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[Statesville Library] Regional Poetry Night

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Celebrate National Poetry Month by joining us for a poetry circle reading featuring local poets Joyce Compton Brown, Les Brown, and Alana Dagenhart.

About Our Poets

Joyce Compton Brown

Joyce Compton Brown grew up in Troutman North Carolina, in a family with deep rural traditions. After graduation, she received her B.S. and M.S. from Appalachian State University. She earned a doctorate in American literature from the University of Southern Mississippi and returned to teach a Gardner-Webb University. After retirement she returned to Troutman where she had time to put more effort into her lifelong interest in writing.

Hard-Packed Clay, deeply imbued with her Iredell County roots, is her fourth book. The three others are Bequest (Finishing Line), Singing with Jarred Edges (Main St. Rag Publications), and Standing on the Outcrop, published by RedHawk Press, as is her latest book.

She lives in Troutman with her husband, biologist and writer Les Brown, and the cat, who rules them both.

Les Brown

Les and Joyce live in Troutman, N.C. For several years they wrote a monthly column for The Star in Shelby, N.C., and have started book and writing groups in Troutman. Les has honed his painting and drawing skills, which often depict local landmarks in McDowell and Iredell counties. Les was the feature artist for an exhibit and show at Gardner-Webb’s Tucker Student Center Art Gallery; faculty, staff, the community and alumni were able to witness a side of Les and his creativity that may have been overlooked while he served in the Natural Science Department.

Joyce and Les continue to enjoy travel, hiking in the mountains, and kayaking.

Alana DagenhartStatesville native, Alana Dagenhart is a poet, artist, and teacher who likes to think about the intersection between science, art, and poetry. She teaches composition, creative writing, and literature at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte. 

Her chapbook Blood was published by Finishing Line Press in 2016, and Yellow Leaves, her first full length collection of poems, was published by Redhawk Publications this year. One of her earliest memories is walking on the low brick wall in front of the library on West Broad Street, holding her mom’s hand on the way to Story Time. She still believes that sitting in a circle on the floor, listening to someone read is the most powerful thing there is.

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