Can we just switch to the first person now that the bio’s over?–As a professor at Western Carolina University, I teach poetry, English Education, and grammar. As you might imagine, these connect at all kinds of levels.
If you’re looking for someone to read at an event or bookstore, or participate in a literary festival, or run workshops at a retreat or writer’s event, please feel free to contact me. I offer a number of workshop topics, and I can assure you that I respect the need for a poet to not only edify but entertain an audience–‘sentence and solaas’ as Chaucer would say; My readings are, in the word’s of Chaucer’s friend, John Gower, ‘somwhat of lust, somewhat of lore’.
If you’re a 9-12 English teacher in or near southern Appalachia, I’d be glad to correspond with you to exchange strategies for making poetry less frightening and painful to your students and to brainstorm more ways to use poetry to address the CCSS or NC SCoS. I also enjoy visiting classrooms (on a volunteer basis) to show students some accessible, non-frightening poems and talk about how to interact with them without shame, fear, or harm. (I don’t mean my own poems–this isn’t a ploy to inflict my work on kids. This is about teaching.)
So give a shout if you need an accessible, teacher-trained poet for your literary festival, Visiting Writers series, or class visits–it’s a crying shame how many kids hate and fear poetry before middle school, and I’d love to help move that needle in the other direction. — Catherine Carter (email me)