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Poetry Events

Introducing the NC Literary Hall of Fame Class of 2014

On Sunday, October 12th, four amazing poets were inducted into the NC Literary Hall of Fame: Betty Adcock, Ronald Bayes, Jaki Shelton Green, and Shelby Stephenson. These esteemed poets joined the ranks of Maya Angelou, James Applewhite, John Hope Franklin, Randall Jarrell, and Sam Ragan. Writers selected for induction into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame meet the following criteria:

  • the writer is acclaimed nationally or internationally;
  • the quality of the work is exemplary;
  • the writer has influenced the development and appreciation of literature in North Carolina; and
  • the writer has achieved a formative and significant place in the annals of North Carolina literature.

Here are excerpts from the NCLHOF Class of 2014.

Betty AdcockJanuary

Dusk and snow this hourphoto 1
in argument have settled
nothing. Light persists,
and darkness. If a star
shines now, that shine is
swallowed and given back
doubled, grounded bright.

~ from Intervale (LSU Press, 2001)

Ronald BayesThe Last Hours of Prince Illyricus

photo 2





Flatterers abound
& you seem oblivious
to this obviousity.

You loll on your
elbows after the bath.
The towel

Merely accentuates
your desirability.

Jaki Shelton Green

photo 3





i know the grandmother one had hands

i know the grandmother one had hands
but they were always inside
the hair
twisting it into rainbows
i know the grandmother one had hands
but they were always inside
holding the knots
counting the twisted veins
holding onto herself
lest her hands disappear
into sky

~from Breath of the Song (Carolina Wren Press, 2005)

Shelby Stephenson

photo 4




George William Stephenson

July was born ninety-eight years before I was.
Grandpa William was sixty-seven that year−1938.
He split wood for thirty cents a cord.
Got tired of helping Naz maul and haul those gums.
Hunted wild turkeys, rabbits, and squirrels.
Set traps in the swamps, catching anything he could: otter, mink, raccoon−
one hide brought a dollar.
A yea and nay man.
Couldn’t read or write.
Joined the church and started preaching.


About poetsdoublelife

Poet and strategy/data guru living in Massachusetts.


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