Kate Lovelady chosen as Carrboro's Poet Laureate
Carrboro poet Kate Lovelady has been chosen to serve as Poet Laureate of Carrboro for a one-year term beginning on July 4th. Lovelady was one of six applicants for the designation, each of whom submitted a poem based on the theme “Independence Day 2002.” She will be inaugurated and read her selected entry, “Report from the Curb,” at Carrboro’s Independence Day celebration.
The search for the town’s first poet laureate was conducted by the Carrboro Art Committee, with blind judging by Chapel Hill poet and essayist Michael Chitwood. (Blind judging = the judge does not know who wrote what.) Chitwood commented on Lovelady’s entry prior to being let in on her identity. “I selected "Report from the Curb" because of the imagination employed to see the parade as the body of Carrboro itself. It's hard to make generalizations from just one poem but it seemed to me that the poet had a documentary impulse that I thought would serve the Carrboro poet laureate well. Now, who did I pick?”
“Carrboro is the only town in North Carolina (we think) ever to appoint a poet laureate,” says Art Committee chair Catherine DeVine. “We designed the search protocol like an audition that treated every applicant fairly. When I telephoned Kate last night, I felt like Ed McMahon.” Lovelady was hosting her writers’ group when DeVine called with the news.
Michael Chitwood’s involvement in the process added quality to the search, according to DeVine, in several ways. “Mike knows the art and the science of poetry, and he knows Carrboro.” Chitwood applauds the inclusion of poetry in his neighboring town’s public art scene: “I'm pleased to see a town recognizing what many of us already know, which is that poetry is a vital part of daily life. I would encourage the laureate to do everything that he or she can to make sure people know where to find and enjoy poetry.”
Written by Catherine DeVine
Click here for the winning poem, Kate Lovelady's Report from the Curb: Independence Day Parade, 2002
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