Local News

Billy Lester Hart
April 24, 2018
Wednesday, April 25th
April 24, 2018
Local News








> West Jefferson, NC – Ashe County’s On the Same Page Literary Festival,

celebrating eleven years of bringing the best in literary arts to the region,

announces that the Poet Laureate of the United States, Tracy K. Smith, will be a

featured author at the 2018 event.


> “We decided to announce Tracy K. Smith’s participation in this year’s

Festival to help celebrate Poetry Month this April,” said Ashe County Arts

Council Executive Director, Jane Lonon. “When she was originally selected as

Poet Laureate of the U.S., Smith stated one of her goals was to reach rural areas,

places where you don’t usually find Poet Laureates…we immediately contacted

her,” Lonon explained, “On the Same Page and Ashe County are a perfect fit.”


> Smith will share a keynote reading and discussion with Festival attendees on

Thursday, September 13, at the Ashe Civic Center. The event will be free and open

to the public. On Friday, she will work in Ashe County public schools, interacting

with local students. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for children and adults in

our community to really engage with an internationally-recognized poet and

teacher,” said Lonon, “It brings poetry out of the clouds and down to



> In 2017, Tracy K. Smith was appointed the 22nd United States Poet Laureate. She is

the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Ordinary Light (Knopf, 2015) and

four books of poetry. Her collection Life on Mars won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and

was selected as a New York Times Notable Book. Duende won the 2006 James Laughlin

Award from the Academy of American Poets and an Essence Literary Award. The

Body’s Question was the winner of the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. In 2014 the

Academy of American Poets awarded Smith with the Academy Fellowship, awarded to

one poet each year to recognize distinguished poetic achievement. She is the Roger

  1. Berlind ’52 Professor in the Humanities, and Director of the Creative Writing

Program at Princeton University. Her latest collection of poems, Wade in the

Water, was released this month (Graywolf Press).

> In addition to Smith’s appearances in Ashe County, the Festival will feature her

award-winning memoir Ordinary Light as its Festival Read for 2018. North

Carolina’s former Poet Laureate, Joseph Bathanti, will kick-off the Festival

Read for area readers in August.

>          Plans for the overall Festival are taking shape for September. Additional

authors expected to attend include Georgann Eubanks, Phillip Lewis, Bryn

Chancellor, Abigail DeWitt, Jim Minick, Frank X Walker, and Tommy Tomlinson. On

the Same Page Literary Festival is sponsored by the Ashe County Arts Council and

the Ashe County Public Library. Contributors include Skyline/Skybest, the

Friends of the Ashe County Public Library, the Town of West Jefferson and County

of Ashe, and the Page Turners – individual contributors who help make each

year’s Festival possible with their continued support.