Shelby Stephenson is next NC poet laureate

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    RALEIGH, NC (AP) — An award-winning writer from Johnston County is Gov. Pat McCrory’s choice as North Carolina’s next poet laureate after his original pick departed last summer following criticism from the arts community over the selection process.

    The governor announced Monday the appointment of Shelby Stephenson. Stephenson is a retired English professor and former editor of a literary magazine who’s published many poetry collections. He’s received the North Carolina Award for literature and is North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame inductee.

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    McCrory’s original choice resigned a week into her two-year appointment. McCrory says he recognizes the traditional process was not followed in selecting Valerie Macon in July but says Stephenson’s appointment comes with strong recommendations of Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz and a literary selection panel.

    Stephenson’s installation ceremony is in February.

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