Friday, July 24, 2009

NC Poetry Book Award Recipient to Visit Poetry Hickory


"Musings" for July 16

On Tuesday, August 11, NC poet, Sara Claytor, will read from her poetry at Poetry Hickory, which is held at Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse in downtown Hickory, starting at 6:30 P.M.

A native Tar Heel and former teacher of literature, writing & communications at various NC universities and public school systems, Claytor holds two graduate degrees from UNC. She has been the recipient of numerous poetry prizes, including most recently a runner-up in the Poetry Council of North Carolina’s Oscar Arnold Young Book Competition for the best book of poetry from the state for her new collection from Main Street Rag, Howling on Red Dirt Roads. She will be honored for that award at Poetry Day to be held at Catawba College on October 10.

Claytor’s fiction and poetry have appeared in over 100 publications, including: New Press Literary Quarterly; Miller’s Pond; California Quarterly; Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies; Spire; The Crucible; The Pedestal Magazine; The Savannah Literary Journal. In addition to her teaching, she has worked as fiction editor for a small press specializing in mystery-suspense and as co-editor of the former Internet literary journal The Moonwort Review.

Howling on Red Dirt Roads is her second collection of poetry. Pudding House Publications published her chapbook REVIVING THE DAMSEL FISH in 2007. The poem below is reprinted from that collection.

Double Layers

older women need light,
light from windows
light in rooms
light warming their faces
on layered pewter days
when they search the sky
remembering rain and wind,
previous storms that flattened
Iris beds, splintered limbs
from oak trees, littering their
lives with debris

older women need time,
time to read Proust
time to sort photos
time to gaze at moths
waltzing in midnight ecstasy
under floodlights on charcoal nights
when their thoughts,
like water spattering stone,
quiver in the clutter of unrequited passions

older women need fire,
fire from burning bones
fire from urgent memories
fire surging into their stretched skins
when they step from back porch stairs
onto leaves like wet sponges,
twisted branches with jagged teeth
that scrape their shins,
to survey storm damage,
seek the pieces of their lives
left behind


  1. This may be a selfish comment, but I like it when you post these columns ahead of the event. Those of us who live miles away cannot come to Hickory to puck up a paper. Thank you, Scott.

  2. I love Sara's work. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. looking forward to another good reading!
    i agree it is nice to have these up before the readings and it looks like the mini PA is going to be here before hand!

  4. this is goregeous in that way that aging is beautiful, in the way looking back to go forward is beautiful. Glad I came by to read.