How wonderful all this is, to be here, to celebrate and honor Poets and Writers.
Thank you, Ed Wilson, Barbara Braveboy-Locklear, and Margaret Maron.
Thank you, Ron Bayes, for publishing at St. Andrews in 1979 my first little book Middle Creek Poems.Â Â
I remember Michael McOwen broke his arm in that clam-shell press.
Thank you, Betty Adcock.Â Â Iâ€™ve loved your poems since I first saw them in little magazines before LSU published in 1975 your first book Walking Out.Â
And Jaki Shelton Green:Â I love your poems for the bruising beauty of the lyricism and for the closeness of family and for the personal and public history you document.
And Nin, thank you.Â What a love and editor you are.Â We still know Guy Owen was right when he said the magic word is â€œcut.â€ Â How Iâ€™ve given you things to read and you have given the drafts back to me, with smiling faces or big crosses for CUT.
And I can hear Guy say, â€œShelby, let your writing get cold.Â Then go back to it.â€
And my family, thank you.Â Ninâ€™s family, too, thank you for being here today.
I thank each of you for coming to Weymouth today.
What a place this is!Â And what a special State we live in.
October 12, 2014
Southern Pines, NC