North Carolina’s ninth Poet Laureate, Jaki Shelton Green, will deliver the Stone Center’s annual Sonja Haynes Stone Lecture on Tuesday, October 22. Green is the first African American and third woman to hold the title.
A North Carolina native, Green has been active in the state’s literary and teaching community for more than 40 years. Her publications include Dead on Arrival, Dead on Arrival and New Poems, Masks, Conjure Blues, singing a tree into dance, breath of the song, Blue Opal (a play), and Feeding the Light. Her work has appeared in publications such as The Crucible, Obsidian, Essence Magazine, Callaloo, and Black Gold: An Anthology of Black Poetry, among many others. Her work has also been choreographed by dance companies such as the Chuck Davis African American Dance Company in conjunction with the Kennedy Center and Duke’s Nasher Museum of Art; Murmurations Dance; Two Near the Edge Dance Company; Dance Nova Company in collaboration with the Colorado Naropa Dance Institute; and the Miami City Ballet.
In 2014, she was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize; in 2009 she served as the North Carolina Piedmont Laureate. Among other honors, she was named the 2016 Lenoir-Rhyne University Writer-in-Residence and received a 2007 Sam Ragan Award for Contributions to the Fine Arts of North Carolina and a 2003 North Carolina Award (literature), the state’s highest civilian honor for significant contributions to the state and nation in fine art, literature, public service, and science.
Green has taught poetry and facilitated creative writing classes at public libraries, universities and community colleges, public/private schools, and literary organizations. She currently teaches Documentary Poetry at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. As a creativity coach, Green facilitates workshops and trainings in the United States and abroad, and as a community arts advocate, creates and facilitates programs that serve diverse audiences and populations. Additionally, she judges poetry for schools, anthologies, and prizes such as the Lucille Clifton Poetry Award. Green is the owner of SistaWRITE which provides retreats and travel excursions for women writers.
The 2019 Sonja Haynes Stone Memorial Lecture will take place at the Stone Center at 7pm on October 22. This event is free and open to the public.