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Poet Steven Reigns discusses his work Jan. 29 at Appalachian

BOONE—A reception for poet and educator Steven Reigns will be held Jan. 29 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Smith Gallery located in Appalachian State University’s Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts.

View larger imagePhoto by Jenny Walters

Reigns will present a gallery talk about his project The Gay Rub at 5:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

The Gay Rub is a collection of GLBTQ rubbings from historical markers across the world. It is on display in the Smith Gallery through Feb. 13. The exhibit was curated by Smith Gallery Director Jody Servon.

Reigns also will conduct autobiographical writing workshops while on campus.

The Gay Rub is a collaborative project created and organized by Reigns showcasing a collection of more than 100 rubbings from important markers of GLBTQ history. Documenting historical signs, tombstones, cenotaphs, plaques and monuments from around the world, the project draws attention to the GLBTQ events and individuals under-represented or underappreciated within history.

The rubbings serve as an archive of historic markers, calling attention to what GLBTQ events and individuals become legitimized through public commemoration.

“In the fall of 2014, North Carolina recognized same-sex marriage and we felt that showing this collection of rubbings would continue the conversations about GLBTQ history, historic figures and human rights,” Servon said.

About the Artist

Steven Reigns is a Los Angeles-based poet and educator and was appointed the first City Poet of West Hollywood in October 2014. In addition to a dozen chapbooks, he has published the collections “Inheritance” (Sibling Rivalry) and “Your Dead Body is My Welcome Mat” (Burning Page Press).

Reigns earned a B.A. in creative writing from the University of South Florida and a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Antioch University. He is a six-time recipient of Los Angeles County’s Department of Cultural Affairs Artist in Residency Grant.

Reigns edited “My Life is Poetry,” featuring his students in the first-ever autobiographical poetry workshop for LGBT seniors. He has taught writing workshops around the country for LGBT youth and people living with HIV. More about information about Reigns can be found at

About Smith Gallery

Smith Gallery is located in the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts at 733 Rivers St. in Boone. Admission is free for all events and programs. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and during special events. For more information, call 828-262-7338 or visit