Prime Number Magazine
is a publication of 
Press 53
PO Box 30314,
Winston-Salem NC 27130
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Issue 109, Jul – Sept 2017
Prime Number Magazine is a publication of Press 53, PO Box 30314, Winston-Salem, NC 27130


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Susan Laughter Meyers
Kathryn Stripling Byer
During the month of June 2017, we lost two luminaries of our writing community: Kathryn Stripling Byer, who was the first woman poet laureate of North Carolina, and Susan Laughter Meyers, a widely published, award-winning poet with deep roots in both North and South Carolina.

Kathryn, or Kay as her friends called her, lost her battle with lymphoma on June 5, which surprised many of us. I last spoke with Kay in April of this year and she sounded a bit tired by positive that the battle would be won, but the cancer came back fiercely. Kay supported writers of all ages and always made herself available to anyone seeking her advice or opinion. You can visit her "My Laureate's Lasso" blog, which is still up and is loaded with great writing and also fun conversation. Kay appeared in Issue 53, April - June 2014, sharing four poems that are a good representation of her values, family, and the land she called home in Cullowhee, NC. Her first poetry collection was The Girl in the Midst of the Harvest, which won the Associated Writing Programs (AWP) Award Series in Poetry, judged by John Nims. It was published by Texas Tech University Press in 1986, and Press 53 reprinted the collection in 2013. Kay served as Poet Laureate of North Carolina from 2005 until 2009.

Susan passed on June 25 after suffering a stroke. She was a regular at our annual Press 53 Gathering of Poets in Winston-Salem, NC, and made her third appearance as a faculty member just this past March. Susan was an early supporter of Prime Number Magazine, having four poems in Issue 3 (our second issue), October – December 2010, and three poems in Issue 37, April – June 2013. Susan was born and reared in Albemarle, NC, and lived just outside of Charleston, SC, with her husband of 41 years, Blue. Susan served as leadership over the years with the North Carolina Poetry Society and the Poetry Society of South Carolina. One of my fondest memories with Susan was a couple of years ago this September at the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival in Burnsville, NC, when I joined Pat Riviere-Seel and Susan in their motel room, along with a couple of their friends, where we share some good wine and read poetry to one another. I'm going to miss my birthday buddy.

I hope you will visit these back issues (highlighted with links above) and let Kay and Susan tell you a bit more about themselves. I am going to miss their friendship and especially their voices.

Kevin Morgan Watson
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief
Press 53
Prime Number Magazine