Winston-Salem, NC – Dr. Carolyn Ward, President of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, formally announced Laura Hope-Gill as the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation’s first Poet Laureate at Asheville’s Wordfest.
To commemorate the event, Dr. Ward presented her with a watercolor painting of a sacred Cherokee location and a very special “soul tree” created by Houck Medford, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.
He stated “this adds a whole other dimension to the Parkway experience. The Parkway is so visual but its rhythms can easily be conveyed in poetic language. We look forward to hearing and ‘seeing’ this new imagery as it becomes part of our Parkway visitors’ journeys.”
Laura is the Executive Director of the Asheville Wordfest Media Outreach Project, a poetry project which includes an annual festival as well as public access television, public radio, and internet presentation of poetry.
This year, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation provided awards to winners of the Blue Ridge Parkway category for both adults and children. The children’s poetry will be showcased by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation’s, Kids In Parks.
Kids in Parks is an initiative of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and the Blue Ridge Parkway working with partners throughout the community to increase the physical activity of children and their families, improve nutritional choices and connect kids to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Laura Hope-Gill shared her thoughts on being named as the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation’s first Poet Laureate: “The land is the language of poetry – we see it Neruda, Lorca, the British Romantics. It tells us things and the poet’s role is to interpret it as well as she can. I like that the Parkway gets a Laureate, a poet who can work alongside biologists and fundraisers to nurture the love we all have for these mountains. I’m honored. I’m humbled, but most of all I’m just really, really happy that my words can be of use.”
Laura’s book, the Soul Tree, may be purchased online from the Blue Ridge Book Store.
About Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation:
The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, under a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior, is the primary private fundraising organization for the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Foundation funds endowments and makes direct allocations for projects and programs which enhance the visitors’ experience and preserve the Blue Ridge Parkway’s scenic, cultural and environmental quality.
For more information visit our website: www.brpfoundation.org Share the Journey®
|Get your copy of Laura’s book, The Soul Tree, at the Blue Ridge Book Store.
Her collection of contemporary poetry is set to beautiful photographs of the Southern Appalachians by local photographer, John Fletcher.