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Kelly Starling Lyons Named Piedmont Laureate

Kelly Starling Lyons

Acclaimed, Raleigh-based children’s author Kelly Starling Lyons has been named the 2021 Piedmont Laureate.

Each year, a Piedmont Laureate is appointed for a one-year term to conduct literary activities in Durham, Orange, and Wake counties. These include readings at designated public sites; workshops; and events that promote literature to the public.

The Piedmont Laureate program is sponsored by the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, Durham Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission, and United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County. Its primary goal is to promote awareness and heighten appreciation for excellence in the literary arts in the Piedmont region of North Carolina.

Kelly’s works include the Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices-honored picture book, One Million Men and Me; Ellen’s Broom, a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor book, Junior Library Guild and Bank Street Best selection; Tea Cakes for Tosh, a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People and winner of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Award for Juvenile Literature (sponsored by the AAUW of North Carolina), and Hope’s Gift, a Storytelling World Award winner, IRA/CBC Children’s Choices selection and SIBA Okra Pick. She is a founding member of The Brown Bookshelf, a collective of writers who promote awareness of the myriad Black voices writing for young readers. Recent books include Dreambuilder: the Story of Architect Phil Freelon  and two in a “My First I Can Read” series: Ty’s Travels: Zip, Zoom! and Ty’s Travels: All Aboard!

To request her participation in public events, please contact the Piedmont Laureate Program.

For more about Kelly Starling Lyons, click here.

Piedmont laureates are appointed in a rotating cycle of genres. Past laureates include Tamara Kissane (playwriting); David Menconi (creative nonfiction); Nancy Peacock (fiction); and Mimi Herman (poetry). The previous laureate for children’s literature was John Claude Bemis (2013).

For more about the Piedmont Laureate program, click here. Follow the Piedmont Laureate on Facebook and Twitter.