Local Lifestyle

Ice House will host reading by West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman

An evening celebrating the art of poetry with West Virginia’s Poet Laureate Marc Harshman will take place at the Ice House in Berkeley Springs on Wednesday, March 20.

Hosted by the Morgan Arts Council, the free event is a culmination of three days of workshops with children in Morgan County Schools.

Acclaimed for his deeply felt poetry that intricately weaves together themes of nature, humanity, and the Appalachian landscape, Harshman has garnered widespread recognition for his literary prowess. Serving as West Virginia’s Poet Laureate since 2012, he brings a wealth of experience and insight to the poetic realm, enriching communities with his words that resonate deeply with readers far and wide.

Presented through the Morgan Arts Council’s “Arts Integration” program, Harshman will be conducting workshops and readings at county schools earlier in the week in Berkeley Springs, Paw Paw, and at Pleasant View.

Every 4th grader will receive a copy of his book “All That Feeds Us: The West Virginia Poems.”

Amongst his many accolades, Harshman received the 2019 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award for his poem “Poet in the Schools,” and his poem “Dispatch from the Mountain State” was printed in the Thanksgiving 2020 edition of the New York Times.

“We are thrilled to welcome Marc Harshman to Morgan County and the Ice House for what promises to be a memorable evening of poetry and camaraderie,” said Jordan Warren, Executive Director of the Morgan Arts Council.”

As a beloved figure in the literary community, Harshman’s visit offers a unique opportunity for attendees to immerse themselves in the transformative power of poetry and engage with one of West Virginia’s most esteemed voices.”

Open to the general public, the event will take place on March 20th, 2024, at the Ice House in Berkeley Springs. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. poetry reading, followed by a meet and greet session with the author. Admission is free.

Marc Harshman is the Poet Laureate of West Virginia, serving as the State’s ambassador for poetry and literary arts.
His fourteenth children’s book, Fallingwater, co-written with Anna Smucker was an Amazon Book of the Month choice, as well as a Junior Library Guild selection.  A previous children’s title, The Storm, was a Smithsonian Notable Book for Children.

His children’s books have been translated into Danish, Korean, Swedish, Spanish, and Japanese. His recent collection of poems, Woman In Red Anorak, won the 2017 Blue Lynx Prize and was published by Lynx House/University of Washington Press in 2018.

His poetry collection, Believe What You Can,  published in 2016 by West Virginia University Press, won the Weatherford Award from the Appalachian Studies Association. It was also named the Appalachian Book of the Year by the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival in Tennessee.

He holds degrees from Bethany College, Yale Divinity School, and the University of Pittsburgh, as well as honorary doctorates from Bethany College and West Liberty University.