North Carolina Poet Laureate, Shelby Stephenson, Attended Annual Spring Musical

North Carolina Poet Laureate, Shelby Stephenson, read poems and sang songs as part of opening night intermission of the charter school’s annual spring musical on May 4, 2018.


Graced with the presence of poets, so it was at the opening night of Oh Horror! It’s Murder at The Learning Center Charter School on May 4. That’s because North Carolina Poet Laureate, Shelby Stephenson, attended and provided intermission entertainment.

Stephenson grew up on a farm in Benson, North Carolina and says that most of his poems are a product of that environment. He has written many poems about the farm, the foxhounds his father hunted and the streams, fields and trees of his childhood home. He graduated from the University of North Carolina and went on to study law at University of Pittsburgh and University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2001, the state of North Carolina awarded him the NC Award in Literature. He has gone on to receive the Bellday Poetry Prize, the Oscar Arnold Young Award, the Zoe Kincaid-Brockman Award, the Brockman-Campbell Award, the Bright Hill Press Chapbook Prize, and the Playwright’s Fund of North Carolina Chapbook Prize.

He has also produced a poetic documentary titled, Plankhouse as well as numerous books of poems including Middle Creek Poems, Carolina Shout!, The Persimmon Tree and Possum.  He and his wife, Linda, have also recorded four musical CDs.

Mary Ricketson and Joan Howard with Ridgeline Literary Alliance and North Carolina Writers Network-WEST accompanied Stephenson to the annual spring musical at the charter school.

Stephenson shared with the school’s Executive Director that during this year marking the 50th Anniversary of the North Carolina Arts Council, what a pleasure it was to see firsthand that the arts are alive and well in the far west at The Learning Center Charter School.

The school will host Stephenson on its campus again in the fall as a guest assembly presenter.

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