own work and discuss their views of the relationship between poetry and nature.

Ralph Earle
Joan McLean
Lenard Moore
Tasha Pippin
Iris Tillman

Music and Poetry | 1:30 to 2:45 pm| facilitated by Gary Phillips
Poetry is inherently musical and manifests its music in many forms, from strict metrics to spoken word to poems that rhapsodize songs and musicians. This group of poets will talk about music and poetry, drawing on their own work as example.

Athony S. Abbott
Skylar Gudasz
Starr Seward
Kiran Singh Sirah
Pamela L. Taylor

Workshop with Gabrielle Calvocoressi | 3:00 to 4:15 pm | facilitated by Susan Spalt
Gabrielle Calvocoressi is a poet and essayist whose most recent book, Apocalyptic Swing, was a finalist for The Los Angeles Times Book Award. In the fall of 2013, she joined the creative writing faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. All are welcome to attend this open workshop where this talented poet and teacher will mix lecture with suggestions for writing.

Gabrielle Calvorcoressi

Open Mic | 4:30 to 5:45 pm
"If you would like a chance to read at open mic, sign up at the festival Saturday between noon and 4:15 pm by writing your name on a slip of paper and putting it in the designated bowl. Names will be drawn at random from the bowl, and we'll fit in as many poets as we can during 75 minutes. Each poet is limited to 5 minutes. You may read for less time; you may not read for more. When you hear the timer go off, please stop-yes, unfortunately, even if you are mid-poem."

Dinner Reception | 6:00 to 7:00 pm
Eat, drink, and visit with poets.

Grand Finale | 7:00 to 8:30 pm
The new Carrboro poet laureate, Celisa Steele, will read briefly before Gabrielle Calvocoressi, the Walker Percy Fellow in Poetry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, closes the festival, reading from her own work and leaving time for questions from the audience.

Athony S. Abbott Jay Bryan Gabrielle Calvocoressi Michael Chitwood
Beth Copeland Ralph Earle Skylar Gudasz Joan McLean
Lenard Moore Claudine Moreau Gary Phillips Tasha Pippin
Starr Seward Phillip Shabazz Alan Shapiro Celisa Steele
Susan Spalt Kiran Singh Sirah Pamela L. Taylor Iris Tillman

Award-winning poet and novelist Anthony S. Abbott is the author of five books of poetry, including the Pulitzer-nominated The Girl in the Yellow Raincoat. His newest poetry book, If Words Could Save Us, received the 2012 Brockman-Campbell Award. Tony joined Davidson College in 1964, where he chaired the English Department from 1989 to 1996. Tony's poems have appeared in numerous magazines and journals including New England Review, Southern Poetry Review, St. Andrews Review, Pembroke, Tar River Poetry, Theology Today, and The Anglican Theological Review.

Anthony S. Abbott


Jay Bryan

Jay Bryan lives in Orange County, North Carolina, with his wife, horses, guineas, dogs, a cat, and a cockatiel. He is the outgoing poet laureate of Carrboro. With the Carrboro Arts Committee, he helped to establish the Carrboro Poets Council, on which he currently serves. For 15 years he has coordinated poetry readings on Carrboro Day for the town's celebration of its residents and their gifts. He compiled and edited the Carrboro 100th Birthday Poetry Anthology (2011). His chapbook Selected Poems was published in June 2013 by Finishing Line Press. Other poems have been published in Blink, they wrote us a poem VII and VIII (Health Arts Network at Duke), Ecozoic Reader, Legal Studies Forum, Haibun Today, Cowboy Poetry, and Stone House, an anthology of haiku from Bolin Brook Farm.

Gabrielle Calvocoressi is a poet and essayist whose most recent book, Apocalyptic Swing, was a finalist for The Los Angeles Times Book Award. Her poems have been featured in The New York Time, Boston Review, The Washington Post, Garrison Keillor's Poet's Almanac, and numerous journals. She writes the Sports Desk column for The Best American Poetry blog and is on the advisory board of The Rumpus' Poetry Book Club. She is the Senior Poetry Editor for The Los Angeles Review of Books. In the fall of 2013 she joined the creative writing faculty in the renowned English Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Gabrielle Calvocoressi

Michael Chitwood is a free-lance writer and teaches at the University of North Carolina. His poetry and fiction have appeared The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, The New Republic, Threepenny Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, Field, The Georgia Review, and numerous other journals. Ohio Review Books has published two books of his poetry-Salt Works (1992) and Whet (1995). His third book, The Weave Room, was published by The University of Chicago Press in the Phoenix Poets series (1998). His collection of essays, Hitting Below the Bible Belt, was published by Down Home Press in 1998. Gospel Road Going, a collection of poems about his native Appalachia, was published in 2002 and was awarded the 2003 Roanoke-Chowan Prize for Poetry. In 2006, he published a collection of essays and short stories called Finishing Touches. His collection of poetry From Whence was released in March 2007 from Louisiana State University Press. Tupelo Press published his book Spill in October of 2007. Spill was named as a finalist for ForeWord magazine's poetry book of the year and won the 2008 Roanoke-Chowan Prize. His most recent collection, Poor-Mouth Jubilee (Tupelo Press, 2010), was also named a ForeWord finalist.

