Tennessee poet Darnell Arnoult to speak at lunchtime series

Tennessee poet Darnell Arnoult, author of “What Travels With Us,” will be the featured presenter as the Appalachian Cultural Lunchtime Series continues Wednesday, Jan. 24, at Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center.

Arnoult’s presentation will begin at 12:15 p.m. in the museum auditorium.

A native of Virginia, Arnoult earned a bachelor’s degree in American studies, with a concentration in Southern folklore, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and received her master’s degree in English and creative writing at North Carolina State University. She now lives in Brush Creek, Tenn.

“What Travels With Us” earned Arnoult the 2005 Weatherford Award from the Appalachian Studies Association and Berea College, as well as the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance “Book of the Year” award.

North Carolina Poet Laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer says Arnoult “has the enviable ability to give both a sense of the communal and the person” and the language in her poems “rises and falls with the cadence of real voices…. The voice is so dead-on, so believable, that the tone is consequently neither patronizing nor pandering.”

The Mountain Heritage Center and Ron Rash, WCU’s Parris Distinguished Professor in Appalachian Culture, sponsor the lunchtime series. Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch. The event includes a 30-minute talk or performance, followed by a chance for guests to meet with the presenter.

The Mountain Heritage Center is located on the ground floor of WCU’s H.F. Robinson Administration Building. For more information, contact the center at (828) 227-7129.