So not only did you teach me about writing memoir, you also taught me about reading and thinking about how others write memoir. Thank you so much! Rebecca

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Kathryn S. Byer's last book is published

I am delighted to see that Jacar Press has published the final poetry book by my friend, poet, Kathryn Stripling Byer, who is missed by so many of us who loved her and her work.

Although Kathryn and I grew up about thirty miles from each other and both lived on farms in south Georgia, we didn't meet until I moved to the mountains of North Carolina where we both had found our home. She still lived some miles away but writing brought us together. I never met a more encouraging and helpful writer. She gave of herself, her time and cared about the poets and writers she knew. 

On Saturday, June 8, 6:30 PM, I plan to be at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, NC.

The publisher of Jacar Press wrote this:

It is with great joy and sorrow that Jacar Press announces the posthumous publication of Kathryn Stripling Byer's Trawling the Silences. The book should be available late May, and City Lights Bookstore in Sylva will host an opening reading on Saturday, June 8, at 6:30. Please join us if you can.

Jacar Press will be donating proceeds from sales to a cause Kay valued. We are in the process of narrowing that down and will have a decision on that soon.

When she died suddenly from lymphoma in June 2017, Kathryn Stripling Byer had just completed her 7th, and what would be her last, collection of poetry, Trawling the Silences. It is a book of great beauty and heartbreak, revisiting all her important themes - family and ancestry, the natural world, the inevitable process of aging and death, and the pressing issues of environmental degradation, racism, and international conflict - with an urgency that seems, in retrospect, to have come from an awareness about what fate awaited her. Kay loved the craft of poetry and the expressive possibilities of intricate poetic structures. She wrote free verse, metrical verse, syllabic verse, and used forms as diverse as the sestina and the ghazal. Though often dense with meaning and allusion, her work remains accessible to any careful reader.

During her writing career Kathryn Stripling Byer received many honors and awards, including the Lamont prize for her second book, Wildwood Flower, the North Carolina Governor’s Award for Literature, in 2001, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council. She was the first woman to be selected as the North Carolina Poet Laureate, and served from 2005 to 2009. In 2012 she was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds as if she was and is much loved. And equally missed.
    As a selfish aside, I would really appreciate you casting your eye over my latest post. As a dabbler in the writing craft I really welcome input from professionals.


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