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NC Poet Laureate Induction Ceremony

Benson poet Shelby Stephenson will be installed as North Carolina’s eighth poet laureate on:

Tuesday, February 3, Monday, February 2, 5:30 pm
North Carolina State Capitol
House of Representatives Chamber
One Edenton Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
(Please enter the East Door and the security check to the House Chamber)

Reception to follow in the Rotunda.

This ceremony is free and open to the public, but please RSVP to, by January 29.

For accessibility assistance call 919-807-6501.

Parking is available in the Visitor Parking lot bounded by Wilmington, Jones, Blount and Edenton streets. Metered parking available along Jones Street.

Deck parking is available off South Wilmington Street.

Shelby Stephenson lives on the small farm where he was born near Benson, in the Coastal Plain of North Carolina. “Most of my poems come out of that background,” he says, “where memory and imagination play on one another.”

Educated at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he is professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina-Pembroke, and served as editor of the international literary journal Pembroke Magazine from 1979 until his retirement in 2010. His awards include the Zoe Kincaid Brockman Memorial Award, North Carolina Network Chapbook Prize, Bright Hill Press Chapbook Award, and the Brockman-Campbell Poetry Prize.

He has published a poetic documentary Plankhouse (with photographs by Roger Manley), plus ten chapbooks, most recently Steal Away (Jacar Press), and Press 53 recently re-released his celebrated collection, Fiddledeedee. Family Matters: Homage to July, the Slave Girl won the 2008 Bellday Poetry Prize and the 2009 Oscar Arnold Young Award. The state of North Carolina presented Shelby with the 2001 North Carolina Award in Literature, and in 2014 he was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame.

The North Carolina poet laureate serves as an ambassador of the state’s literature, using the office as a platform to promote both the written word and North Carolina writers.