Raleigh, N.C. – Governor Pat McCrory has appointed Valerie Macon as the poet laureate of North Carolina. Macon will serve a two-year term in the distinguished role.
"North Carolina, with a centuries-old history of cultivating artistic and literary talent, eagerly anticipates Macon's service," Governor McCrory said. "I look forward to the unique perspective and style she will bring to the office."
Macon has lived in North Carolina for more than 35 years. She holds degrees from Adelphi Business School in Mineola, New York and Meredith College in Raleigh. Macon now lives in Fuquay-Varina.
Her first book of poetry, Shelf Life, portrays the joys and the sorrows of life. It was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, as was her second book, Sleeping Rough. Macon was the Gilbert Chapel Distinguished Poet for the Eastern Region in 2010-11, and her work has been widely anthologized.
“North Carolina’s poet laureates have had a passion for bringing poetry and literature to our citizens, and we look forward to witnessing Valerie Macon’s contributions to this long tradition,” said N.C. Arts Council Executive Director Wayne Martin.
The role of North Carolina's poet laureate was first established in 1935. Guidelines call for the poet to be a North Carolinian with deep connections to the cultural life of this state, literary excellence and influence on other writers and appreciation of literature in its diversity throughout the state, among other recommendations.
The poet laureate often chooses a long-term project or other program of special interest. Duties involve traveling across the state to engage writers and readers of all ages in schools and communities, communicating with the press and writing commemorative poems for historical or culturally important occasions.