• Lawrence Clayton Poets & Writers Speaker Series

    Cathy Smith Bowers

    Poet

    Cathy Smith Bowers’ first poetry collection The Love That Ended Yesterday in Texas was the inaugural winner of Texas Tech University Press’s Walt McDonald First-Book Series in Poetry, 1992. Poet David Huddle writes, “Want to see what’s right about contemporary American poetry? Read The Love That Ended Yesterday in Texas. Cathy Smith Bowers has crafted a poetry of uncommon life out of her considerable wit, courage, and passion.” Rodney Jones calls Ms. Bowers’ emergence as a poet “astonishing in the degree that she has taken possession of loss and made it a gift, and she has done it everywhere with courageous wit and in language that sings as well as it talks.” Judith Ortiz Cofer notes that in “The Love That Ended Yesterday in Texas Cathy Smith Bowers comes to terms with the power granted by pain and with the terrible beauty to be found in ordinary lives.” The second edition of The Love That Ended Yesterday in Texas (1997),as well as Cathy Smith Bowers’ second and third books of poetry—Traveling in Time of Danger (1999) and A Book of Minutes (2004) are published by Iris Press, Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Poet Jane Hirshfield says Traveling in Time of Danger “possesses a sensuous intelligence, a tongue both observant and precise, a brave and vulnerable heart.”

    Ms. Bowers’ poems have been published in many of the top literary journals and magazines, including: The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, The Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, New England Review/Breadloaf Quarterly, Shenandoah, Southern Poetry Review, Southern Humanities Review, Poet Lore, and South Carolina Review.

    In addition to being the inaugural winner of Texas Tech University Press’s Walt McDonald First-Book Series in Poetry, Cathy Smith Bowers received the 1990 General Electric Award for Younger Writers and a South Carolina Poetry Fellowship for 1989-1990. In 1995, she was one of twelve North Carolina poets selected to appear in the TV series “Poetry Live.”

    Ms. Bowers is a native of South Carolina. She earned her BA in English from Winthrop University in 1972 and her Master of Arts and Teaching degree in English from Winthrop in 1976. In 1984, she received the English Speaking Union Fellowship to study Modern British Poetry at the Exeter College, Oxford University International Graduate Summer School. From 1973-1983, she taught English at Lancaster High School in Lancaster, South Carolina and began her college teaching career at Queens University of Charlotte in 1983. She was Director of Composition from 1989-1995 and Poet-in-Residence from 1996-2004. In 2003, she received Queens University of Charlotte’s J. B. Fuqua Distinguished Educator Award. Since 1999, she has been on the teaching faculty of the Queens University of Charlotte low-residency MFA in Creative Writing. She makes her home in Tryon, North Carolina.

    Funding for Cathy Smith Bowers’ performance has been generously provided by Mr. James M. Parker in memory of his wife Cynthia Ann Parker. Ms. Bowers’ books may be purchased from the Hardin-Simmons University Bookstore and at the Question & Answer Session and the Poetry Reading. For further information, contact Dr. Robert A. Fink (325) 670-1214, Hardin-Simmons University Department of Literature and Languages.

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