Michael Chitwood


Beth Copeland grew up in Japan, India, and North Carolina, and her poems reflect a fusion between Eastern and Western themes and sensibilities. Her second book, Transcendental Telemarketer (BlazeVOX Books, 2012), took second place in the Poetry Council of North Carolina's 2013 Oscar Arnold Young Award for best poetry book by a North Carolina writer. Her first book, Traveling through Glass, received the 1999 Bright Hill Press Poetry Book Award. Two of her poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Beth is an English instructor at Methodist University in Fayetteville. She lives with her husband, Phil Rech, in a log cabin in Gibson, North Carolina.

Beth Copeland


Ralph Earle

Ralph Earle has taught poetry at the ArtsCenter and UNC, as well as Central Carolina Technical College, where he currently offers two courses a year. He helped found the North Carolina Writers Network and served on its first board of directors. His poems have been published in The Sun and The Carolina Quarterly, among other places, and he has won awards from the North Carolina Poetry Society, The Independent, and The Main Street Rag. He lives in the forest in Chatham County and documents software for IBM.

Skylar Gudasz
is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, actress, and poet who has travelled internationally with the band Big Star's Third and released two acclaimed albums with her former project the Ugly Girls. Skylar graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a BA in dramatic art and creative writing with a poetry focus in summer of 2009. While there, she received the Suzanne Bolch Award for Creative Writing. Skylar has played solo and with a number of different groups at festivals all over the world, including SXSW, Primavera Sound in Barcelona, Summerstage in NYC, Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh, and the Americana Music Fest in Nashville. She sings and plays the flute, piano, and guitar and is currently recording and writing with the new supergroup Spooky Woods and working with producer Chris Stamey on her debut solo album of original songs, Oleander, to be released in 2014.

Skylar Gudasz


Joan McLean

Joan McLean is a self-employed ecologist living in Silk Hope, a small farming community in central North Carolina. She holds degrees in botany and wetland ecology from UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University, respectively. She has published two chapbooks, Up From Dust (2009) and Place (2011). Her poems have received several awards, including a McDill Award from the North Carolina Poetry Society, a Poetry Council of North Carolina Award, two first prizes in the Fields of Earth poetry competition, and having two poems as finalists for the James Applewhite Competition with the North Carolina Literary Review. Her work has appeared recently in the journals Reed Magazine, THEMA, Xanadu, and Third Wednesday, among others.

Lenard D. Moore, a North Carolina native, is the founder and executive director of the Carolina African American Writers' Collective and co-founder of the Washington Street Writers Group. His poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in over 400 publications, such as Callaloo, Prairie Schooner, and Crab Orchard Review. He is the author of The Open Eye (NC Haiku Society Press, 1985), Forever Home (St. Andrews College Press, 1992), Desert Storm: A Brief History (Los Hombres Press, 1993) and A Temple Looming (WordTech Editions, 2008). Lenard has taught workshops, served on literary panels, and given hundreds of readings at schools, festivals, colleges and universities. He has received many awards, among them the Sam Ragan Award in the Fine Arts and the Raleigh Medal of Arts for Lifetime Achievement. He has taught at North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, and Shaw University. Currently, Lenard teaches at Mount Olive College.

Lenard D. Moore


Claudine R. Moreau

Claudine R. Moreau moonlights as a poet and teaches physics and astronomy at Elon University by day. Dark Machines, her first chapbook, was published in 2012. She won The Pinch Literary Award for poetry in 2011. Her work has surfaced in Spaces, Tar River Poetry, 34th Parallel, PANK, Neon Magazine, Iodine Poetry Journal, The Pinch, and Segue.

Gary Phillips is a writer, naturalist, and entrepreneur. He has a special interest and expertise in conservation easements and other land-protective strategies. Gary co-founded Weaver Street Realty in Carrboro over a quarter of a century ago. He lives in a rammed-earth house with his wife, Ilana Dubester. Gary writes poetry, reads anthropological science fiction, studies amphibian activities on full-moon nights, and was once chair of the Chatham County Board of Commissioners. Gary is a member of the Carrboro Poets Council.

Gary Phillips


Tasha PippinTasha Pippin works in book production at Carolina Academic Press and is the coordinating editor and bit-of-everything-else at Raleigh Review Literary & Arts Magazine. She is a recent MFA graduate of North Carolina State University, where she taught poetry and creative writing. Her poem "At the Funeral" won first place in a statewide poetry contest in 2012. Her most recent publications are in Tar River Poetry, Cider Press Review, and Broadkill Review. She lives and writes in Raleigh.

Tasha Pippin


Starr Seward

Starr Seward is a National Poetry Slam Champion (2008), Southern Fried Poetry Slam Finalist (2008), and is currently ranked amongst the top 20 female performance poets in the world (WoWPS, 2013). As a facilitator for Sacrificial Poets, her mission is to guide the youth toward inspiration by showing them the power of their own voice and instilling them with the confidence to use it. Starr is currently a service member with the North Carolina LiteracyCorps.

