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North Carolina

Lyric Poetry Mural, Lyric Poetry (detail), by Henry O. Walker, in the South Corridor, Jefferson Building, Library of Congress.
Photographic print.

Prints and Photographs Online Catalog.
Library of Congress.

Current Laureate:
Shelby Stephenson

Start of Term:
February 2, 2015

Position History:
Position estbalished 1935 (General Assembly Resolution No. 60). First laureate was Arthur Talmadge Abernethy. The laureate is appointed by the governor, typically with the advice of a committee assembled by the North Carolina Arts Council. The term of office, formerly lifetime, and then five years, is now two years.

On July 11, 2014, Valerie Macon, was appointed to the position by Gov. Pat. McCrory without input from the North Carolina Arts Council. Almost immediately after the appointment Gov. McCrory's was criticized for his selection process, and Macon's qualifications for the position questioned. Macon resigned from the position on July 17, 2014, after less than one week in office. The position remained open until December 22, when Gov. McCrorary appointed Shelby Stephenson the new state poet. Stephenson was inducted as laureate on February 2, 2015.

Previous Laureates:
Arthur Abernethy (1948-1953)
James Larkin Pearson (1953-1981)
Sam Ragan (1982-April 1996)
Fred Chappell (December 10, 1997-December 2002)
Kathryn Stripling Byer (February 24, 2005-February 2009)
Cathy Smith Bowers (February 10, 2010-June 30, 2012)
Joseph Bathanti (September 20, 2012-July 10, 2014)
Valerie Macon (July 11, 2014-July 17, 2014)

Further Resources:


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