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You are here: Home : Education : priviere_seelbio

POET-IN-RESIDENCE BIO

Pat Riviere-Seel

Pat SeelPat has published two poetry collections, The Serial Killer's Daughter (Main Street Rag, 2009), winner of the Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry and No Turning Back Now (Finishing Line Press, 2004), nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  She teaches poetry at UNCA in the Great Smokies Writing Program.  She is a 2003 graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Queens University of Charlotte.  Her Poems have ben published in numerous literary journals and anthologies including Asheville Poetry Review, Passager, Tar River Poetry, and Kakalak, an Anthology of Carolina Poets, among others.  Recent poems appear in Boomtown, the Queens University MFA Program 10th Anniversary Anthology, and Cloudbank

Her poetry has been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes and was a finalist in the Press 53 Open Awards and a semi-finalist in the first James Applewhite Poetry Prize in 2011.  The Serial Killer's Daughter premiered as a staged reading in March 2011 with a 4-member cast.

A North Carolina native, Pat has made her home in the NC mountains since 1992, first in rural Yancey County and in Asheville since 1999.  She and her husband, Ed, share their home in the woods with assorted wildlife which includes black bear, coyote, wild turkey, and fox.  Many of her poems arise from her close observation and contemplation of the natural world.

"Not your average nature poet--more Thoreau than Emerson--Riviere-Seel wants to understand why nature is our best analogy...rather than perform our emotions naively, the natural world in Riviere-Seel's art adjoins human conduct, the two parts of a diptych," writes Alan Michael Parker, Director of Creative Writing at Davidson College and core faculty member at Queens University MFA Program for Writers.

Pat is a former award winning journalist, lobbyist, publicist and editor.  She has served as President of the North Carolina Poetry Society and Chair of the North Carolina Writers Conference.  She is an avid runner, hiker and gardener.

Poet's Statement:  Conservation and the North Carolina Zoo

I come into the peace of wild things
...I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light.  For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

These lines from Wendell Berry express my feelings about the North Carolina Zoo and its commitment to the conservation of the world's wildlife and wild places.  The Zoo provides a place for all to come "into the peace of wild things" and "rest in the grace of the world."  What better way to discover our interdependence?

The NC Zoo provides a place to discover and re-discover the world; a place to step out of our busy minds into the real world of animals in their native habitats, a place that can fill us with wonder, and reawaken our sense of identity with all creation.

The Peace of Wild Things
by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief.  I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light.  For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

[from The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry, copyright(c) 1998 by Wendell Berry]