This past October, state poet laureates of Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, and of course, North Carolinaâ€”among other noted poetsâ€”gathered for “In the Company of Laureates,” an hours-long celebration of poetry at the Hylton Center for the Performing Arts on George Mason Universityâ€™s Science and Technology Campus in Manassas, VA.
Hosted by the Poetry Society of Virginia, participants met and mingled with the laureates and other regional poets and enthusiasts for workshops, panel discussions, open mics, and more.
The organizers were on the ball and made recordings of the laureates’ readings, which they were gracious enough to share.
Shelby Stephenson, at right, has been the poet laureate of North Carolina since 2015. (Although nominations are now open for the next North Carolina Poet Laureate.)
Below are more clips, including Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda, who was poet laureate of Virginia from 2006-2008; JoAnn Balingit, poet laureate of Delaware from 2008-2015; Michael Collier, Maryland Poet Laureate from 2001-2004; and E. Ethelbert Miller, Co-Editor of Poet Lore and Director of Howard University’s African-American Resource Center.