Instrumental in attracting the group to Bell Buckle was Maggi Vaughn, Tennessee Poet Laureate. She will be joined by Lisa Starr, of Rhode Island; Joyce Brinkman, of Indiana; Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda, of Virginia; Marie Harris, of New Hampshire; and Marjory Wentworth, of South Carolina.
"What a wonderful opportunity for our students," said Webb Head of School Ray Broadhead. "It is exciting to have these six poets laureate on our campus, interacting with our students in small groups, and sharing their work with us all."
Vaughn, a resident of Bell Buckle, has been Poet Laureate of Tennessee for more than 18 years and is the author of 18 books. Her poetry has appeared in magazines, literary journals and newspapers, and has been featured on national television and radio shows, including National Public Radio.
Vaughn has received a Mark Twain Fellowship, the Governor's Award as Outstanding Tennessean, and The Literary Award from the Germantown Arts Alliance, whose former winners include Eudora Welty, Shelby Foote and John Grisham. Her songs have been recorded by major country stars.
Wentworth teaches creative writing at several institutions. Her work is included in the South Carolina Poetry Archives at Furman University.
She has written two books for children, and has a picture book forthcoming from Putnam. She is currently writing a story for young readers on the life and times of American composer Amy Beach.
Kreiter-Foronda served as Poet Laureate of Virginia from 2006-2008. She has published five books of poetry, co-edited two poetry anthologies and has two other manuscripts near completion. Her poems have been nominated for six Pushcart Prizes and appear in numerous magazines.
Her awards include five grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts; a Spree first-place award; multiple awards in Pen Women competitions; and an Edgar Allan Poe first-place award, among others. She also works as a visual artist, whose paintings have been widely exhibited throughout Virginia.
Brinkman, Indiana Poet Laureate 2002-2008, creates public poetry projects involving her poetry and the poetry of others. Collaborations with visual artists using her poetry for permanent installations include a stained glass window by British glass artist Martin Donlin at the Indianapolis International Airport, a lighted glass by Arlon Bayliss at the Indianapolis-Marion County Central Library and on a wall with El Salvadoran artists in the town square of Quezaltepeque, El Salvador. Her printed works include two chapbooks and two collaborative books. Brinkman has received fellowships from the Mary Anderson Center for the Arts and the Indianapolis Arts Council.
The speaker series is an endowed program at The Webb School, an independent college preparatory boarding/day school for grades 6-12. For more information about The Webb School visit thewebbschool.com.