The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday March 28th

Town Talk

New Carrboro poet laureate brings poetry to the people

Carrboro resident Celisa Steele works at a consulting firm she founded with her husband, but her real passion lies in writing poetry. 

Steele serves as the Carrboro Poet Laureate for the 2013-2015 term. 

According to a press release from the Carrboro Arts Committee, the poet laureate works to enhance the role of poetry in the lives of Carrboro residents.

Some of these jobs include organizing poetry festivals and presenting to local schools.

"Carrboro is very very supportive of cultural arts, that includes performing arts and written and spoken word," said Recreation Supervisor Rah Trost. "I just think that goes in line with the town of Carrboro's support in recognizing the importance of poetry in people's lives." 

Poet laureate is a volunteer position. Applications are opened up to the public and the poet is nominated by the Poet's Council.

Steele said some of the themes she addresses in her poems deal with loss and death, but also with language.

She published a book of poems called How Language is Lost in 2011. 

"I enjoy the difficulty of expressing ourselves with language," Steele said. "It's sort of what we're stuck with, it's our curse and our blessing because I don't ever feel like I can fully express myself with words but I feel like I have to as a poet."

Currently, Steele is working with the rest of the members of the poet's council to organize the West End Poetry Festival, which will take place on October 17 and 18. 

This year the festival will feature performances from a number of poets, including Steele, and a poetry workshop led by former North Carolina poet laureate Cathy Smith Bowers.

Steele is also working on a new project called Carrboro is Poetic, which aims to put poetry in public places. 

"The program plans to make poems available in four venues," she said. "On posters around town, on local buses, in poetry boxes and chalked on sidewalks."

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