Friday, July 23, 2010


If MVP meant “Most Valuable Poet” and some organization deemed to present such a prize, Glenda Beall would be my nominee for the inaugural award.

In the world of NC poetry, there is no doubt that central NC--Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Durham--is the hub of activity. We keep things going pretty well in the Hickory area, but relative to the critical mass of poetic endeavors in the Triangle, Hickory might rightfully be considered “the provinces.” And if Hickory is considered the provinces, then what might one call Hayesville, where Beall has lived for 15 years?

And yet, thanks in large part to Beall’s unwavering commitment to poets and poetry, the Hayesville area is home to one of the most vibrant poetry communities in the state. Beall has long been a leader in the organization NCWN West, more commonly Netwest, which facilitates networking, publishing and learning opportunities, and communication among the writers of NC’s far western counties. She has served as Program Coordinator, Website Administrator, and Publicity Chair. In those capacities, she has helped dozens of western NC writers find publishers, audiences, and the support of other writers.

Beall, however, hasn’t stop there. To give area poets an opportunity to share their work and gain exposure to writers from outside the area, she also founded a reading and discussion series, called Coffee with the Poets, held monthly at Phillips & Lloyd Bookstore in Hayesville, and has contributed to the founding of two other reading series in the area as well. And having concluded a career of public and private school instruction, she continues to teach writing at the John C. Campbell Folk School and Tri-County Community College.

She has carried on this service to writers while also pursuing her own writing career, resulting in the publication of poems, stories, essays, and articles in a wide array of journals and anthologies, and culminating last year in her poetry collection Now Might As Well Be Then.

On August 10, Beall will give a reading of her work at Poetry Hickory, 6:30 at Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse in downtown Hickory. Here is a sample poem from her recent collection.

Miracle of Love
for Barry

You brought me spring in winter.
The cold melted away, as jonquils
bloomed and tilted delicate edges
toward the sky.

You brought me youth when I was old,
you found my childhood self.
You touched me with your tenderness,
a touch of love so deep my spirit wept.

You brought me sunbeams in the storm.
When dark clouds formed above me,
you opened bright blue mirrors overhead
for sun to shine down on me.


  1. Looking forward to hearing her read!

  2. Terrific post about Glenda! She is a gifted poet and a wonderful friend to writers.