NC gov defends his self-published poet laureate

By Martha Waggoner, Associated Press | Posted - Jul 16th, 2014 @ 5:10pm

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's governor is responding to criticism for bypassing a traditional selection process in choosing a poet laureate with only two self-published books to her name, saying he seeks to give opportunities to those who aren't part of "elite groups."

But Gov. Pat McCrory also said he would review the process he used to choose Valerie Macon to serve in the high-profile position. A disability examiner for the state, Macon has self-published books of poetry and a dedication to helping the homeless.

Several previous poets laureate have criticized McCrory for bypassing the traditional though not obligatory process of involving the North Carolina Arts Council.

McCrory said Wednesday he wasn't aware of the traditional process. But he said he thought it was good to welcome "new voices and new ideas."

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Martha Waggoner

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