Yes, Virginia, there are poets living in Fuquay-Varina. And to prove it, this Thursday evening one of that elusive number will read from her work at the Lazy Lion Bookstore on Broad Street.
Valerie Macon, whose poems have garnered awards from The NC Poetry Society, The Writers’ Ink Guild, and the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poets Series, has lived in the area for 12 years. She’s the author of Shelf Life, a poetry collection nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Macon is looking forward to reading in the town where she lives. “People are very receptive and attentive,” she said. “They ask a lot of questions here.”
Fellow Fuquay-Varina poet Sonia Usatch-Kuhn is a regular at the Third Thursday readings. “Valerie Macon’s a gentle poet,” Usatch-Kuhn said. “You can feel her heart speak.”
Many of Macon’s poems are curiously static, capturing moments and preserving them like specimens under glass. In “Out to Lunch,” she sketches a sight anyone traveling north on Highway 401 has seen.
“He works the median, rush hour,/ limping on a graphite leg, /scruffy fatigues, beard like Spanish moss,/ affliction scribbled on a cardboard sign:/Hungry…Homeless…Please Help.”
Macon gleans inspiration from the world around her. “A lot of my poems are character studies,” she explained. “Most of my poetry I get from the people here, just people I see. They’re the fodder for my work.”
Macon’s appearance caps off a busy summer for the literary event. “We’ve had such a successful turnout of wonderful talent over the summer months, I can only hope for continuance of the same,” co-host Jan Parker said.
“We’re glad Valerie Macon is one of the regular attendees of Third Thursday Open Mic Night for Poets and Writers at the Lazy Lion and hope the community will come out and support her fine talent on August 16,” she added
The reading at the Lazy Lion Bookstore, 601 East Broad Street, starts at 6 p.m., with an open mic to follow.