Nothing seems more appropriate for Piedmont Community College (PCC), than having the honor to host North Carolina’s highest ranking poet during poetry month.
PCC is presenting Jaki Shelton Green, North Carolina’s Poet Laureate, on Tuesday, April 18, to give a public poetry reading. Appointed by Governor Roy Cooper in 2018 — and reappointed in 2021 — she became North Carolina’s ninth poet Laureate, the first African American and third woman.
A Piedmont native, Green was born in Alamance County and grew up in Elfland, North Carolina. She developed a passion for writing as a young girl when her grandmother gave her a notepad to write on because she was fidgety. That passion developed into a career and life full of writing accolades.
As the poet laureate of North Carolina, it is Green’s responsibility to travel across the state to engage with writers and readers to promote the appreciation and participation of literary arts. She travels to libraries, community centers, and schools, just like PCC, to spread this passion and interact with people of all ages who have an affinity for the written word.
“Our campus is buzzing about the opportunity to listen to and meet Jaki Shelton Green, “said Dr. Pamela G. Senegal, President, PCC. “Every review we hear is outstanding, saying she leaves the audience awestruck through her ability to evoke emotion with her cadence, inflection, and intense enthusiasm for the medium. We are so honored to host her on our campus, and we hope visitors from our community will join us for this experience.”
During the visit, Green will read from her literary works, answer questions from the audience, and will continue to interact afterward during the reception.
“I hope the audience leaves feeling innovated and excited to pursue more poetry,” said Dr. Don Miller, Dean of the Learning Commons. “Green provides a beautiful perspective that most can relate to and an extraordinary ability to connect her words with the memories and emotions of her audience.”
Green is currently an instructor of Documentary Poetry at Duke University and the North Carolina Museum of Art’s 2022-2023 Poet in Residence. In 2021 she was appointed the Frank B. Hanes Writer in Residence at UNC Chapel Hill and was the recipient of the George School Outstanding Alumni. She is a 2019 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow, a 2014 NC Literary Hall of Fame Inductee, the 2009 NC Piedmont Laureate, and the 2003 recipient of the North Carolina Award for Literature.
Shelton Green’s publications include Dead on Arrival, Masks, breath of the song, conjure blues, and singing a tree into dance, published by Carolina Wren Press and Blair. Two more publications, Feeding the Light and i want to undie you, were published by Jacar Press. The poetry reading and reception is free and open to the public. More information about the Poet Laureate can be found on her website, www.jakisheltongreen.com, and find more information about the event at www.piedmontcc.edu/poet-laureate.