Poetry is a gift of grace.  Visit with the ultimate wordsmiths.

The Latest from Carolina Book Beat

Forrest Heaton

Forrest Heaton



Sixty Minute Poet by Forrest W. Heaton (broadcast 9-16-2013)  This program is the inauguration of Carolina Book Beat’s “Focus on North Carolina Poetry”, guest-hosted by Sara Claytor, well-known NC poet.  ( find out more about Sara here.)  The third Monday of every month Sara will introduce listeners to a poet and poetry from the wealth of talent that we are so fortunate to have surrounding us.

The NC poet and song writer, Forrest W. Heaton, is the perfect guest to start with as he encourages everyone to find and nurture their inner poet.  Forrest’s promise is: “You give me sixty-minutes of focused, timed, uninterrupted reading/writing and you will be well on your way to a lifetime of writing poetry, having fun with it, perhaps even getting really good at it.”  He states that there is an inherent freedom in poetry, poets are completely free to choose how they express themselves without restrictions from the reader, there are no rules.  Not many things you can say that about.

Why write poetry? For the pleasure and experience of distilling the essence of thought and emotion onto paper, thereby making it more real and honest, to be shared or not, as desired.  Listen in, write your own four line poem to start, and join in as we conclude the hour in song backed by Forrest’s guitar and most excellent singing voice.  Find out more at Sixty Minute Poet.


Weary Blues by Maureen A. Sherbondy (broadcast 12-12-2011) Maureen again shares with the reader her gift of insight into the bone and muscle of emotional life.  This collection of poems offers dark realities faced and survived with a poet’s grace.  Find out more at http://www.maureensherbondy.com/writing#blues

if words could save us by Anthony S. Abbott (broadcast 10-24-2011) Both personal and universal Abbott’s stunning use of language and poetic form reaches deep into the reader’s psyche and heart.  He shares with us the rich, moving thrust of life, filled with a consideration of pleasure, puzzlement and pain that captures the emotions.  The effect is that of sitting with a thoughtful friend who quietly, and with grace, opens a world of experience to you.  A generous addition to the collection is a CD with the poet’s own rendition of his words.

This conversation also introduces a very freshly printed volume, What Writer’s Do, volume editor Anthony Abbott and Series Editor Rand Brandes.  “Anyone who loves to read will want to own this collection documenting Lenoir-Rhyne University’s remarkable Visiting Writers Series.  From Julia Alvarez’s explanation about why her haiku-a-month project failed to Abigail DeWitt’s confession that all her characters are versions of herself, this book is a treasure trove.”  Shannon Ravenal   Find out more about both of these works at http://www.thegirlintheyellowraincoat.com/

Poetry and Social Media address by Keith Flynn at the NC Poetry Society Annual Meeting, Sept. 17 (broadcast 10-10-2011)  Keith, with four collections of poetry published, is the author of The Rhythm Method, Razzmatazz and Memory: How to Make Your Poetry Swing, founder-editor of The Asheville Poetry Review and a highly respected touring musician/composer.  An engaging speaker he offers valuable tips for making social media an effective marketing tool for the poet’s art.  Find out more about the NC Poetry Society at ncpoetrysociety.org and about Keith Flynn at keithflynn.net.

Place by Joan McLean (broadcast 8-1-2011) This just published second collection of poems by Joanie McLean gives evidence of a deepening of what was already a notable poetic gift.  Her words capture mysteries sometimes hidden in the natural world as well as make tangible in unique ways the bumps and bruises inherent in loving and living.  An excellent follow up to her first collection Up From Dust.  Find out more at Finishing Line Press.

Carrboro Poetica Poetry Group (broadcast 7-25-2011) Carrboro Poetica members Priscilla Webster-Williams, Celisa Steele, Barbara Kenyon, Phyllis-Jean Greene and Sara Claytor join Paul and Audrey to talk about why they write, what happens in a poetry group and to share some of their excellent work.  This is a stimulating and educational trip into the wonderful creativity that surrounds us.  Find out more about what’s happening in the local poetry world at N. C. Poetry Society 

Memory Bones by Sara Claytor (broadcast 4-4-2011)  In this collection of poems Sara draws you into her world of remembering and in the process introduces you to people you won’t easily forget.  Rich with the colors of the south each of these offerings paints a picture that reaches beyond the boundaries of place to become as evocative as looking through a friend’s old photo album and seeing pictures of people you know.  Find out more at Sara Claytor.

Paul Nagy, Poetry and Discussion (broadcast 2-28-2011)  Carrboro Book Beat co-host, Paul Nagy, steps forward with his own intriguing and well presented poetry to offer us a peek into the making and mystery of one poet’s art.  Find out more by having a listen.

