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Performance poet doris davenport speaks July 13 at Appalachian

BOONE—Performance poet, writer and educator doris davenport will present the Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Lecture at Appalachian State University Thursday, July 13, at 3 p.m. in room 114 of Belk Library and Information Commons. A reception will be held in room 421 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public. A shuttle service will run between the Broyhill Inn and Belk Library and Information Commons from 2:15 to 2:45 p.m. and from 4:30 to 6 p.m. For more information call the library at 262-2087.

Davenport will speak briefly on the intense desire for poetry in all mountain people, particularly the Affrilachians, a term that is used to describe people like herself who are both African American and Appalachian. Following her talk, she will perform poems from her most recent book “madness like morning glories.”

Also a visual artist and dancer, davenport earned her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. She has participated in more than 100 poetry performances and workshops, and has taught in the areas of African American studies, multi-ethnic literature, women’s studies and creative writing.

Davenport has published five books of poetry, numerous articles, essays, book reviews and one play, drawing inspiration from the people and environments of Northeast Georgia and the beauty and mystery in the foothills of Appalachia.

In November 2005, she was named one of two “expatriate” North Carolina Poets of the Week by Kathryn Stripling Byer, North Carolina’s poet laureate. “No one can spin a story quite like doris,” says Byer. “A performance poet par excellence, she brings her strength, beauty, and morning-glory humor to every reading she gives.”

Davenport’s presentation is the seventh in a series of lectures established through a gift to the library from Irwin Belk of Charlotte in honor of his wife.