Shelby Stephenson Book Launch

Location: R.A. Fountain

We celebrated publication of Shelby Stephenson’s newest book of poems, in which he takes us back to Paul’s Hill and all its joys and hauntings. Slavery and Freedom on Paul’s Hill, with a cover illustration by Jacob Stephenson, was published in October by Press 53 in Winston-Salem.

Shelby Stephenson, who is white, grew up in the rural Johnston County of McGee’s Crossroads. Paul’s Hill marked the location of a slave graveyard that was first the subject of his 2008 collection, Family Matters: Homage to July, the Slave Girl, which won the 2008 Bellday Poetry Prize.

Shelby Stephenson was North Carolina’s ninth poet laureate, serving from 2014-2016. Slavery and Freedom on Paul’s Hill is his 11th collection of poetry. With his wife, Linda, he has also recorded four CDs of classic country and bluegrass songs. Their family band, the Stephenson Brothers & Linda (with brothers Paul & Marshall Stephenson) was one of the most popular acts to play Fountain in our first years of operation.

Stephenson was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 2014.Today’s book launch featured Stephenson reading excerpts from his book, talking about poetry, and answering questions. 

Tags: Book release, literary, poetry reading