State News

Uproar: Self-published poet laureate in NC resigns

Posted July 17

— North Carolina's poet laureate is resigning amid criticism of the governor for choosing a writer with just two self-published books.

In a letter dated Thursday, Valerie Macon said she's resigning because she didn't want the negative attention her appointment has raised to distract from that prominent post.

She says she remains passionate about the mission of poetry to touch all people, regardless of their education or social status.

"I would like to encourage everyone to read and write poetry," Macon wrote. "They do not need a list of prestigious publishing credits or a collection of accolades from impressive organizations – just the joy of words and appreciation of self-expression."

When McCrory chose Macon last week, he bypassed the traditional selection process that involved the North Carolina Arts Council. That drew criticism from the state's established writers, including the four previous poets laureate.

McCrory accepted Macon's resignation Thursday.

"I’ve decided to regretfully accept Valerie Macon’s resignation, but I hope that she continues to share her talents with others," McCrory said in a statement. "I’m also disappointed by the way some in the poetry community have expressed such hostility and condescension toward an individual who has great passion for poetry and our state. As we continue to review our appointment process, we will ask for recommendations from the public and hope that those candidates represent talented poets from both traditional and non-traditional organizations."

Macon is a disability examiner for the state whose poems reflect her interest in helping the homeless.

93 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • itsnews2me Jul 18, 4:50 p.m.

    Maybe she should write a poem about Possum dropping - "Possum, Possum, in the sky... ask yourself 'Why me? Why?'"

  • krimson Jul 18, 4:42 p.m.

    The left does not have the ability to reach across the isle and work with the Repubs. So much... View More

    — Posted by dirtydozen431

    "Aisle"???

  • krimson Jul 18, 4:37 p.m.

    McCrory has drove the libs nuts,
    The legislature has pulled us outta' the ruts,
    The teachers got... View More

    — Posted by tatermommy52

    Nice! Here's mine:

    NCGOP
    keeps making NC look bad
    November can't wait

  • dirtydozen431 Jul 18, 4:33 p.m.

    The left does not have the ability to reach across the isle and work with the Repubs. So much for their diversity program.

  • tatermommy52 Jul 18, 4:31 p.m.

    McCrory has drove the libs nuts,
    The legislature has pulled us outta' the ruts,
    The teachers got honey while the Dems lost tax money,
    Now the left cries like brokenhearted pups,

  • carykad Jul 18, 4:31 p.m.

    These blowhards are the same turds that will support Obama's lawlessness but behave like spoiled children because the governor did not ask for their 'permission' to LAWFULLY appoint one of his choice? What a bunch of tools. NEWSFLASH NOBODY IS GOING TO SUFFER IF HE NEVER APPOINTS ONE.

  • raleighboy524 Jul 18, 4:24 p.m.

    TRADITIONAL selection process isn't the same thing as MANDATORY selection process. How dare a... View More

    — Posted by cjw6105

    Absolutely! I call them the General Assembly.

  • cjw6105 Jul 18, 4:05 p.m.

    TRADITIONAL selection process isn't the same thing as MANDATORY selection process. How dare a REPUBLICAN make a selection like Macon!

    The only thing worse than Macon's resignation is the significant number of posters who truly believe that she should have resigned and that the governor was completely out-of-bounds when selecting her in the first place.

    The Triangle area, despite all its glitz, has become an area that is overloaded with people like the ones on the Arts Council- those who know what's best for us, and who are determined to ram it down our throats.

    Is it Monday yet?

  • john63 Jul 18, 3:57 p.m.

    So she feels she is not good enough for it then why did she accept it. If she had to publish... View More

    — Posted by Jump1

    Exactly. I'm a pretty decent basketball player, but if the commissioner of the NBA unilaterally named me MVP, no way am I going to accept it, because I don't even play professional basketball. She shares some responsibility for this.

  • krimson Jul 18, 3:42 p.m.

    For comparison the previous poet laureate Cathy Smith Bowers last work " Like Shining from... View More

    — Posted by glarg

    The end justifies the means??? Is that what you're saying???

    We're not questioning Mrs. Macon's abilities. Far from it, we are questioning the process by which Gov. McCrony bypassed the usual formalities and appointed someone on a whim...

More...