At the Threshold of Alchemy by John Amen (broadcast 12-6-2010)  In this collection of poems Amen carries us through the work and passions of living life, through completion, into transcendence and back again.  Powerful and compelling they become part of the reader’s experience, delight and contemplation.  Find out more at http://johnamen.com/

Embrace by Bruce Lader (broadcast 11-1-2010) Lader writes with a fine and delicious use of language in this collection of poems that celebrate the intimate and intricate experience of love.   Rich with color, scent and sound, Embrace entices the reader with the evocation of the many levels of romantic relationship.  Find out more at http://www.brucelader.com/

The Circus Poems by Alex Grant (broadcast 10-18-2010)  Here’s a chance to visit the circus from a multitude of perspectives.  A unique collection, Grant offers prose poetry and more traditionally constructed poems that invite the reader to unravel their own life’s circus, its rings and its players.  Find out more at Red Room.

The Sound of Poets Cooking, edited by Richard Krawiec (broadcast 9-20-2010)  This diverse and eclectic anthology of poetry and recipes feeds the heart, soul and body.  Featuring wonderful wordsmithery and delicious offerings by a galaxy of exceptional poets, this is a book to keep by your favorite chair and handy to wherever you do your cooking.  Find out more at http://jacarpress.com/books.html

Landscapes of Longing, Embrace by Bruce Lader (broadcast 7-5-2010)  In these two volumes of poetry Bruce Lader demonstrates his wonderful ability to bring to life the people, situations and emotions that are the subjects of his work.  With a fine lyrical sensibility and a clean use of language he carries the reader into the heart of his perceiving, from the halls of inner city to schools to the myth of Sisyphus and then to the fine sense of a lover’s touch.  Find out more at http://www.brucelader.com/

The Slow Vanishing, After the Fairy Tale, Praying at Coffee ShopsThree works by Maureen Sherbondy (broadcast 6-14-2010)  From short stories to poetry Sherbondy stretches our imagining, makes us laugh and then makes us stop and consider again what we have read.  Find out more at  http://www.maureensherbondy.com/

2010 Indy Poetry Contest Winner, Robin Kirk.  (broadcast 4-12-2010)  Robin is, besides being the winner of this year’s Indy Poetry Contest, an award-winning author and human rights activist.  She has spent years reporting from South America on human rights issues and has published books on Colombia and Peru.  She teaches at Duke University and coordinates the Duke Human Rights initiative.  Kirk also works as an investigator on capital cases and is finishing a novel for young adults.  Find out more at www.robinkirk.com.

Fear of Moving Water by Alex Grant (broadcast 3-1-2010)“Alex Grant is a fabulist who spins language acrobatically into tales, tales into music, music into myth. Reading him (preferably aloud) is pure pleasure for the imagination, the mouth and the mind.” Susan Ludvigson  Find out more at http://www.redroom.com/author/alex-grant

Breakdown, A Father’s Journey by Richard Krawiec (broadcast 2-22-2010)  Here are poems from a most gifted writer, novelist and essayist that deal with some of the more painful experiences in life and yet still manage to carry the reader out of the valley of the shadow.  Worthy of the reading for their compelling use of language and for the message they carry of the human “insistence on living”.  Find out more at http://home.mindspring.com/~rkwriter/

Anticipate The Coming Reservoir by John Hoppenthaler (broadcast 2-1-2010) “These clear, good-natured poems are populated with buskers and Tiki bar patrons, rocked-out lovers and squirrel-meat-cooking yahoos, every last one of them scouring the earth for peace or at least a little comfort. They are explorers sailing ‘hopeful against the current’ of our funky suburbs, our big cities and wasted bottomlands…”David Baker   Poems to read, find yourselves in  and re-read.  Find out more at  http://www.ecu.edu/english/profiles/hoppenthaler.cfm.

Up From Dust by Joanie McLean.  (broadcast 8-17-2009) McLean’s poems challenge our sense of reality, of what can or cannot happen in this world. A biologist’s take on magic, “Up From Dust” holds the ordinary up to the light, slides it under the microscope. “…[A]lthough McLean captures the lyrical beauty of nature, these poems are more than simple celebrations of the world. They look directly at the way beauty, even celebrated, can’t lessen one’s sense of
isolation and desire to belong.” —Richard Krawiec  Find out more at http://www.joanmclean.us/

Breath of Song by Jaki Shelton Green. (broadcast 12-15-2008) Jaki Shelton Green is the first ever Piedmont Poet Laureate.  She has been called North Carolina’s Billie Holiday offering words “from a persona that unflinchingly peers into the heart of darkness and foreboding, and forges from it, in an inimitable idiom of folk, plain-speak and dazzling soul, a relentless belief that love and ancestry always prevail over heartache, that story is more important than recrimination, that language, above all, is a sacrament.” Joseph Bathanti  To find out more click on the following link. http://www.piedmontlaureate.org/2009piedmontlaureate.html

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