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Queens MFA instructor Cathy Smith Bowers is new N.C. Poet Laureate

Bowers teaches poetry in the MFA in Creative Writing program at Queens University of Charlotte

01/29/10 -  

N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue announced today the appointment of Cathy Smith Bowers of Tryon as North Carolina's Poet Laureate.

Smith Bowers will be recognized at a ceremony on Feb. 10, at 4:30 p.m. at the State Capitol in Raleigh.

"Cathy's powerful poems open new avenues of thought, and are a reflection of the love of words and learning.  She believes poetry inspires and instructs North Carolinians of all ages," Gov. Perdue said.

Smith Bowers teaches in the low-residency MFA in Creative Writing program at Queens University of Charlotte, where she received the 2002 J.B. Fuqua Distinguished Educator Award.  She also received the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Award given by the N.C. Poetry Society in 2006 and 2007.

"Cathy was a founding member of the MFA faculty at Queens in 2001 and was a mainstay of undergraduate creative writing program here before that," said Mike Kobre, co-director of the MFA in Creative Writing program and Dana Professor of English.  "Without her work nurturing creative writing and mentoring some fabulous students there would not have been a foundation for the MFA program."

She is the author of four poetry collections: "The Love That Ended Yesterday in Texas," Texas Tech University Press, 1992; "Traveling in Time of Danger," Iris Press, 1999; "A Book of Minutes," Iris Press, 2004; and "The Candle I Hold Up To See You," Iris Press, 2009.

"Her poetry has a powerful narrative drive, but it is marked by a strong lyricism," Kobre said.  "She draws from her life experiences and from her reading. Her work is at once accessible, but doesn't stint on complexity and displays a mastery of form."

Queens University of Charlotte is a private, co-ed, Presbyterian-affiliated comprehensive university with a commitment to both liberal arts and professional studies. Located in the heart of historic Charlotte, Queens serves approximately 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students through its College of Arts and Sciences, the McColl School of Business, the Presbyterian School of Nursing, the Wayland H. Cato, Jr. School of Education, the School of Communication and Hayworth College for Adult Studies.

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