West End Poetry Festival: 2 days, 8 events, 20+ poets

by Celisa Steele on September 24, 2014

The 2014 West End Poetry Festival is coming up on October 17 and 18, and, as both a participant and an organizer, I’m excited about this festival, funded by the arts-hip Town of Carrboro. Participating poets represent a wide range of poets—different styles, different points in their careers, different places in their lives. The West […]


Why I Find Occasional Poems Tricky

by Celisa Steele on December 4, 2013

As Carrboro poet laureate, I was invited to read a poem last night at the swearing-in ceremony of Carrboro’s new mayor, Lydia Lavelle, and re-elected alderpersons Jacquelyn Gist, Randee Haven-O’Donnell, and Sammy Slade at Carrboro Town Hall. It was also suggested that I might write a poem for the occasion. And, while writing something for […]


Celisa Steele Named New Carrboro Poet Laureate

by Celisa Steele on September 25, 2013

I’m pleased to announce I’m the new Carrboro Poet Laureate. My term starts immediately and lasts through June 2015. Sweet Old Voicemail I got a voicemail with the news that the Carrboro Arts Committee had selected me as the town’s next poet laureate when I was at a Lucinda Williams show at the Haw River […]


Oh! Ken Goldsmith, or What a Poet Wears

by Celisa Steele on July 24, 2013

I caught Kenneth Goldsmith, poet laureate of the Museum of Modern Art (yes, the MOMA has its own poet laureate, though surely not resident?) on The Colbert Report last night. While a big part of me was happy to see a poet on The Report (what might the Colbert bump do for contemporary poetry?), I […]

Good Things Come in Threes (or More)

December 27, 2012

The end of the year is an apt time to look back and be thankful for what’s happened. At the end of this December I’m thankful for some acceptances I received in the second half of this year: The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review published “Keeping Time with the Dead” (which uses the rhyme words from […]

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100 Thousand Poets for Change, Reprised

September 27, 2012

Well, it’s that time of year again. This Saturday, September 29, 2012, will mark the second annual 100 Thousand Poets for Change grassroots extravagance, which currently comprises some 800 events in 115 countries. Last year, I participated in an effort to inundate with poetry the inboxes of state and local government offices in North Carolina. […]

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Learning What Is Untaught

June 6, 2012

This post was originally published on the Tagoras blog. I co-founded Tagoras, and, through a combination of independent research and strategic consulting, we help organizations maximize the reach, revenue, and impact of their educational offerings. Although this piece was written for an audience interested in adult learning, I thought Tony Hoagland’s take on implication would […]

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Reading Friday in Winston-Salem and Review of How Language Is Lost

February 13, 2012

I’m reading this Friday at Barnhill’s Books Wine Art Gifts in Winston-Salem, and I’m perhaps most excited about the event because the fabulous Becky Gould Gibson will also read. She’s a gifted poet and teacher–it’s never a given that one will be the other, and I marvel when I find people who both write and […]

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Celisa Steele Wins Rash Award in Poetry

January 15, 2012

My poem “To a Son on the Verge of Divorce” won the Broad River Review‘s 2011 Rash Award in Poetry. I received the news at the end of December, but the journal just published the finalists and winner on its Web site yesterday, so now I’m making my official announcement. The poem will be published […]

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Review of How Language Is Lost and Fuquay-Varina Reading

November 14, 2011

Ruth Moose, a wonderful writer of fiction and poetry and longtime teacher in the creative writing program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has written a review of How Language Is Lost for The Pilot. Moose concludes her generous article: “Steele…is a wonder with words. No language is lost with her, this […]

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