Do you know who was the first Poet Laureate of the United States? How
about the present one? If you do not have a good answer, come to Lees-McRae College on Thursday, October 4, at 7:00 p.m. to hear poet, sculptor, painter and teacher Ellen Beinhorn tell the story of our Poet Laureates in the Stafford Room of the Carson Library. Her lecture is open to the public and free of charge.
Beinhorn, with a B.A., M.A., and a B. Litt. from Oxford University, has specialized for many years in presenting public programs on poets and poetry. She has taught courses at the University of South Carolina, the University of North Carolina at Asheville, and Appalachian State University in their Lifelong Learning programs. Her students of all ages respond enthusiastically to her lively presentations.
“My focus is to draw my audience into poetry, not turn them away. I try to keep it to poetry that is excellent, but appealing,” says Beinhorn, who has written two books of her own poetry and is working on a third.
In addition to her lecturing, Beinhorn is the author and illustrator of Poems by Emily Dickinson with Faces by Ellen Beinhorn, a unique collection of the famous American author’s poems accompanied by Beinhorn’s insightful commentary and her inimitable drawings of faces evoked by the poet’s voice. The book provides a fascinating journey through Dickinson’s words and Beinhorn’s images.
Her artwork also illustrates her lecture; Beinhorn’s painting Sitting in the Catbird Seat is a humorous look at the poet laureate’s position in the Library of Congress where he or she figuratively sits in what is known as the Catbird Seat.
“We invite everyone from poetry lovers to folks looking to learn more about the Poet Laureateship in our country to come to Lees-McRae to share the evening with Ellen Beinhorn. Lees-McRae is fortunate to host such a lively and distinguished teacher and artist,” said Dr. Michael Joslin, coordinator of the college’s English Program.
Ellen Beinhorn’s program is free and open to the public. For information, call Meghan Wright at 828-898-8729.