About Pat

Pat Riviere-Seel’s most recent poetry collection, When There Were Horses is scheduled for release in the fall, 2021. Her previous collections include: Nothing Below but Air (Main Street Rag, 2014), The Serial Killer’s Daughter (Main Street Rag, 2009), and No Turning Back Now (Finishing Line Press 2004),

The Serial Killer’s Daughter won the NC Literary and Historical Society’s Roanoke Chowan Book Award and Nothing Below but Air was a semifinalist for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. The Serial Killer’s Daughter has been staged by Shared Radiance Performing Arts Company and performed as a one-act play.

Pat taught poetry classes for UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program for 15 years before moving to Yancey County in 2019. She served as the North Carolina Poetry Society’s Distinguished Poet in the Western Region from 2016-2018. The program pairs student poets with an established poet for one-on-one mentoring.

In 2017 she received the “Charlie Award” from the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival held each September in Burnsville, NC. The annual award recognizes a writer who has made significant contributions as a writer and a community builder. In 2012 she held a unique position as poet-in-residence at the NC Zoo. As part of the residency she wrote a poem for the zoo. Her poem “Summer Solstice” is on display at the black bear exhibit (pictured to the right).

A native of Shelby, NC, Pat grew to love the western NC mountains and spent much of her adult life finding her way back to the state and the landscape she loved. Her poems were first published when she was an undergraduate at North Carolina State University. After graduation Pat worked as a newspaper journalist, publicist, and as a lobbyist for nonprofit organizations in the Maryland State House. She returned to North Carolina in 1992 to work for Rural Southern Voice for Peace as editor of the bimonthly journal, a publication she renamed Voices. She taught GED classes for Mayland Community College and served as the advisor for the college literary journal.

She spent two years in Germany with her husband, Ed Seel, before moving to Asheville, NC, where she lived for twenty years. In 2019 she moved back to Yancey County. She and her husband live in the woods and tend to the needs and desires of two black cats they adopted from Brother Wolf, a no-kill animal shelter in Asheville.

She earned an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte and her BA in English from North Carolina State University.


Poet-In-Residence NC Zoo

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