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Why I Write

Why I write poetry is always hard to explain, as I once laughingly told a questioner, “I can’t help myself! It’s just a part of who I am…”

Poetry – both writing and reading it – brings order, sustenance and hope to my life. It’s that simple and that complex.

My New Book

My  New Book

My new book Stones Ripe for Sowing is being published in the fall of 2018.

Here is a preview by North Carolina poet, Pat Riviere-Seel:

Libby Bernardin has crafted a haunting collection from a life well lived and carefully examined. These stunning poems question and affirm while eschewing answers. They invite us to “step into doubt, that hard stone, / seed of spring, of water, of fire.” Firmly grounded in the natural world, Bernardin trains her gaze deep into our very nature and existence, addressing loss and grief, aging, wonder and joy, all the contradictions of our human existence, with language that is at once lyrical and precise. These poems celebrate the every day and the sacred. This is a collection that invites you to become “a new person emerging from this hard case, / a chrysalis with one wing out, trembling.”

—Pat Riviere-Seel

Nothing Below But Air

Click To See My Publications

About

I am a South Carolina poet whose chapbook, The Book of Myth (Stepping Stones Press, 2009) was one of six winners in the South Carolina Poetry Initiative chapbook contest. My poems have appeared in numerous journals including Southern Poetry Review, The South Carolina Poetry Society Yearbook, Cairn, and Kakalak.

Also, poems are included in The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume I: South Carolina, and After Shocks: The Poetry of Recovery for Life-Shattering Events, and The World Is Charged: Poetic engagements with Gerard Manley Hopkins. Other publications over several years have included Southern Poetry Review, The Asheville Review, Notre Dame Review, Kakalak and Negative Capability, the Poetry of South Carolina Yearbook and the North Carolina Poetry Society’s Pinesong.

My poem “Name Day” won honorable mention in the Porter Fleming contest in 1990 and was included in my novel, The Stealing (McGraw-Hill, 1993). In 1986 I was named the South Carolina Arts Commission’s literary fellow.

I have given many readings and taught workshops in poetry, fiction and journalism. Until accepting a full-time faculty position at the University of South Carolina, I served for a number of years on the arts-in-the-schools roster. I studied at the Haden Dream Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina, learning about dreams, symbols and mythology, an influence in my work.

I am retired from teaching English at the University of South Carolina and am a Lifetime Member on the Board of Governors for the South Carolina Academy of Authors.


Publications

The Book of Myth Stepping Stones Press There is a remarkable quality to these poems that for their tone and mode of supplication and praise are best described as prayers. Here the subject of the prayers (i.e. the one prayed to) does not fall into easy orthodoxy, and the prayers are addressed to the art...

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Workshops

Current Workshop Nothing currently. 🙂 About My Workshops My philosophy in teaching workshops mirrors William Stafford in that I like to discover the best in a poet — what I see that is working well. I do point out what needs more work, but I don't see it as my job to "fix" the poem....

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Contact

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