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Event Date: April 2, 23, and 30th at 6:30 PM in the Community Room of the Jackson County Public Library.
Media contact: Ben Woody (

Brent Martin - Distinguished Poet for the West

​Sylva — For the month of April, the Jackson County Library will host three events as part of the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poetry Series. The series was created as a result of past NC Poet Laureate, Fred Chappell, who encouraged the NC Poetry Society in 2003 to create such a program to foster the reading, writing, and enjoyment of poetry across the state.  Join current Distinguished Poet for the western part of North Carolina, Brent Martin, with three of his student poets to hear them and other guest poets present their current work. The series begins on April 2nd at 6:30 with student poet, Tyler Auffhammer, with subsequent readings on April 23rd and April 30th.  The April 23rd and 30th readings will be with student poets,  Alison Howe, and Mary Christensen, respectively.

Brent Martin is the author of three chapbook collections of poetry - Poems from Snow Hill Road (New Native Press, 2007), A Shout in the  Woods (Flutter Press, 2010), and Staring the Red Earth Down (Red Bird Press, 2014).  He is also a co-author of Every Breath Sings Mountains (Voices from the American Land, 2011) with authors  Barbara Duncan and Thomas Rain Crowe. His forthcoming non-fiction collection, Hunting for Camellias at Horseshoe Bend, will be published by Red Bird Press in 2015.  His poems and essays have been published in the North Carolina Literary Review, Tar River Poetry, Wildbranch:  An Anthology of Nature and Place Based Writing, Kudzu Literary Journal, Eno, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VII: North Carolina, and elsewhere.  He  is currently serving as the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for the West.


Tyler Auffhammer is a senior at Western Carolina University, where he majors in Secondary English Education. He primarily writes narrative nonfiction and poetry. His work has appeared in Sigma Tau Delta's The Rectangle, UNCW's Atlantis, and WCU's Nomad. After graduation, he plans to become a high school English teacher and write during the summers.


Alison Howie

Alison Howie is a senior at Western Carolina University majoring in English and Education. She enjoys reading, listening to music, writing poetry and spending time with family and friends in her spare time. She hopes to teach high school English some day while still continuing to write and publish as often as possible.


Mary Christenson

Mary Christenson is an Arizona native who has lived in Jackson country for the last three and a half years.  As of December 2014 she holds a Bachelor's of Arts in English from Western Carolina University and will begin an MFA in Creative Writing program for poetry come fall. Her prose and poetry can be found in publications such as Cactus Heart Magazine, The Atlantis, and WCU's Nomad.

This program is free and open to the public. The event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Jackson County Public Library. For more information, please call the library at (828) 586-2016. The Jackson County Public Library is a member of Fontana Regional Library.