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.




Thursday, September 4, 2008

In Praise of Libraries and Librarians, Part 1: Dana Edge



This is a photo of Dana Edge, a woman I admired tremendously and with whom I lost contact during the months of her terminal illness this spring. (This photo shows Dana's sense of humor as Western Carolina University's Reference Librarian and Consultant to the School of Business. Its title: Dana Shocked! I love it.) I'll make no excuses. Yes, I was busy with poetry/travel commitments, but I could have made time to get in touch, at least by email. To visit. Now it's too late. And a woman who gave the label "librarian" special meaning is gone without my having told her how much I valued her friendship and regard for my work.
Dana cared about poetry, the environment, politics, travel. She bought my books and she made comments about my work. How rare is that? As a librarian she took her job seriously. She was efficient and passionate (the two are not mutually exclusive), and she cared about literature. I had never officially met her until the day she came up to me in Western Carolina University's Hunter Library to tell me that she liked an op-ed I'd written for the Asheville Citizen-Times shortly before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, one that had been posted on the library bulletin board.

Yesterday Hunter Library held a "Celebration of Dana Edge," a reception with good food, good friends, and displays of Dana's photos, posters, various brochures she had put together for the library and other mementoes from her time in our library. In them one could see a woman involved in life in its many unfoldings.







Here is the announcement from WCU. If you wish to honor a woman you most likely don't even know, by a contribution to The Hope Chest or the Canary Coalition, that would be wonderful. The Canary Coalition is a local environmental organization fighting to save what we have here in Jackson County and WNC, by the way.

❉❉❉❉❉❉❉❉

Dana Merrill Edge, Reference Librarian, Liaison to the College of Business , and Assistant Professor at Hunter Library, died Sunday morning, August 24, after a brief illness. Dana came to Western in January, 1995, leaving behind a successful business career managing resorts at the Grand Canyon, Napa Valley , and Death Valley . Academic librarianship was a second career for Dana, and we were lucky she chose WCU, where projects she took on benefited from her intelligence and high standards. Quick wit and an elegant demeanor marked all of her endeavors here. Dana loved her time in Cullowhee and the many friends she made here. We will all miss her!

Dana’s family asks that memorial gifts be made to Hope Chest – A Women’s Cancer Center , P.O. Box 16948, Asheville , NC 28816, or to The Canary Coalition, P.O. Box 653, Sylva , NC 28779.

Dana's obituary in the Asheville Citizen Times: http://obituaries.citizen-times.com/obituaries/obit.php?id=56409

Here is the video that WLOS ran last weekend. The piece with Dana is called "Outrunning Time." She appears toward the end of the video. (It's less than 10 minutes long.): http://www.wlos.com/shared/newsroom/absolute_le/wlos_index.shtml



(Passion Flower in our garden)

3 comments:

James Hogan said...

Thanks for this, Kay. I was so startled to hear from Terry Nienhuis that Dana had passed away. I'm glad that there were many on campus who gathered to remember her wonderful, vibrant life.

Mary Lou said...

Dear Kay,

"Remembering Dana", as one friend said, "is gentle on the spirit."

Thank you, for your remembrance of Dana. The space you've created on the web for her is a comfort to me.

Dana enjoyed a large circle of friends and loved ones - near and far and influenced each of us differently, though profoundly.For Dana and I, our friendship began in Death Valley, Ca,(1979),and followed us here to North Carolina.

Recently, I shared this thought with others:

"Though I miss Dana greatly, I am also deeply warmed and inspired by her; by her quiet courage and compassion, by her gratitude and infinite humor when life, her life was presented with an overwhelming amount of complications and excruciating pain, born not only by her cancer but the recent death of her father. When her passion for running changed to walking, when her walking changed to walking with a cane, and when she could no longer help herself, her gratefulness and what she chose to cherish, even then, even now is extremely profound to me. And I will hold that image forever."

For her grace and light,

Mary Lou Addor
Cary, NC

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Mary Lou, thank you so much for your response to my post about Dana. My regret is that I didn't spend as much time with her as I would have liked. I think about her every time I walk by Hunter Library, and especially when I walk through that front door.
We will keep remembering her for, as you say, her grace and light.

Kay