Phillip Shabazz is a poet, writer, and teaching artist. He is the author of three poetry collections: Freestyle and Visitation, XYZoom, and Flames in the Fire. He is also the author of a novel in verse, When the Grass Was Blue. Shabazz has been an activist, a publisher, and a community organizer at the grassroots level. He became Duke University's third Artist-in-Residence at the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture. While at Duke, Shabazz organized a student art collective and was a founding member of Spirit-House, a community service organization. Currently he leads creative writing and poetry workshops at schools, libraries, universities, correctional facilities, and cultural centers throughout North Carolina.

Phillip Shabazz


Alan Shapiro

Alan Shapiro is author of eleven books of poetry (most recently Night of the Republic, a finalist for both the National Book Award and The Griffin Prize) and four books of prose (most recently Broadway Baby, a novel from Algonquin Books). He's won numerous awards, including The Kingsley Tufts Award, LA Times Book Prize, an award in literature from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, two NEAs, a Guggenheim, and a Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Award. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His new book of poems, Reel to Reel, will appear in April 2014, from University of Chicago Press.

Kiran Singh Sirah is a poet, folklorist, curator, and teacher, whose work encompasses award-winning national and international arts and cultural and human rights programs. Kiran has delivered slam poems at Edinburgh's International Arts festival, in UK slam competitions, at anti-war and anti-fracking demonstrations, on the street corners of New York City, in support of Occupy, and on subway trains keep the peace from soccer-related sectarian violence in his home city of Glasgow. Last year Kiran was invited to give a keynote slam poetry address at the United Nations. Kiran came to the US from Scotland as a Rotary World Peace Fellow where as a folklorist, he emphasizes his interest in "the power of human creativity, arts, and social justice, and the notion of a truly multicultural society."

Kiran Singh Sirah


Susan Spalt

Susan Spalt's poems have appeared in Carrboro's 100th Birthday Poetry Anthology, Pinesong (North Carolina Poetry Society), Bay Leaves (Poetry Council of North Carolina), and Mistletoe Madness (Kind of a Hurricane Press). Susan is one of four poets published in Carrboro Poetica (Old Mountain Press, 2012). Her poem "Carrboro Rocks" was set to music by Billy Sugerfix to celebrate Carrboro's 100th anniversary. She is a member of the Carrboro Poets Council.

Celisa Steele's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Anglican Theological Review, The Comstock Review, Inch, and others and won the Broad River Review 2011 Rash Award in Poetry, The South Carolina Review's 2009-2010 Poetry Contest, the 2010 Nâz?m Hikmet Poetry Competition, one of two honorable mentions in Salem College's 2012 Rita Dove Poetry Award, and other recognition. In 2011, Emrys Press published her first book, How Language Is Lost. Celisa serves on the Carrboro Poets Council.

Celisa Steele


Pamela L. Taylor

Pamela L. Taylor is a data guru by day and a poet by night. She has a doctorate in social psychology from UCLA and an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a Cave Canem Fellow. Her work has appeared in print in The Best of the Fuquay-Varina Reading Series 2012 (Main Street Rag, 2012), …and love: Poetry Anthology (Jacar Press, 2012), and Sou'wester Literary Journal, as well as online at Backbone Press, Mused: The BellaOnline Literary Review, and Pedestal Magazine. Her blog,, is geared toward poets with non-literary careers. For the past four years, she has co-organized Living Poetry, a group that organizes and promotes poetry events throughout the Triangle. When she's not working or writing, Pamela dances Argentine tango.

Iris Tillman

Iris Tillman grew up in Brooklyn and received her BA magna cum laude from Smith College and MA in English Literature from Brown. As an undergraduate she published poems and a chapter from her thesis on Shakespeare's sonnets in The Grecourt Review and won poetry prizes. After working as an acquisitions editor in scholarly publishing at university presses in Austin, TX, Athens, GA, and Chapel Hill, NC, she became the founding executive director of the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) at Duke University. Now retired, she works as an editorial consultant, coediting with Tom Rankin the CDS series Documentary Arts and Culture (CDS/UNC Press), and writes poetry. Her poems have appeared in Tar River Poetry, drafthorse, And Love (a Jacar Press anthology), and Women's Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal and are forthcoming in Generations and The Broadkill Review. She was a winner in the fourth annual Nâz?m Hikmet Poetry Festival, and her poems are included in the festival's 2012 chapbook.


This website was created and is managed by the Town of Carrboro Recreation and Parks Department for the purpose of providing to the general public information about the West End Poets Weekend. The Town of Carrboro is not responsible for the content of the other web pages that are listed or linked to from this web site.

This website may contain hypertext links to other sites on the Internet. The links are provided as a service to users and are not sponsored by or affiliated with this web site or under the control of the Town of Carrboro. The links are to be accessed at the user's own risk, and Town of Carrboro and the authors of this website make no representation or warranties about the content of these links. The Town of Carrboro is not responsible for the content of any linked site or any link contained in a linked site. Town of Carrboro is providing these links to you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement by Town of Carrboro of the site. These links are provided for informational purposes only. It is the responsibility of the user to evaluate the content, quality, and accuracy of materials or information obtained from other sites.
Contact Site Administrator