Welcome to where I am, where my kitchen's always messy, a pot's (or a poet) always about to boil over, a dog is always begging to be fed. Drafts of poems on the counter. Windows filled with leaves. Wind. Clouds moving over the mountains. If you like poetry, books, and music--especially dog howls when a siren unwinds down the hill-- you'll like it here.


MY NEW AUTHOR'S SITE, KATHRYNSTRIPLINGBYER.COM, THAT I MYSELF SET UP THROUGH WEEBLY.COM, IS NOW UP. I HAD FUN CREATING THIS SITE AND WOULD RECOMMEND WEEBLY.COM TO ANYONE INTERESTED IN SETTING UP A WEBSITE. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT MY NEW SITE TO KEEP UP WITH EVENTS RELATED TO MY NEW BOOK.


MY NC POET LAUREATE BLOG, MY LAUREATE'S LASSO, WILL REMAIN UP AS AN ARCHIVE OF NC POETS, GRADES K-INFINITY! I INVITE YOU TO VISIT WHEN YOU FEEL THE NEED TO READ SOME GOOD POEMS.

VISIT MY NEW BLOG, MOUNTAIN WOMAN, WHERE YOU WILL FIND UPDATES ON WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MY KITCHEN, IN THE ENVIRONMENT, IN MY IMAGINATION, IN MY GARDEN, AND AMONG MY MOUNTAIN WOMEN FRIENDS.




Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hambidge Summer Festival

The Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts in Rabun Gap, Ga. is one of my favorite places. I've done four residencies there over the years, revising mansucripts, beginning new ones, walking in the woods, and meeting new artists like Suzanne Stryk (suzannestryk.com), whose painting "Little Wing" graces the cover of The Movable Nest, published last fall by Helicon Nine.




Each summer the Center sponsors a Summer Festival, the headliner being barbecue, of course, followed by U Do Raku, giving folks a chance to paint and fire their own pots. The lines were long for this one! Nearby a couple of artists worked on portraits of the passers-by, and on the lawn in front of the Rock House, a tent was set up for Performances, which included those by me and story-teller Cathy Kaemmerlen, a NC native who now lives in Atlanta.

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I read my poetry in the morning and the afternoon. In the audience were good friend and wonderful poet Becky Gould Gibson, doing a residency this summer, and John Skeen, a composer and artist from W. Virginia. John is setting several of the poems from my Catching Light for mezzo-soprano and piano. I found the three he had ready for listening strangely familiar, as if he knew the voice of those poems as well, if not better, than I.


Becky Gould Gibson and John Skeen

After the morning reading, I chatted awhile with Elizabeth Frost, from NYC, another poet doing a residency at the center. She told me she loved being out of the city, discovering new writers and artists in regions that many New Yorkers don't know, or care, about. "Parochial" is the word she used to decribe that attitude. An attitude artists in any genre have to confront!





Beth Frost

After lunch I read again, my mountain women's voices from Black Shawl blending with the haunting voice of the young woman singing with Mountain Hoodoo. Then Cathy delighted us all with her performance of Eudora Welty's "Why I live at the P.O."



Cathy Caemmerlen


Go to the Hambidge Center's website to find out more about this beautiful haven for creative artists. (hambidge.org)


Oh, I almost forgot! The barbecue was pretty good, too.

1 comment:

James Hogan said...

Setting poetry to music is brilliant and fun work. One of my favorite contemporary composers, Eric Whitacre, does this often with poetry. I think you'd find his literary tastes quite interesting.

Also--Brittany Harrison and I have collaborated along the years with a YA novel she's been toying with off and on. She'd write a chapter, and I'd compose some sort of cinematic music that I imagined would fit well if there ever was a screenplay.