RALEIGH — A Fuquay-Varina woman has been named North Carolina’s new poet laureate.
Gov. Pat McCrory announced Friday that Valerie Macon would serve as poet laureate for the next two years. Macon will choose a long-term project to focus on in addition to traveling around the state to work with writers and readers in various communities.
She will also write commemorative poems for historical and culturally significant occasions in the state.
Macon has published two collections of poetry – “Shelf Life” in 2011 and “Sleeping Rough” in 2014 – both of which have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She attended Meredith College and Adelphi Business School in Mineola, N.Y., before moving to Fuquay-Varina.
In addition to the Pushcart Prize nominations, Macon has received awards from The Writer’s Inc. Guild, N.C. Poetry and the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poets Series. Her poetry was also performed in concert at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and can be seen in various online publications.
“I look forward to the unique perspective and style she will bring to the office,” McCrory said in a statement.
The role of poet laureate, considered an ambassador of North Carolina literature, was first established in 1935. Writers are considered for the position based on their connections to the cultural life of the state, the literary excellence of their work and statewide, national or international recognition, among other guidelines.
Macon is the state’s eighth poet laureate and third woman in the position.